What I’m Writing? What is Chick Lit Anyway?

Taking the Guesswork out of Genres-

Chick Lit, to be exact

I call myself an author of Chick Lit books but there may be some out there who don’t exactly understand what that is.

What is Chick Lit?

When I publish my books, there are several categories I can choose to put them in before I hit the magic button to publish.

  • Chick Lit
  • Women’s Fiction
  • Romantic Comedy
  • Contemporary Women

What’s the difference, you ask?

I think my novels are best classified as Chick Lit, so we’ll start with that. Chick Lit is often defined as books about “stilettos and sexy careers”; women who meet a man who they are destined to fall in love with, no matter how messed up their lives are.

That may be the case, but Chick Lit has so much more to offer.

The characters come in every shape and size and are usually flawed in some way. But no one wants to read about the perfect heroine who has everything going for her, do they? Chick Lit stories tell the tale of personal growth of a woman; there’s no need for a happy ending (HEA) but by the end page, their lives are better than they were at the beginning.

Romance isn’t mandatory, but when it’s included, sex often follows.  But unlike romance novels, the love story isn’t the central focus. And the heat factor can be anywhere from chaste kisses to serious sexy time.

Chick Lit are stories that appeal to women – mainly because they all have one thing in common; the protagonists are women. And it’s good that they have that one thing in common, because chick lit reads range from light and fluffy romance to laugh out loud comedy and gritty tales of heartbreak.

Look at my books, which all fall under the genre of chick lit.

I’ve actually been hesitant to call my books Chick Lit because of the negative stereotypes that have plagued the genre. The origin of the genre was undoubtedly Bridget Jones’ Diary, but after the massive success of the book, the market quickly became over-saturated with authors trying to push their own version of a messed up woman with as many issues as shoes onto a public who was becoming increasingly tired of the British singleton.

Thankfully, these days chick lit novels are more varied and better written.

Yes, better written!

Of course, there are badly written books in every genre, including the Holy Grail of the written word, literary fiction! Chick Lit, with its proclivity for fast-paced, informal and fun pages that often tells rather than shows, has always been quick to find criticisms, often from a public who has never even read a chick lit book!

What it boils down to, is Chick Lit books are about women. They are fresh and fun and always contemporary – the hottest careers, latest fashions (and yes, shoes) and the men often mirror the latest A actors. They have a rap for being frivolous, and irreverent, but should leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling for the characters.

The genre may not be for everyone, but you should definitely try it out before you criticize.

My plan was to compare the genres but this post got away from me. Stay tuned for the next posts on Women’s fiction and rom-com.

And keep reading. Keep reading anything!

(But remember my books are good!)

Monday Musings – Books and Wine

monday-musings

 

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

Share the link to your own Monday Musings or just leave a comment! 

It was National Wine Day yesterday so to celebrate, here’s my Monday Musings on the subject!

 Books and Wine

I was tidying up my basement last week.  How is that exciting, you ask?  Well, my basement is where I keep my bookshelves, and also my wine.  These are two of my favourite things, so I got to thinking – has anyone ever tried to compare the two?

TBR pileLooking at my T-be-read pile, I seem to have to a wide, variety of taste in books from Nora Roberts to Stephen King, Ami MacKay to Nelson DeMille.  When I looked at the smooth bottles resting on their racks, I noticed I have accumulated a diverse selection of wine as well.  What do I like best?  Well, that depends on my mood, where I’m reading and what I’ve read before.  Same as the kind of wine I like to drink.

Consider historical fiction, one of my favourite genres to read.  I’ve always been a history buff, and it’s either go back to school and get a graduate degree in the subject (which unless I want to teach, not sure I’m ever going to use) or read historical fiction to get my fix.  For me, reading about Tudor England or the life of Marie Antoinette is like a nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon.  I’ve heard good things about the bio of Cleopatra in my pile, so let’s hope that’s like a smooth, full-bodied Amarone for me to enjoy.

I used to read a lot of romance novels when I was younger and I still have a few of them in my collection.  They were easy to read, quick to get through.  I call this my white zinfandel phase.  Sugary sweet and easy to drink – just like the latest Nora Roberts or Danielle Steele.  Actually, I will still pick up a Nora Roberts novel now and again, so we’ll say she’s like a Pinot Grigio – light and refreshing and great for summer.

I also used to read quite a bit of chick-lit.  My first novel, Baby! Baby? Baby?! is chick-lit and while I love it with all my heart, I know it’s not for everyone. Kind of like a bottle of Gewurztraminer, or a sweet Riesling.  The new Emily Giffen I’m reading now – I’ll compare that to an off-dry Ontario Riesling – not as sweet and with a little more body.

I’m reading more and more women’s fiction these days; not surprising since Coming Home is women’s fiction! And like my taste in books, my taste in wine has evolved too.  I’ll reach for a glass of New Zealand Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc or a Bonterra Chardonnay along with my women’s fiction novel now.  Another genre of go-to books; same for the wine.

I also like Young Adult novels these days.  They are easy to read and entertaining – sort of like a bottle of Beaujolais; it’s not always a great wine but you can always get it down.

My pile of thrillers, suspense and Star Wars sci-fi?  Let’s put that in the Argentinean Malbec or an ItalianValpolicella – always a good choice for me but not for everyday and not for everyone.

Also, I don’t drink a great deal of shiraz.  It’s too full-bodied for me – sort of like how I tend to stay away from serious literary fiction, especially the kind where the protagonist has insurmountable issues and the book never ends well for them.  Too heavy for me, unless it comes highly recommended!

I’ll finish with what I consider the perfection comparison – sparkling wine and erotica.  You can get some cheap stuff where the bubbles don’t amount to much, but you can also get a champagne-style read – when it’s good, it’s really good!

What do you think?  Do you favourite reads have a favourite drink to go along with them?