As a writer of Chick Lit, I am so grateful that there are different kinds of readers. Not everyone will get my humor, nor do they like first-person writing — and that’s okay, because there are plenty of people who do. I remember, many years back, when writing “What a Girl Wants” there was a joke in the book about Deney Terrio. My editor said to me, “I think that’s a very small audience who will get that reference.”
And she was right! But I knew the readers who did would greatly appreciate it — and I was correct. Sometimes, you have to listen to your instincts and create what you were meant to create.
The publishing industry is a fickle soul. I am grateful to have stayed alive in this market for over 20 years — but now they tell me publishing is going deeper. Readers aren’t into lighthearted romps — and the woman should save herself — a la “Frozen.”
My heroines are modeled after my favorites in fiction — Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind;” Elizabeth Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice;” Bathsheba Everdene in “Far from the Madding Crowd;” and Meggie Cleary in “The Thorn Birds.” These aren’t wilting violent heroines. They are strong and very forward for their respective time periods. However, I love a heroine who can laugh at herself. Life is too hard to not take it lightly.
As a reader, I would say I love a dramedy. A book that takes one to dark places, but allows you to rejoice in the lighthearted parts of suffering. Because the truth is, we all have to be grateful for the light when we are in the midst of darkness. This may sound odd, but that’s why I liked Ann Rule’s true crime books — because she didn’t concentrate on the evil — she focused on the victims and how their lives were forever changed by darkness.
So I honor that publishing is going to a deeper level. I admire writers who can do that — but I have to protect my smooshy heart and my sensitive nature. I can’t go to that place and I’m glad there are still readers out there who want to giggle and focus on the lighter side of life. What about you? What kind of adventure to you like to go on when reading?