I’m happy to welcome the lovely and talented Stacey Wiedower to the Celebration of Chick Lit Tour. In her post, Stacey digs deep to tell us why she adores chick lit. (And I appreciate the shout-out of my “chick lit with depth” novel, How Do You Know?)
Why Do I Adore Chick Lit?
You know, in mulling over this question, I’ve realized that right now is an ideal time to answer it. That’s because right now the world is looking like a dark and sinister place. There’s a lot of serious stuff going down … terrorist organizations, bombings and refugees, catastrophic environmental predictions, political dissension, murmurings of a third world war. People in my Facebook feed are sniping at each other in the comments and then hiding or unfriending each other, probably at this very minute.
It’s a serious world, and I want to participate in the discussion, not hide from it. But I also want to escape from time to time, and that’s when I pick up a book. When I read, I lose sight of my own worries and the problems of the wider world and I get to escape into someone else’s world for a little while. I become involved in the story – I laugh, I cry. My stomach clenches in fear and my heart skips a beat. I fall in love, over and over again.
A few months back, I read the Big, Serious Book that everybody was talking about. I like to read all sorts of books – chick lit, classics, best-sellers, the occasional mystery or thriller. But I read this Big, Serious Book that had won a Big, Serious Prize, and when I finished it I felt a little numb. It contained all the darkness and dankness you’d find on the news. It came complete with terrorist organizations and bombings and post-traumatic stress, and on many levels it was a brilliantly written, insightful story. But it didn’t resonate with me. It wasn’t an escape – in fact, it felt like a 900-page trap. When I finished it I couldn’t wait to throw myself on top of something fun. I’m pretty sure I devoured three chick lit novels in a row within a week of closing that book.
And that’s my point. I adore chick lit because it’s an escape from the everyday. I read enough dark, dank stories in The New York Times and The Atlantic and my friends’ Facebook feeds. When I pick up a book I want to get lost in Sophie Kinsella’s and Emily Giffin’s and Mary Kay Andrews’ latest imaginings. I want to smile. I want to laugh. I want to get indignant and get embarrassed and get my life together and get the guy.
By saying this, I don’t mean to say chick lit can’t be insightful or deep or meaty. That’s far from true –if you want proof, read Meredith Schorr! (In my own review of How Do You Know?, I call it “chick lit with depth.”) My favorite chick lit novels feature multi-layered characters with big dreams who make big mistakes and claw their way back from them. They’re not simple stories, but they are fun. They’re also gripping, and they’re funny, and they pull me in and take me along for the ride in a way that nothing else can.
I adore chick lit not because it’s simple, but because it’s smart. Think about this: It’s a bigger challenge to make someone laugh in today’s world than it is to make someone sad or mad. In fact, if you ask me it’s a damn noble cause. I think most chick lit writers have been accused of “wasting our talent” by choosing to write funny, romantic fiction aimed at women. But I know women who’ve made it through terrible situations by losing themselves in a good book. I also know that when I’m having a bad day or when I’m pissed off or even when I’m devastated by some sort of heavy news, I can pick up a novel by one of my favorite authors and change my frame of mind.
And that is No Small Thing.
My buy links:
30 First Dates: http://amzn.to/15LtfNY
Now a Major Motion Picture: http://amzn.to/1R9wsHV
Santa’s Little Mistake (a holiday short story): http://amzn.to/1R9wsHV
How to Look Happy (coming January 7, 2016!): http://bit.ly/1TbA3I4
Stacey Wiedower started her career as a reporter at a daily newspaper before following her passion to interior design school. She spent three years at a firm with bizarre similarities to “Designing Women,” and now she funnels all of those experiences into her work as a full-time writer. Along with magazine articles, website copy and a weekly feature called My New Home, she writes romantic comedies, and the zany characters she’s met poke their heads into her stories from time to time. Stacey lives in Tennessee with her husband, also a writer, and a son who’s inherited their overactive imaginations.
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.