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There’s nothing wrong with being popular!

I was very excited this morning to read Jessica Rudd’s blog on Mama Mia, speaking out in defence of chick lit and commercial fiction. Go Jessica! While my books don’t fall easily into the chick lit category (they are a bit too dark, although they usually have at least one female chick-lit-style character doing her utmost to lighten things up) they are certainly commercial. And I’m very proud of that. I want everyone, and I mean everyone, to read them!

The joy of reading is that it’s such a personal experience. We form relationships with the characters we read about, and we have our own reactions to the journeys they are on, which are interlinked to our own feelings and experiences. Stories are places of freedom, of escape, and of personal interpretation, so it’s a sad state of affairs when any kind of snobbery begins to try to dictate our reading passions. Besides, sweeping whole genres into generalised definitions is plain daft. I’ve read some brilliant chick-lit that has had me crying with laughter – Watermelon by Marian Keyes springs to mind. I’ve also read plenty of books in the same genre that I thought were a load of old rubbish (and will therefore remain nameless!). It’s the same with ‘lit fic’ – I’ve waded my way through a few prize-winning, critically acclaimed doorstoppers wondering why I felt compelled to waste my time; and yet other books have had me in awe – Swimmer by Bill Broady, and Beloved by Toni Morrison are two of my all-time favourites. But I should add that I did my dissertation on Beloved. It was by studying it that I got such a lot out of it. In fact, I think I gave all my friends copies of Beloved for Christmas that year, and, in hindsight, since most weren’t doing English degrees they would probably rather have had the latest Bridget Jones.

Wouldn’t it be great if all types of writing could simply co-exist and try not to squabble? But it’s unlikely, isn’t it. Life just isn’t like that, at least not yet. In the meantime, I have made a conscious choice to try to write the kind of books I love to read. And there is nothing I enjoy quite as much as a spine-tingling mystery with characters you can’t stop thinking about. If that makes my stories your guilty pleasure, then so be it. I promise you’ll get your money’s worth!

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That Difficult Second Novel

BENEATH THE SHADOWSRead my thoughts on writing ‘Book 2’ in my final outing as guest blogger on Nicole Alexander’s website. Thanks for having me, Nicole! 

http://nicolealexander.com.au/2010/09/sara-foster-on-the-difficult-2nd-novel/

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Guest blog

This month I’m guest blogging on Nicole Alexander’s website. Visit www.nicolealexander.com.au to find out what I’ve been saying!

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Drumroll please…

BENEATH THE SHADOWSI’m very proud to present the cover of Beneath the Shadows. I’m really thrilled with it, and can’t wait to see it on the shelves. I realise I have been very quiet of late,  but I have been up to my ears in deadlines, and also struck down by a cold that won’t go away…sniff. I’m currently working hard on finishing the edit of Beneath the Shadows – in just a few weeks I’ll get to see the book in print. I can tell you that the prospect is no less exciting the second time around. Now I can’t wait to start promoting it. 

I’m also hoping to revamp my website a little over the next couple of months, so keep checking in and I’ll keep you posted…