Is it wrong to fall in love with your heroine?

Somewhere between researching the life of Ka’ahumanu and creating the fictionalized Wai-nani, I fell in love with my heroine. So smitten was I with the fiery, brave personage of Ka’ahumanu (Wai-nani) that I determined to tell Hawai’i’s story through her eyes. Even though born into the rank and privilege of the royal class, she railed against harsh punishments meted out by priests and ruling chiefs invested with the power of gods. She questioned the status quo and confronted authority. She was clever and moved like water around her enemies, solving her problems with intellect rather than force. She faced her fears and pushed through them becoming stronger in adversity. And finally, she lifted the dragon tail from her path and rose to become the most respected and powerful woman in all of old Hawai’i.

She could be seen skittering across the waves on a surfboard with Kamehameha the Great who declared her to be his favorite wife. She was a beautiful dancer, a strong swimmer, and one practiced in the healing arts.  Though she was a childless bride, she remained Kamehameha’s confidant and paramour over his 40-year rise to power. At his death in 1819 he bestowed upon her the power to rule equally with his son.

To me she was the ultimate empowered female and a forerunner to the modern independent woman. I saw myself in her and grew stronger in telling her story. She gave me the courage to publish Wai-nani –A Voice from Old Hawai’i. Is it love, or is it admiration mixed with deep envy of her life in hauntingly beautiful old Hawai’i that I feel for my heroine? I don’t’ think it was wrong of me to fall in love with my character in the process of bringing her to life. In fact it might be required passion in the work for readers to fall in love too.

Linda Ballou is an adventure travel writer and author of, Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i- fabled historical fiction inspired by the tumultuous love affair of Kamehameha the Great and his favorite wife Ka’ahumanu. An informative and lively speaker, Linda enjoys giving power point presentations she has created for each of her books. In “Lessons Learned from the People of Old” she takes you on a journey to sacred sites throughout the Islands. In her “Whet Your Wanderlust” talk she shares destinations in her book Lost Angel Walkabout. Learn more about Linda, her books and articles on her site


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