Good day, Champions! I’m giving one last plug for the First Annual Heroine Poll! Thus far Britt is the runaway champion, with Rakel in second, but after that it’s a pretty close split! (Tari actually swooped in from behind over the last few days, so there’s still room for an upset!)
In case you haven’t gotten a chance to vote yet, here it is! Remember: you have until 6/15 to vote. (And yes, next year I’ll consider giving you more than three votes.)
Now on to the post!
I hope that all of you—both you newcomers and old loyalists—know just how important you Champions are to me! I can write because of your support—and your encouragement gives me a helpful nudge whenever I need it, too. But that love can be a double-edged sword because I love all of you—not just the majority—and that’s where my characters come in.
I have a lot of characters that are universally loved—like Rakel of the Snow Queen series, or Britt of King Arthurs—but like all authors, some readers dislike a few of heroines—and it changes from reader to reader. Some dislike Dylan of Little Selkie, others don’t care for Gemma of Rumpelstiltskin, and some people don’t sympathize with Cinderella.
You see all the heroines on that heroine poll? Each and every one of them, even the most popular like Rakel and Britt, have had a reader dislike or even hate them. But I’m okay with that, because it’s not possible to create a character everyone loves, just like it is impossible to create a story that everyone loves. But even more important, I accept that some of my gals will be less popular because—as you can see based on the votes—to someone, each of those heroines meant something.
I’ve had a few of my fabulous champions request that I re-write heroines that they dislike, and while I can understand where they are coming from (it’s disappointing to read a character you don’t sympathize with) my answer will always be a loving no. I feel like we need an example for this, so I’m going to use Odette of Swan Lake.
When Swan Lake first came out, many champions were a little unsure about Odette—she just didn’t jive with them. To put it simply, a lot of you didn’t like her very much. As you can see in the poll, she is not one of my most popular characters…but I have received some of the most heart-warming letters because of her. Odette—out of ALL my female heroines thus far—brought in the most mail to me in which readers poured out their hearts. I received emails from people who told me they had never before felt such a connection with a character, because the problems she faced as a leader were so much like the trials they went through. I received letters from people who indentified heavily with Odette, and felt like she brought them hope.
And that is why I will NEVER, EVER re-write one of my heroines. Because I will not take away the comfort those champions found in that story, and I will not remove my support from their struggles, even if they are in the minority.
I just write books. In the big scheme of things, I’m not heroic or particularly special. But I know people find hope in stories, and I never want to steal that from them.
Keep in mind, I’m not trying to shame anyone for disliking a character. Believe me, I have certain characters that I love, and certain kinds that I reaaallly dislike. (Romeo and Juliet, I’m talking to YOU TWO. SERIOUSLY. WHY YOU DO!?!?) So please keep on talking about characters—shedding light on your likes and dislikes—and give HONEST reviews, and all of that!
But if you read a book—whether it’s one of mine or from another author—and you find that you just don’t like the main character, please have patience…because the book probably wasn’t written for you. Wait a bit, and I promise eventually I’ll try to create another heroine that you’ll enjoy as well. (Now if my leading ladies are all suddenly insipidly stupid book after book after book, then that is a whole different story!! But hopefully that won’t happen.)
Whew, that was a bit of a long post, but I wanted to make it clear just how much I treasure you, Champions–all of you. Thanks for reading, and have a lovely weekend!