4 Jun 2015


A series that is 'one part travel, one part history and five parts history. I think fellow blogger, Kelly, summed up my thoughts perfectly when she commented ...

'I really do think this is a series that, as a young teen, I would have been waiting anxiously for each new instalment'. 

Feisty, resourceful, independent, smart, Kitty Hawk, the intrepid heroine of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency, is rapidly becoming one of my favourite characters in this wonderfully quirky series that combines some of my favourite genres.

Today I'm delighted to welcome Iain Reading, author of the series, to Pen and Paper.

Why not Kevin Hawk?

Thank you so much to Pen and Paper for letting me come on this blog and share some of my thoughts.  And in particular for getting my brain humming by posing the question: "Why Kitty and not Kevin?"  (IE Why is the main character of my Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series a girl named Kitty Hawk and not a boy named Kevin Hawk.)

I have to admit that I loved this question.  It really got me thinking.

On the surface of things the answer is obvious.  The name "Kitty Hawk" comes from a small town of the same name in North Carolina which is famous for being the place where the Wright Brothers made the first controlled powered flight of a man-made aircraft.  It's a suitable name for a young pilot who has decided to fly around the world.  It's also a girl's name, not a boy's name.  Sorry Kevin Hawk.

But there's something deeper than that.  Of the three book series I have started writing thus far, all of them have very strong female lead characters.  And I think that is just simply because boys are very boring.  Yawn.  Another boy main character in a book.

Okay, I know there are other female leads out there in book world, but hopefully you get my point.  Boys are blasé.  Girls kick ass.  Boys default to hero status, even when they don't deserve it.  Girls seem to have to earn their stripes as a heroine.  And that's not really fair is it?

Not that ANY of this had anything to do with why I decided on Kitty Hawk instead of Kevin.  At the very heart of everything the simple fact is that Kitty Hawk – girl pilot, kick ass heroine, solver of mysteries – just felt right.

Kevin Hawk, on the other hand....  sounds more like Kitty's annoying younger brother.

- Iain Reading.

Thank you so much Iain for not only taking the time to write this piece but also for giving me the opportunity to read the Kitty Hawk books.

  • The Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency website can be found here.
  • My reviews of book one, Kitty Hawk And The Curse Of The Yukon Gold, here, books 2: Kitty Hawk And The Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost, 3: Kitty Hawk And The Icelandic Intrigue, and 4: Kitty Hawk And The Tragedy Of R.M.S Titanic here.
  • Thanks to Iain and Kelsey over at Book Publicity Services for kindly sending me the fifth instalment, Kitty Hawk And The Mystery Of The Masterpieces, which I shall be reading and reviewing soon. 


Natasha Hill said...

This series sounds really good, I will have to look this up! - Tasha

Literary Feline said...

What a great question, Tracy, and a wonderful response by the author. It's so easy to find books with boys as the protagonist, and I love it when I come across a book with a girl as the lead. Especially in children's literature. As a child, this would have been a sure favorite series of mine had it been around back then. I've always had a fascination with flying and airplanes and a girl detective on top of it? I don't know that my daughter will be as impressed when she's old enough to get into the series, but I will be glad to have the opportunity to make it available for her if she's interested. I hope she is. We need more strong female characters in children's literature--especially ones that do not fit the girl stereotypes we so often find.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Nice post! I really love seeing more girl heroines in stories like these. It's important, especially for younger readers.

Kelly said...

Thanks to both Tracy and Iain Reading for bringing us this interesting post. I always like getting a little insight into an author's reasons for what they write... whether it's background on a story, personality traits for their characters, or as in this case, why they created the hero/heroine they did.

Looking forward to the review of book five. From the title alone, it sounds like it might be the best yet!

Suko said...

Wonderful guest post, Tracy! Kitty Hawk sounds like a fabulous series!

kimbacaffeinate said...

What a great question, and well answered. This sounds like a delightful series to share with young readers.

Romance Reader said...

Sounds great series.

Brian Joseph said...

The series does sound great.

Kudo for making the main character a girl. As alluded to, boy protagonists are the default for writers. Diversity is a good thing.

Gina R said...

Oh my that was TOO much fun! Why not Kitty indeed! Thanks for sharing guys!

Betty Manousos said...

sounds like a great series!
brilliant guest post, tracy!

big hugs~