#jhrom Jewish Romance. My heroines are smart, sexy, and yes, Jewish!

Here’s what my twitter bio says: (It really says this, I wrote it myself.)

Iowan.Writer of smart genre fiction. A lover of all things syfy, fantasy, GSDs. A Jewish hero or heroine in all my work. Author of the award-winning Captured.

Even if it is unstated, all my heroines are Jewish – from Mari in Captured, to Cara in Come Back to Me, to Eva in Beauty and the Feast, to Sara in Incorporeal, to Dr. Meera Driver in my fun Vixen comics. All of them.

Why?

1. I may be a mix of things, but I’m Jewish. My world view was and is shaped by my Jewish  roots, my Jewish family, my Jewish experiences, my Jewish education, the study of the Hebrew language and the Hebrew Bible, along with the New Testament (Hey, Jesus was a total Jew.), and my obsession with the study of history and religions.

2. I hate TSTL heroines. Hate ’em with a grand passion.

3. Every heroine I write is an aspect of me. Thus she/they is/are Jewish. And I’ve thrown some Jewish heroes into the stories for good measure.

4. Jewish women are hot. Get used to it. Sexy does not negate smart. Neither does smart negate sexy. Smart IS sexy.

5. I ain’t gonna hide what I am. I’m proud to be Jewish. I’m proud of what I write. I write what I want. And what I want is to write books about competent, complex, canny Jewish women.

Read my books. You will like them.

(Remember, sometimes I do plug my own books on this blog!)

The Mental Activity of Writing. Step Three.

Imagination is the key.

As long as I can remember I’ve essentially sung myself to sleep with a story. It’s like this:

I write a story in my mind and I feature myself as the heroine. So easy to do!

The easiest way to begin is to pick a story, any story you like provided it is a heroic story, as in I want you to take a hero’s journey. I’ll make it even easier. If you like romance, pick Outlander. If you like science fiction pick, um… Stranger In A Strange Land, or The Illustrated Man, or, oh… super easy– Battlestar Galactica.

Remove the protagonist, male or female. Substitute yourself in his or her place and imaginarily write away! Rewrite the narrative in your head featuring you! I’m not encouraging you to actually write fanfic. I’m not a fan of fanfic. What I am suggesting is that you learn from the greats.

Become John Blackthorn of Shogun. Starbuck (the female version) of BSG. (One of the Sharons would be even better!) Jon Snow of GOT. Become Jane Eyre of Jane Eyre. But write your own narrative. Change things up. Stir the pot!

The stories we put on paper grow out of the stories we hear in our heads. Don’t be derivative! But at the same time keep in mind there is nothing new under the sun. Certain universal themes are recycled over and over again by countless authors and there is a reason for this. Universal themes resonate with readers. The trick is to spin your own unique version of these universal themes.

Oh, and read The Hero With A Thousand Faces, The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell. Yeah, slog through it. (It really ain’t no slog!) At the heart of every story lies the hero’s journey. Your characters must move forward, face challenges, and evolve, either for good or for evil. If they do nothing more than spin their wheels, take up page space, they are doomed to forever be labeled as boring. Nothing kills a book like boring.

Oh, an no whining. Whiny characters do nothing more than annoy readers.

So, as a mental exercise, pick your favorite book. Remove protagonist. Insert you. Go for it.