Why girl power?

To answer that question, we must travel to Edinburgh, Scotland, and grapple with pink princess culture, a magic wishing well, and the makings of a middle-grade book for girls with gumption.


Kitty Tweddle $0.99 for a limited time

Click here: getBook.at/KT


The following is extracted from an interview with Whispering Words:

A few years ago, while a doctoral student at the University of Edinburgh, I rented a basement apartment just outside the city. My landlords told me the story of the old well – the remains of which were still visible at the bottom of the garden. They also told me that the underground stream feeding the well ran right under the house.

One very rainy summer, it flooded the basement flowing down the hallway and out the back door! I started writing before it was dry.

Kitty’s character, however, came about following a research project with a colleague called “The Cult of Hotness.” We explored the phenomenon of ‘hotness’ in western society and our findings were grim indeed.

Not only does a woman’s worth appear to be tied to her perceived ‘hotness’ as opposed to her intelligence, creativity, contribution or even beauty, but this emphasis on hotness begins long before puberty.

Pink princess culture, our research indicated, is a precursor to hotness culture, priming young girls to emphasize physical appearance and a very narrow definition of attractiveness. We were horrified!

I wanted to do something to turn the tide. It wasn’t until my Edinburgh basement flooded that the idea clicked into place. Create a protagonist that young girls will want to know. Create a cool girl who is everything pink princess culture isn’t. But also a girl who is real and has feelings, who makes mistakes and has to fix them. Someone readers can identify with. That was the inspiration behind Kitty’s character.

You can read the rest of the interview here.

Kitty Tweddle $0.99 for a limited time

Click here: getBook.at/KT

HJ Blenkinsop PhD writes books for girls with gumption and is the author of Kitty Tweddle and the Wishing Well. When she’s not cooking up strange tales, HJ dabbles in soap making and potion mixing. She also blogs about catlore – the folklore of cats – at Chicken Road Diaries.

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