To Save or Be Saved – That Is the Question in Romance Stories
by Patti Hultstrand, author of Time Conquers All
One of my favorite questions ever asked of me:
You’ve successfully slain the dragon! How will you toast your marshmallows?
On his dead and burning carcass as I drink and dance around the bonfire in victory.
The answer to this question above is important because it plays into how I write my heroines and heroes in my romance novels. Many women nowadays want to be empowered and feel in control of their own destinies. However, even more women all over the world still hide behind the man in their lives or feel they must have a man to take care of them.
I was told on numerous occasions that I could either win the lottery or marry a rich old man to take care of me. I know my mother would love that idea of having her daughter taken care of financially. However, I have not been that swooning damsel in distress for quite some time. There is nobody coming in on his white horse to save me. Besides the fact that I live in a no-horse community, I have no delusions that some great guy is going to come into my life and sweep me off my feet!
As young girls, didn’t most of us love Prince Charming and the fairy tales where the hero swoops in to save the princess or woman in the story? I am no different; I dreamt of being a ballerina, but even longer, I dreamt of being a princess. Even into high school, I wore tiaras as a baton twirler and some guys even referred to me as a “princess.”
This could be embarrassing now that I am soooo much older and divorced, except that the princess I wanted to be all those years ago finally came out in the pages of my Chasing Time book series. But, this princess isn’t the one I had inside me when I was a young, naïve girl; this princess doesn’t expect to be saved by any man!
Instead, Princess Tamea does her fair share of the saving. She has saved King Parker from assassins several times, saved him from issues of his troubled mind on multiple occasions, and it is with this same must-save the man mentality that I start book one, introducing Tamea’s desire to do the saving.
In the region of the world near India in the late 1500s, anyone else would have had to come in with sword swinging, riding a camel, as only the upper class citizenry could have afforded a great white horse. A smelly, brown camel that would rather spit at you tends to take away from the ROMANCE of the story. I guess it’s a good thing that Tamea is a princess from a rich enough country that she can afford to enter the scene on that proverbial WHITE HORSE to save to save Parker’s butt.
Writers of fiction often have their own fantasies come out between the pages of their stories. They are not always romantic – but instead sometimes display a desire of theirs or something lacking in their lives. As I get older and have moved into other relationships, I know one real truth; a longstanding relationship is more about mutual needs being met.
Each person in the relationship needs to be able to vocalize these needs, and for myself, I need to be able to do the saving at times. I am a lot like my main character, Princess Tamea: we both have this desire to do the saving, and when needed, to be saved – usually from ourselves.
And believe me, both of us would slay that dragon and then roast marshmallows on his dead and burning carcass as we drink and dance around the bonfire in victory!
Patti J. Hultstrand has assisted in bringing 78 books to market since 2009 through her company, AZ PublishingServices, LLC. She has been a graphic designer for 24 years, fourteen of those years in a print shop. PJ is an author of four books, three fiction and one nonfiction. She is also the Managing Editor for the pop culture newspaper, The WOD, and is a media host on KWOD Radio. You can find her speaking or running her media team at many local Arizona