Today's Genre is Lits. There are lots of types of lits out there: Chick Lit, Hen Lit, Lad Lit, Redneck Lit, etc.
I'm not a big reader of Lits, mostly because the ones I can find often feature power-women with an obsession for totally unpronounceable Italian shoes and froo-froo foods I wouldn't eat if you paid me.
But what makes a book a lit? Is it only the designer handbag? Nope, though that's often the stereotype that many (and even I, I'll confess) cling to.
Lit: A humorous, mostly first-person, story that involves predominately female characters in a journey of self-discovery. This journey may or may not involve a romance (often a choice for the heroine between the guy she's always dreamed of and the dream guy she doesn't see right under her nose) but the romance is less important that the lesson the heroine learns about herself. Humor, wit, and all the modern conveniences are hallmarks of Lit.
Lit isn't selling great right now, though that will most likely change in the future. Face it, three years ago no one was buying historical romance, and now that's what editors are all looking for.
The Queen of Christian Lit is undoubtedly Kristin Billerbeck, author of What a Girl Wants and others in the Ashley Stockingdale series. I had a hard time relating to Ashley, because she's a patent lawyer in Silicon Valley, and she knows her Jimmy Choos from her Gucci loafers.
My very favorite lit author is Georgiana Daniels, whose stories are side-splittingly funny. I'm constantly amazed at how Georgiana throws BOMBS at her characters and stands back to see which way they explode.
So, are you a lit writer or reader? I actually placed First in the 2008 Genesis Contest in the Lit category with a Sandwich Lit entry called Pam on Rye, a story of a woman who is stuck between her teenaged children and her aging parents. Someday, when this story isn't so poignant and fresh in my own life, I'd like to go back to it and see how it turns out. :)