Kickin’ A and Taking Names

Most every romance writer has heard the term, Kick Ass Heroine. It means the heroine of a book who fights off the bad guys, takes care of herself and those around her. She doesn’t have to have a man, but she doesn’t dislike them, either.

I did a search to get a proper definition for the term, and the first thing I found is that I spelled it wrong. It’s not Kick Ass. It’s Kickass. One word. Then I found another site that talks about KAs.

Women who . . . write their own life story and . . . have the guts to go out and battle for results.

I’ll call them KAs. (I’d call them KTs, Kick Tails, but our newest blogger’s name is KT and while KT is definitely KA,  I wouldn’t want to confuse anyone.)

I met my first KA when I was just a little girl. Annie Oakley was a tv show I loved watching as a kid. I’m not sure if I watched it when it was first made or later (it was made for syndication.)

The Annie in the tv show was nothing like the Annie Oakley of real life, except they were both sure shots.

On tv, Annie didn’t need someone to protect her or save her. She could take care of herself.

That tv show did two things: It helped me see what a woman could be, and it ruined me for heroines who needed to be rescued. After that, when I saw a movie where the girl stood and wailed while her man was being beat up, I hated it. “Why doesn’t she grab a big stick and hit that guy over the head?”

Finally, after years of reading romance (remember all those nurse and doctor books? Or the sultan and the maiden?) I found a book with a KA heroine. Skye O’Malley by Bertrice Small. The book was written in the early eighties and I was thrilled to find it.

About that same time or maybe a little before, I found a great book called, “Lady of Fire,” by Valerie Vayle. This one is about a girl who starts out a girl in convent school who grows into a KA pirate woman who’s hunting down her father’s murderer.

Both are books I’ve read over and over. While neither book is exactly what we see selling in today’s market (word count is too long and there are too many men in both heroines’ lives) both books have heroines with fantastic character growth who are prime examples of KA heroines.

Since that time, romances have grown until they nearly all contain KA women. (Thank goodness!) Some of those women may not perform KA actions, but they nearly all have KA motivations.

My favorite wome are still heroines who take their lives in their own hands. Live by their own rules and not someone else’s.

Those women don’t care about the thoughts of others; they live the way they know is right.

If you’d like to read a more recent KA heroine, try any (you’ll want to read them all) of Rachel Butler’s  books. THE ASSASSIN, DEEP COVER, and SCORCHED all have one fantastic, kick-’em-and-count-’em-heroine.

I promise, you’ll love them all.

When you need to be reminded of what a real KA heroine is, what book do you read?

6 thoughts on “Kickin’ A and Taking Names

  1. That’s why I fell in love with Leia in STAR WARS. When she came out of that cell, grousing at Han ’cause the guys came in without an exit plan, I was rootin’ for her.

  2. Love this post, Susan! I love reading romantic suspense because the heroine always proves her worth. AND, she gets her man. LOL

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