Friday, June 15, 2012

On Chick Lit By Sarah Healy (Guestblog and GIVEAWAY!)

The first time I heard my book described as chick lit, I was mildly horrified. It was my debut, my baby. I couldn’t have it sent out into the big, wide world with a label as diminishing and limiting as “chick lit.” I immediately called my sister. “My book isn’t chick lit, is it?” I asked, desperate for her to tell me that the notion was ridiculous. Of course not. That’s what she was supposed to say.

Instead she was silent for a moment. “Well, it will appeal to women and it’s about relationships and it’s written in the first person, so yeah, it’s chick lit.”

I honestly had no idea it was that simple.

But my book was deeper than that! It dealt with love and family. It tackled religion and homosexuality and abortion. It was funny and irreverent and honest, and written without any knowledge of the “rules” in publishing, without cognizance of just how much everyone—from editors to reviewers—wanted to put things into predefined categories.

Since that conversation, I have become more aware of the larger debate of which the label “chick lit” is only a part. It involves coverage of books written by women versus those written by men, and the general attitude towards the women’s fiction genre. I’ve had lots of quiet moments to think about what it meant for me as a writer to publish the sorts of books that tended to carry a stigma; to formulate an appropriate answer to the question, “So what do you write?”

Here’s what I’ve decided I’m going to say:

I write books for women like me: women who drink whiskey and like clean sheets. I write for women who read to their kids before bed; for women who shave their legs and who laugh at dirty jokes and love their crazy mothers. I write for women who read Vogue and McSweeney’s, People and the New York Times. I write for women who want to show you just how smart they are; who have opinions and don’t ask for their dressing on the side and are less cynical than they want you to know.

I am going to say that I write chick lit. Great, surprising chick lit.

Thank-you for such a wonderful and insightful guest blog Sarah Healy.  As a reader and lover of "chick lit" myself, I can tell you that you have written a fabulous book that I'm sure readers of this blog will enjoy. - Laura

For more about Sarah Healy check out these links:!/SarahEHealy

Summary of Can I Get An Amen from the Publisher (Penguin Books):

When the last thing you want is the one thing you need, you've got to have a little faith....

Growing up, Ellen Carlisle was a Christian: She went to Jesus camp, downed stale Nilla Wafers at Sunday school, and never, ever played with Ouija boards. Now, years later, when infertility prevents her from giving her ambitious attorney husband a family, she finds herself on the brink of divorce, unemployed, and living with her right-wing, born-again Christian parents in her suburban New Jersey hometown. There the schools are private, the past is public, and blessings come in lump sums.

Then Ellen meets a man to whom she believes she can open her heart, and she begins to think that maybe it’s true that everything happens for a reason—until all that was going well starts going very badly and Ellen is finally forced to dig deep to find her own brand of faith.

I was first intrigued by this novel when I was sent this great video about Sarah Healy and Can I Get an Amen: 

Giveaway Details
Penguin Books has graciously offered a giveaway of one copy of Can I Get an Amen by Sarah Healy.

If you would like to win a copy of this book please leave a comment about what intrigues you about the this book.

As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner.

For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar. Provide a link to this post in your comment.

I will be using (or a monte carlo simulation in excel) to pick the winners from the comments.

This contest is only open to US and Canadian residents (Sorry!).

No P.O. Boxes.

The deadline for entry is midnight on Friday June 29, 2012.

Please make sure to check the first week of July to see if you are a winner.  I send emails to the winner but lately I have been put in their "junk mail" folder instead of their inbox.

Good luck!


  1. What a wonderful post filled with wisdom and humor. The book sounds special and beckons me. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. this book sounds intriguing and unforgettable. I enjoyed the post and the author's philosophy and interesting views. Thanks for this great giveaway. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  3. The more I'm reading about this book the more it is peaking my interest. Thanks for the giveaway!


  4. I'll give it a go to this book if I have the chance. But I cannot take part on your giveaway, because I'm out of the US and Canada as well.

    Thanks anyway.
    Have a lovely day.

  5. Terrific guest post! This book sounds wonderful, even if it is chick lit. (The problem is that chick rhymes with lit--that's probably the main reason why people use the term freely to describe fiction written for and often by women. To me, chick lit is not necessarily light and fluffy, but can be more serious and seriously funny.)

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway, Laura! I'll post it in my blog's sidebar.


  6. So it is a federal crime to blur out a face,
    remove tats and add writing on a photo that may be used for an escort ad? You've got to be kidding. Then there are thousands of guilty parties out there if that is the case.

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