Readers love to relate to the characters they are reading about. Give your hero a flaw that makes him a little less than perfect, and he’ll seem more real, the kind of man a woman can fall in love with. Give your heroine a problem she’s too embarrassed to share, and you’ve made her more relatable.
Twice in my life I’ve faced debilitating health problems, one more life threatening than the other, but both found their way into my writing. In my just released romantic suspense novel Alive at 5, my heroine Samantha Steele suffers panic attacks. This is a big problem since her profession is to report the news on the air, and the panic attacks hit right as she’s about to go live.
It’s a struggle I had to work through personally. Imagine sitting on the anchor desk and your heart starts to race, you begin to sweat, and your mouth goes dry, making it hard to read the stories rolling through the TV news prompter. Nothing like losing your **** in front of thousands. It’s humbling.
I had to learn to breathe and regain control over my hijacked thoughts, which would start racing around like bumper cars on jet fuel. Now, when something happens live on the air, I know how to slow down my thoughts and my breathing before they start affecting my ability to do my job. Making Samantha Steele work through her panic attacks, something she had to overcome both with and without the hero’s help, gave her one more layer of depth, and one more flaw the reader can connect with.
My second health crisis happened three years ago. A diagnosis of breast cancer at 44. It brought me to my knees and challenged me in ways I’d never imagined.
In my current work in progress, EYEwitness, my heroine is a 28-year-old woman who had a double mastectomy after a breast cancer diagnosis. Like me, my heroine watched her mother die from breast cancer and only wanted to dance with this devil once. What the heroine didn’t count on was the physical and emotional scars that come with fighting cancer and going through invasive surgeries to remove your breasts. When her first love comes back, she hides her scars and the truth, thinking her first love couldn’t love a less perfect her. Working through that emotional internal war is what makes my heroine grow.
My hope is to use this book as a platform to show women that scars are not ugly and do not make you ugly. They are badges of honor, bravery and courage. And for many, they are the tattoos that symbolize a win in a battle for your life. My husband tells me I’m sexier today than ever before. And I’ve learned to embrace that as my new truth. I’m still writing EYEwitness, but I know my heroine will too.
Linda Bond ~ Her romantic side is a thrilling place to be.
Linda Bond is an Emmy award winning journalist by day and an author of romantic adventures by night. She’s also the mother of five, four athletes and an adopted son from Cuba. She has a passion for world travel, classic movies, and alpha males. Linda currently lives in Florida, where the sun always shines and the day begins with endless possibilities. You can become a Bond girl and share in her continuing adventures at www.lindabond.com.
Linda on Facebook: /AuthorLindaBond
Linda on Twitter: @AuthorLindaBond
Alive at 5 now available!