Five Bad Things About Heroines

The fabulous Erin Blakemore

So.  Today’s post is brought to you by author Erin Blakemore.  Erin lives in Colorado,  is a (former) roller derby queen, and has a debut book out this week.  Titled The Heroine’s Bookshelf, it’s an inspiring look at literature’s greatest and most enduring female characters, ranging from Laura Ingalls to Lizzie Bennet.  Learn more and find book club questions about her favorite heroines at

Five Bad Things About Heroines

by Erin Blakemore

  1. 1.  They occupy your thoughts.  What is a blanc mange, anyway?
    2.  They create arguments with friends.  Who can resist sorting herself out by which March sister or Jane Austen heroine she would rather be?  And who can resist putting someone who makes the wrong choice in her place?
    3.  They suck up your time.  Lots and lots of time…dinner burning, kids crying, heart being restored to itself.
    4.  They don’t talk back.  Well, unless you do the talking for them.  This is terrible when you have vital questions to ask.
    5.  They aren’t real.  Not really.  Like it or not, I will never sit down to tea with Lizzie Bennet or a Coca-Cola with Scout.  They’re only on my bookshelf.  Sometime’s that’s enough…most of the time it’s not.

The Heroine's Bookshelf

Despite these terrible things, I spend quite a bit of time in the presence of literature’s greatest women (and the women who created them).  I do it despite all sanity, time constraints, and pleas for reason.  I do it because they’ve wormed their way into my heart, my brain, and my own rituals of self-care.  Who are your literary heroines?


Liz here again. Answer Erin’s question in a comment before next Thursday, and you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of her book, plus an Evenfall bookmark.  I’ll put my thoughts up before then, too. And for those folks who would like to remain anonymous (Hi Barb! Hi Lori! Hi Leslie!) because they are too shy to post, whoops!  Sorry about that.  See you in the comments!

Also,  if you are in Boston and have time on October 28th, Erin’s reading at a special event that examines all kinds of heroines and what their roles are in today’s society.  Check it out, and tell her I said hello.

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Liz Michalski


  1. Jan O'Hara of Tartitude on October 21, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    They’ve ranged far and wide, so I’ll name just a few: Anne Shirley, Maddy from Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm and Jessica Trent from Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels.

    Your book sounds interesting. Alas, I’m several thousand miles away from your appearance so I’ll take a rain check. 😉

  2. Barb on October 21, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    O.K. – Revisiting favorite childhood stories now with my daughter, I see common threads emerging . I love Madeline’s spunk and spirit, Pippi Longstocking’s unconventional and eccentric ways (for a time, I even slept at the foot of my bed like her), and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s independence and self reliance. But the witty, self-assured, and confident Lizzie Bennet epitomizes the traits I most admire. (Now the key will be to remember all this in the face of a rebellious and headstrong young girl).

    • liz on October 28, 2010 at 6:37 pm

      I love Lizzie too. Your post reminds me of the Susan Sarandon quote “I taught my children to question authority. I didn’t realize the first authority they’d question would be me.”

  3. Elizabeth Loupas on October 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I have so many! Emmeline Lucas from E.F. Benson’s LUCIA novels. Froniga Haslewood from Elizabeth Goudge’s THE WHITE WITCH. Rissa Kerguelen from F.M. Busby’s RISSA KERGUELEN. Maria from Cecelia Holland’s GREAT MARIA. The unnamed Provincial Lady from E.F. Delderfield’s DIARY OF A PROVINCIAL LADY. I could go on and on. Great question, and it’s fascinating to read the other answers!

    • liz on October 28, 2010 at 6:35 pm

      I just saw a copy of The White Witch at the airport and thought it looked fabulous — I need to add it to my list. (And your other picks sound fascinating as well.)