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DrRita
03-05-2005, 08:42 PM
Hey all you fiction writers--
Since around 50% of all fiction read is romance, I am seriously thinking of writing for the genre. However I'm so new and know it's a BIG and extremely diverse field. Soooo....
I am interested in investigating the hot new chic-lit market and wondered if any of you have read/would recomend any of the releases and authors. Also, what is your general opinion of the genre.
Thanks.

Betty W01
03-06-2005, 01:28 AM
Christian chick lit is OK, if a bit fluffy, but chick lit in general (which is what really sells) tends to be pretty steamy (if not downright raunchy). I was asked to review one by a fairly well-known writer, and halfway through it, I had to say, "Sorry, I can't." Not that it wasn't well-written, but I would not have been comfortable recommending it for reading.

TemlynWriting
03-06-2005, 01:54 AM
I love the witty kind of chick-lit, not really steamy, but full of wit, like Bridget Jones (though there is language and such there, but I wouldn't classify it as "steamy," because it's not like a some steamy romance novels). It would be nice if there could be more witty stuff out there, minus the steamy stuff. :)

Ralyks
03-06-2005, 07:53 PM
Is Chick Lit synonymous with Romance? I thought they were different genres. Though Chick Lit often has romance, it is not primarily about the romance, but about the emotional struggles and personal development of the female protagonist and very often about female friendships. The romance (which may or may not be a part of the book) is subservient to these other themes.



In general I don't personally care for most Chick Lit. I did enjoy the Bridget Jones books, however, because of their wit. I love books that make me laugh. Most Chick Lit I've encountered, however, seems maudlin and appears to be populated by self-obsessed and self-pitying characters to whom I really can't much relate. (I couldn't relate to Bridget Jones either—I just found the books funny!)



And, although I write what is best classified as "historical romance," I'm not a huge reader of the romance genre myself. I like writing in the genre because it it is a good vehicle for drama, satire, and dialogue that explores weightier themes, but most (not all) modern historical romances I have come across are really rather formulaic and not that interesting to me. I like the "romance" classics—the works of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte, and even George Elliot. Here, romance is a key feature of the plot, but romance is not really the defining genre of the books.

DrRita
03-07-2005, 12:47 AM
Skylar,

I'm finding out that romance and chick lit are not synonymous and they deal with different issues. Thanks for your input. I don't read mainstream romance nor have I read any chick lit. I'm hoping to do a little reading to see if it's a genre I might like to try my hand at. We'll see, it may not appeal to me either.

Vipersniper
03-27-2005, 05:18 AM
:Guitar: I read a book published by Harlequin of all publishers that was very Christian in content and a relief to me. It was about a woman who was married and her young husband died of cancer. They wanted children and so she went through the artificial insemination thing. It was a beautiful story and a romance developed between her and her brother-in-law. As a cancer survivor myself I found this one book to be a keeper. The scenes between her and her second husband were in extreme good taste. It had more of a story content to it without a sex act on every page which I hate.

InspiredWriter
04-06-2006, 08:57 AM
I just read two very good books in this genre and wanted to add my thoughts to this thread. I read Dreaming in Black and White and Dreaming in Technicolor both by Laura Jensen Walker. She has written several books (maybe a dozen) that were nonfiction. She is a very funny writer!

I was not expecting much from these books but was quite surprised. They were delightful. There was a good message, but it was gently woven into the storyline. I will read Laura Jensen Walker's next book, I think it is Reconstructing Natalie, a fiction book about a breast cancer patient. Laura is a breast cancer survivor.

I will be reviewing the two books I read in an upcoming issue of Writers Block. Anyone interested can view it here: www.Writers-Block.info (http://www.Writers-Block.info), most likely in the May edition.

Any other good Christian Chic lit out there?

Happy Reading,

Robin Bayne
04-06-2006, 08:13 PM
:Guitar: I read a book published by Harlequin of all publishers that was very Christian in content and a relief to me. It was about a woman who was married and her young husband died of cancer. They wanted children and so she went through the artificial insemination thing. It was a beautiful story and a romance developed between her and her brother-in-law. As a cancer survivor myself I found this one book to be a keeper. The scenes between her and her second husband were in extreme good taste. It had more of a story content to it without a sex act on every page which I hate.

Sounds good, what was the title? Also a survivor, I find these stories intersting.

The last I heard on chick-lit was that the market was now saturated, and it will be harder to sell now.

HoosierCowgirl
04-07-2006, 05:39 AM
Well there goes my "Bridget Jones Goes Country" WIP. Fiddlesticks. LOL

But seriously -- saturated?

ysic
ann

InspiredWriter
04-07-2006, 08:38 AM
It seems to me that a newer genre could only be saturated if few people are interested in it. I think that in the Christian market, Chic Lit is just getting started. Am I wrong?

I have only read two books in this genre and am willing to read more (a few more at least) so, I am not personally saturated!

And if it is saturated now, would it still be next year? Who knows. I don't plan to write Chic Lit, I am merely reviewing these two books for an upcoming edition of Writer's Block.

Blessings,

RoccoMom
04-07-2006, 10:04 PM
An agent just responded to my query by advising me that Chick Lit is harder to sell now. It seems every genre is harder to sell.


My chick lit novel would actually fall under the "quirky" category, rather than "steamy". I'm still waiting to hear from the one full and three partials that are still out there, but it seems to me if it were such a hard sell, would agents still request to see it?

RoccoMom
04-07-2006, 10:06 PM
I love the witty kind of chick-lit, not really steamy, but full of wit, like Bridget Jones (though there is language and such there, but I wouldn't classify it as "steamy," because it's not like a some steamy romance novels). It would be nice if there could be more witty stuff out there, minus the steamy stuff. :)

I think my "Confessions of a Mad Soap Diva" would be witty. Believe me, it's not steamy! I don't believe i know how to write steamy.....maybe seamy......

L.Jones
04-07-2006, 11:37 PM
coming late to the party and not sure where to jump in but...

1)if you don't read Romance of any kind then it's premature to try to write it. It is a field populated by writers who LOVE their genre and while it dominates the market, it's is almost dominated by writers - when you submit a romance query yours in one of Thousands they get in a single month, and that's not counting the already contracted writers who are usually brokering deal via agents that don't require a query process. So make sure you have a real feel for the genre before you assume you should dive in ;)

2)Christian genres are going strong. Steeple Hill, a division of Harlequin has multiple lines and just announced another expansion, so opportunities exist. Also most major houses have or have just added Inspirational lines. Then there are the CBA Houses. (Disclosure I write for Steeple Hill currently and have written for Multnomah and WaterBrook)

3)Chic Lit is alive and well in Christian Fiction - Kristen Billerbeck is probably the queen. But it's harder to sell now because it's a niche and only so many authors are going to be needed.

4)Other forms of "Lit" genres are out there - I write Mommy Lit (Mom Over Miami - Steeple Hill) and what is sometimes called Hen Lit (older women _ Sadie-in-Waiting, The Sisterhood of the Queen Mamas, also Steeple Hill)
so there is variety in the lit voice within the Christian publishing world

5)Romance lines in the Christian publishing include Love Inspired (Steeple Hill)< Love Inspired Suspense, and the upcoming Love Inspired Historical line, most of the other houses publish Romance along with women's fiction and chic lit, etc but may not have a "line' for it.

6)I think that covers everything.

Annie Jones (April in Bloom, Love Inspired, aprl 06)

HoosierCowgirl
04-09-2006, 10:27 PM
The main reason I don't read chick lit is, I blush to admit, if there are clever, trendy references to modern culture, I probably won't get it. I'm pretty far out on the lunatic fringe basically ;)

ann

expatbrat
04-10-2006, 07:15 PM
Chic lit makes a great airplane read. Some I have read lately:

"4 blondes" by the author of sex in the city was ok. I just love how vain the main character is.

"Good in bed" is fun - and you might like the main character - she is a writer.

"My horizonal life" is not worth the effort.

"The red tent" is not really a chit lit - but I just love the idea of hanging out on the straw, with all the other chicks, in the red tent every month. Don't we all wish we coud do this instead of reaching for the ponstan?

Can't think of others right now.... will add more later.

Bigbunny
04-14-2006, 09:02 AM
I adore chick lit! It's the most fun I have reading, and I can wait to sink my teeth into the next one. For Christian chick lit, you HAVE to read What a Girl Wants, by Kristin Billierbeck, then the rest of the series after that. I laughed to hard I had tears rolling down my face, and my husband wondering what was going on. Also, she has another series, the Spa Girls, which the second book is about to be released.


Yes, I'm working on a chick lit book. Will it be a tought sell? I'm a newbie, anything would be a tough sell for me. I have found that chick lit is most reflective of my natural voice, so it's a natural genre for me to write. I have to agree with L.Jones, in the Christian market chick lit is still on a roll.

HoosierCowgirl
04-14-2006, 04:27 PM
Sounds good! Cool that you recognized your voice there already...

I remember standing in Wal-Mart giggling over "Bridget Jones Diary" thinking that was so not me. But SO much like one of my college friends ;)

ysic
ann

sdent1
03-15-2008, 08:21 PM
I'm reading all about Steeple Hill and I just want to make sure that while they apparently turn out some nice readable romances, they also have nice strict CBA conventions. Is that a bad thing? No. But their work can't really be compared to Harlequin or even referenced as Chick-Lit as such because these restrictions are sooooo overwhelming different from what the standard is. Here are two links to explain what I might say this and yes, it's just my opinion. :)

This is a FAQ
http://www.hodrw.com/inspirefaq.htm

Here's their writers guidelines:

http://www.eharlequin.com/articlepage.html?articleId=559&chapter=0

This is definitely not your everyday Chic-lit. Here's an excerpt from their writer's guidelines if you don't want to follow the link. Again, not judging, just saying there are overwhelming differences in the two, Harlequin and Steeple Hill Romances. Steeple Hill has always been a CBA affiliated publisher which means they have restrictive conventions. When they were bought up by Harlequin, they kept those restrictions. The only advantage to this buy out was that now a CBA publisher had distributors for the general market. The issue I have with that is that CBA authors serve a niche market, a highly conservateve evangelical niche market and many times they don't make this clear which has a lot of authors submitting without knowledge of what they'll accept (which is actually the authors own fault because the guidelines are out there) but readers are often dismayed because they aren't aware that they're reading from a niche market. This leads them to make judgements about Christian romance as a whole that simply aren't accurate. There are tons of Christian romances outside this niche market though.

Now for the excerpt.

"Because Steeple Hill sells to both CBA and ABA bookstores, we must adhere to CBA conventions. The stories may not include alcohol consumption by Christian characters, dancing, card playing, gambling or games of chance (including raffles), explicit scatological terms, hero and heroine remaining overnight together alone, Halloween celebrations or magic, or the mention of intimate body parts. Lying is also problematical in the CBA market and characters who are Christian should not lie or deceive others. Possibly there could be exceptional circumstances (matters of life and death), but this has to be OK'd by an editor."