REDHEADS, My Books Celebrate the 2%

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November celebrates a lot of things, elections, Veterans, the pilgrims’ day of thanks (unless history has been dumped), but I just discovered that November’s National Love Your Red Hair Day celebrates redheads. That’s right, everyone with red hair gets good press on the 5th of November, a custom, I am told, started by two redheaded sisters.

Why as an ash blonde would I want to enter in? Why, because they make up 13% of Scots in Scotland, Mary Queen of Scots being a famous Scottish redhead and 10% of folks in Ireland, because I write books, and because the heroes and heroines in my novels often have Scottish or Irish descendants. Nothing says Scottish like red hair and freckles. Another reason is that they won’t go grey, and hence, stay eternally young, the way a good hero or heroine must to entertain centuries of readers. Give my heroine some green or blue eyes and you have a real rarity, because even among redheads, the common eye color is brown. Bees are attracted to them, I have just learned, so maybe I need to write a thriller with a redheaded victim.

Cover for New Release Coming Soon of Stone of Her Destiny

Cover for New Release Coming Soon of Stone of Her Destiny

That and because redheads are said to have increased sensitivity to pain, and you know for certain that an author is going to subject her characters to some pain. We fiction authors are something of sadists in that regard, because unless you squeeze the jar, you don’t know what’s in it. The same gene that produces red hair is linked to the gene connected to pain receptors, meaning they might require more anesthesia for intrusive medical procedures.

And in no small part would I pick a redhead because they don’t have the reputation of blondes as being flaky or “I dunno.” Their reputation is hotheaded, independent. So they make strong contenders for your attention as slightly quirky, an inherent difference which grooms them for adventure in your hemisphere.

Great authors have featured stand-out redheads through the ages. Take A. Conan Doyle in Sherlock Holmes, for example and his detective short story “The Redheaded League,” or Anne in Anne of Green Gables who is revisiting us now from yesteryear, or the Weasleys in the Harry Potter series. Then there’s “Little Orphan Annie” and Pippi Longstocking so popular in Germany that we watched when we lived an extended time there. There’s the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, not to mention Dorothy herself of Oz with her cute little braids. There’s Dana Sculley of X-files, one of my personal favorites and the fictional Madeleine of French extract, and I would be remiss not to mention my granddaughter’s current favorite fictional character, Ariel. Don’t forget our wonderful rag dolls, Raggedy Ann and Andy. Then there’s Faramir in Lord of the Rings, quite nice for a hero. In my adopted genre, Gothic romance, popular British novelist Hugh Seymour Walpole published thirty-six novels, including, Portrait of a Man with Red Hair. It is described as a macabre romance, a Gothic tale by a descendant of the author of The Castle of Otranto.

Not to mention that my aunt across the road was a redhead and, to break into brogue, ‘niver ye saw sich an independent female with firmly defined character parameters.’ My cousin the editorial writer has red hair and lots of his cousins, descendants of one of the Scottish clans which made up a huge portion of the population in the Cape Fear region of North Carolina, emigrating from the 1730’s on into the area. My own people are Scottish descendants as well ( and included many influential leaders in local and state government.

Having red hair makes one more likely to be left handed, statistics say, an evidence of a recessive gene showing up because recessive genes like to come in pairs. On average redheads only have 90,000 strands of hair while blonds have 140,000. However, since red hair comes thicker, their hair looks just as full.

Interesting my Christmas novelette features a dual redheaded pair in A Yuletide Folly Folly, Sinclair, who returns to her mansion and horse farm in the Pinehurst area for some intense intrigue with her geologist boyfriend and love interest, whose red hair leads him in a decidedly levelheaded direction. We hired two models who fulfilled the cover requirements for this. I’m amazed at the odds on having found them, since they are only 2-3% of the total population at large!
Now we have a redheaded heroine in my newest novel, Stone of Her Destiny, by the name of Kenna. I say it takes a redhead to manage her destiny between two worlds, Scotland and the Cape Fear region of North Carolina; with the old world of her ancestry and the modern new world she and her Scottish love must conquer to stay functional. Together they have the combined ancestry which will save the day. This novel is slated for publication before Christmas of this year. I just have a couple more love scenes to incorporate into it, scenes worthy of a redhead, I might add.

Sizzle, sizzle, and still safe.

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