Love, Romance and Disabilities

heart in pieces
Sickness isn’t romantic. No one wants to start off wanting the worst in For Better or Worst.

But people get sick, they become injured, they change. Can you remember the last book or movie you watched where the hero and herione weren’t in perfect health, if not slightly superhuman?

Unless of course, you’ve watched a disease of the week movie, as one friend described them. And in that case the disability or injury IS the whole movie – or book. Sometimes – often for me – that’s not the type of book or movie I really want to watch.

And as both a reader and writer there’s a part of me that says so what? I read for entertainment, for escape and I like perfect, shiny people. I want to live vicariously in a perfect body. Sometimes escapism is just what the doctor ordered and I don’t have a problem with that.

Given how prevalent in our society these issues are though, it’s amazing I cant’t think of one where the main character has fibromyalgia for instance, or diabetes, arthritis or maybe asthma. And I can see where a character could have these diseases and still be highly functioning.

It could definitely throw a wrench into their crime-fighting abilities. What about a hero who has asthma that’s under control and he NEVER needs his rescue inhaler? And where is it? Not on him. Talk about ratcheting up the tension!

And if a romance heroine has chronic fatigue how is the hero going to react? She looks just like everyone else. Why can’t she do a simple little thing like stop by his place after work and walk the dog? How is she going to react? What will she tell him and when of her illness?

And when she does how will he react? If he dumps her I’m not going to like him. I just watched a Keith Urban video on FB with his wife, Nicole Kidman. Their love for each other shone through in his song The Fighter and a character who reacted the way he does would melt anyone’s heart, mine for sure.

What Makes For A Kick Ass Heroine?

‘Everyone tells me he’s not good for me but he’s the love of my life – I can’t leave him.’

I want to say yes, yes you can – but I know that she won’t listen. Not in the two minutes and maybe less I have to speak with her. So I tell her she may love him but she deserves to be loved by someone who treats her with respect while getting her to give me her mother’s name and phone number as a contact.

And I can’t help but pray she doesn’t slavishly follow Belle’s lead from Twilight or other heroines willing to die for their hero. Be a Hermione, not a Belle as one friend so brilliantly put it. Develop your brains and your talents. Learn to work with and develop relationships with people who you can love and trust.

I write heroines who can take care of themselves. They make mistakes, sometimes they do crazy things and they can definitely drive the men in their lives crazy, but they don’t suffer from the Too Stupid To Live Syndrome.

Maxine, the heroine in my Death By Chocolate series may be an amateur when it comes to sleuthing but she’s got good instincts and knows a lot of the people in the mysteries she’s solved. After all they tend to happen at events she’s catered. It’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for her catering business but since people really do love chocolate they do seem to overlook that fact.

Kate McLaren in Lost In Vegas has lost everything when she comes to Vegas and she makes some bad decisions. In my twenties I made some bad decisions too. I think a lot of people do. But she lands on her feet and is instrumental in catching and bringing her kidnappers to justice. She brings a way of looking at and approaching people that JT doesn’t have. Together, they’re unstoppable. I really want to write a sequel to that book!

How about you? What type of heroines and heroes do you like? What draws you to a story. I’d love to hear from you. And don’t forget to enter for a chance to win monthy books and gift cards. You won’t regret it!