In honour of International Women’s Day, here are a couple of thoughts on three women who inspire me.
Elizabeth I. I mean I don’t think I’d want to have her round for dinner, but I do think that what she managed to accomplish is extraordinary. She was only the second female monarch England ever had, following her sister’s short reign (which was dominated by her husband). She lived in a time when a woman was really just a piece of property and no one really thought she could do much without a man to tell her what to do. Well, she proved them all wrong! She declared herself married to her country, a marriage which brought peace and prosperity for forty five years.
Mary Seacole. Florence Nightingale got all the glory but Mary worked just as hard and was nearly forgotten by history. As a Jamaican woman in the 1850s she was at a huge disadvantage to begin with. Trained by her mother as a nurse, but turned down by Florence’s school of nursing, she took herself off to the Crimea and set up the British Hotel for wounded soldiers. Even when this bankrupted her, she didn’t give up, and sold her memoirs to keep herself afloat. Now that’s a determined and resourceful lady.
Buffy Summers. Oh come on, I can’t write about inspiring women without mentioning the Buffster! In movies and in books, the petite blonde is usually the monster’s first snack. Or maybe she’s nearly the snack, but is rescued by a man at the last minute. She’s just there to show us how dangerous it is to be, er, pretty and blonde, whilst manly men get on with the serious business of world-saving. Not so Buffy. She was the pretty blonde who went into the dark alley with the monster…and emerged with its head. She rescued the helpless men. She showed up on TV on Thursday nights and showed a generation of girls they didn’t have to choose between being pretty or brave or smart. They could be all three.
Kate Johnson is a prolific writer of romantic and paranormal fiction. Kate is Choc Lit’s youngest author and lives near Stansted, Essex. She is a self-confessed fan of Terry Pratchett, whose fantasy fiction has inspired her to write her own books. Kate worked in an airport and a laboratory before escaping to write fiction full time. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and has previously published short stories in the UK and romantic mysteries in the US. She’s a previous winner of the WisRWA’s Silver Quill and Passionate Ink’s Passionate Plume award.
Her first UK debut novel, The UnTied Kingdom was shortlisted for the Contemporary Romantic Novel Category Award in 2012. It also won an online Best Book Award.
Kate’s Choc Lit novels include: The UnTied Kingdom, Run Rabbit Run and Impossible Things (February 2014).