Drunkeness: The Failure of Lad Lit

May 10th, 2005 · 2 Comments
by Booksquare

MediaBistro continues to make our days easier by going out and doing the interviews we would do if we had the time and energy. We don’t, so we pretend to be reporting by linking to their stories. In a way, it’s a win-win situation for us. Except for the part where we pay for the privilege. Must work on that.

This morning, they buttonhole Kendra Harpster of Doubleday and get her to spill on all sorts of topics. We’ll just skip ahead to our favorite parts, though, as always, we suggest reading the full article. That way you’ll know she only reads agented material.

As far as fiction is concerned, I have to be immediately sucked in. I won’t read the whole thing if after 25 pages it’s boring me to tears. There are definitely things in a manuscript that will turn me off: egregious grammatical errors, unnumbered pages, and if it seems like it hasn’t even been looked over by the agent before being sent out.

. . . [Some interesting stuff, then a quick discussion on grinding trends into the ground]

This brings to mind the whole “lad lit” category, the guy equivalent of chick lit. The genre didn’t really take off like the female counterpart because the novels were all the same. I think it’s because I’m young and interested in first-time authors, but I read way too many novels about a 20-something guy, unlucky in love and employment, drinking his way through New York City. Too many people were doing the same thing. The agents probably sent them to every young editor in town.

And here we thought the failure of lad lit was due to the fact that it was, well, called lad lit. Also the fact that we couldn’t take it seriously; maybe it’s the lack of appeal exhibited by the drunken male. We totally missed the part where all the stories were set in New York City. Just goes to show: we don’t know everything.

File Under: Publishers and Editors

2 responses so far ↓

  • Lynn // May 12, 2005 at 5:05 pm

    Question: If you were invited to a special catered “bloggers press conference” to watch a controversial tv pilot just before it aired — and get to ask questions to the producer — and then write about it… would you go? (having a little controversy over this with some colleagues who say bloggers would never go to that b/c what they do is blog — i disagree — i think bloggers would appreciate the opportunity to write about something before others got the chance to do so and to be participate in a community event with other like-minded bloggers… ) Would greatly appreciate your opinion… please email it to me at reachlynn@comcast.net as soon as possible. p.s. I will be meeting you at Bella Stander’s Workshop on Saturday. Lynn

  • Booksquare // May 12, 2005 at 5:30 pm

    Responding here and on the blog (or vice versa, depending on where you’re reading this) — a blogger is whatever they choose to be. So my answer is yes, if it was a subject I wrote about, I would attend. I would then write about my experiences, good, bad, or ugly. That’s what I do. I think it’s especially great that you’ll be participating with other like-minded bloggers because you’ll be able to use your experiences as a conversation — offline and online.

    Since we’re meeting on Saturday, I’m going to say something you’ll likely be hearing again: blogging software is just a vehicle for the sauce. In other words, the software facilitates the process of updating a site quickly and easily. Blogs range from extremely professional to extremely personal. There are no rules.

    Go. Report. Write. I’m looking forward to talking about this more!