As TOL (The Other Lisa) likes to say, “We have nothing against singles, divorcees, widows or orphans. It’s just I’d like to see more women like us–older, still married, still making it work, and funny, darn it!” Contrary to popular belief, we have feelings, too.
The Lisas have no pretensions to Literary Fiction. We don’t write it and we don’t read it. Some of our favorite people do write it and read it. We are happy to pass them a box of tissues and let them enjoy the angst. TOL actually thought of a really good Literary plot the other day. But she didn’t write it down and now it’s lost forever. Those sort of grueling ideas just don’t linger long in our relatively goofy brains. TOL’s gray matter is constructed of Jello, apparently–there goes her shot at winning any sort of Literary Prize.
And that’s another thing. Outside of the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition, and probably something in Mark Twain’s honor, humor gets no respect. And heck, the Bombeck contest is a bi-annual essay contest for pete’s sake.
We should know being dissed; TOL keeps trying to enter us in contests, none of them a good fit with what we write. In some faraway, post-publication time we’d love to win a contest like the Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance. We’ve got the comedy down, but don’t think the romance between a couple married for over 20 years is what the judges will have in mind. Besides, we think we might have to be British to enter–and we for sure have to get published first.
Despite exploding sub-genres (e.g. shape-shifting vampiric werewolves in a steampunk universe), women’s fiction seems to be broadly limited to three categories: romance, Literary or “commercial,” the latter being a polite way of saying “anything else that will sell.” Just like romance, publishers want commercial to translate to money, money, money and rake in big bucks.
So we look at it this way, we’ll keep writing our lovely so-called trashy novels and we’ll look the other way when you buy and read them. That way, everybody is happy. Especially the bankers whose vaults we’ll be eyeing while we’re not looking at you looking at our books. Everybody on the same page? Good. Come back soon for: Author Lingo Quiz!