FIFTY Shades of Grey, with its storyline of dominance over a young woman, may be capturing headlines, but to many it may be comforting to know there are other books being written which put central female figures in stronger positions.
When I speak to Northamptonshire resident, Isla Whitcroft, who has recently published her teen fiction book, Viper’s Nest, the third in the Cate Carlisle series, she mentions EL James’ Fifty Shades work, marvelling at the writer’s success, but standing by her own books which show a feisty female character.
Aimed at somewhat younger readers, the Cate Carlisle series (which also includes the titles Deep Water and Trapped) focuses on a central heroine who has a taste for travel and adventure and has a habit of becoming caught up in sinister investigations in glamorous locations.
Viper’s Nest sees Cate spending her holidays with her mum in LA, only to become caught up in a mystery involving some stolen Mexican artefacts.
Isla, who lives in Litchborough, Northamptonshire, said: “It is the third book I have written in two years. All three have come out within a year and that is quite something.
“Cate is a great character. In most girls’ books the heroine tends to me more involved in romance, fashion, school or family angst. The popularity of Hunger Games showed an overwhelming need for girls to have a strong role model and I’m hoping that is what is happening with Cate Carlisle.”
The books have proven popular, with Deep Water currently one of the works on the Summer Reading Challenge run by all UK libraries.
The books have also prompted a writing competition for children aged between seven and 18, in local libraries. The closing date is August 31. For more information on the competition, enquire at Northampton’s Central Library.