Romance author and self-proclaimed geek Emma Shortt loves herself a nerdy heroine. We find we can relate, what with our Tardis T-shirts and great love of Internet cat photos. Nerdy heroes can't have all the fun, can they? Shortt's latest, Shackled by the Boss, features such a heroine, and we wanted to know more. Emma nicely obliged. Take it away, Emma!
I've been an avid romance reader for a very, very long time, and if there's one thing I've found over all those years, it's that romance novels follow, and sometimes leap ahead of, our cultural curve.
In the '90s, when I was just starting to find my way into the world of romance, the pages were filled with business women galore. I loved reading about those smart, successful CEOs and negotiators. I particularly enjoyed it when their assistants were the men they fell for. There was a power flip there and it reflected the changing world I was growing up in — more than that it was inspiring. I totally could run a multi-million dollar company, quite happy in the knowledge that there was a man out there who would still be able to challenge me.
Moving into the new century it seemed that I could find pretty much any romance heroine I wanted. A warrior? A doctor? An Oxford Don? They were all there. They had these amazing careers and still bagged their man. What wasn't to love? I lapped them up and happily went back for more. When the time came for me to write my own heroines, it made perfect sense that they could be whoever they wanted to be too. My gals have run the gauntlet from scientists to mathematicians to criminal masterminds to ax-wielding zombie hunters. They can be anyone ... because that's the whole point isn't it? For many women in today’s world, we can do whatever we like. Sure, there are often challenges, but never before have we had so many opportunities ...
Which brings me to the reason I'm here today ... to talk nerdy to you.
Nerd culture has exploded in recent years and I've watched it do so with glee. I grew up on a steady diet of Star Trek and Sliders, attended my first convention in my teens and would happily wear my elf ears to work. For me, seeing our culture — my culture — reflected in the books I read has been a sheer joy. Heroines who are computer programmers, gamers, sci-fi addicts, mathematicians ... how awesome ... and normal! It isn't even questioned anymore that this, nerdy women doing what they love, is the norm, and when you think about it, that's a huge leap in terms of the growth of our society. My generation grew up inspired to take on the world, influenced by the heroines we adored. Perhaps the next generation will be inspired to code the world — or even better, design it.
If you love your romance with a bit of geek, here are my top three favorite, geekiest romance heroines.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: The top spot has to go to Elizabeth Bennet. Strictly speaking, Lizzie is not a geek. But had she been around today I could totally see her running a multi-national tech company.
Freedom’s Landing by Anne McCaffrey. Kris is simply awesome in this series, freaking awesome! Watch her as she battles aliens, takes on a new world, and bags herself the hottest male in the galaxy.
One Con Glory by Sarah Kuhn: I want Julie, the heroine, to by my very best friend. How this book hasn’t gone viral yet baffles me.
- Emma Shortt
Want more geek love? RT editors recommend the following titles, each featuring a nerdy heroine:
A Gentlemen Undone by Cecilia Grant
A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare
The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan
Open Season by Linda Howard
Delphine Dryden's Science of Temptation series
Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward
Do you have a favorite nerdy romance heroine? Let us know in the comments! You can pick up Emma Shortt's latest romance, Shackled by the Boss, available digitally now. For more love stories visit the Everything Romance page.