Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Guest Post: Fiona Lowe on Independent Heroines

Today I am pleased to welcome Aussie romance author Fiona Lowe with a guest post on independent heroines! I just read her new book, Saved by the Bride, and I am hoping to have a review up later this week (although that would mean sitting down and doing it which I don't seem to be all that good at currently).

Welcome Fiona!


The Appeal Of The Independent Romance Heroine By Fiona Lowe

I was raised to be an independent woman. Education was considered very important as was financial security. There was never any talk of me finding a husband or marrying for money, which is why I nearly fell off my chair at dinner the other night when a guy my age said of his highly intelligent, 21 year-old daughter who has dropped out of college and isn’t certain what she wants to do with her life, just yet, “Let’s hope she finds a rich husband.” He was NOT jesting. Not in the least. Given the social circles they associate in, chances are, she will find a very rich husband, but I digress.

Paying my own way and earning money to contribute to our family has always been important to me, and it still is. I find it hard to accept someone offering to pay for my coffee or a meal although I feel quite comfortable, “shouting” (paying) for them.

I think that some of my beliefs about what it is to be a woman in the 2010’s has trickled into my writing. I like to think I write independent, free-thinking women who, although they love having a man in their life, they are still their own person. On reflection, this also impacts on favorite heroines I enjoy most in novels.

Here are my top five:

Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With The Wind. As much as she thinks she needs to be looked after, Scarlett is far too independent for this.

Rachel from Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Homeless, penniless and on a mission, Rachel fights for her child and for herself.

Maddie Timms from Flowers in the Storm by Laura Kinsale. Maddie’s Quaker beliefs, education, independence and humanity help bring the Duke of Jervaulx back into the world.

Beth Hansen from Undeniably Yours by Shannon Stacey. Pregnant by a man she barely knows, it takes a lot of convincing that life with Kevin is going to be a shared life of equals.

Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. In a time when a woman had no way of earning a living and her future was dependent on her husband’s income and predisposition, Elizabeth held out until she met a man who was not only her intellectual equal but also a man she loved. And the fact he had more than £10,000 income per year is a bonus!

My current heroine, Anni from Saved By the Bride is fiercely independent to the point of poverty but handouts are not her style. She wants to work and be paid a fair wage for a fair day’s pay. I think that represent’s most of us, don’t you?

Who are some of your favorite heroines?

Fiona Lowe is a RITA® and R*BY award-winning, multi-published author with Harlequin and Carina Press. Whether her books are set in outback Australia or in the mid-west of the USA, they feature small towns with big hearts, and warm, likeable characters that make you fall in love. When she's not writing stories, she's a weekend wife, mother of two 'ginger' teenage boys, guardian of 80 rose bushes and often found collapsed on the couch with wine. You can find her at her website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.


  1. I certainly don't like a wimpy, lie back and let everyone, including the hero do everything for her, heroine. At the same time a heroine who is so darned independent she fights over stupid things (let the man open the dratted door woman) I can find really irritating at times.
    On the other hand I've loved heroine's who aren't feisty but just go on steadily loving a recalcitrant or unnoticing hero until he wakes up. Sort of Wind beneath my Wings scenarios.

  2. I agree, PrincessFi...how cool we share the same name! I am an independent woman but I can still enjoy good manners such as a door being opened for me :-)

  3. Great post! I, too, like strong, independent female characters. (Give me Hermione over Bella Swann any day.) Kel (Keladry of Mindelan) from Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small series is definitely a strong, independent heroine, and one of my favorite MG/YA heroines ever. I also love Laurie R. King's Mary Russell... but then, you'd expect independence and intellect in a young woman who is first Sherlock Holmes's apprentice, then his partner. (The Beekeeper's Apprentice, and subsequent books.)

  4. You have some fabulous examples here, Lark. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Great post! I love independent heroines as well. Knowing this book stars one, I definitely am adding it to my "to read" list.

    Elizabeth Bennet and Scarlett O'Hara are two of my favorite independent heroines as well. I would add in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Charlotte will not let go of her values for any man and does things her own way.

    1. Thanks, Laura and yes, Jane Eyre, although not my favorite book, was definitely a strong, independent heroine. I re read it last year, not having read it since I was 14 and my 14 year old self had thought her wimpy but as an adult I saw her strength. I hope you enjoy, Saved By The Bride.

  6. I also like "shouting" for others, but get uncomfortable when someone pays my way. And to find a rich husband to take me away, and not have to do it on my own is not really my thing either. We all need to be independent and not just doted upon. Great post today. I need to read this book! It sounds just right for me!

    1. Zibilee, I think you have hit the nail on the head...we need to make our own way but love and support make it easier. I hope you enjoyed Saved By The Bride.

  7. I like the sound of Anni, I hope to read Saved by the Bride soon!