We’re talking about a driven woman here, a leader, an “alpha” heroine if you want to slap an archetype on her. She doesn’t have to be the CEO, she doesn’t even have to be employed in a company where the CEO title represents the top position, but she is task-focused, determined, brave, and a competitive high achiever. Career is a vital part of her identity and she may not want to be tied down to family. She may not even want children—biological clock be damned.
Thankfully these days we’re seeing more and more fictional females thrive in career-leadership roles such as kick-ass law enforcers, adventurers, lawyers, even vampire hunters and geeks. But how does the trend carry over to the romance genre in particular? Can a strong heroine find true love, or is her career going to get in the way? Is she destined to only attract “beta” males? And what happens when she not only wants to succeed in business, but also wants to kick the whole biological clock issue out of her stilettoed way for once and for all?
I explore the life of such a career-obsessed heroine, Polly Malone, in my novel Maybe Baby. Polly harnesses all that modern technology has to offer in order to push her business up the corporate food chain. But she’s using more than the latest style-sheets and java code—yes, she’s using a very different kind of technology to put a stop to her biological clock. In her own words she “can’t be out at night searching for daddy material” when she’s got a business to run and people who depend on her.
But the hero? What about him? Is he now obsolete? Polly would shrug and say “yes”, and indeed when faced with hero, Julian Ripley, a much more powerful CEO, she does at first rule the attractive executive out of her equation for life…until, well, his British charm and ability to talk to her on her level, makes her pause… and the rest is…well, you’ll have to read the book.
Many women I know, myself included, have had to make tough choices regarding career versus love life/family and it was a real thrill and catharsis to relive those choices and issues when writing Maybe Baby and to exaggerate them a little (OK, a lot) to create one of the worst dilemmas someone would have to face when messing around with such technology.
Who’s your favourite career-focused heroine? And how far would she go to get what she wants and whom she wants in life?