Thanks for hosting me today, Sue! I’m a big fan of strong female characters in literature, particularly in my wheelhouse of YA, so I thought I’d share some thoughts about these strong women.
Over the years, I’ve read some awesome female leads. Tamora Pierce has given us numerous kick-ass young ladies, my favorites being Knight Alana and Provost Guard Beka Cooper. Kristin Cashore’s Graceling introduced killer, survivor, activist Kasta. Of course I would be remiss not to mention archer, hunter, tribute Katniss of Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games.
Katora Kase from my own Elixir Bound shares many of the same characteristics possessed by the esteemed ladies above: bravery, independence, stubbornness. These women make bold moves and often hide their emotions, unless that emotion is anger.
There’s a different kind of strong female character, though. One that often goes unnoticed. Her bravery is more subtle. She doesn’t necessarily hide her feelings from the world. Her strength is displayed in the way she treats others and the profound impact she has on their lives.
These are the Beth March’s of literature. No one could call Beth—who in Lousia May Alcott’s Little Women contracts scarlet fever and weakens in body until her death—physically strong. Beth’s strength is in her selflessness. It is while caring for a neighbor’s sick child, she falls ill herself. She faces the prospect of death with poise and does what she can for others even when bedridden. Prim, Katniss’s sister, is also one of these strong women (I won’t elaborate here because I don’t want to be a spoiler).
In Elixir Bound Katora’s sister Kylene is brave when she needs to be, but she is much more giving and open than Katora and mourns when she kills an animal for her own survival. When Katora must finally decide whether or not to become guardian of the Elixir, she wonders if it might actually require more strength of character to show one’s emotions and vulnerabilities or to hide them.
Although I consider myself more like the outwardly strong ladies of literature, I think it’s important to recognize different types of strengths. The unsung heroes of stories and life are often those who open their hearts to others and give of themselves. Since the day a little over a year ago I became a mother, I’m beginning to gain a firsthand understanding of this other strength in me.
Elixir Bound blurb:
Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone.
For it is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings who will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.
About the author:
Katie L. Carroll began writing after her 16-year-old sister unexpectedly passed away. Writing was a way for Katie to help her sister live on in the pages of a story. It also made her realize that she wanted to pursue writing as a career. In addition to penning novels for teens and kids, she edits puzzle magazines, plays soccer, and collects signed copies of books. Katie lives in Connecticut with her husband and son. To learn more about Katie, to read her blog, or to contact her visit her website at www.katielcarroll.com.