What is Chick Lit Anyway?

Hi there, Sugar here.

My debut novel is due out tomorrow and while I’m excited to finally see it on the shelves there’s something I’m puzzled about. People, a lot of people, have been referring my book as chick-lit. I wrote a romance novel, or at least I set out to write a romance novel. I think I wrote a romance novel.

But maybe I didn’t. Wikipedia defines Chick Lit as genre fiction which addresses issues of modern womanhood, often humorously and lightheartedly.Although it sometimes includes romantic elements, chick lit is generally not considered a direct subcategory of the romance novel genre, because the heroine’s relationship with her family or friends is often just as important as her romantic relationships.

So let’s break that definition down.

In Dangerous Curves Ahead issues of modern womanhood are discussed. Things women my age are often faced with: wanting more out of life, dealing with bad break ups, body issues, financial issues.

The book is humorous. At least I think so. My heroine’s relationships with her friends and family are extremely important in the book. Especially the relationship with her sister. So it ticks that box too.

And then there is the cover which is a cartoon and very pink and very cute. I haven’t seen many other romance novel covers like it.

At first I was alarmed by the label. Salon.com in a 2012 posted an article on it’s site titled The Death of Chick Lit. Editors and publishers were running and hiding from the genre, deeming it no longer publishable. I even heard an editor at a conference tell a writer not to call her work Chick Lit, because nobody would look at it. So why would I want to be associated with a dying genre?

But on the other hand best sellers Emily Giffin, Meg Cabot and Sophie Kinsella are in the chick lit author category and that’s not bad company to keep. And their books are selling, AND being made into movies.

I wrote more than about steamy sex and bare chested men and long smoldering looks, but does that mean my book gets kicked out of the romance category. I’m all for a bare chested man who can make panties drop with a single glance, but that’s not the book I wrote. A lot of romance novelist write about more than that Kristan Higgins, Jude Deveraux, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Susan Wiggs. We as a group of people are more than just mommy porn and pages and pages of sex. (But there’s nothing wrong with that either.)

I don’t have a problem being grouped in with chick lit writers, but at my core I am a romance novelist, because happily ever afters and the journey of two people falling in love is what I love to put on the page. And damn proud of it. So don’t that away my label, because I worked damn hard to get it,

So what are your thoughts on chick lit? Any and all comments are welcome.

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