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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Is chick lit intellectual enough for you?

by
Laura Barnard 

Often, when I tell people I’ve written a book their face lights up.  

‘What kind of book is it?’ they ask, surprised that I could write more than a post-it note.

‘Chick-lit.’ 

Then their faces drop.

It grates on me that the minute they hear 'chick-lit' they dismiss it as if I’ve written nothing more than a diary entry. I’m proud to be a writer of chick-lit and also proud that I'm an avid reader of it.

It’s considered to not be intellectual enough for some people.  Unless you’re reading something that is ridiculously confusing and makes your head hurt you’re not smart enough to be considered a book-worm.
Author Laura Barnard

I couldn’t disagree more.  Any book, regardless of genre, is good as long as people enjoy it.  

Why do I read chick lit?  Like most people I have a busy life, and at the end of the day I enjoy a cup of tea and to indulged in someone else’s life. I don’t want to read a horror and be scared someone is out there waiting to kill me, neither do I want to read a thriller (after a long day I can barely remember my name let alone keep track of a government agent double crossing another agent!).  

What I want is to read about a group of friends having fun. I want to hear about other women getting into tricky, hilarious situations. Most of all I want to fall in love with a gorgeous man who I can dream about without the guilt of them being a real person. I’ve been known to utter a fictional character's name in my sleep much to the horror of my husband. I can reassure him he’s not a real person.

What I’ve decided instead is that these people who judge are pretentious idiots with nothing better to do with their lives. But each to their own. I personally judge a book on how it makes me feel by the end. If I loved it and can’t get it out of my head it’s a winner.
  
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Introducing...

The Debt and the Doormat



Poppy and Jazz have been best friends from the first week of uni. Whenever these two get together trouble isn’t far away and things haven’t changed much. When Jazz gets herself into financial trouble Poppy, being a good friend, offers to help. She instead ends up being talked into swapping lives, with Jazz insisting it will be good and help her get over her broken heart. 


Poppy is thrown into a new life, full of crazy housemates; there’s fitness freak Izzy, horrendously beautiful bitch Grace and the slightly gorgeous, if not incredibly grumpy Ryan. Quickly, with the help of Jazz, her life is thrown upside down. Madness ensues and her need to please everyone gets her in more trouble than she could ever imagine.

Before she knows it she’s got a fake boyfriend and is hiding so many secrets she’s scared they’ll spill out any minute. With a bullying boss, a sex crazed colleague, a mental mother and three brothers each with their own dramas, life has gotten pretty difficult for Poppy. And all of this would be much easier, if she could just stop falling over. 

Will she get her life back to normal before her brother’s upcoming wedding? And will she want to?

At time of posting this book is FREE!

7 comments:

  1. Amen. I read to escape my reality. I read because I like to be entertained. If I feel the need to 'learn' or be 'educated' then I read something other than fiction. If that doesn't work for others, well, it's their loss.

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  2. Whatever we enjoy someone will disapprove. I'd rather not waste time over wondering who might think I'm reading the wrong sort of book, drinking the wrong wine, watching the wrong TV programme etc. The time could be better used reading another chapter.

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  3. I agree too. It annoys me that there are 'literary snobs' out there,but you get them in all walks of life.

    Their lives must be so boring!

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  4. I'm going to be a little controversial now. I had this discussion on GR on this very subject and tbh I don't think authors help themselves, I'm talking book covers.

    Some of them are childish, and at times I feel embarrassed to be seen reading one (might be my age) and I'm glad the covers are 'hidden' now as I read from Kindle.

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  5. Chick lit is essentially romantic comedy. One of the oldest genres in human history. Shakespeare wrote it, and so did Alexander Pope and Jane Austen. So I get very annoyed when people dismiss it as shallow and stupid. Chick lit can be intellectual--look at the wonderful Marian Keyes. Her work is essentially social satire, a long-revered genre, at least outside the US. I write very intellectual chick lit. It's not for people wanting a dumb read although it's always breezy and entertaining. (Sometimes I want to put a caveat on my buy page, saying "your IQ must be *this* high to appreciate his book") The fluffy storyline hides lots of serious truths. I think lots of chick lit writers do this.

    But the cartoon on the cover can be working against us, as Jane says. That's why I've argued against it with my publisher. So far I'm winning...my next cover, he wants a cartoon. I want a Rossetti painting. We'll see who wins....

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  6. It's probably done because the 'typical chick lit cover' has become a cliché of its genre. It's expected and readers who love chick lit will subconsciously gravitate towards it.

    I remember reading a book (Ben Elton's Inconceivable) and someone pointed to the cover and started laughing (and they aren't tadpoles!)

    Since then, I've been VERY conscious of the covers.

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  7. Sorry, but I can't stop laughing... :D

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