It’s been over a decade now since I created my first heroine. The very wise Julie Cohen once instilled in me, at a writing workshop, that the first draft of my novel is for me and the second draft is for my readers; I needed to extricate myself from that first draft! But I’d be lying if I said there aren’t still aspects of my personality lurking within every one of my heroines. So, what’s there to envy then, I hear you ask? Well, that’s the magic of fantasy; the heroines get to do and say all those things I’m afraid of.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if I don’t give my heroines their own fears to overcome but the beauty of sublimination, creating a world of my own, is that my heroines get to act out some of my fears. Be it rejection, the wrath of another person’s anger, saying things to others which might cause offence, my heroines get to do all those things I often find unbearable. Sometimes the fears are nuanced. In my Heart series the heroine, Lottie, has a desire to develop her career, having spent the best part of a decade raising her three children. Lottie has a need to be more than just a mother but in doing so, through her growth, she must suffer the loss of part of her identity, a letting go of just being ‘Mummy’, which is scary for her. Will her children still need her? There is no doubt that the same sort of shifts were happening in my life when I wrote this storyline. The benefit of writing it in fiction is that I get to play out all the different outcomes in my mind. Although, eventually, I must separate myself from the character and give her the best possible outcome for her. That doesn’t mean that I don’t throw a few obstacles in along the way, to make it harder for her to achieve her ultimate goal. For example, Lottie has to juggle prioritising her career, being mum and a husband who begins to feel neglected, causing more challenges for her to overcome. Without those threads of conflict, there’s no momentum for the reader to keep reading on and, ultimately, the reader is the most important character in all my writing; who knows what challenges they’re currently facing? What if they’re sitting with similar fears and are inspired to face and overcome them, having read about my heroines’ fears?
My heroines: boldly going where I’m a little afraid to follow. What an enviable position to be in.
Thank you for this post Lisa. It really made me think about my own heroines and also about using writing as a therapy. Mx
About Lisa Hill
Lisa grew up in the village of Bussage, near Stroud, in the Cotswolds until she returned to Cheltenham as a teenager. She is married to her very own hero, Matt, and has three sons, Hamish, Archie and Laurence. Her first encounter of a romance author was chats over the garden wall between her father, Godfrey, and Mrs Cooper from the neighbouring village of Bisley. It came as quite a surprise in later life to find that Mrs Cooper was in fact Jilly Cooper! Lisa’s writing inspiration now comes from other Cotswolds authors including Jill Mansell and Katie Fforde.
Lisa writes contemporary women’s fiction with a light-hearted tone. What interests her most is people, their interactions, emotions and relationships. It’s probably why her career to date has been based in property; she confesses herself that she is ‘naturally curious’.
When she’s not busy writing, helping Matt run his electrical empire, or being her sons’ taxi service, Lisa enjoys long walks with her dogs, Sparky and Lilly, and is training to be a counsellor where she hopes, one day, to be able to provide therapy in the form of writing.
Lisa is a graduate of the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme and attributes this supportive and informative scheme to her career to date, including her debut novel, Meet Me at Number Five, and her latest heart-warming, Cotswold caper, Riders & Rosie.
To connect with Lisa, you can use the following links:-
About Riders & Rosie
When Rosie Fields’s mother dies, she leaves Rosie lost, lonely and orphaned. Or so Rosie thinks…
When a Google search on her childhood home, coupled with a letter divulging the truth about what really happened to Rosie’s absent father, reveals that perhaps her mother wasn’t entirely truthful even in death, it leaves Rosie with a mission; to reconnect with her estranged father. And when a job becomes available working near his estate, it seems like the perfect solution. Until Rosie finds that she is not the only one keeping secrets in the Fields household…
A story of family, secrets and romance set against the backdrop of the beautiful Cotswold countryside.
Available at Amazon.
International Bestseller Summer at Lucerne Lodge was published as an eBook on 20 April 2021 and now available as a paperback and audio download too – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other purchasing options here