I think I’m finally to the point where I can write about Jeanne and Josh’s unusual romance. I can tell because I’m getting a crush on Josh. Don’t you get crushes on your characters?
Josh is not a typical romance hero — he’s slight, he’s young (25), he’s a mild-mannered instructor of English. He’s a pacifist, he has second Dan rank in aikido. He’s half-Chinese. He practices folk Shinto and believes in spirits.
Jeanne, to be sure, is not a typical romance heroine — she’s a professor of botany who climbs on her soapbox occasionally to rant against factory farms. She’s 45. She’s zaftig and can lift 50 pounds easily. She’s eminently practical.
I know they’re not the romance characters women want. But maybe they’re what we need. I wanted representation of the people we don’t see in romance novels — big women, slight men. Asian men. Brainy women. Some role reversal. Nerds in love. Unlikely heroes.
I know this will probably never sell, especially as it’s also fantasy. But I probably need to write it anyhow.