I was thinking how I got started in this genre….
I remember being a teenager and picking up my mother’s Harlequin romance novel and starting to read it. I was hooked. Not giving away my age or anything, but back then the heroine wasn’t a “woman”, she was a “girl”. She was usually pretty young, often 19 or 20, and always, always, always a virgin. The hero was a “man”. He was older and oh so not a virgin. He was usually kind of a prick too in the beginning and the heroine disliked him intensely because he treated her like a child – which of course she was. No one had sex before marriage in these books. If they were pre-marital, the only way the hero had a handful of breasts or thighs was if he was working his way through a bucket of chicken. Looking back it was pretty innocent stuff.
Heroines get to have sex and they get to enjoy it. In fact, they can have a lot of it. They can have kinky sex too and not feel guilty. They can initiate sex, they can dominate the man, they can submit to the man, they can have sex without a man at all. I love that women can express their sexuality now. Sex is a part of life and a part that I personally like a lot. Why should we pretend that we don’t like it, want it, or do it? I want to write heroines that are strong and sexy. Women that can take care of themselves and don’t apologize for doing it. I want to write about the kind of woman who I strive to be and the kind of woman I would be friends with.