Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Guest post: Josephine Angelini - Inspirational women

'Starcrossed' by Josephine Angelini is one of my favourite debuts of the year.  It's a divine mix of mythology, romance, mystery and action and is an addictive and compelling read.  It's sure to be a massive summer hit and there are already legions of fans waiting for the next magical installment.

If you haven't read it yet, then don't wait!  Go and pick up a copy now!

If you're a sucker for gorgeous cover art then take a look at these amazing covers for the book.  You will definitely want these prettying up your bookshelves.

'Starcrossed' features some amazing female characters.  There's the incredible Helen Hamilton, the main character of the novel, her best friend and resident badass Claire Aoki, as well as Cassandra and Ariadne, the beautiful and powerful members of the Delos family.  These women are all tough, feisty and independent individuals and stand out as being among some of the best female protagonists I've ever read about.  Josephine herself grew up with seven siblings, six of them sisters and I'm lucky enough to have her here today talking about the amazing women that have influenced her throughout her life.  

So, without further ado, over to Josephine! 

I have a lot of women in my life.  I always have.  I was born the youngest of eight siblings and there's only one boy nestled right in the middle of all of us.  For those of you who don't like to do math while reading (like me) I'll translate.  I have six big sisters, and I do mean big.  I'm 5'9" and I'm the littlest of the bunch. 

We Angelini girls are all tall, and since we're half Italian, we all have a ton of hair.  When you ask most people to list what homey smells bring them back to their youth they usually say things like cookies baking in the oven.  Not me.  My childhood smells like hairspray baking on a curling iron.

And it sounds like Led Zeppelin.  I was the only eight-year old I knew that could recite all the words to "Stairway to Heaven".  That's because my sisters raised me right.  In the morning when I would get up to pee, they would lock me out of the bathroom, turn off the tape recorder (this was the 80's) and make me sing the next line of whatever Led Zeppelin song they happened to be playing at the time in order to get in.  I learned fast.  

I've noticed that people comment a lot about my female characters, saying that I write strong women.  There's a very simple explanation for why I do this, one very near and dear to me.  My sisters would pummel the daylights out of me if I wrote a weak one.

Of course, now that we're all grown-ups and pretty much civilized, the pummeling isn't physical.  It's much, much worse.  It's "the look".  There's nothing like six girls, all raised ultra Catholic, to shame the pants off someone.  Get them all in the same room - giving "the look" together - and I'm pretty sure they could glare a perfectly healthy person to death.

I'm no dummy.  I know my sisters have a very good reason for forcing me to respect women on the whole.  it's because they want me to contribute to a world where women are valued as much as men.  They want me to dig a little deeper and question the way women in our society are treated and demand better for the future.  They love me with all their hearts, and they want me to respect myself as a woman. 

I write strong women because I love and respect the strong women in my life. 

I write strong women because my sisters raised me right.   


  1. Great post! I loved Starcrossed and Josephine is truly inspirational!

  2. What a wonderful guest post! I loved reading it and I'm really glad that Josephine was able to be surrounded by some many great women and also able to write them into her books.

  3. Led Zepplin - that is one of my all time fave songs :D 6 sisters must be wonderful. Great post :D :D


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