Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Back in high school I was a happy go lucky science student who got along well with both classmates and teachers, well with the exception of one teacher, that is. In grade 12 I had an English teacher who had a total dislike for science students. One day in the middle of class he held my paper up and pointed at me. I knew in an instant nothing good could come from that. He told me in front of the entire class that “I write like someone from behind the lunch counter at Woolworths talked.” Yeah, he actually said that. He also said some other things but that’s a topic for another day.
Now, I might have considered myself a science student at the time, but I always liked to make up big elaborate stories to entertain my friends. Of course, they preferred to think I was a big fat liar, rather than a story teller.  I was also an avid reader but I certainly didn’t see myself growing up to be a writer. But a few years later, after deciding a science degree wasn’t for me, I switched degrees and decided I wanted to write books.  In the back of my mind, however, I always remembered what that teacher said to me. Regardless, I wasn’t about to let it stifle or stop me. In fact, it pushed me to succeed all that much more. 

I wanted to prove him wrong. 

I worked hard, learned the craft, wrote every day, joined critique groups, went to conferences, and did what I had to in order to succeed. What I didn’t do is let anyone tell me I couldn’t.

When I sat down to pen my first Young Adult Novel PRIDE’S RUN, I knew I wanted to create a heroine who was strong. A survivor. I gave her a problem, a big one, and despite what anyone said to her, I knew she was going to do whatever was necessary in order to achieve her mission.    

When I think about strong heroines, I think about the teen movies I like to watch. I love to see the heroines take charge; love to see them do whatever it takes to accomplish their goals.

I remember watching Sixteen Candles a few years back with my daughter, and while I truly loved the movie I kept thinking why doesn’t she just come out and tell her parents it’s her birthday. Why is she playing the victim!! I hate when people play the victim. 
During a movie marathon weekend my daughter and I also watched the movies She’s the Man, House Bunny and Legally Blonde. In She’s the Man, the heroine wanted to play soccer so she pretended to be her brother, dressed as a guy and worked her butt off until she made the team. I loved that!
Now I know you’re all thinking House Bunny and Legally blonde had bimbos for heroines but think about it. They were strong, they were survivors and they both did what they had to in order to achieve success, no matter how they defined that success. You have to give them credit for that!

Cat Kalen is a multi published author in the romance genre under two pen names, Cat is a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend. She loves dogs, sunny weather, anything chocolate (she never says no to a brownie) pizza and watermelon. She has two teenagers who keep her busy with their never ending activities, and a husband who is convinced he can turn her into a mixed martial arts fan. Cat can never find balance in her life, is always trying to find time to go to the gym, can never keep up with emails, Facebook or Twitter and tries to write page-turning books that her readers will love. A maritime native and former financial officer, Cat has lived all over Canada but has finally settled down in her childhood hometown with her family.

Seventeen year old Pride is a tracker-a werewolf with a hunger for blood. Taught to trick and to lure, she is the perfect killing machine. 

To purchase your own copy of PRIDE'S RUN, click HERE. 

Thanks, Cat for such a great post! Pride sounds like a fierce heroine.

Cat has graciously offered to give one free copy to a randomly selected commenter. Follow the Honestly YA blog and leave your comment below for a chance to win. Standard contest disclaimer applies. 

Now it's your turn: What are some of your favourite books or movies that showcase strong heroines? 


Lea Nolan said...

Thanks so much for visiting with us, Cat! Pride sounds like a tough cookie. I love kick-a&& heroines! Um, my favorites...I know I'm reaching way back, but who doesn't love Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird? I love her so much I tried to name one of my daughters Scout but could never come up with a decent middle name to go with it. Another heroine I loved is Percy from the movie The Spitfire Grill. And who can top Katniss from The Hunger Games?

Melissa Landers said...

Welcome, Cat! I love strong heroines, too. Nothing irks me more than a helpless waif of a girl sulking and waiting for a rescuer. Katniss certainly stands out as a front-runner, but even she irritated me a tad in the last book. **spoiler** At one point, I wanted her to quit complaining about how everyone was using her and get back to kicking ass and taking names.

Jo Ramsey said...

Can't wait to check out Pride's Run. (It's on my list!) Passive, whiny heroines bug me too.

Some teachers just shouldn't teach...It's bad enough when students give each other a hassle, but when a teacher singles one student out like that, it's no better than bullying.

PJ Sharon said...

I'm so glad that you didin't let one person's opinion (as rude and obnoxious as it was) to deter you. I can't wait to read Pride's Run. It'll be the first book I add to the new Kindle I'm getting for Christmas. Ooops! I spoiled the surprise. I'll have to look stunned when I open it on Christmas morning. Must keep Santa happy!

Lorie Langdon said...

Hi Cat,
I love strong heroine's as well, as long as they're tempered with that bit of vulnerability that makes them relatable. I also love to write/read heroine's who, when met with seemingly insurmountable odds, are stronger than they ever thought they could be! You've got to love those underdog stories. :-)
Thanks so much for sharing a part of your writing journey!

Cathryn Fox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cat Kalen said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone. Katniss was one of my favorite heroines. I love her and how she finds a strength she didn't know she had. I just finished writing Pride Unleashed, the second book in the trilogy and I put Pride through some very trying times. It was fun to watch how she handled it! Can't wait to share that book with the world.

Renee Pace said...

Great post Cat. I can't wait to read Pride Unleashed -love that you write such strong young female heroines!!

Suzanne Lilly said...

Lunch lady at the Woolworth's counter? RUDE! I think you should send a copy of your book to him just to show him who's the lunch lady now. I love your writing style. I've got Pride's Run on my Kindle already. You're a talented writer, and you bring Cat's world right into the reader's living room.

Sonya said...

Looks like you have proved him wrong ; - ). Congratulations on your writing success!

CareyCorp said...

Hi Cat,

Sorry I'm late to the party. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Elizabeth Bennett. Austen's heroine is wonderfully strong. And Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is another fantastic role model.

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