Today the blog tour for Diane Messidoro’s début novel, How To Keep a Boy as a Pet, is stopping here, and I am delighted to present you with Diane’s Top 5 Inspiring Role Models.

 My Top 5 Inspiring Role Models
by Diane Messidoro
Psst… Meet me behind the teen fiction shelves… I’ve got a confession – just between us…

When Library Mice kindly invited me to write a guest post about my top five inspiring role models when I was a teenager, I thought ‘Yay – easy, I admire so many amazing, brilliant, creative women, I’ll whisk that off in 15 minutes!’

But this is what happened. I sat down to write, and I thought… And I thought and I thought. But my brain still looked like this…

Then it hit me – ARGH! As a teenager, are you ready for this (I’m still blushing)… I didn’t actually have any role models!

You know that feeling you get when you’ve dozed through 50 minutes of maths then suddenly the teacher shouts…

‘YOU! Square route of 4,000,389.24 – NOW!’

 Yes? Well, I felt exactly like that. Why did I ever promise to write about role models? Why had I even written a role model into How to Keep a Boy as a Pet (my heroine Circe Shaw is inspired by the journalist Jess Bradley).

Then, about 100 hours later, something else hit me. It was partly because I didn’t have a really strong female role model as a teen that I got into so much boy trouble. I’d given Circe what I’d never had!

So, big PHEW! Now I know what I can give you too – not just Jess Bradley (though she’s a pretty good role model, if I say so myself) but a question to ask yourself that no-one ever asked me as a teen, and I wish they had…

Who would you like to be a bit like?

Who makes you nod like mad when they speak, or bend double with laughter, or wish you could paint like that, or write like that, or sing or dance or do that fascinating job?

Have a good think: read books (naturally!); flick through magazines, papers, blogs; watch some TV; talk to your teachers, ask your friends.

Once you’ve picked your people, put up a board with photos, quotes, articles, whatever you like – stuff that might inspire you if a boy’s been mean, or a friend’s been tricky, or your mum doesn’t ‘get’ you, or you just can’t imagine your dreams ever coming true.

I’m going to do it too, I’m still not sure who my role models will be as I’m as new to this as you, but this is what my shortlist looks like now: Caitlin Moran (very funny rock chick/writer who sticks up for us girls); Adele (of course, how could she not be?); Bjork (singer, actor, activist, bonkers!); J K Rowling (you might have heard of her); Kat Banyard (writer and activist); Jane Campion (film director); Sylvie Guillem (dancer). You could look them up, too, you might just find someone for

Good luck – have fun!


Thank you so much Diane, what a great post!

How to Keep a Boy as a Pet is part of Egmont Books’ new imprint for teens, Electric monkey. For your chance to win a copy of How to Keep a Boy as a Pet and the cover boy’s T-shirt, go here.