Angsty vs strong-minded heroines

An author friend recently complained in an email about heroines in the New Adult books being so angsty. She said, “can’t we have slightly happier new adults?”

I laughed because what she said was so true. I’ve read several New Adults. I liked them, but it does feel as if a lot of books in the genre have a life-and-love-is-so-hard thing going on. (Not all of them! Marilyn Brant’s New Adult heroine in the All I Ever Wanted anthology is definitely not angsty.)

It’s hard for me to be empathetic about some of this. I’ve said this before – my mother was widowed young and raised 5 children, from ages 3 to 10, by herself. She didn’t break down, and I don’t remember her crying. She had to be strong for us. Even the books I read growing up were about spunky girls. As a teen, I read The Diary of a Young Girl, a diary written by Anne Frank, a young Jewish teenager who hid from the Nazis for two years before her family was discovered and taken to a concentration camp, where she died. In her diary, she was angry, she was sarcastic, she was falling in love, and she was so full of life that just writing about her, I have tears in my eyes. One thing she was not was angsty. I went on to read books by Jane Austen, and even in their restricted lives, her heroines were strong.

I could go on for a long time talking about books with strong women, but I’ll switch to TV shows: Veronica Mars. Duffy. Gilmore Girls. Bones. The title character in Castle may be a man, but there are plenty of strong women in it. And is anyone else eager to see the Veronica Mars movie that will be out in March?

I think every Magical Musings author writes books with strong women. Our heroines may be down more than once, and they may be angry and pissed off – and maybe for a few brief paragraphs they might have a pity party – but then they get up and they go on.

A few of them may even kill the offending parties: Jennifer Estep, Misty Evans, Cynthia Eden, and Dale Mayer have all done this. Even a couple of my heroines have killed. And they aren’t sorry about it.

Who are your favorite strong heroines? In real life or fictional?

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17 Responses to Angsty vs strong-minded heroines

  1. A little angst goes a long way for me. LOL. I’m really looking forward to the VM movie.
    Jennifer Estep`s last blog was …Today’s post …

  2. I’m so excited for the Veronica Mars movie, too! The trailer looks awesome.
    Robin Bielman`s last blog was …January Musings

  3. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Edie,

    I so can’t do angsty! I wasn’t like that and my daughter heading into this age group would be caught anywhere close to that type of mentality. Like me, she’d rather kill than whine. lol.

    And it’s very therapeutic having you characters do what you can not!

    And I always feel like an alien when this group talks about Veronica Mars. Never even heard about her/it until you all started talking about it.
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Knock, Knock… book 5 of the Psychic Visions series is on SALE now!

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Dale, I bet you’re an amazing role model! Obviously the heroine of the next generation. And I certainly enjoyed having my heroine in Dragon Blues kill a man who’d been beating up a woman. :)

      I bet you can watch the Veronica Mars episodes somewhere on the internet. Not that you have a lot of time for watching TV. Your daughter would love the show. Your sons might enjoy it, too. My husband did.

  4. Amy R says:

    Hi Edie – I like strong heroines. Sometimes that “strength” is admitting when they need help, too. Strength can be not afraid of opening up to someone. Being vulnerable when it is necessary. But it can also be someone like Kali Sweet who kicks some demon and vampire butt. I didn’t watch Veronica Mars before but I do want to see this movie!
    Amy R`s last blog was …Review & FREE Book: A TOUCH OF MIDNIGHT by Lara Adrian

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Amy, that is true. Sometimes the hardest thing you can do is ask for help.

      It’s hard to believe you didn’t watch Veronica Mars. I still miss that show! I’m pretty sure they have the TV shows on DVD for whole seasons. Your library might even have it. I bet you’ll love the show!

  5. Cynthia Eden says:

    ;) My heroines can get all kinds of tough–go, tough heroines! ;) And I cannot wait to see that Veronica Mars movie!
    Cynthia Eden`s last blog was …BURN FOR ME – Excerpt and Party!

  6. marilynbrant says:

    Edie,
    First of all, HUGE thanks for the shout out :razz: — and thank you for saying that Sami in AIEW wasn’t angsty! I get tired of that quality popping up so often, too. And I felt the same way as you did when I read Anne Frank’s Diary…
    As for strong heroines, I share your love of Austen’s main characters, and I’ve admired quite a number of fictional TV heroines lately, like Lt. Abbie Mills on “Sleepy Hollow” and Riley Neal on the new show “Intelligence.” I was just watching the latter last night, and really admiring the fact that CBS had created a character like her. Of course I enjoy seeing Josh Holloway in *anything*, LOL, but there is a balanced partnership between the 2 of them that I especially appreciated.
    marilynbrant`s last blog was …THE ROAD TO YOU ~ 99-Cent Special & Book Club Event!!

  7. Edie, whining and ‘oh, this is all so hard’ is such a turn off for me, the first hint of it, and I’m afraid I am out of there. I once stuck it out for a whole book just to see if she got over herself, but no . . . lesson learned. :)

    I haven’t seen Veronica Mars, it never came to Australia, that I know of, so I look forward to the movie :)
    Michelle Diener`s last blog was …Mistress of the Wind Tour Grand Finale

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Michelle, I’m not even sure if it will go to other countries. I hope so!

      And getting over themselves is exactly what these heroines need to do.

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