Thursday, 2 October 2008

T is for...

And here, slightly out of left-field, is my inspirational picture for the main heroine* of my work-in-progress.

She is of course the Afghan refugee girl who appeared on perhaps the most famous National Geographic cover ever. She was 13 when this picture was taken - it should go without saying that my fictional character is about a decade older.

God, look at those eyes. That GLARE. It's the glare that first gets my hero's attention. Since it's a story with an Arabian Nights setting, she spends some of her time wearing a veil, and eyes are important if the rest of the face is covered (right). But it's also the lips, the stubborn chin, the whole defiant attitude. That's my woman!

And yes, I know she's not classically pretty in a normal romance style, and probably won't look anything like this when the cover art appears, but what the hell: I think she's beautiful. I could look at her picture all day.

If you're interested in the real woman behind the image, Sharbat Gula, you can find the full story here. Just don't expect anything terribly cheerful.

* "heroine" is a word I have a particular dislike for, and I normally try not to use it. But in a Romance context "hero" just means "male love-interest" and "heroine" just means "female love-interest," so that's okay.

** My secondary heroine is really pretty, btw. But she only gets secondary billing, ha ha, and doesn't get the hero.


Wintersinger said...

That really is a stunning picture, isn't it? Even more so when you know of the stories behind it.

Sounds like she's going to be a very intriguing 'heroine'...

Janine Ashbless said...

Thank you!

She's certainly fun to write about. I've just had her killed ... and restored to life. And she and the hero spend their whole time (when they're not fighting for their lives) arguing. :-D