Think Pink!

I read the publishing blog Galleycat a lot. I like Ron a lot, the guy who runs it. He interviewed me for his first book-blog, Beatrice, when I published my first novel (Cat’s Meow, an adult novel about a bubble-headed broke fashionista). In the interview, I’m a bit of a precious writer in it. Haha. I was young then, what did I know? “Romance was my least favorite part of the book”??? How could I say that? I live and breathe romance now!

{Tangent topic: Whenever I say I write teen and adult books, I sometimes use the term “adult novel” and it sounds like I’m saying “X-rated novel” you know, like “adult movies”. LOL. But I don’t know what to say, since I do write for teens and adults, although now I mainly write for teens. One day perhaps I will once again write for an “adult audience”. See, sounds like I said “porno” again. I am CRACKING myself up here.}

Anyway, on Galleycat, they had a thing about how Jane Smiley (a “precious” writer—see yesterday’s post, they are suh-suh-suh-sensitive) trashed Jennifer Weiner’s new book Certain Girls because it was all pink and pretty.

Is this still going on, ladies? The whole chick-lit bashing???


Sometimes when I get described as a chick-lit writer, I am always mildly surprised. Like, moi? Write chicklit? Really? Because the stigma associated with the term is so harsh that when I read it in print it SOUNDS like an insult even though it is probably just a description. Because then I realize, oh yeah, I guess the Au Pairs is chicklit-y, so much so that it even pays homage to the chicklit bibles that came before it. (Note: chapter headings like The Devil Wears Louboutin, a takeoff on The Devil Wears Prada, etc.)

And I myself have said to people when they ask me what I write: “Oh, I write for teens, some chicklit stuff, and I have a vampire series.”

You know, I actually found a blog that said I should not write about vampires because I write chicklit too. And that REALLY got my back up. This reader said she liked Blue Bloods, but could only imagine goth-y teenagers reading it, so why have fashion in it, it’s just going to turn those suh-suh-suh-sensitive teens off.

Which is so untrue. And also reminds me WHY I write for teens and not adults.

First of all, teens are way, way, WAY cooler than adults.

When you’re a kid, your mind is still open, and you’re still figuring out who you are. When I was a teen, I was goth one day, and supercalifashionista the next. I did all the looks, I tried out all the identities. I wore ragged concert t-shirts, had my hair in a Robert Smith frightwig, and I also wore matchy-matchy mini-skirt plaid “Clueless” style outfits with high boots and big earrings. And I read EVERYTHING. Sweet Valley High AND The Vampire Lestat were my favorite, favorite books. My favorite writers were Francine Pascal and Stephen King. Did I care that Francine did not “write” her books? No. I loved her books because they were good and funny and I wanted to know if that evil Jessica would ever steal good-hearted Todd from “literary” Elizabeth. They were all just books to me.

My readers read Au Pairs, Blue Bloods, Wicked Lovely, Uglies, Twilight, Gossip Girl, the Clique, Harry Potter, Sherman Alexie, and everything in between.

Only when you’re an adult are you closed-minded enough to think that just because someone can write one thing, they can’t write another. Or that just because they look a certain way they have to write a certain way. Or that because you read one thing you don’t read another.

Because that’s how the majority of adults read: they ONLY read thrillers. Or they ONLY read mysteries. Or they ONLY read literary fiction. Which is SAD.

There’s so much good stuff out there, why only read in one category?

Here’s what’s on my to-read list:

Jumpha Lahiri: Unaccustomed Earth
Jennifer Weiner: Certain Girls
Susan Cooper: The Dark is Rising
Charles Bock: Beautiful Children
Joshua Ferris: Then we all came to the end
Mary Kay Andrews: Deep Dish
Melissa Marr: Wicked Lovely
Diane Vadino: Smart Girls Like Me
Kate Atkinson: Behind the Scenes at the Museum
Robert Harris: Imperium

I think chicklit bashing is symptomatic of the precious writer disease.

Here’s what precious writers say when people ask them what they do.

STRANGER AT COCKTAIL PARTY: “So what do you do?”

PRECIOUS WRITER: (bows head, falsely modest) “I’m a novelist.”

Bleggh! I’m a “novelist”. Bleegggh!

Anyway that is the thought of the day.

Go team pink! Buy a Victoria’s Secret panty! Eat at the Pink Taco! (Yes porno-y and pervy and kind of hilarious. But um, good tacos.)