The Heroine’s Journey

I want to tell you a secret. I have a heroine’s journey story hidden in plain sight.

The Heroine’s Journey is a bit of writing craft that’s been gaining traction recently. Many novels are written on the familiar “Hero’s Journey” skeleton. Heroine’s Journey stories parallel Hero’s Journey in that both deal with people going out to make their way in the world and coming back transformed. The main difference (IMO; YMMV) is the focus of that transformation.

So where’s my heroine’s journey? Are you going to guess my vampire romantic suspense, Blood Gambit? It’s a pretty solid guess. The main character does have to move out of a spiritually arid existence and learn her own strengths in a world far different than the corporate one she starts in. Yes, however…

I wrote another heroine’s journey is in Ran Shaipur. Two of them.

Ran has done his hero’s journey by the time we meet him. He’s already top dawg. But that’s not going to be enough to do what he needs to do to save everything he loves.

Seriah’s heroine’s journey more strictly matches the classic heroine’s journey skeleton– separating from the feminine, finding success in the male world, descent into crises and reconnecting with the power of her feminine side, finally integrating her masculine and feminine sides.

The hero’s journey is comfortable and familiar because we’ve been fed it since childhood. For Ran Shaipur, I really didn’t want to write that. I wanted to write something more personal, more emotionally challenging, and more “grown up”. Because we all keep journeying, even after our initial hero’s journey is over. There’s always more to learn and grow.

Sometimes I think with Ran Shaipur I was writing above my pay grade. Vallejo Road is probably a “better” book, with its straightforward hero’s journey and less emotionally complicated MC. But I will always be proud of Ran and his ability to admit that even when he has it all, he could still be a better man. And with Seriah’s discovery that she doesn’t have to be The Man to find the success she needs.

Whether I managed to portray their story well is an opinion always best left to the reader. But I hope you enjoy Ran Shaipur, even with its flaws.

Ran Shaipur book cover

Happy Birthday to the Vampyre Genre!

The first English language vampire literary story was The Vampyre, written by John William Polidori. First published April 1, 1819, it was originally developed as a contest piece. The writers in the group also included Lord Byron and Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

Gothic horror became super popular in the English-speaking world in the early 19th century. It’s had a steady fan base ever since. Polidori’s suave, murderous Lord Ruthaven is the sinister grandfather of all our romantic vampire protagonists.

Though people like to point out that The Vampyre, Carmilla, and Dracula aren’t Romances in the modern sense of the word, they do share the quality of the Seductive Other– only without the “happily ever after” required by modern Romance. It’s not so much that the Seductive Other is tamed in modern stories. Modern heroines now have the ability to enter into the Other’s world, which is much more fun than being murdered! 😀

A portrait of the author of The Vampyre
John William Polidori by F. G. Gainsford. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons