Sunday, July 19, 2009

Guest Bloggers-Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

Join us for our book signing of "I'll Have Who She's Having" July 25th. at 4:00 pm at Metropolis Books, with Laura Dave author of "The Divorce Party"

Chick Lit is Not Dead
By Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke, co-authors of the chick lit book “I’ll Have Who She’s Having” and the blog

Do you remember the first time you fell in love with Chick Lit? We do.

It was love at first site. She was stiletto-wearing and sassy; always pretty in pink or playfully yellow, images of martinis and long legs graced her covers. She was given the best spot on the bookshelves and gave women an escape from their own hectic lives into fun and fashionable worlds complete with endless happy endings. We were crushing on her in a major way. Chick Lit was the most popular girl in school.

And then all of a sudden she wasn't.

Or as Heidi Klum would say, "One day you're IN and the next day, you're OUT."

Chick Lit's popularity was ultimately the death of her. Because when the market became over-saturated with a bunch of copycats with predictable plots and cardboard characters, she was catapulted down to the D-list faster than you could say Tara Reid. She was accused of lacking substance, of being insulting to women's intelligence and being *gasp* cliche'.

Poor Chick Lit became such an outcast in the publishing world that she couldn't even be called by her own name anymore. Apparently, if she stood any chance of transforming from unbound manuscript to sleek, published novel, she had to be disguised as Women's Fiction. And even then, the odds of her becoming Homecoming Queen again were pretty damn slim.

Aspiring novelists querying agents needed to beware. Titles that conjured images of stiletto covers were shunned; the mention of designer purses was literary suicide; and if the protagonist was *gulp* a quirky, single girl with dreams of meeting Mr. Right, the manuscript was sent off to die a quick death.

Chick Lit was pronounced dead, gone well before her time thanks to overexposure. And her writers and readers put on their black designer dresses and went into mourning.

Her headline in the gossip columns would have read: From It Girl to Out Girl or One Too Many Knock-offs Sealed Her Fate!

But like any former A-lister, we knew she'd make a come back. (If Hugh Grant could do it, so could she!) She just had to wait for her moment and seize it.

And the time is now! Here's why we say Chick Lit is not only back in fashion, but she's going to be on the scene for a while.

She's our much-needed fantasy thinking about the crashing stock market and the record high unemployment rate hurts our heads. So instead of watching the nightly news, we'd rather pop open the book with a stick figure drinking a martini on the cover and give our brains the night off. If you can't take a real vacation, at least give your brain one! Let your biggest worry be over whether Jane Q Single Gal gets to marry Joe Q Bachelor; whether frenemies can become friend-ly; if it's a bad idea to get a manny. Let her wrap your ending up in a nice red bow and don't feel guilty about it for one second!

She's a cheap date
Even though hard economic times have caused most of us to slash our budgets (Tarjay is so the new Nordys), Chick Lit is still making it into our shopping carts. She's like that friend who talks you out of your buyer's remorse. She reminds you that it's OK to spend money on things that make you feel better. In fact, she thinks it's the American way! And even though a lot of us can't justify buying that Louis Vuitton purse or getting that $200 haircut anymore, Chick Lit still gives a frugal girl some bang for her buck. If you get her in paperback, she's only about $12. 95. This seems like an awesome price considering how often she makes us laugh, cry or even SOL (snort out loud!). And BTW, Chick Lit is always up on the latest trends. And if she says cheap is the new chic, we believe her.

She's Secure in her Stilettos
Chick Lit is proud of who she is. She makes no apologies for drinking Cosmos or wearing designer skinny jeans. She's never going to make the argument that she should win the Pulitzer or that she's invented cold fusion. And she definitely doesn't think a book should require a thesaurus while reading. She loves a good rom-com too and couldn't be happier that her cousin, Chick Flick, is back on the red carpet again too.

So to the literary snobs of the world, it's time to face the truth. Chick Lit is back and better than ever. And she's back now for the very reason she exploded onto the literary scene in the first place. No good woman can resist well-written books with relatable characters, high fashion and happy endings.

So say it loud and proud (*channels Ty Pennington and yells into megaphone*): CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD!

xoxo, Liz & Lisa