Guest Post – Talli Roland: In Defence of Chicklit

Another day, another guest post. I know, I’m so good to you! But only because you’re good to me. Thanks SO much to everyone who’s sent me nice things about my next book (see previous post).

So, over to the very lovely and very talented Talli Roland who, today, is in defence of Chicklit (which is just as well, because she writes it)…

In Defence of Chick Lit
‘What do you write, anyway?’ the academic asked, looking at me with interest (or a squinty eye, maybe?).
My hand slid across my mouth. ‘Um . . . chick lit,’ I mumbled.
‘Oh. All that pink, girly stuff with high heels and cupcakes.’ He backed away, as if curlicues would leap off me and contaminate his rigid Times New Roman.
As exaggerated as that scenario may seem, it’s one I’ve experienced in many forms over the past few years. While I can’t say I’m thrilled with others’ reactions to my chosen genre, what really gets me is my own apologetic stance when it comes to chick lit. I like cupcakes. I like high heels. And I love pink! And while chick lit – or romantic comedy, or light women’s fiction or whatever you want to call it – books may not be in the running for the next Nobel Prize, they are fast-paced and relevant reads.
So why do I sometimes mutter the phrase ‘chick lit’ as if I’m admitting to a STD?
Like many writers, I studied English Literature at school, slogging my way through the great tomes – and flying through authors such as Sophie Kinsella in my down time. I was supposed to be awed by the mastery of the world’s greatest writers, but instead I was just counting the minutes until I could get back to my chick lit.  In a way, it felt like my dirty little literary secret: I’d hide the covers on the tube and shove them under my bed, away from enquiring eyes.
Well, no more. From here on in, I’m dropping the repentant tone and standing strong. I’m Talli Roland, and I’m proud to write chick lit!


You see, chick lit can be fluffy and fun, sweetness and light – all those wonderful things that make it so entertaining. But it can also take on more serious issues with wit and understanding. From kick-ass heroines conquering the world to warm, emotional storylines, it tackles a wide range of topics relevant to women – and men. Beyond the pastel covers lies some seriously good writing by authors I’d pit against Dickens any day.
So give curlicues a chance. Or, at the very least, don’t back away from me at a party when I mention chick lit!


Talli Roland has three loves in her life: rom coms, coffee and wine. Born and raised in Canada, Talli now lives in London, where she savours the great cultural life (coffee and wine). Despite training as a journalist, Talli soon found she preferred making up her own stories — complete with happy endings.The Hating Game is her first novel and she is currently working on her second, Watching Willow Watts.

23 Comments on “Guest Post – Talli Roland: In Defence of Chicklit

  1.  by  Meika

    I totally get the raised eyebrows, nose turned down in disdain, look when I say I write chick lit. It's like, just because we write about love and happy endings and heroines that can take on the world without breaking a nail we're the low man on the totem pole. But I'm proud to write chick lit. There are some phenomenal authors out there (Talli, included) and we work just as hard on our novels as those hoity toity literary authors. Great post, Talli! And thanks for hosting such a wonderful lady, Nik!

  2.  by  Talli Roland

    Thank you, Jules – I hope you enjoy it! :)And I second Nik's recommendation for Cally's book. It's a fantastic read!

  3.  by  Manzanita

    Applause, applause. Great post. Your book stuck with me, I've told you that. Normally, I don't do chick lit because it's such a generation gap and I don't know what's going on. Ha But brilliant writing always hits it's mark. And reading your book kinda made me feel young again.

  4.  by  Ben

    Sometimes it's just what you do. The Sophie Kinsella example is a good one. I have studied literature for six years and at the end of my tenure, when time to do a master degree thesis, who did I choose?Philip K. Dick, a writer I read in high school. Sometimes it's jus what you do, as long as you do it well, it's all matters. Good post Talli, showing that chick lit writers are smart once again

  5.  by  Talli Roland

    Meika, thank you. I'm glad I'm not the only one to have struggled with this! And thank you for your kind words. too. Flowerpot, thanks! 🙂

  6.  by  Talli Roland

    Manzanita, thank you! I'm so pleased to hear that you enjoyed my book. Ben, it's funny, isn't it? I like what you say about doing it well — you're right — that's what really matters in the end.

  7.  by  Catherine Lavoie

    AMEN! lol i couldn't agree with you more! Even though I enjoyed some books I read at University, it was the ones I WANTED to read (as opposed to to the ones I was forced to read) that stayed with me and made me want to write chick lit. Awesome post! 🙂 Thanks Nik and Talli!

  8.  by  Nik Perring

    Hello folks – thanks so much for dropping by. I'm glad you liked Tall's post.I think what it all comes down to is: good writing is good writing, and good stories are good stories, regardless of their genre, and none should be treated as less worthy or good than any other.Nik

  9.  by  Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Nik and Talli .. good to see Talli over here .. you're so right – we need light relief at many times and well written books at that. So stand up and be counted .. we can't read serious stuff all the time .. I'll be getting The Hating Game very shortly .. and shall thoroughly enjoy the read as I sit with my mother .. Enjoy our British sunshine .. cheers Hilary

  10.  by  Lucie Simone

    Stand tall in those stiletto heels, Talli. Great stories, like great women, come in all shapes & sizes. Literature is not one size fits all. Thank goodness!

  11.  by  Brigid

    Hi Nik/Talli, I came over via Talli's site.-He backed away, as if curlicues would leap off me and contaminate his rigid Times New Roman.- great line, Talli in any genre.You shouldn't feel apologetic, Talli, a good book is a good book, end of story.By the way, Nik, I read your book and thought it was the best writing I had read in such a long time, looking forward to your next one.

  12.  by  Nik Perring

    Hi brigidyes, a good book is a good book – couldn't agree more.And thanks so much – thrilled you enjoyed Not So Perfect! That makes me happy!

  13.  by  Deniz Bevan

    Hooray, Talli! I have to learn how to do this now that I'm writing a romance and fending off questions like "so, do you use the word bosom a lot?"

  14.  by  Margaret

    Hi, Talli. Good for you. You don't need to apologize any more than those writers of blood, guts and gore need to apologize. We all have what we love to read and what we love to write. You go, girl.Margaret Lake

  15. Pingback: Talli Roland’s Brain: Revealed « The Nik Perring Show

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