There's a certain group of people that sees both Romance and Chick Lit under the umbrella of Women's Fiction and won't understand why someone would make a distinction in the first place. At the other end of the spectrum are purists who will insist that any given story can be either one or the other. What I'm hoping is that most readers will fall into the category I do: genre is irrelevant as long as it's a good story.
After I decided to self-publish, I spent a long time trying to decide which genre my stories fell into. When I first started writing The Smartest Girl in the Room, I set out to write a romance. Everything in my novel is pinned onto the basic structure of one: Emily meets Mitch, Emily and Mitch come together, apart, then together again, then Emily and Mitch get their Happily Ever After (HEA). So Romance, right?
Yes, but there is a lot that happens otherwise, and that action focuses on Emily’s journey into adulthood. Not incidentally, her friends are a huge part of her story. And if she’s going to get into any trouble... let’s just say that while even arguing with her romantic rival would be beneath her, she doesn’t think twice about taking on someone who hurt one of her friends, no matter how risky. That, to me, says Chick Lit.
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