I think a lot of writers get into the writing game because they have strong feelings for a favorite heroine. I once read that a really good heroine (or hero, for that matter) is one that you’d want to take on a road trip because you’d never run out of conversation and you’d never fight over the radio. Here are the heroines of some of my favorite books that I’d want to roadtrip with:
1) Stephanie Plum. As the heroine in the Janet Evanovich series, Stephanie is a girl another girl could have fun gossiping with. She has a diet I covet (donuts and Tasty Kakes anyone), a love triangle that keeps life interesting, and a Grandma Mazur. I could only go a couple of days with Stephanie, though, since pretty much every car she rides in blows up at some point.
2) Isabel Spellman. Lisa Lutz’s heroine is Stephanie-esque, but has a drinking problem and a blind eye when it comes to the finer points of the law. I think we’d do well on a night trip to Vegas or Atlantic City. We could put on wigs and pretend we were from Sweden while we played craps and tailed and took pictures of the drunk guy who told his boss he was out sick for the week.
3) Miss Know It All. Remember that YA book by Carol York? All the children would ask her questions and she knew every single answer except one? (Of course, by the end of the book, she knew the answer to: “What’s the largest room in the world?” Answer: “The room for improvement.”) I think I could find Miss Know It All very useful on a trip filled with flat tires, headaches with no aspirin in sight, and vanity plates that even a Mensa member couldn’t figure out. I’d even keep her on speed dial when we got back from our trip.
4) Laura Ingalls Wilder. I think a week would be a good amount of time to spend with Laura. She could teach me how to preserve things and build a lean-to and tie a rope from the house to the barn during a blizzard, and she could tell me how to make a Christmas truly special without all that materialism that plagues modern America. After a week, though, I think she’d get on my nerves as I realized how truly inferior I was in comparison.
5) Buffy Summers. Fine, fine, she’s not a literary heroine in the strictest sense (although, have you been reading the Whedon comics?), but I love her character too much to leave her off the list. I think I could go a whole summer roadtripping with Ms. Summers. The quips and mall trips would keep us busy, and the whole demon-slaying thing would be our ace in the hole.