CentreStage with Talli Roland: Kick-Ass Women Rule!

Welcome again to CentreStageCentreStage showcases fantastic authors from around the world. On CentreStage, these authors might write for you about their lives, or their writing journey, or anything else that matters to them.  Every feature will be different in format and flavour, so watch out for a variety of stories and tales.

Today, I have a very special guest indeed, and I have to admit to being just a little in awe. Please give it up for the amazing Talli Roland and a fabulous piece on determination and independence. I’m taking notes here… :-) Over to you, Talli!

Kick-Ass Women Rule
Or . . . Why I Love Writing Strong Female Characters

I enjoy sweetness and light as much as the next gal, but sometimes  it can get a tiny bit irritating to watch female characters spin in hopeless circles as they eat their way through cupcakes and trot off to buy high heels. Where are the successful, professional women who stand up for themselves and don’t fall to bits when faced with hunky men? Where are the protagonists who aren’t afraid to speak their mind, who drink whisky not spritzers, and chow down on potato chips not chocolate?

Don’t get me wrong: I’m a big fan of romance and love. But I want to see a couple come together as equals, after the woman sorts out problems herself – not because the hero has swooped in, snapped his fingers and made everything fine. I want the woman to be a person in her own right; I’ve never understood the attraction of the sentiment ‘you complete me’. In our modern times, women do it all. Why shouldn’t our chick lit protagonists represent that?

In my debut novel The Hating Game, main character Mattie Johns strides through the pages with snark, attitude, and confidence. She’s far from perfect – in fact, she’s quite spiky in the beginning – but she certainly isn’t dithering or ditzy. She makes firm decisions, acts on them, and will do whatever it takes to get what she wants. Interestingly, some readers love her while others… not so much! But I have a soft spot for her, because despite her hard outer shell, underneath she still wants what we all do: to be loved by a man who respects her. She’s not willing to sacrifice who she is to get it, and I l really admire her for that.

In my latest novels, Build A Man and Construct A Couple, main character Serenity has no qualms about reaching for her dreams. Yes, she makes mistakes along the way and has questionable judgment, but she takes action – growing and developing as she does so, finding love at the end once she’s discovered how to make herself happy.

After all, isn’t that true romance? Two people who don’t need each other, but who choose to share their lives because they want to.

And that’s why I love writing kick-ass female characters!

Three cheers! Wow, Talli, what an amazing post. I am totally with you one hundred per cent; life’s for the taking. I love your style, as well as your leading ladies! Now let’s find out a bit more about you… not that you really need an introduction!

About Talli Roland…

Talli Roland writes fun, romantic fiction. Born and raised in Canada, Talli now lives in London, where she savours the great cultural life (coffee and wine). Despite training as a journalist, Talli soon found she preferred making up her own stories–complete with happy endings. Talli’s debut novel The Hating Game was short-listed for Best Romantic Read at the UK’s Festival of Romance, while her second, Watching Willow Watts, was selected as an Amazon Customer Favourite. Her novels have also been chosen as top books of the year by industry review websites and have been bestsellers in Britain and the United States. Construct A Couple is her latest release.

To discover more about Talli, go to Talli’s website or blog,   or follow Talli on Twitter: @talliroland. You can also find Talli on Facebook and Goodreads and on her Amazon Author Page.

And finally: to kick ass, or not to kick ass? How do YOU like your romantic heroine? Let’s hear it… go on, don’t be shy, speak your mind!

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64 responses to “CentreStage with Talli Roland: Kick-Ass Women Rule!

  1. I actually like them to be a bit of both – I like the romantic idea of the man taking care of the female but she still needs to be independent and be able to put him in his place if she needs to! :)

  2. Amen to everything Talli says! I have a spectacular loathing for all romance where the woman is ‘saved’ by a rich, gorgeous man from all her problems. All I can say is, it can’t have been much of a problem if it can be solved by a man…
    Keep up the feisty heroines, Talli. Yours are wonderful!

    • Hear, hear! Yes, I agree–the days of the soppy heroine are definitely gone, methinks, and Talli’s fabulously determined heroines show us the way. Although there’s nothing wrong with being rescued by a tall handsome stranger just once or twice, hee hee! Thanks so much for visiting and commenting, Jane! :-)

    • ‘All I can say is, it can’t have been much of a problem if it can be solved by a man…’

      Yes! Exactly! Thank you, Jane. Yours are wonderful, too.

  3. I absolutely adore Talli! What a wonderful guest post. :D

  4. Absolutely! Strong females rule! With you totally!

  5. Love the post and I am a girl who admits to being in charge! Love Talli’s characters, they are their own person without loosing being female. Hugs to you Nikki and Talli xx

  6. Slurping my (strong) morning coffee here and agreeing with Talli’s points all the way – then spurting coffee out through my nose with laughter at Jane’s fabulous comment. Wonderful – what a way to start a Monday!

    Great post ladies!

    • Hi Janice! Jane’s comment made me giggle, too. Thanks for popping by!

      • Hi Janice, you make me laugh every time you comment! I think you’ve written some pretty strong and feisty lady characters yourself… they certainly know what they want! So glad you enjoyed the interview, thanks for popping by today. :-) x

  7. I totally agree! We’re as much problem-solvers, fixers and decision-makers as men, so why not have characters who embody that – it makes them *real*! Glad to report no heroines in need of saving in our series!

    Takes the pressure off the blokes as well – maybe that’s why some are now reading modern romcoms! ;)

    Good to see you here, Talli. :)

    • I have to disagree, Joanna. We’re not ‘as much’ problem-solvers, etc etc. We **are** the problem-solvers, fixers and decision-makers. What’s that they say: behind every powerful man stands… exactly. A powerful woman. Interesting thought regarding men’s motivation for reading modern romances!

      Love it when you stop by and comment, thanks for your time, Joanna. ;-) XX

    • Hi Joanna! I agree. While I think it’s fine to have a woman who is indecisive and lacks strength of character, I like to see her come into that on her own — not needing rescue from a man!

  8. You have to be strong to survive these days – juggling careers, domestic bliss to be achieved (well, ensuring the bills are paid on time and keeping some semblance of order in the house …), sometimes children as well – it isn’t for the faint-hearted! I do occasionally think wouldn’t it be nice to have people running around after ME for a change, then I instinctively think ‘no, just roll up your sleeves and get stuck in!’ So another vote from me for those strong heroines who can sort their own lives out – assuming of course there is a wonderful ‘Mr Right’ at the end of the story….

    • I hear you, Linn. Although I worry I might be taking this empowerment a little too far, personally. I’m notoriously incapable of letting my OH do stuff for me. It drives me nuts being fussed over, or watching him getting on with stuff (or not, as the case may be). Hm. What does that mean, for me? And for our leading ladies? #confused!

      Thanks for commenting today, I know you’re over in France enjoying a lovely holiday so your time here means a lot! xx

    • Linn, exactly! Modern women do need to take care of almost everything now – including husbands, in many instances! And in some cases, they’re the primary breadwinners, too.

  9. I like strong characters. I cannot stand ones that are too wishy-washy-or whiny. Ugh, no. I like ones that can function well in a relationship, but be their own person, you know?

    • I hear you, Karen! I think strong characters are more interesting, too. We may not always agree with their decisions, but they definitely give us an entertaining read!

    • I absolutely agree. I’ve always thought, if you can’t be your own person, how can you function in a relationship? Does that make any sense? Surely if you totally depend on someone else, you’re just going to suffocate the whole thing. Ooops, getting carried away here on relationship thought, sorry! Thanks for stopping by, Karen, it’s nice to hear from you.

  10. Hear, hear! I write strong female characters, too. And those are the kind of women I like to read about.

  11. Fab interview! I love strong female characters, whatever the genre. Whiny Bella Swan-types drive me up the wall!

  12. You’ve hit the nail on the head. This is the reason I am often disappointed in romance novels – because the women are usually ditzes. I like a woman who, if she’s not strong, at least makes an effort to become stronger; not one who looks for a man to save her. Although that would be nice too, if it ever happened in real life….

  13. I already follow Talli’s blog and have read a couple of her books, I love her style. Great post!

  14. I have Build a Man on my tablet and am planning to read it while in Phoenix next month. I love strong females, too, which is why I wrote my own female protagonist to be tough as nails, even though she’s in a tight spot. I don’t like the whole damsel in distress scenario. Great post, Nicky and Talli!!

  15. What a great post! I don’t believe in having wimpy lead females either. Girl power!

  16. How about potato chips AND chocolate (though not at the same time, of course)? :) I’m with you on liking strong heroines. If the hero were to just “save” her, then she wouldn’t really have learned anything. It makes me think of Mr. Knightley from Emma. He was definitely bossy (which is actually one of the things that made Emma and Mr. Knightley’s interactions fun to read), but in the end it was up to Emma to figure out what she had to do.

    • What an interesting comment, thank you! Yes, I’d forgotten about Emma, the ultimate strong and feisty heroine… acting within the confines of her times and social setting (sort of), but acting according to her own will nonetheless. Great thought, thank you! And can I confess something… I have been known, just once or twice, to indulge in potato crisps and chocolate at the same time. Hehe! Thanks for visiting!

    • Potato chips and chocolate – and yes, at the same time! :) And I love the comparison to Emma and Mr Knightley.

  17. Wowsers, well deserved plethora of comments going on here! : ) How do I like my heroines? Much like I love my heroes – unique, human, warm, flawed with an edge. Something about them that makes you admire their bravery or drive but also the feeling they might need a little protecting from the world or themselves? Sorry, I’m a little late here! xx

  18. real and raw… thats how I like it… ooops I mean them. them meaning how I like my heroines (not heroin, that would be wrong). and funny and a bit awkward, in a sexy sort of way….

    • LOL, you make me laugh. Thanks for your comment, Shannon. I like your take on things, funny and a bit awkward, yet sexy. Yup, that’ll do for me, that’s what I like in my leading ladies. Great to have you visit today and glad you enjoyed Talli’s post. :-)

  19. Great post, Talli! I’ve found that I like writing smart, strong women in my books, because that’s the sort of woman that I find interesting and compelling.

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