In one of your critiques, you mentioned Chick Lit. Can you talk a little more about this? Are there any LDS authors doing this type of fiction? Is it currently selling?
Chick lit refers to books specifically written for women, generally dealing with a twenty- or thirty-something woman who is trying to find her place in the world. Sometimes there’s a traumatic event triggering the response that creates the story (as in paragraph 20), but more often they are light-hearted, often first person, with a sort of sassy, humorous or conversational tone (as in paragraph 19). Some definitions consider it to be a romance sub-genre; others broaden it to include books where romance is the secondary plot line.
Kristen Nelson is a national literary agent who represents chick lit. (This links to her chick lit titles.) You can get a good sense of this genre just by reading the titles and looking at the covers of her books.
On the national market, chick lit often includes scenes and themes that might be considered–uhmmm, how do I say this politely–uncomfortably provocative for LDS readers. In many publishing houses, this sensuality is part of the definition of chick lit. Obviously, that wouldn’t be the case in the LDS market.
On the national market, this genre is declining somewhat. Publishers aren’t accepting as much of it, probably due to a glut on the market. But I would expect it to continue as a recognized genre for quite some time.
As for the LDS market, I think there’s a place for women’s novels that use a breezy, fun chick lit tone. I don’t read a lot in this area, so I can’t give a definitive answer as to who might already be writing in that genre. Although I haven’t read them yet, just based on their descriptions and what I’ve heard people say about them, Josie Kilpack’s Tempest Tossed and some of Rachel Nunes’ novels might fall into this category.
Readers, can you give us some examples of LDS chick lit?