Yes, the two are related!
That’s my overarching theme. My philosophy if you will– Intelligent romance. It is not a contradiction in terms.
I received a letter from a long-time fan, Joy. She wrote to thank me for writing decent heroes. She’s not a fan of what my author friend, Penny Watson, informs me are known as Alpha-holes- Alpha male protagonists who use and abuse women. (Think Fifty Shades or worse.)
I appreciate the feedback, Joy.
It is my goal to create characters who are intelligent, competent, courageous and kind. Men and women who love with all their hearts and souls yet retain their independent identity. I detest heroines who are TSTL and heroes who are jerks. I read a lot, a whole lot, and I always wonder why an author would glorify a woman who would hang around to fix an abusive man. Why do I wonder? Because once upon a time, in real life, I tried it. Didn’t work out so well. It’s self-defeating and frankly, dangerous.
Unfortunately I experienced quite a bit of physical and sexual abuse when I was younger. I have revisited these events in some of my work – Anytime Darlin’ and Come Back to Me – but once I opened my eyes to the reality of abuse there was no closing them. There was also no fixing the abuser. Only in fiction does the love of a good woman fix a bad man.
One of the things I learned was, or is, this– Each of us must take responsibility for our own behavior. An abusive man or woman only changes if he or she wants to change. There is no magic tool in any tool kit that will do the trick. There is no snap of the fingers to make it all better. I know other women who’ve survived abusive situations. They say the same thing I say – Thank god I came to my senses and got out. I’ll add- Before I got killed.
And so I write intelligent heroines. They like Alpha males, (I like Alpha males), but not Alpha-holes. And yes, an Alpha male can be both Alpha and kind at the same time.
Now you know why I keep a German shepherd like Jake around. He’s not only my best bud, he’s my protector when I’m alone at home and off alone on my hikes.