Who knew there were so many sub-categories of the latest publishing phenomenon, Chick Lit? I did not. But after my days of solid research, I learned that the Chick Lit category is getting very specific, indeed.
Chick LIt generally deals with a contemporary, modern woman, sometimes strong, sometimes crazy and discombobulated. But mostly the women are single, in their 20s or 30s and have an active dating and sex life, which the author expounds upon at varying lengths, depending on the author. The breakout novel that started the trend is, of course, Bridget Jones’ Diary.
Inspirational Chick Lit is the same thing, minus the sex. Inspirational Chick Lit stories gear toward the modern, single Christian woman who, believe it or not, has an active and entertaining dating life. They just don’t have sex. At least not until after marriage. An example of this sub-genre is What A Girl Wants by Kristen Billerbeck.
Mom Lit is pretty self explanatory. Basically it’s Chick Lit post marriage. Chick Lit with kids. I think this category is a wonderful new development in the publishing industry. Shocking as it may seem, Moms do have senses of humor. In fact, I think it’s a requirement for motherhood. Have a couple of kids around you for a while and you’ll understand. And what better way to put those experiences about kids and life as a mom in general out to the public, than in a Mom Lit book? Robin Jones Gunn’s Sisterchicks series is an example of Mom Lit.
Now, Lady Lit is new to me. I researched what market this sub-category targets and was slightly surprised to find it targets middle-aged or menopausal women (see Revenge of the MIddle Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan). I have not read any of this material, but I can imagine it would fall into the “Menopause, the Musical” category.
Apparently, Chick Lit spawned many, many sub-categories: Lad Lit (manly modern stories about the search for Ms. Right), Black Chick Lit, Asian Chick Lit, Latina Chick Lit, even Bride Lit!
Who knew such expanses of writing genres existed? I certainly did not, but it makes sense. Why not target specific markets? It opens up broader revenue-producing avenues for publishing houses and literary agents alike. The list really could go on and on. I tried to come up with some sub-genres of my own. Here’s are my own -Lit ideas:
PTA Lit – for members of schools parent-teacher associations who lose sight of reality and think the world really does begin and end at the monthly PTA meeting
Housekeepers Lit – for women who clean houses…their own or others…or both!
Dog Show Lit – for women who take dog showing, handling and breeding a little too seriously (a la Best In Show)
Harried housewife Lit – for women who forget that life exists beyond their kids, husbands and homes
Weekend away from kids & husband Lit – for women who get that one chance every year (or more) to get away from anyone saying, “Feed me! Clothe me! Entertain me! Clean me! Keep me happy!”
And let’s not forget the men: Harried Husbands Lit – wait…how can that be possible?
OK, so maybe these are not exactly hot topics for sub-genres of the Chick Lit phenomenon, but they certainly might be entertaining stories to write! Hmmmmm….food for thought.