posted on March 18, 2016 by Joanne Rock

Flaws and All…

By Joanne Rock

joannerockpicI hesitate to get too personal sometimes. In blogging and in real life, I’m not one to share my private world with anyone unless I know them well. I tend to share the shined-up Joanne with most people, the “company version,” like a house that’s showroom ready for entertaining, with all the clutter and broken spots artfully hidden. This has proven a good and bad trait over the years.

On the plus side, most people like me since I have a good set of friend-ready qualities. I can keep a secret on lock down for as long as humanly possible. Go ahead, test me. If you tell me something in confidence, I guarantee you it’s going no further, not even to my cat. I also enjoy a good reputation among my peers for treating people fairly and kindly. No one can ever accuse me of airing dirty laundry on social media or sharing those annoying “Vague-Booking” posts where I point obvious fingers at others without officially naming names. I have good manners. I don’t interrupt others while they are speaking. Go me.

But on the downside, only sharing my shined-up face with the world makes me feel a little… unrelatable, I guess. Because all those good, happy things? That’s not the whole truth. There’s a whole wealth of struggles, angst and, yes, occasional bits of unhappy behavior below that polished surface. And I know that sharing our broken bits with others is what bonds us most, and what draws us to other people. Face it, you don’t want to befriend the girl in the room who looks like she’s never let a hair fall out of place. The one who uses archaic words like “befriend.” You want to go chat in the corner with the lively girl telling bawdy jokes and making everyone laugh.

I’m resolving to not be so shiny this year.  To share more of my messy days, my imperfect thoughts and my real struggle to balance writing, family, marriage, and the hardships that come with trying to carry the world on my shoulders. We all do that. And if I can put my own experiences into words, maybe it will strike a chord with you and help you unload from your hard day too. That’s my hope. It won’t come naturally at first and I’ll have to work at it since my first instinct is always to say, “No worries. I’ve got this.” But I’m going to try.

secretbabyGranted, the Joanne Rock remodel will probably never be the one telling the bawdy jokes. But I genuinely want to share more with my readers and followers so that you can know me—and I can know you—better. I was watching Good Will Hunting again recently and was struck by the Robin Williams’ character’s quote, “You’re not perfect, sport, and let me save you the suspense: this girl you’ve met, she’s not perfect either. But the question is whether or not you’re perfect for each other.” Throughout this thread of the movie, Will Hunting’s psychologist makes a beautiful plea for the way we connect with one another through out flaws. I found it newly inspiring.

***Today’s question is about character flaws… what heroine character flaw is your biggest pet peeve when reading? What quality in a heroine causes an eye roll? I’ve noticed that readers are always toughest on the heroine in a book (I am too!) so I thought this might be interesting to chat about. I’ve got a brand new ARC of SECRET BABY SCANDAL for one random commenter here or on the Writerspace Facebook page.

SECRET BABY SCANDAL can be purchased in mass market paperback and/or 06/15 eBook format for/from:



Joanne Rock

Joanne Rock

Four-time RITA finalist Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn't like. The USA Today bestselling author of over eighty books enjoys writing a wide range of stories, most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small-town family sagas. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly---love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine Mann. When she's not writing, Joanne enjoys travel to gather new ideas.

11 thoughts on “Flaws and All…”

  1. Avatar Lola says:

    One of the flaws I dislike is when characters lie, especially about big and/ or important things. Often it’s obvious their leis will come back and bite them. I can understand why sometimes it is necessary, but it does make it harder for me to like a character. I like honest characters, Nevertheless, I have read books with lying characters that I still enjoy. So it also very much depends on how the book is written. If the book is well written and can make me understand why the character choose to lie I can usually get over my initial dislike.

    I do like it when a character shows flaws and even better if he/she realizes her own flaws, flaws aren’t always easy to fix completely, but I do like it when the characters are aware of their own flaws. I like characters who feel real, like real people with their good sides and their flaws. So I definitely like seeing flaws as well.

    That quote is really inspiring indeed! And I think that’s what I like most in romances when a couple loves each other flaws and all. I do believe it’s hard to show our flaws and less good sides online, we do want people to like us and what’s online will be there forever. But sometimes it can also be very refreshing to hear that those people who look so successful also have their less good days and aren’t as perfect as we think. So I also believe that sharing those less good sides can be a good thing. Great post!

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      I do like flawed characters, but you’re right, Lola…. some self-awareness is a good thing. It’s more relatable when a flawed character at least recognizes their shortcomings. I think that’s very true to life. I know I’m impatient and can be demanding (in a quiet, beta way ) but I do recognize that quality and try not to let it get the best of me (or anyone else!!). It’s very human to wrestle with controlling ourselves, isn’t it? So glad you stopped by, Lola!

  2. Avatar Lori Shore says:

    I’m not big on heroines who use denial to get through life. I love the movie “Gone With the Wind” but the way Scarlett always looks the other way when things won’t go her way or is constantly saying that tomorrow is another day drives me crazy. The best way to deal with problems is to deal with it not pretend it isn’t there or that some way it will resolve on its own.

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Hi Lori! Scarlett was excellent at putting on blinders, wasn’t she? I think what made me forgive her was the fact that she worked so dang hard for what she wanted even when she was entirely wrong headed. Her bull headedness worked with everything else in her life except Ashley, didn’t it? She got home, she rebuilt her life. Her strength was a saving grace for everyone around her. But when it came to human relationships she just couldn’t get it right. Great example of a flawed character!

  3. Avatar Shelly K says:

    I don’t like the flaw of lying either. I don’t think people should lie, even in books.

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Hi Shelly! My first response disappeared in cyberspace (although if two answers pop up, you’ll know why ). But I was trying to say that this is a tough area for an author because it’s not enough to write a character who is realistic (a liar is certainly a true to life character!), we need to be sure we don’t alienate readers by giving them flaws that are unlikable or unredeemable. It’s a careful balance since we all bring our own emotions to the table when we read and some flaws are hot buttons!

  4. Avatar Lyndsey says:

    I really hate ditzy characters. When something really is common sense and they just completely ignore it it drives me nuts!

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Ha! Love this… I should have read your note before I responded to the last one as I was struggling to think of a flaw that I disliked across the board in a heroine. But you’ve hit upon it . That lack of common sense is definitely frustrating in a character.

  5. Avatar Tracy B says:

    While not a fan of liars either, I find it hard to relate to and cheer for the too perfect heroine. The one who has all the males clamoring for her attention or love.

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Yes!! This is another good one that drives me crazy too. I want to see flaws in a character!

  6. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

    Congratulations to Tracy B winner of the prize!!! Tracy, I’ve emailed you privately, but all you need to do is send me a mailing addy at and I’ll put the book in the mail for you!! Thank you to everyone for taking time to visit!

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