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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Loud Asian Chick Talks About Chick Lit

Camy Tang is a loud Asian chick who writes loud Asian chick-lit. She grew up in Hawaii, but now lives in San Jose, California, with her engineer husband and rambunctious poi-dog. In a previous life she was a biologist researcher, but these days she is surgically attached to her computer, writing full-time. In her spare time, she is a staff worker for her church youth group, and leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every Monday and Thursday, and ponders frivolous things like dumb dogs (namely, hers), coffee-geek husbands (no resemblance to her own...), the writing journey, Asiana, and anything else that comes to mind.

Chick Lit is a relatively new genre for Christian publishing. It’s only been around since Theodora’s Diary by Penny Culliford was published in the UK, followed quickly by What a Girl Wants by Kristin Billerbeck in the US.

What exactly is it? It’s humorous women’s fiction, basically. But it’s also more than that—there’s a definite atmosphere and voice to a chick lit novel that sets it apart from other women’s fiction novels, from other romances.

Most chick lit is in first person, and often in present tense rather than past tense, but that feature isn’t really what makes a novel chick lit. What sets chick lit apart is the contemporary feel of the language, the sassy personality of the main character, the funny-yet-frighteningly-realistic situations. Chick lit is the story of every contemporary woman—exaggerated.

Chick lit is often about single women, but it can also be about married women with kids (Mom Lit) and older women (Lady Lit). There’s also Lad Lit, which is guy chick lit, but that hasn’t quite taken off in either mainstream or Christian publishing.

A chick lit novel is All About the Girl. It’s the character’s spiritual arc throughout the story. Sometimes it has romantic elements—sometimes it doesn’t. Chick lit is NOT an offshoot of the traditional Christian romance genre, so romance is not always a key factor in the story.

Chick lit differs from women’s fiction in that it can have a slightly irreverent take on life and issues. It doesn’t mean chick lit doesn’t tackle the hard topics—but it often has a unique approach.

The humor in chick lit enables readers to both enjoy the story and commiserate with the character. We can relate to Sally Single Girl and her attempts to get the Love of Her Life to notice she exists. We can relate to Susie Mom who’s trying to reconcile her crazy home life taking care of three kids and her deep desire to do Big Things For God. We can relate to Sissy Golden Girl who’s trying to make her adult children realize she’s not senile yet and she can see through their manipulations.

At the end of the day, chick lit is a satisfying read. It is good, clean entertainment.

We close the book and feel empowered by the heroine’s strengths, touched by her spiritual journey, and relieved that her problems are ten times worse than our own.

Watch tomorrow for my review of Sushi For One? Don't forget to leave a comment to win an autographed copy!


  1. Hey Camy and Novel Journey - thanks for brightening my day with these psots - great job! Love Sushi for One? and as we are talking about chick-lit, one of my favourite authors who does it so well is Tamara Leigh - Stealing Adda, Perfecting Kate and soon to be released Splitting Harriet!

  2. Very helpful to read this definition, Camy. I just love saying the names; they crack me up: "mom lit." :)
    I remember at the conference last year, this lady at my lunch table said she wrote stories about nuns. I said, "ah... nun-lit."
    Bless you.

  3. Please enter me for the book. forest_rose[at]yahoo[dot]com

  4. Camy,

    I didn't know we had Biology in common! I'm a coffee-geek too! I look forward to Sushi for One...after all, I love sushi and it's usually for one.

    Blessings and more,

  5. Leaving today's comment for a copy of this book. I love sushi, by the way.
    (I'm a determined little critter.)

  6. Gina, you're so sneaky letting Camy think she gets a whole week at NJ because you want to promote her book. Really, you just wanted the week off! ;-)

    Pick me! Pick me!

  7. Hi Camy,

    I was just catching up on everything at your loft.
    I'd love to win a copy of your book!

  8. Another great post, Camy! I can't wait to read this book. :-)

  9. I enjoy reading chick lit and christian chick lit is a plus. Can't wait to get my hands on Sushi for one?

  10. I love Christian chick lit. And that's the best explanation of how it differs from romance and women's fiction that I've ever read.

    The only lad lit I can think of, although I'm not sure that it's characterized that way, are Ray Blackston's books, e.g. Flabberghasted. Which I loved too. I liked reading the male POV so maybe there will be more.

  11. I would love to win a book. I also look forward to reading Sushi for One.

  12. I read you blog daily and would love to get a copy of the book!

  13. Another great post. Thanks. I would love to win your book.

  14. Delia's name was drawn from yesterday's comments to win an autographed copy of Sushi For One? Delia, please email Gina with your mailing address (my email can be found through my profile.)

  15. Not sure if this is the right one for today, sorry if it isn't, but if it is, please count me in;)

    kpuleski [at] gmail [dot] com

  16. I think Christian chick-lit sounds fun! Count me in, please!

  17. Okay, y'all here's the winner!! Lisa Jordan was drawn.

    Congratulations, Lisa!!

    You'll receive an autogrpahed copy of Sushi For One?

  18. Thanks, Ane and Camy! Can't wait to read the book!


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