the other list

Thinking about my list of seven male characters has actually helped me quite a lot in solidifying some things about John Grant, who is the male protagonist in Tied to the Tracks. In the hope that lightning will strike twice, here’s a preliminary list of female characters who work especially well for me. Again, this is in no particular order, and I’ve put my own main character at the bottom for the purposes of comparison.

Three more things I’ll be thinking about as I try to deconstruct what makes a female protagonist work for me: (1) unlike my list of male characters, most of these women come out of traditional romance; (2) Each of these women has a male counterpart who I like a great deal, but who didn’t make it onto the other list. (3) I can think of another five female characters who probably deserve to be on this list.

CharacterNovelAuthor
Elizabeth BennettPride and PrejudiceJane Austen
Marie Du GardDanceJudy Cuevas (Judith Ivory)
Maddy TimmsFlowers from the StormLaura Kinsale
MelantheFor My Lady’s HeartLaura Kinsale
Aeryn SunFarscapeof course, of course
Hannah TrevorHearts and BonesMargaret Lawrence
Elizabeth MiddletonInto the WildernessS.D.

2 Replies to “the other list”

  1. Have you ever read Thalassa Ali’s ‘A Very Singular Hostage’? It ranks as one of my all-time favourites for both the heroine & setting. I’m in the (nearly completed 2nd draft) of writing a historical romance & besides being mad about my hero (who I need to make more heroic) really like my heroine. I discovered that she, along with Ali’s heroine & Elizabeth Bonner were very realistic heroines for their time. Have you come across Francis Cogan’s book about the cult of real-womanhood vs. true womanhood? Sorry – the title eludes me! It was such a relief to find my heroine was possible, not just some modern character thrust into Asia in the 1840’s.
    By the way, your books were a real treat for me when stuck in Hong Kong as a new & really lonely mum. Nothing like Sara Donati, coffee & cake once I’d got my son to sleep. So, thanks for your wonderful books & Elizabeth who felt like a friend.
    Fiona Jeffcoat-Yu

  2. Dear Fiona,

    Thanx for the nice comments on “A Singular Hostage.” Good luck on your historical novel.
    Just letting you know that my next book, “A Beggar at the Gate” is coming out on Sept 28th.
    It’s the second of a trilogy. I’m writing the third book now.
    Good luck with the book!

    Thalassa

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