Writing chick lit in A Game of Thrones world – Kate O’Keeffe

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By Kate O’Keeffe

My name is Kate O’Keeffe and I’m a chick lit-aholic. I know it isn’t trendy, I know it’s not the hottest word in publishing right now, but I guess I just don’t care. It’s what I write and I’m proud. Perhaps I should organise a march?♥

I read reasonable widely: from biographies to health books, chick lit to women’s fiction to romance, and the odd thriller thrown in for good measure. Okay, so there’s no sci fi or crime tucked in there, and you’re unlikely to find me getting stuck into a gory horror. But what I write is chick lit. What I love is chick lit.

Some years back when I decided I wanted to write a novel, it was a no-brainer for me to make it chick lit. I figured, why would I want to spend what precious time I got to write, coming up with depressing stories about ill-fated people, stories about death, gloom and doom? And anyway, I wanted to write entertainment. What’s wrong with reading something that makes you go “aw”, that gives you the warm fuzzies, that makes you happy?

That said, I didn’t come down in the last rain storm. I know chick lit has come in for its fair share of criticism: it’s anti-women; it’s vacuous; it’s not ‘real’ literature. Yada yada yada. Five years ago, there was a lot of talk in the media about the death of chick lit. Sure, it’s not as popular as it once was, but it’s still out there, still selling, still bringing a smile to people’s faces. It’s changed and evolved as a genre since its heyday, and I believe it will keep on keeping on, in whatever changing guise it assumes. Because there will always be readers who want to read about women facing the same struggles they face each day, working out who they are and what they need, in a story filled with warmth and humor.

I love likeable characters, I love characters I can relate to. I love to write a character who grows and changes and becomes a better version of herself. Bad things may happen, but they’re chick lit bad things, not mass genocide or the horrors of war, there’s limited blood and gore, and the bad guys nearly always get their just desserts. Pretty satisfying, right?

After all, isn’t the world a grim enough place already? It’s full to the brim with sorrow, death, and appalling people doing appalling things. Do I really need to write about that, too? To me, chick lit is that little glint of sun in a grey sky, the smell of freshly baked cookies, that cool breeze on a hot summer’s day. Writing it is like wrapping myself up in a warm and cosy blanket every time I sit down at my laptop. And who doesn’t want that? Well, clearly a lot of writers if the success of darker, more violent genres is anything to go by. But I’m happy to leave that to them. They can spend their time thinking up nasty torture scenes while I concentrate on my heroines getting their happily ever afters.

Of course, I watch Game of Thrones along with the rest of the known world, and I sigh over Jon Snow, possibly a little too often for my husband’s liking. But, when I get the time to write, that book will be one that makes me smile, one that makes me feel good.

Yes, I’m more than happy to write chick lit in a Game of Thrones world. And who knows? Maybe one day I’ll get to write Jon Snow’s chick lit happily ever after, too.


Kate O’Keeffe is an award-nominated author of fun, feel-good romantic comedies. She lives and loves in beautiful New Zealand with her family, two scruffy dogs, and a cat who thinks he’s a scruffy dog too. Kate has written the popular chick lit series, the Wellywood Romantic Comedy Series (Book 0: Wedding Bubbles (short story prequel); Book 1: Styling Wellywood; Book 2: Miss Perfect Meets Her Match; Book 3: Falling For Grace), and a fun holiday novella. The first in her new Cozy Cottage Café Series, One Last First Date, is available now, with book 2, Two Last First Dates, releasing on August 8, 2017. Book 3, Three Last First Dates, is planned for late 2017 and Book 4, One Final Last First Date, for early 2018.

kateokeeffe.com

4 Comments

  1. Geralyn Corcillo

    June 15, 2017 at 8:39 am

    I, too, adore chick lit. To quote Susan Elizabeth Phillips, “A book where the woman is the hero and she gets a happy ending – what’s wrong with that?” And I have never seen Game of Thrones. But I did watch all 5 seasons of Braking Bad.

  2. daisyjamesblog

    June 18, 2017 at 2:47 am

    I love chick lit too. What’s not to like about a happy ever after? We all need a little sunshine after the rain! Daisyx

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