Adele Parks

Rian: When you wrote your first book, did you set out to join the chick lit genre, or did you just kind of fall into it?

Adele: When I first wrote Playing Away (1999) the chic lit genre had not been identified as such. I just wrote the novel that I wanted to write. I’ve left it up to other people to label my work.

Rian: Do you consider yourself to be a fan of chick lit? Why or why not?

Adele: I usually find myself reading novels written by women (although not exclusively) so I am certainly a fan of woman’s fiction. The term chic lit was originally a fun label that journalists came up with. Like any genre there are some great novels that are compelling and thought provoking within the genre; there’s also a lot of dross. It’s not a good idea to generalise.

Rian: In your books, you often have the main characters dealing with a lot of things most women go through at some point in their life, such as motherhood, sisterhood, insecurity, relationships, friendships, and more. Where do you get your ideas for your novels?

Adele: My life. The lives that are lived close around me.

Rian: Which of your books did you enjoy writing most, if any? Is there a particular type of character you like writing about the best?

Adele: Game Over was the most fun to write. I guess because Cas is such an ‘out there’ character. She is super-bitchy and says the kind of things most of us wouldn’t dare think.

Rian: Is there any particular character in one of your books that is most like you? Why or why not?

Adele: There are two sisters in my book THE OTHER WOMAN’S SHOES (published in the UK in 2003) will be published under the title LUST FOR LIFE, in the USA March 2005, named Eliza and Martha. These women are very dissimilar to one another but I believe they make up two sides of my personality. That novel was semi-autobiographical and therefore the two characters combined are a close approximation to the real me.

Rian: What is your opinion, if any, on people who belittle chick lit and say it’s only ridiculous fluff (or similar)?

Adele: In fairness some of it is ridiculous fluff but lots of it is brilliant. These people who criticise probably haven’t read the genre widely. I don’t actually spend anytime thinking about these people, unless prompted, because I know my work is well received, well written and I’m proud of it.

Rian: When you are writing, is there any particular habit you have, or a certain way things have to be for your thoughts to flow freely?

Adele: Peace and quiet helps, a sparse commodity in our house as I have a three year old son! I like my office to be tidy and my in-tray to be relatively clear too.

Rian: So far, three of your books have been released here in the U.S.: “Playing Away”, “Game Over”, and “Larger Than Life”. Are “Still Thinking of You” and “The Other Woman’s Shoes” going to be published here also eventually? If so, when?

Adele: Yup, they’ll both be published in the States. THE OTHER WOMAN’S SHOES (published in the UK in 2003) will be published under the title LUST FOR LIFE, in the USA March 2005, and STILL THINKING OF YOU will follow the year after that.

Rian: I see on the website that you have a sixth book coming out there next year (2005). What is it going to be about?

Adele: My next novel is called HUSBANDS. There are three protagonists, all women. One is recently married, another recently widowed and the third a single mum. A very complex love tRiangle develops when two of the women (the recently married and the single mum) fall in love with the same man.

Rian: Are there any British authors or books that you would recommend chick people to read?

Adele: Chic Lit I love; Marian Keyes (RACHEL’S HOLIDAY and WATERMELON are my favourites), Jane Green (STRAIGHT TALKING and JEMIMA J are my favourites) Anna Maxted (GETTING OVER IT) and Allison Pearson (I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT). All of these books made me laugh out loud and moved me to tears. They are all great.

Rian: In closing, do you have any advice for hopeful writers? (Chick lit or otherwise)?

Adele: Read a lot, read everything in the genre you want to work in. Develop a thick skin. Be disciplined and dedicated. If you are waiting for the muse to visit and find you spend most of your time staring at a blank screen chances are you will not see your name on a bestseller list anytime soon. Set yourself exercises so that you write something, anything, every day. Then get an agent.

View Adele Parks’ Website