A former Head of English, Lynette gave up her career in education almost three years ago in order to focus on her writing. Since then she has published three contemporary romances: The Apple Tree (December 2011), which won the grand prize in Inspired Romance Novels' writing contest; Wishful Thinking (April 2012) and Shopping for Love (June 2012). In Loving Hate (November 2012) is her first romantic suspense and a more speculative psychological drama, Killing Jenna Crane, is due for release next month.
Lynette lives with her family in an early Victorian cottage in a historic village in Surrey. When not writing, she is an avid reader, loves catching with friends, films and the theatre and can occasionally be seen trying to tame her rather wild garden and keeping the family's eccentric cat out of trouble.
Should we like our heroes and heroines?
I reviewed a novel recently which I thoroughly enjoyed reading, but it occurred to me part-way through it that I really couldn't warm to the main character. This in no way spoiled my enjoyment of the story and nor did it affect my rating, but it did make me wonder whether the writer wanted me to like her or not. It also got me thinking about whether other readers need to be able to like and empathise with the hero or heroine, especially in romances.
This in turn made me think back over some of the reviews of my stories which criticised the hero or heroine and the readers made their feelings evident in their ratings. One reader shocked me by accusing one of my heroines - who had been pressured into becoming a doctor and later regretted it and yearned to leave the profession - of being thoroughly selfish for having taken up a place at med school and depriving someone else! I simply hadn't considered that when I portrayed her unhappiness and dissatisfaction. My aim was to create sympathy for her situation, not anger.
Another reviewer said one of my heroines "tended to act TSTL for a little", which my son had to translate as meaning "too stupid to live". I still smile at that. My heroes too have come in for criticism at times. One was reprimanded for being unintentionally thoughtless in forgetting to mention something to the heroine (which he had dismissed as trivial) and another for going against his own principles after criticising the fault in someone else. I dread to think what readers will make of the main character of my forthcoming release Killing Jenna Crane - he's a famous and successful author who is decidedly unlikeable - and that's quite deliberate!
Fortunately, however, on the whole, readers seem to connect with my characters and feel they can relate to them and that pleases me enormously. They hate my villains, which is as it should be, empathise with my heroines and some even develop crushes on my heroes. One of the sweetest comments I received was from a reader who said: "I want to find my own Nicholas. If I ever find anyone half as decent and loving as that man then I will be a happy woman."
I would love to hear opinions from readers and writers on this subject. Should we like our heroes and heroines as writers and how important is it for us to like them as readers?
In Loving Hate - released 09 November 2012
How far will the rich and powerful go in order to achieve their goals? That is the question Lyssa must decide when she finds herself caught between two formidable adversaries: powerful business tycoon and shipping magnate, Alex Andrakis and close childhood friend, ‘Dynamic’ Nell Winters, brewery heiress and prolific businesswoman.
Following the failure of her marriage in Greece, Lyssa returns to her family home in London, to discover that her mother, a once-celebrated actress, is now facing crippling debts. When Lyssa begins to investigate these, she becomes embroiled in the intricate business dealings of Nell and her arch-rival Alex. Irresistibly drawn towards widower Alex and his unhappy young son, Lyssa begins to uncover some unexpected and disturbing facts.
The more involved she becomes, the more shocking are the discoveries she makes. The conflicts culminate in a frightening battle for survival as Lyssa finds herself the prime target between the possessive Nell and obsessive Alex. With her loyalties deeply divided, can Lyssa make the right choice for everyone concerned?
Find out more about Lynette at her blog and website:
Thanks so much for being our Friday Friend today, Lyn - and we wish you every success with your all your books. Shopping for Love is definitely my favourite so far, but I haven't read your latest release yet!