Monday, March 5, 2012

Hey, Laura Pauling here. First time posting on the blog! Glad you're here.

The other day the secret agents at YA CONFIDENTIAL posted some Youtube videos. Go take a look. I'll wait. Scary, huh? But maybe not so hard to believe. I know lots of grown up girls who ask the same question.

I can't help but remember my daughter dancing around the house, the yellow crinoline skirts of Belle swirling at her feet. She was pretty fickle for a three-year-old princess for two minutes later, she transformed into Cinderella and then Sleeping Beauty after that.

Thankfully, girls grow out of the princess stage. But I'd say that on the inside, no matter how hold we are, each of us, as girls/women want to be loved, want to feel special, want to feel beautiful. But I say that beauty lies not in how we look but in how we act and what we stand for.

And for that reason, I love finding kick-butt heroines in the books I read.

Every Tuesday we go to the library. Over the years of scouring the bookshelves; and more recently, virtual shelves, I’ve figured something out.

Girls rock.

Girls are smart. (Hermoine)

Girls fight in battles. (Hunger Games)

Girls survive being the outsider. (Open Minds)

Girls taste the salt air as their pirate ship crashes through the waves. (Dust of a Hundred Dogs)

Girls face the wilderness to find their loved ones. (Untraceable)

Girls play football. (Dairy Queen)

Girls plan and pull off giant art cons. (Heist Society)

Girls solve mysteries while discovering their special powers. (Beautiful Demons)

Girls survive isolation. (Shatter Me)

Girls solve mysteries up in space. (Across the Universe)

Girls fight to be who they want to be. (Become)

Girls can figure out why their best friend died. (The Liar Society)

These girls are beautiful.

Those are the kinds of stories I love to read. Those are the kinds of stories I love to write. Girls of any age in action. Figuring out who they are. Dealing with life. Fighting for their friends and family. Or even their lives. (And hopefully having a bit of fun at the same time.)

It was nice to meet you! Say hello in the comments and tell me about your favorite heroines in books you like to read. What do they fight for? Where do they find their beauty?

Then, head on over to YA Confidential for the cover reveal of my debut YA novel, A Spy Like Me. Yay!

Then check out my blog to read the first two chapters and enter to win a pre-order of Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig and an ebook of Watched by Cindy M. Hogan.

And if you'd like, sign up to receive an arc of A Spy Like Me, and/or participate in the release day in May!

Thanks so much!

photo credit


  1. Heading over.... Many congrats, Laura!

    Standing up for what we believe in does make for serious beauty. Love that mindset. :D

  2. I love strong characters like Hermoine and all the others you listed. Loved your cover! It's awesome.

  3. I love to see all the wonderful Heroine's featured throughout some of my favortie books. There is nothing more amazing than showing teens that girls are powerful, strong, and trustworthy, just like men. We're making a point, and as you proved, people are listening.

  4. Thanks guys! I love seeing strong heroines even if that means she has to learn it over the course of the story. Something inspiring about that.

  5. Aw, thanks for the shout out! I love strong girls - it's something I treasure about books these days (and was not very prevalent when I was a girl growing up, and needing to read these stories). #GirlPower!

    1. I love strong girls too. But strong can be finding courage to face our struggles, not just as alpha girl. :)

  6. eye yi yi, Laura! I just couldn't watch those videos, but I tell you, you're right. We need strong heroines in books, but even more, we need strong parents in real life loving their daughters and building them up on the inside.

    Hey, where's your old blog??? <3

    1. I know. Those kinds of videos are hard to watch. But it just made me realize that those feeling don't go away just because teens grow up. Adults deal with self image too.

  7. I love strong female characters. Great list of books - still some I haven't read yet!

  8. The phenomenon described in that post is so saddening. Beauty is not about what you look like, but how you live your life, and how you treat others. It's sickening to think that these poor kids are looking to somewhere as heartless as the internet to boost their egos.

    However, you make a great point about reading, and the characters in books. If only we could get these poor kids reading.

  9. I love strong female characters. Congrats, Laura!

  10. I totally sympathize with those questions in the videos. And it's sad they felt the need to ask. I love strong females, too. One of the reasons I loved the first Indiana Jones movie so much was because Marian was such a touch lady. Yes, she squealed and complained a lot but she ran and fought with him in a way practically unheard of in the films of that time.

  11. I love strong female characters too - such great role models for girls! I've read several of the ones you mentioned and I'm in the middle of Beautiful Demons right now - great story!

  12. Great article, Laura! I like girls who are both strong of character, but also strong of heart. I'm seeing a lot of this in YA fiction lately and I LOVE IT.

  13. I love writing and reading about strong girls, too. Here's another one for your list: Girls can work on cars.