There aren’t that many of us on the street, but we turn up a lot in books. What, editors? Struggling indie authors? (I’m both of those!) No, redheads. (Yes, I’m one of those too.) The most popular hair colour for literary heroines is red, and to go with the fiery locks they often have green eyes. I’m as guilty as the next person. I’ve created a green-eyed redhead leading character, Fiona, in Something Fishy, a book you’ll find in blovel form here under the pen name of Rorie Stevens. I hadn’t realised I was being so predictable  until a message thread on an author’s forum alerted me to the fact that many of us have similar looking heroines. Since then I’ve come across hundreds more in books I’ve read! We redheads make up a lot less than 10% of the population, even in Celtic countries such as Ireland and Scotland, but around 50% of the fictional population I’d guess!

Not that it matters. I think authors tend to go for redheads because that colour hair is unusual, attractive and has the associations of a certain feistiness. Red hair has long been thought to be a sign of a hot temper, but there’s no proven biological explanation for this. The idea probably grew up, in England anyway, due to the invading Vikings having red hair as did the brave and troublesome Scots.  Another myth is that redheads have a higher libido than other people. Another good reason to have a redheaded hero or heroine if you’re writing in the romantic genre!

Rose Thorne of Gary Vanucci’s short fantasy novel A Rose in Bloom is therefore both a typical yet very unusual literary heroine. She has long red hair and green eyes, a strong personality and works in a bordello. So far she fits the bill. But add to that her various special gifts which include light-fingeredness and the ability to merge in and out of the world of shadows at will, and she becomes a formidable ally, or if you’re unfortunate, enemy. Arm her with a magical daggers and you could have a problem! You can read about Rose for yourself for free today and tomorrow – 18th and 19th May – since A Rose in Bloom is free on Amazon here (and on the other various Amazon sites). Gary Vanucci is a brilliant author. He creates wonderful characters and exciting situations for them, so you’re in for a treat with his books. And if you fall under Rose’s spell, which I am confident you will, then you can follow her adventures in Gary’s Covenant of the Faceless Knights, where she plays a leading role.

Gary’s books are illustrated by the talented William Kenney. I’m a huge fan of his artwork.

Can you spot Rose?

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