A couple of friends of mine were at my house a few weeks ago on a hot Sunday afternoon.
One of my friends is a sexy, voluptuously curved woman with sensational Turkish colouring. The other friend is a short, lithe woman with teenage dream looks and a mature attitude to boot. In fact, if I am trying to be really accurate about these two – I would call them… ‘Barbies’. They are adorned in exclusive designer jewellery, designer clothing, and their make-up, hair, and nails are buffed to perfection. Both have standing weekly appointments with a sunbed, and they have no problem with wearing high heels on a hot sunny day to the beach. [Madness…!]
While they were in my library chatting to me about sexy men they keep falling in love with and wild parties that they had been to, they are amazed at the colossal number of books that I have lining the walls in there. They sit there, and tell me (a writer) that ‘Oh no, I could never read a novel! I only read magazines!’ But then interestingly, my friend spotted a few novels that are sitting together in their genre on my shelf. She picked one up, looked at the cover, and said – ‘Now this, I could probably read.’
When I first started on my writing pathway, I originally wanted to write in this genre, which can only be described as ‘glitz’. Personally, I see that this genre is aimed at the readers of trashy magazines. They are lifestyle novels about the fabulously rich; glamorous fashionistas; scandals of the famous; laced with more than a little bit of deception, and loaded with corruption.
Now, you might think that these books are poorly written trashy novels. But each of these authors writing in the ‘glitz’ genre are getting your usual ‘cheap and trashy magazine’ readers to pick their novels up and actually devour them in a literary sense. Not only that, but they are well written, with excellent character development and gripping plotlines. And to top it all off for these authors, their books are hitting the best-seller lists.
The covers alone generally show women (or models in this case) dressed to perfection sitting in a designer chair, perhaps with a city scape silhouetted in the background, or even of them lounging on the bow of a super-yacht. These are the lifestyles of the rich and powerful that many women dream of having for themselves. When you judge a book by its cover; these are the books that my fabulous ‘Barbie’ friends will pick up and read.
I pose this question to all writers: Now… why wouldn’t you write that? Do you want to write bestseller glitz novels for fame and fortune, like Tasmina Perry, Lauren Weisberger, or Louise Bagshawe? Or do you write for yourself?
I guess it’s about weighing up the odds. Would you rather be branded as a ‘glitz’ novelist (who can actually get busy women to read) or as ‘snobbish and insanely intelligent’ because you’re a Pulitzer winning literary genius?
Whatever you decide to write – you always have the option to use a nom de plume.