I like a kick-ass heroine as much as the next woman, but I like them in the right time, place, and context. Eve Dallas in futuristic New York, great! Hunting vampires and werewolves, you bet. But, when a Victorian lady delivers a few karate kicks, not so much. Give me Amelia Peabody and her reinforced umbrella to take on her foes any day. A woman on the frontier might be expected to know how to use a rifle, a Regency lass, highly unlikely. The latter is better off using her feminine wiles to conquer a man.
Of course, a case can always be made for odd, out-of-sync skills. Her daddy was a fencing teacher, her Chinese houseboy is also a master at judo, possible but not probable. Still, these devices always seem contrived in historical novels. I have a Regency heroine, Lady Pandora, who badly wants equal rights with men. She can ride like the devil sidesaddle, but would love to be allowed the freedom to ride astride in breeches. She believes she can do anything as well as a man, but um, that does not always work out for her as she simply does not have the training or the strength to bring off all her schemes. In other words, I try to keep my heroine in the realm of reality for her time and place.
Today, it is likely a woman might know how to shoot a pistol or deliver a karate chop. She may drive race cars or be in the space program. We've come a long way, baby. Still, I do appreciate when the contemporary heroine leaves something for the hero to do other than be good in bed. I mean, I can change my own oil, but why would I want to if a man will do it for me?
Enough said on this topic. I am between the publication of Kicks for a Sinner in February and the just completed edits for my 1920's historical, Queen of the Mardi Gras Ball, to come out in June. The heroine of the last has spirit but does not deliver a single lethal blow in the whole book-though she does try. Sorry about that. I think it is still a good story in its own time and place.
Well, I am confused by the new Blogger formatting but charmed to know over 1,300 people read my blog at sometime or another. Not huge numbers, I know, but here I thought only a few friends tuned in from time to time. Makes the time I spend on this seem more worthwhile. Thanks for reading this and my books.