Why does author Laura Kilmartin write chick lit? Find out here!

Thank you, Laura Kilmartin, for taking over my blog today and telling us why you love chick lit. I agree wholeheartedly with your definition of chick lit, and I found your post as interesting and engaging to read as your delightful first novel, Next Year I’ll Be Perfect. I am anxiously awaiting book 2!!

 

Meredith – congratulations on the release of Novelista Girl!  I loved Blogger Girl and can’t wait to read your new book!  Thank you also for inviting me to post to your blog today and share why I like writing chick lit. Before I discuss my own writing style, though, I want to share what I consider to be characteristics of the chick lit genre.

At the highest level, chick lit novels feature female protagonists who try to overcome some kind of obstacle or achieve a goal that is relatable to readers.  These novels often – but not always – include a romantic element, but unlike romance novels, chick lit love interests are generally important more for what they bring to or reflect in the main character.  Most chick lit is written in a light-hearted narrative style and almost always ends on a positive note for the main character. This doesn’t mean that the main character always succeeds in achieving the goals set for herself, but she is satisfied in the way life has unfolded and has learned something new along the way.

Now, this is just my definition of chick lit, and I’m sure there are dozens of incredibly well-written exceptions out there that prove the rule.  In fact, if you poll ten different chick lit readers and authors, you could come up with different definitions, which I’d love to discuss in the comments.

But back to the original question:  Why do I enjoy writing chick lit?

First and foremost, I love to craft a happy ending.

I’ve read and will continue to read wonderful books where things don’t end well for the main characters.

I mean, Beth March dies, people! My 12 year old self was not prepared for that heartache, but I love Little Women all the same.

When I write, though, I make sure that the people I’ve come to care about will have their happily-ever-after.  That doesn’t mean that bad things don’t happen throughout the course of the story.  In fact, bad things have to happen so that readers feel satisfied that the main character has earned the happiness that has come her way.  That also doesn’t mean that the main character will achieve the happy ending she set after at the beginning of the novel.  Plot twists and turns often take her in an entirely different direction, but I like writing stories that ultimately ends in a positive way.

Another reason I write chick lit is because I like writing main characters who are likeable, but flawed. I’ve read a few novels where the main character is perfect, and while bad things may happen, her actions and reactions are always of the pitch-perfect, Papa-John-Walton-would-approve variety.

I don’t know about you, but that isn’t real life to me.

People are flawed.  They overreact. They get cranky and say things they don’t really mean.  They misread situations because they don’t have the benefit of hindsight or knowing what is going on in other peoples’ heads. They also leap in head first to defend their friends without worrying about petty annoyances like facts. Real women worry about office politics, raising healthy children and ways to express their social consciousness.  They also worry about looking too hippy in their new little black dress and wonder why the other soccer moms didn’t like the status they just posted on Facebook.  Writing real, balanced women is both incredibly challenging and so much fun when you get it right.

 

Finally, I love to write in the chick lit style which is light-hearted, but not light.  Breezy and whimsical at times, but always set on a substantial foundation.  There is humor, but not at the expense of the emotional depth of the story.

In a nutshell, life is fun and life is funny and the way I enjoy writing humor peppered with pop culture references gravitates toward a style that is common in the chick lit genre.  Here’s an example from my next novel when the main character returns to find her paralegal rushing to tell her that their office is in crisis:

As I walked through the door to my office reception area, Natalie leapt from the front desk and came running toward me. I took an involuntary step backward, fearing she might play Dino to my Fred Flintstone returning home for the day.

Like a dog sensing the edges of an invisible fence she’d been trained not to cross, she quivered a few inches shy of throwing herself at me in a full body hug. “I am so glad to see you! David Hastings is on the phone and Eric is in your office.”

 

Something serious is about to go down for our main character, but I didn’t have to write about it in a serious way.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that a good chick lit story is like taking a day hike up a mountain.  The main character takes along her best friends, they share some laughs along the way, and even though she encounters some barriers and may even need to change paths a few times, the reader isn’t too worried, knowing that she will eventually reach the summit.

Except, of course, I don’t really like to hike.

But I do like to read and write about people hiking. While I’m on my couch. Covered with an afghan. Drinking tea.

LauraKilmartin

Laura Kilmartin

lkilmartin@msn.com

http://laurakilmartin.com

@LauraCKilmartin

NYIBP

 

 

 

 

 

 

Novelista Girl – Coming 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.

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book birthdays, book trailers, book publishing deals: Oh My!

My blogs for the last two months have been depressing, I know. That’s because I’ve been depressed. Sorry 😦  Despite continuing to cope with sadness over losing my closest friend, there are some wonderful things happening on the book front. My friend would chastise me if I was too busy missing him to properly celebrate the positive in my life. He was constantly urging me to smile more and be happy. As a result, my blog this week will focus on all good things. Hooray!

First off, my debut novel Just Friends with Benefits is celebrating two birthdays this month. You might be asking how one book can have two birthdays. The answer is that the book was originally published by Wings ePress on September 1, 2010.  After requesting the rights back, it was re-released by my current publisher Booktrope on September 2, 2013. Woila—two birthdays! I’m thrilled to report that since being re-published, it has sold over 12,000 copies! In honor of the birthday(s), my publisher is reducing the price of the ebook to 99 cents on all platforms from September 8th to September 13th. Spread the word if you can.

Happy Birthday to my Book Baby!

Happy Birthday to my Book Baby!

Secondly, my friend and fellow author Erin Cawood created this adorable trailer for Blogger Girl with her production company On the Edge Fiction and it’s currently live on Youtube:

Check it out!

Thirdly, we have a publication date for my fourth novel—December 2, 2014! I’ve already been through the first round of edits with my editor, Ally Bishop. At the same time, my cover artist, Loretta Matson, is working tirelessly on creating an amazing cover with the input of my rockstar book manager, Jennifer Gilbert. I’m offering comments and opinions as well, but with those two on my team, I know my cover is in the best possible hands. I can probably reveal the title of the book at this point, but I think I’ll wait for a future blog post. I need to give you a reason to keep reading 🙂

Finally, I have big, huge, COLOSSAL news to share. Last week my publisher, Booktrope entered into a new business relationship with Amazon, beginning with a mutual licensing deal that deepens Booktrope’s ties with Amazon to a much more significant degree. As a result of this deal, Amazon will reissue the ebook versions of A State of Jane and Blogger Girl under Amazon’s Imprint.  I’m so honored that two of my books were included in this deal that also affects 13 other Booktrope titles, including Grace Unexpected by Gale Martin, Next Year I’ll Be Perfect by Laura Kilmartin, and Pulled Beneath by Marni Mann—three books I adored. I hope this new development will mean big things for all involved and, of course, more book sales! If you would like to learn more about this new relationship, here is the link to the official Booktrope announcement: http://booktrope.com/2014/09/05/breaking-news-booktrope-and-amazon/

That’s all for now. Thank you for your continued support of my writing and I will keep you posted as this unfolds!

Booktrope Books and Bubbles Binge Giveaway!

BB&B

Together with fellow Booktrope authors Gale Martin and Laura Kilmartin, I’m excited to offer this fantastic giveaway to one lucky winner:

A signed paperback copy of my novel Blogger Girl, Gale’s novel, Grace Unexpected  and Laura’s novel, Next Year I’ll be Perfect (a brief synopsis for each book can be found below), lavender chamomile bubble bath, relaxing lavender foam bath, and patchouli and sweet orange foam bath, a lush lavender bath scrubbie, and a $10 Amazon gift card. Total value is $95–all mailed to you by December 25th.

prize

Instructions on how to enter follow my post below on my favorite ways to unwind!  

I get stressed out often. I think I might have been born with anxiety! When I was younger, I worried about my grades in school, whether the mean girls would be nice to me in class, if a certain guy would talk to me etc. These days, I stress over how much I need to do and how little time I have to do it. How can I keep up with my full time job while trying to write a fourth novel and promote three others?  When am I going to have time to exercise, spend time with friends, catch up on sleep, run my errands etc.?  And I’m single and very much hoping to find that special someone to spend my life with and I worry that I never will or that I already did and lost him. Calgon, take me away!

Ok, I probably just gave away my age, but let’s just agree that I do not live a stress-free existence. But, really, who does? It’s just not possible in this day and age and so all we can do is manage our stress and take time to decompress whenever we can. These are some of my favorite ways to wind down:

Sleeping – Sometimes the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning is when I will be able to get back in bed! I cherish those nights when I get cozy under my sheets, curl myself into the fetal position and close my eyes for as long as my body requires it without the necessity of setting my alarm.  There is something so special about having nowhere to be in the morning and knowing that I can stay in bed the entire next day if I want. I usually don’t, but having the option is simply fantastic!

Writing – believe it or not, writing is my best escape from my real life issues. I get so lost in my characters that I truly forget my troubles.

Running – Running truly clears my head and when I get in my groove and achieve a runner’s high, it’s glorious.

The above are some of the ways I like to unwind but my absolute favorite is a “me night” involving me, a glass (or 2) of wine, take-out or delivery from my neighborhood sushi restaurant and “girly” television/movies. I particularly enjoy watching the series finale of Sex and the City on DVD or a marathon of Felicity or one of my favorite chick flicks like Bridget Jones’s  Diary, When Harry Met Sally or 13 Going on 30.  It’s especially awesome after writing 1000 words of my WIP, running 11 miles and knowing that I don’t have to wake up early the next morning  🙂

sushi

SATC

For your chance to win the amazing prize described above, enter the Rafflecopter drawing here:

The contest is open from December 5th-December 15th!

About the books:

Blogger Girl – Kimberly Long has two passions: her successful chick lit blog and Nicholas, her handsome colleague down the hall. But when her high school nemesis pops onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book and eyes for Nicholas, Kim has to make some quick revisions to her own life story.

Grace Unexpected – When her longtime boyfriend dumps her instead of proposing, Grace vows the sexless Shaker ways. She appears to be on the fast track to a marriage proposal…until secrets revealed deliver a death rattle to the Shaker Plan.

Next Year I’ll be Perfect – Sarah’s discovery of a list her younger self put together outlining what she wanted to achieve by the age of 30 turns her world upside down.

booktrope