contemporarywomenschicklit: fiction. novel.

This week has been an interesting week for my writing mainly because I haven’t done any. The combination of finishing a non-fiction book, subbing a novel, sciatica and getting a fantastic book delivered by post has meant that I have dedicated this week to reading.

The third week in February: somehow I always know what I was doing in previous years. A weekend in Keswick, a frozen shoulder, broken big toe: all casualties of the-third-week-in-Feb syndrome. By now I have learned to stop being so OCD about timekeeping (it’s effing snowing) and to wrap a big furry throw around myself and read.

Except this week an amazing amount of people from my day job have found my blog and asked me about my writing. I don’t know if they have been victims of some mass ‘Dirty_Sparkle_google_virus’ or that word got round I had written something apart from the SaRS journal and newsletter, but almost every reliability-beginning conversation has ended in a discussion of what sort of novels I write.

Once the caller has finished giggling over the extremely *wrongwrongwrong* autosuggestion image that Dirty Sparkle! seems to bring to the minds of people (well men really) and I have explained that it actually is the name of my first novel and hence the name of my blog, said caller usually tries to find out if they can read my book. Because they still think it’s about sex.

I explain that I’ve written four novels and as yet, none are published. Yet. As these people are not writers they have no idea what this means, thinking that publication must automatically come to pass, as I have written a book, they still persist. When I ‘go all mysterious’ and mutter that they probably won’t like it, they start to ask what sort of book it is. Am I in it? Are they in? Is someone murdered? Is there any sex in it?

I open my mouth to say ‘chick lit’ because that’s what I started to write. Then I think for a moment. Unsympathetic main character = not chicklit. So then, contemporary women’s fiction? Is it? Or maybe just fiction. After all, men could possibly read it and be interested, couldn’t they? There’s a little melancholy too. So misery lit, perhaps? Sex? Yes? Maybe it’s friction fiction! Which a quick google revealed was gay fiction. The point is, in query letter we aren’t allowed to write ‘fiction novel’ as that is a pet hate of agents. So I’m still searching for a genre name for what I write that is acceptable/understandable to all.

Whatever it is, it’s here. Out of all the experiences I’ve had in my life, and there have been many of varied degrees of pleasure and pain, writing a novel is possibly the most absorbing. Creativity creates something and sitting on a memory stick (and obviously saved in three other different fire-proof places including online) are my four novels and my Dirty Sparkle identity. And today I’m grateful for that and a good book to read, written by someone else.