Friday, May 18, 2012

Raise your hand if...

Raise your hand if you are attempting to write the next great American novel?

I know you can't see me, but if you could you would see that my hand is NOT up. Actually, I'm glad you can't see me because my house is filthy and I didn't wash my hair today.
I hope it doesn't make me seem shallow to admit it, but I am not trying to change the world with my books. There is no hidden message in my stories. My characters are not metaphors. The plots of my books are in no way a commentary on what life is like today.
My books are for fun. I write them because I think its fun, and I want people to read them because they are looking for some entertainment.
Isn't that what most books in the genre of chick lit are supposed to be about? I'm not saying that Women's Fiction can't be meaningful or make an impact on the world around us. All I am trying to say is that when a reader picks up, or downloads, a book that is in the chick lit genre, they are not expecting to read a piece of work that will forever be in the canons of literary history. That being said, it cracks me up when I read reviews that say "it's not great literature", or "not a literary masterpiece" about a book that is in this genre.
Maybe I'm missing the point, but I thought that chick lit was supposed to be an escape. I spent several years in high school and college reading "great literature", and while I enjoyed some of them, I don't really want to read them again as an escape from the hustle and bustle of my everyday modern life! When I take the time to sit down with a book, I want to be transported to a place where I don't have to worry about bills that need to be paid, dishes that need to be washed, or a house that needs to be cleaned. I certainly don't want to have to think about how the story I'm reading is a metaphor for some aspect of our culture today, or try to decipher the message behind the story. I just want to melt into the story and live vicariously through the characters.
Am I missing the point? Am I a shallow reader?
I don't think so. I think that some people just don't relax when it comes to what they read. Perhaps they read everything with the same critical eye and fervor that they use when they read "the greats". To each his own, I guess. For me, though, I don't have Great Expectations for my chick lit, except that I expect my next great escape!


  1. Just a fan stopping by! I just wanted to say a few things to you. Please don't be discouraged by the negative Nancy's out there leaving you rude reviews. I know we both understand that not everyone is going to like everything. That being said, I know it's hard not to take it personally. I am not a writer, but I can understand the feeling of pouring yourself into something and then having it ripped to shreds by people. Whether they are justified or not, it still hurts.

    When I first got "A Week at the Beach" there were very few reviews on Amazon about it (I think maybe 15ish), and now it has 96 reviews with a lot of them (at least 60) being 5 star reviews! That is amazing! One thing to consider is people are more likely to leave reviews if they have a negative perception/opinion than if they have a positive one. I know I personally don't leave reviews on Amazon at all. (Mainly because I don't really think I have anything interesting to say, haha!) But I'd be much more inclined to leave a review if I had a horrible experience with something(not necessarily with books, but in a general sense). So for every 1 star review out there, there are probably 10 people who thoroughly enjoyed it that didn't leave a review.

    Please keep writing! Your books are a lot of fun to read! I have lost many afternoons getting lost in the worlds you have created. True story: I was almost late to one of my finals last month when I was reading "A Week at the Beach"! I was so engrossed in the story that I lost track of time! Yikes!

    Keep on writing, girl! As long as you keep writing, I'll keep buyin' :)

  2. Hi Virginia,
    I just finished reading A Week at the Beach and I absolutly LOVED it. I had ordered the book on my kindle with some other books. I actually forgot I had it and found it the other day and just started reading it. I finished it in a day and found my self wishing it was longer. (LOL) For me it was like you were in my head as I was reading it because everytime I found my self hoping a certain thing would happen it did. I LOVE to read. Especially romance novels, and there are so many out there that have a great story but take forever to get to the end. Your story was just perfect for me. (well it could have been longer just because I love Nick!!) I also loved, loved, loved the way you handle how her news was taken by Nick, by Ned and espcially by her family. It was such a great reaction because it wasn't expected. Every time I thought ok here it comes this is when he leaves or this is where her family is going to flip they didn't. I really can't say enough about this book. It really was great. It was the first novel of yours that I read and can't wait to read more. Please don't let the bad reviews get to you. Just like the person before me wrote not everyone is going to like everything they read. Honsetly this was such a fun read that I can't see what the complaints are about. It was funny, sweet and most of all romatic. I am huge fan now and will be telling all my chicks about this great book. I look forward to reading your other novels as well. Take care and don't stop writing!!
    Laurie B

  3. Hi,
    My names Kate and I've only just read A week at the beach. Ill admit that this is the first book of yours I have read, but it won't be the last.
    This book was scary in how similar it was to some of the things that happened to me last summer minus the pregnancy. I've been almost in a depression over the man I met. but for the first time in five months I actually feel happy.
    The book is my new favourite and the quote "I didn't think I would ever see you again. I hoped I would but a girl can't sit around and hope for something to happen" has changed my life. Thankyou. Your inspiring.
    Keep writing its amazing and the characters actually seem realist.
    From Kate Hutson

  4. Miss you, my stranger friend.


  5. Dear Virginia,

    I'm writing from the Bodleian Library, Oxford (UK). I wonder whether you could send me your email address to, so I could send you a question or two about you as an author, since we're trying to tidy our online catalogue.
    Many thanks,

  6. Virginia,
    I saw your book A Week At the Beach in a magazine listed as a great summer read. I put it on my kindle list. Now I have read it and all of your books now. They are an easy read and a book that you can't stop reading once you start. I even found myself laughing out loud at some of the situations. I am excited for more! I read a lot and I definitely like the way you write.