Saturday, October 07, 2006

Collingswood and other weekend updates

The Collingswood Festival is moving indoors due to rain today, but alas I won't be there. I truly hate being a bad sport, and if it was an hour or so away I'd still go. But it's a huge trip for me (probably three hours or more each way, depending on traffic and weather), and if the rain cuts attendance like I think it will, it's just too hard to justify. Anyway, there will still be a ton of great authors there, so if you're in the area, I hope you'll go and report back to me about what a great time I missed.

I'm also disappointed because it was going to be a day spent with my sister, which I so rarely do. It was going to be just the two of us making this trip.

Ah well. Next year.

In other weekend news, the smart and adorable Jennifer Prado interviews me today on her blog.
  • ETA: This interview got picked up by a site called The Clooney Project.

    Speaking of interviews, you can find a great one today on Susan Henderson's LitPark. Author Stephanie Lessing is interviewed by author Lauren Baratz-Logsted on her books and about being designated a "chick lit" author. It's a smart read, and I'll be interested to see the comments because I find the great angry debate about chick lit truly hilarious. I just love seeing how angry certain writers get over it, as if the very existence of chick lit is an affront to literature. Don't you think it's amusing that they don't get as bent out of shape over romance novels? Why is that? Romance novels get at least as much real estate in the book store as chick lit novels do. So why isn't that just as threatening?

    I'll tell you why. It's the tables. I'm serious. Romance novels are on shelves in their own section. But chick lit dares to be on tables toward the front of the store. You can actually see people looking at them and buying them. This drives writers of literatoor into a jealous frenzy. Ha!

    And also, chick lit dares to be published in trade paperback size as opposed to mass market paperback. Know what else is published in trade paperback? Literary fiction.

    Anyway, I find myself in a strange place while this debate rages, because my book is not technically chick lit, though a lot of people assume it is. See, in the publishing industry, chick lit is a very specific term referring to novels about young, single, urban females. (Think Sex and the City.) My novel is about middle aged, married, suburban females. But not everyone knows this official definition, and many folks see my pink cover and assume my book is chick lit. Do I care? I do not. They can call it "chick lit," "mom lit," "hilarious and poignant" (Publishers Weekly), "comical yet poignant" (Kirkus Reviews), or even "heartbreakingly funny" (Library Journal). As long as they bring it to the register, I'm happy.

    In other news, I'm proud to be participating in Julie Kenner's 10-day e-Bay Auction to benefit Love Without Boundaries, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping orphaned children in China.

    Susan Henderson said...

    I have to say I'm amused, as well. The things people get red in the face about (chick-lit, James Frey), I always stand back and think, Man, do you get this mad about what's going on in Darfur?

    Great post today, Ellen!

    Myfanwy Collins said...

    I LOVE that interview with Jennifer. It's excellent. I wanted to comment on her site but she doesn't take comments. So I hope she'll read this hear. As usual, you were tops, Ellen.

    I also just finished reading today's litpark, which was great. I'm still mulling over what to comment there.

    Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

    My New Best Friends!

    RobinSlick said...

    Oh, awesome post, Ellen. I just came over here where I left my two cents at Lit Park. Even I didn't know the official definition of Chick Lit but then again, as I told Sue, I don't pay attention to labels, anyway. I can read an interview of Stephanie Lessing where she comes off so smart and awesome that I don't care what genre it's purported she writes, I know I'd want to read her book.

    Ellen said...

    Sue, I have to admit to my own inappropriate anger sometimes (can you say "road rage"?), but it's fleeting. I don't write articles about it, and I surely understand that the guy who cut me off isn't responsible for the downfall of Western Civilization. That's clearly Adam Sandler's fault.

    Thanks for reading the interview, Myf! It was fun. Like you, Jennifer asks excellent questions.

    Lauren ... ditto! Glad you stopped by.

    Robin, yeah, I felt the same way about that interview. In fact, I tried to make it to Borders yesterday, but got too hectic with the kids. Today, for sure.