By Samantha Stroh Bailey
I write chick lit. Okay, are you still reading or have you screwed up your face in distaste? Well, before you judge, do you actually know what chick lit is? For some reason, after the pink explosion of chick lit in the late 90s, it seems to have gotten a misconstrued reputation for fluff and froth. Now, don’t get me wrong, the covers are delicious and flirty, the female protagonists do imbibe some fruity cocktails and there may even be some shopping. But, this is not what chick lit is all about.
Chick lit, a sub-genre of women’s fiction, is usually about the journey of a strong, independent and sassy female main character. She may be searching for a new career, moving to a new place, getting married, divorced or looking for love, and she often has an amazing group of friends that you might wish you had. The chick lit heroine is smart, funny and headstrong. She screws up repeatedly but doesn’t let it stop her from finding whatever it is she wants. In my debut novel, Finding Lucas, Jamie Ross is looking for a way out of her five-years-long toxic relationship with maniacal metrosexual, Derek. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, she ends up on a frenzied hunt to track down Lucas, the “friends with benefits” she hasn’t seen or spoken to in ten years. Crazy? Yes. Hysterically funny? Yup. Smart and edgy? Absolutely.
Chick lit is a wonderful escape from the trials and chores of daily life. Got laundry? Relationship woes? Family struggles? Download a pastel-covered book and lose yourself in someone’s life that is only slightly crazier than your own. Reading a book with a high heel or purse on its cover doesn’t make you less intelligent. In fact, you might find a main character you instantly connect with and have a friend who just gets you when you most need it.
Perhaps the word “chick” is the issue. It is a word that can seem derogatory, pejorative and demeaning. Yet, since it is the authors themselves who dub their books chick lit, maybe it is actually a post-feminist view of what it is to be a woman, be it single, married, divorced or widowed, in today’s society. The evolution of chick lit follows women from their late teens until after retirement and it gives voice to those issues we deal with on a daily basis.
So, before you assume that chick lit is a genre you would be embarrassed to read, check out a few of our brightly-covered books. They will make you laugh, cry and call your best friend, all while reaching for a chocolate martini.
Samantha Stroh Bailey is a published author and former English teacher with over 15 years of writing and editing experience. Her website, Perfect Pen Communications, offers full service writing, proofreading and editing.
Check out Samantha’s book, Finding Lucas, on Kobo!