Some people naturally have quiet, placid personalities. I am not one of them. Instead, I laugh loudly enough to be heard several city blocks away. I enjoy swearing. I adore dirty jokes. I cry often, at the first sound of a sad violin in a TV commercial or the sight of someone else’s grief. Worst of all, I’m a perfectionist. I’m hard on myself and sometimes hard on the people around me too.
In my past, I spent a lot of years with my head down, trying to avoid trouble and attention. Trying not to make waves, speak too loudly, or bother anyone with my desires. Trying to make myself smaller, in personality if not in body, so as not to inconvenience others.Part of me believed that no one would love the real me. No one would put up with the loud, demanding woman I am much of the time.
I’m a feminist. I know my insecurity originated from gendered expectations of what a real woman—a good woman—should be like. But in my heart, I still bought into the stereotype.
And at some point, I realized I’d been doing myself a disservice for many, many years. The idea that only paragons of traditional femininity deserve or receive love is a load of crap. Intellectually, I knew that from a young age. Emotionally and on a visceral level, I should have understood it at least a decade ago, the day I met my husband—a man who not only tolerates my quirks, but loves them. Celebrates them.
You don’t need to be perfect to find love. You don’t need to be selfless or patient or quiet either.
In my writing, I wanted to make that clear. For myself, but also for my readers. So while some of my heroines are indeed quiet or patient—Penny and Mary spring to mind—others are definitely not. Angie, the heroine of My Reckless Valentine, is outrageous and funny and adventurous. Some of my other books not yet in print also feature heroines with big personalities.
And then there’s Sarah Mayhew, the heroine of Ready to Fall. In my fourth Lovestruck Librarians book, I decided it was time to tackle the librarian aptly nicknamed DQ (for Drama Queen). Loud, funny, and prone to hyperbole at all times, she’s almost given up on finding a man who’d love her for her quirks.
Luckily, she bursts into Chris Dean’s life at just the right moment, blasting him out of his taciturn isolation and stirring up unexpected emotion in his scarred heart. Outspoken and persistent, Sarah won’t let him hide anymore. And to a man like Chris, she’s irresistible.
She’s larger than life, and she deserves love. You do too, whether you’re retiring or wild, domestic or allergic to housework.
So I hope you enjoy Ready to Fall—and I hope it reminds you that good women come in all sorts of packages. Including yours.