Yep, she is. My contemporary romance, A Facebook Affair (Breathless Press, Dec. 9th, 2011) has an imperfect heroine.
The average romance heroine is gorgeous with long, flowing hair, pouty lips, average intelligence, a generous bosom…*snicker*. Well, meet Kelly Littleton. I think she's beautiful. At least she was in my mind, and I hope she is in readers' minds, but she's got short hair, is pretty smart, and has an average cup size—no double Ds. What really sets her off though is the fact that she has a handicap/disability. She's "hearing impaired."
I don't really see her as disabled, however, or handicapped or impaired. She lives life just like anyone else with a little help from things such as closed captioned TV, text messaging, vibrating alarm clocks, and a skill called lipreading. And like everyone else, she's looking for love. She may or may not find it with Brandon Hopkins…
Why did I do this? As a reader, I'm tired of constantly reading about "perfect" women. We, the women in real life, are not perfect. We have weight problems, we have bipolar disorders, we small breasts, and we have handicaps. As a deaf woman, I've always been dismayed at the lack of literature featuring deaf heroines so I wrote one.
My goal in this was to educate as well as entertain. I am hoping that every reader walks away from A Facebook Affair having learned something about the life of a hearing "impaired" person, about school bullying, and how the hearing world often misunderstands.
Even the short hair has significance. No, it has nothing to do with my own hair. LOL. Throughout the novel, Kelly goes back and forth between a confidant young woman no longer ashamed of the world seeing the hearing aids in her ears to the little girl who hid them behind her hair. Kelly thinks she has left that beaten down little girl behind, but when school bullies from her past become a part of her present, will she revert back to that scared little girl? She no longer has long hair to hide behind…what will she do?
So…my heroine is imperfect. She has flaws just like you and I.
When Kelly and Brandon rediscover each other on Facebook after twenty years apart, it sparks an attraction that even distance can't extinguish. Do they truly have a future, or is this just a Facebook affair?
Kelly Littleton takes the plunge and finally joins Facebook to socialize without the limits that her hearing impairment gives her. On a whim, she looks up a childhood friend. In sending him that first message, she ignites the memories of a crush from twenty years ago. But will they turn into the flames of romance, or end up the ashes of a Facebook affair?
Brandon Hopkins has a lot on his plate. A recent divorce, a pregnant sister, and now, he realizes he's in love with a woman who lives states away. Can he overcome the boundaries of internet romance to make this desire turn into something real, or will adversity and distance be their undoing?