Shana Galen

Outlander

Shana Galen is the author of numerous fast-paced adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books have been sold worldwide, including Japan, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands, and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs.

A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She’s a wife, a mother, and an expert multi-tasker. She loves to hear from readers: visit her website or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

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Recently I was writing a workshop to give at a local chapter of the Romance Writers of America. The topic was Crafting Historical Heroines (and Heroes) That Rock, and I was speaking about how to create characters that are historically accurate but who still appeal to modern readers. One thing I did in preparation was to ask my readers (via Facebook, of course!) who their favorite heroes and heroines are and why.

Here are a few of the responses.

Cora DeBeau from Tracey Devlyn’s A LADY’S REVENGE because she came out of France tortured not broken. I think this book should be given out at lady’s shelters. I understand abuse and ladies in abusive relationships should know THEY ARE NOT BROKEN only slightly dented.

Ian Mackenzie from Jennifer Ashley’s THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE. He is labeled “crazy/mad” to the world because of eccentricities. What draws me to him is he doesn’t hide who or what he is. He lives his life with the stares and whispers. Every time I read this story I am amazed how far he comes from the beginning to the end. I love how complex his character is and how Ms. Ashley doesn’t fix him but makes his eccentricities part of the great man he is.

Eve Dallas from the JD Robb series because she saves herself.

jd

JD Robb

 

Darius Carsington (From NOT QUITE A LADY by Loretta Chase) because he runs so very, very hard and far from his heart, then slams back to it in an instant when the woman he admires is threatened. Then he runs that much faster back to her side, intellectual sword at the ready.

Skye O’Malley (the entire series and Legacy series) by Bertrice Small. She was as intelligent as any man, went against Elizabeth Tudor and won, survived countless obstacles in the pursuit of her own happiness and empowered her children, daughter-in-laws and grandchildren to do the same!

I love all the characters from the Stephanie Lauren’s Bar Cynster series all the men are heroes to their ladies and family as well as the ton, but their women are strong and a force to be reckoned with!

Sebastian and Evie from DEVIL IN WINTER. Sebastian taking a bullet for Evie was a sign of true sacrifice.

Outlander

Jamie and Claire

 

Jamie Fraser. There are many reasons to like Jamie (other than being a kilted, Highlander, of course!). He loves with his entire being. And he is willing to sacrifice himself for the people he loves. He sent Claire back through the stones to keep her and their unborn child safe even though it broke his heart to do so.

I wish I could have shared all the responses because I received so many fabulous ones. A lot of the characters mentioned were also my favorites and others I added to my TBR pile. As far as my workshop, One thing this “scientific” survey showed me was what all of these characters have in common.

In my opinion, the heroines are strong and resilient. They save themselves and empower other women. The heroes are at peace with themselves (at least by the end of the book). They don’t have anything to prove to society. They are willing to love with their whole beings and make ultimate sacrifices. In short, these heroes and heroines rock!

Who are some of your favorite heroes and heroines and why? WE are having some problems with an overactive spam filter. Please go ahead and comment, and if the comment doesn’t show right away, don’t worry. The JQs will be freeing comments all day.

Shana Galen

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Shana Galen is the author of numerous fast-paced adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books have been sold worldwide, including Japan, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands, and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs.

A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She’s a wife, a mother, and an expert multi-tasker. She loves to hear from readers: visit her website or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

Shana's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

Mary Doherty is the winner of the DVD of Frozen. Congrats! I’ll email you, Mary, or you can email me at shana@shanagalen.com

 

win

Shana Galen

win

Shana Galen is the author of numerous fast-paced adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books have been sold worldwide, including Japan, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands, and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs.

A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She’s a wife, a mother, and an expert multi-tasker. She loves to hear from readers: visit her website or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

Shana's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

I’m betting you’ve seen the movie Frozen. If you haven’t, go rent it and watch. We’ll wait. Come back and let us know your thoughts.

I don’t know if what Disney did with that movie was intentional or not (I sort of think not), but they really created different heroines for different audiences. I’m guessing most of you saw it and thought of Anna as the heroine. She’s the one who goes on the quest to find her sister. She’s the one who, in the end, sacrifices all to save her sister. She risks everything to save Elsa and the kingdom of Arendell. Anna’s funny, brave, kind, but she’s also a bit impulsive and starved for love. We can relate to her vulnerability. Who among us hasn’t felt lonely at one time or another? We admire her because she embodies what it means to be a hero—sacrifice, risk, doing what is right even when no one else will.

anna

But I bet if you have a young child, especially a daughter, she isn’t enamored of Anna. She loves Elsa. Princess Galen adores Elsa and even has an Elsa dress.

[SPOILER!]

Why? Elsa is not the heroine of the story. In fact, Elsa seems to be the villain until relatively late in the movie when Hans’s real character is revealed. So why do kids love Elsa? Because she’s strong and powerful. No matter that her power is a fluke. That she’s actually kind of a coward because instead of facing her weakness (her powers) head on, she tries to hide them and runs away when the going gets tough. When PG and I play with her Anna and Elsa dolls, my daughter always wants to be Elsa. All her little friends want to be Elsa. No one wants to be Anna. She isn’t special. She doesn’t have the unique powers Elsa has.

elsa

And as an aside, I don’t think Disney expected Elsa to be the more popular one because they were not prepared for it. We were at Disneyworld right after the release of Frozen, and Elsa dolls were sold out. We got the last one in Epcot while we were there. A few months later, I decided to buy an Elsa doll for my daughter’s friend’s birthday. I couldn’t get one anywhere for under $150. Even now if you look on Amazon, Anna dolls are about $23 while Elsa dolls are $45. Scarcity increases desirability, but I think Disney would rather have the money from all of those Elsa doll sales than disappointed kids who will move on to the next big thing in a couple of months when doll production has caught up.

elsa dress

Princess Galen in her Elsa Dress

Creating heroines like Elsa is something authors have to watch out for. Sometimes we create a really strong character, but forget to make him or her heroic. It’s not enough for a character to be strong or brave or special, he or she has to use those talents in heroic ways. Incidentally, Disney is able to redeem Elsa at the end of the movie because we have a foundation for her heroism at the beginning of the movie. She was a good sister to Anna when they were children.

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So who’s your favorite? Anna or Elsa? Why? One person who comments wins the DVD of Frozen (U.S. and Canada only). Winner announced Sunday (April 6).

Shana Galen

Jane Austen

Shana Galen is the author of numerous fast-paced adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books have been sold worldwide, including Japan, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands, and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs.

A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She’s a wife, a mother, and an expert multi-tasker. She loves to hear from readers: visit her website or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

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Latest Books

On Saturday Jesse blogged about watching movies over and over. It made me think about books I loved to read over and over (and over). With so many new books released each month and so little reading time, I sometimes feel guilty about re-reading books I’ve already read several times. But then I read an article titled “Re-Reading: The Ultimate Guilty Pleasure,” and I thought, yes, exactly!

The article looked at why readers re-read. One of the reasons that really struck home to me was the “security blanket” reason. There are some books I come back to over and over again because they make me feel happy or lift my spirits when I’m in a bad mood. My daughter has a blankie, and when she is naughty and gets in trouble, she often runs to her room for a few minutes of quality time with blankie. It soothes her and helps her to feel ready to face the world again. I’d have to say a lot of my Julie Garwood historicals fall into this category.

Shana with Julie Garwood

 

Another reason we re-read, which the article calls “heart of the matter” but which I’m calling time warp, is to remember who we were at the time we first read the book. Whenever I pick up one of the Earth’s Children books from Jean Auel, I remember being in college, because that’s when I first read that series. When I re-read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, I remember my first years of teaching and my trip to Scotland and Culloden. It’s fun to go back and “relive” a previous time in our lives but also bring those books into our present reality too.

Finally, I re-read because I want a “refresher.” A lot of non-fiction books fall into this category. I read them for research but have forgotten details over the passage of time and need to refresh my memory. But I like to refresh fiction too. I re-read my Jane Austen books often just because every time I read Sense and Sensibility or Persuasion, I pick up new details I’ve either forgotten or didn’t catch the first time.

Jane Austen

 

Do you ever re-read books? Which are your go-to books?

 

 

Shana Galen

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Shana Galen is the author of numerous fast-paced adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books have been sold worldwide, including Japan, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands, and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs.

A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She’s a wife, a mother, and an expert multi-tasker. She loves to hear from readers: visit her website or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

Shana's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

The winner of WHEN YOU GIVE A DUKE A DIAMOND and IF YOU GIVE A RAKE A RUBY is MaureenE. Congrats, Maureen!

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