Once upon a time, there was a young girl, who read a lot of books. In fact, she read so much that her mother often worried that she was living too much in the rarified stratosphere of the books in her head, that she called her down, very insistently back to earth and the woes of air pollution and acid rain and all the much we have to deal with down here on the surface. This was rather disheartening for the young girl, the world up beyond the clouds, conjured up by the books she read was much better, there was always joy happening there, laughs and a guaranteed happy ending.
The young girl grew up and in the process, read more books than should be considered legal. She read the funny ones and the sad ones, the ones with the happy endings and the ones with the sad endings, and realised that she preferred the happy endings most of the times. She discovered that wonderful genre called chick-lit which was about girls like her, a little too sassy for their own good, looking for happiness, looking for love, looking for validation, surrounded by friends, trying to find themselves in the maze of chaos that career and personal lives were.
So when she did start writing her own stories, she wrote about these girls, girls she knew, or girls made up of bits and pieces from many girls she knew.
That, in a nutshell, is the story of why I write chick-lit. There isn’t much of a story to it, except for the fact that I love reading it, I love a happy ending, and I believe in comfort reading, reading that you turn to in order to soothe your soul, much as you would turn to a full tub of double chocolate ice cream on a blue day.
Do I get frazzled by the label, do I find it derisive, do I wonder why men who write about romance don’t get slapped boxed into a similar genre? I used to, earlier, but now I tend to laugh it off. It doesn’t really matter, does it, the labels, the serious and the quotidian.
At the end of the day, all stories serve their purpose, and to this end, chick lit does to. They’re fun, peppy reads that make the reader smile. They help them to live out unfulfilled romantic urges vicariously, they take them to places and situations they would love to experience. And after all, isn’t that what all writing must do, let the reader escape to an alternate life, in their pages?