It's (Still) All About the Writing

My first novel (Underneath It All) was published in 2007 as was my second (Life Over Easy) by Kensington Books. By the time Touchstone released my third (More Than This) and fourth (Good-bye To All That) novels in 2008 and 2010, I was a bit burnt out. I needed a break.

It just so happened that my writer's sojourn coincided with a seismic shift in the publishing world. Even though I wasn't working on my next novel, I was still talking to my editor and what she had to say wasn't good. Her boss told her they were scaling back, way back, on women's fiction and chick lit acquisitions and focusing solely on non-fiction by celebrities and "book club" type books. (She's now at a publishing house that specializes in uber literary novels and commercial fiction is a dirty word that she dare not utter much less champion during pitch meetings.)

Once again, I was on the short, fuzzy end of the publishing stick. Even though I was never much for writing specifically for a publishing trend (vampires! erotica! erotic vampires!), I knew that I had to adapt. If I wanted to continue writing, I'd have to figure out a way to do it on my own. No matter what some publisher sitting in a New York City high rise said, I knew readers still want to read funny and smart fiction about modern women. How? Because I'm one of them. I don't only write women's fiction and chick lit, I'm also a voracious reader of it.

I took everything I'd learned, figured more than a few things on my own and have surprised myself with flashes of ingenuity and my sheer determination to make this work. Best of all, I get to write the kinds of stories I want to tell and, even though it's a lot more work (hiring a cover designer, working directly with a copy editor, coming up with a marketing plan, etc), I've never felt more in control of not only what I'm writing, but of my writing career.

Funny enough, my own life has started to mirror that of a chick lit plot: a plucky gal decides to go against the tide and hilarity/heartbreak ensue. While I would never would presume a happy ending for myself (it's just not in my nature), I'm positive it's going to be a hopeful journey. As a writer and reader, I can't ask for more than that.

5/21/12 Note: Winner of an e-copy of No Need to Ask: A SweetSpots Contemporary Romance is...Lauren M. Thanks to everyone for participating!


Tobi said...

Thanks for doing the hop! Boy you've been through it and perservered.

tobihelton at gmail dot com

Savannah Page said...

Good for you for taking your career in YOUR hands and running with it!

Chick lit all the way!

-Savannah Page

Savannah Page said...

Good for you for taking your career in YOUR hands and running with it!

Chick lit all the way!

-Savannah Page

Rhonda D said...

Thank you for participating in the hop! I love chic lit!

BRN2SHOP9 said...

Thanks for the contest.

brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

Bethany Scruggs said...

WONDERFUL giveaway!! :)


Chica Latina said...

Awesome! Although I'm really more interested in winning the books instead of the gift card. Unlike most, I don't like to smell like a girl. =)

my email is

Anonymous said...

So true! Ebooks are changing everything.


Theresa said...

Thanks for being a part of the hop!!!
Theresa Crowell

Kassandra said...

Great hop and giveaway!

mimirose41209 said...

thanks for participating in the hop! i love using hops to find new authors/series to add to my TBR list!

mimirose41209 at hotmail dot com

Unknown said...

Good for you! Thanks for being a part of the hop!
allysonbrann06 at yahoo dot com

Mary D said...

I think it is just great how followed your heart and came out the other side a winner! Thanks for doing the hop!


Barbara said...

It is fun to have control of your own book! Great post. Barbara

Liz said...

I think it's awesome that you decided to take your career (and book) in your own hands. Chick lit is not a dying genre! Quite the contrary, in these bleak times, what better than a chick lit book to lighten the mood and lift someone's spirits.

Thanks so much for doing the blog hop.

ocbride (at) gmail (dot) com

Anne Van said...

You go girl! I love your stories!

Lauren M. said...

Good for you! It's great to hear about a woman who didn't turn into a "yes" man(woman). Thanks so much for the giveaway.
Lmackesy @

Erica said...

Glad to hear you didn't give up on a great genre!

Erica Kincannon