I love why author Amy Gettinger writes chick lit and think you will, too! (And, Amy, I don’t have violet eyes either 🙁 )
Why I Write Chick Lit
By Amy Gettinger
My father read John D. MacDonald and Mickey Spillane—hardboiled detective fiction—until late in life, when he started reading bodice rippers. (Might have been the Alzheimer’s, but LOL.) My mother read biographies and serious fiction. When I was nine, she unfortunately squashed my new, fun habit of reading Nancy Drew mysteries. (“They’re not literature! The library doesn’t even have them!”) She was also depressed most of her adult life. These people had lived through the Great Depression. Dad’s family knew the value of a good laugh in hard times, and from him, we kids inherited a better sense of humor than many, despite living on a teacher’s salary.
I read mostly academic stuff into my twenties, with the occasional cozy mystery or Regency novel. Sweet. Nice. Georgette Heyer, you rock, but your long-awaited kiss on page 200 got a bit dull. It was post women’s lib, after all. Bring on the sex! So I went to hotter romances in my thirties. Mail-order brides. Office romance. Cowboys lost in the snow. Old high school sweethearts rekindle the magic. But pretty soon, I had all the story lines memorized. I slogged through much painful indecision and lack of commitment from a slew of overly gorgeous characters with violet eyes (Seriously?) and an awful lot of thick lashes from under which to look at men. (Have you tried this? It’s impossible.) The main characters never seemed to have a serious thing to deal with in life except to resist this handsome new bad-boy devil in every scene. The sex scenes were good, but even that got old. (Should I admit that?)
I wasn’t overly gorgeous, and I didn’t have violet eyes. In my life, the frequency of sex was somewhere between that one kiss every 200 pages of the sweet romances and the gasping sex every three pages of the hot ones. I wanted to read about real (or realer) women with real issues and some confidence in dealing with them. I needed models for a lighter approach to my life. I needed a laugh as much as a groping scene—well, more. Then I found Helen Fielding and Sophie Kinsella and the early works of Mary Kay Andrews. Yes! Hilarity and brilliance and things going goofily wrong all around! Lucy and Ethel on the page! I could completely relate. Chick lit, addressing “the issues of modern womanhood, humorously and lightheartedly” according to Wikipedia, resonated so strongly with me that I considered writing some.
So I did.
In 2003, I read a monologue in a production of The Vagina Monologues at my college. The varied group of women involved inspired my first novel, Alice in Monologue Land. http://myBook.to/Alice. The story gained a mysterious life of its own and strayed far from reality, and it was oh, so fun to write.
Then, in 2000, Dad got dementia. A dignified high school teacher for years, he was now a complete mess. I had to dig deep to find any humor during that crushing time. But Dad himself had instilled a funny bone in me from day one, so in honor of him, I wrote Roll with the Punches. http://myBook.to/RWTP. In it, I tried to cast a lighter perspective on the whole dementia experience for readers—and myself. Dad had lived to laugh. He would have loved my folding his misery into a soft envelope of humor.
That’s why I write chick lit—to stay true to my humorous roots, to explore women’s realer lives, and sometimes to cast lightness where cultural perception is only of fear and misery. And also because I can add a bit of mystery—Nancy Drew, Bess, and George—to every book. No, it ain’t literature. It’s better.
Amy Gettinger, once a community college ESL instructor, now coaches reader’s theater for seniors. She lives in her dream house in Orange County, California underneath a eucalyptus windrow full of parrots and crows. For fun, she walks the beach cliff path at Laguna Beach with her husband and the dogs.
Her blog Raucous Eucalyptus, Piteous Poodles, is at amygettinger.com.
See her 2 novel links above. Her latest publication is a fall-themed novella + a summer-themed novelette, both sequels to Alice in Monologue Land, entitled Kiss My Sweet Skull. myBook.to/Skull
Novelista Girl – January 6, 2016
Readers first met sassy Kimberly Long in Blogger Girl, and now the feisty New Yorker is back in a sequel packed with quick wit, friendship, heartache, and, of course, romance.
Kim runs the most popular chick lit book blog on the web, loves playing house with her sexy lawyer boyfriend, Nicholas, and is finally pursuing her lifelong dream to become a published author. At first glance, her life is five-pink-champagne-flutes worthy.
But is there more to the story than meets the eye?
After hearing the phrase “chick lit is dead” more times than she’s read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim is driven to desperate measures, seeking advice from up-and-coming chick lit author, Hannah Marshak, her high school nemesis and resident “mean girl.” As if Kim doesn’t have enough on her plate balancing her secretarial duties with her blog Pastel Is the New Black, shrugging off the growing pile of agent rejections, and keeping her best friend from turning green over Kim’s budding friendship with Hannah, Nicholas is so blinded by his career ambitions, he doesn’t see that their home sweet home could use more than a dash of sugar.
This is the year when all of Kim’s dreams—professional and romantic—are supposed to come true, but will the story have a happily ever after, or will Kim end up unpublished and all alone?
This novel can be read as a sequel or as a standalone and is best accompanied by a cocktail, preferably a pink one.