We are so lucky today because we have the fabulous Jason Pinter, the Man in Black, guest blogging for us! For those of you who know his amazing work, you know that he writes mystery thrillers. But a recent conversation we had made us both wonder whether our genres are really that far apart from each other…. So, without further ado, I give you our fabulous guest blog for the day:
The Mystery of Chick Lit
(or, is my book schizophrenic?)
Hey everyone. My name is Jason Pinter, and my debut novel THE MARK just came out this summer. Now when I wrote THE MARK, I conceived of it as a thriller. You know, the kind of book that keeps you turning the pages, makes you sweat, hinges on the relationship between the male and female characters, and keeps you aching for more. No, get your mind out of the gutter, it really is a thriller, honest!
Ok, so maybe I need to look at things from a different perspective. Is there a chance that, in my desire to write a great thriller, I wrote a chick lit novel? Now, my experience with chick lit is kind of limited in the literary sense. Though having been with my wife since college, I’m well-versed in the cinematic realm of chick lit. The movies I’ve seen have ranged from the really good (“Bridget Jones’s Diary”) to the pretty decent (“The Devil Wears Prada”) to the downright unforgiveable (“Little Black Book”). Plus I’ve seen every episode of “Sex and the City.”
So I think I have a good understanding of traditional chick lit themes. Now I know there are many, many variations on these themes, so apologies if my interpretations are, like my reading experience, rather limited. So, inspired by Brenda Janowitz, I’ve decided to break down the main plot threads from THE MARK to see if my book really does fit the chick lit mold…
Here we go:
My hero, Henry Parker, 24, comes to New York from Oregon to take a job as a reporter at a prestigious New York newspaper.(Are there any chick lit books that DON'T feature young characters who work at a newspaper, magazine or publishing house?)
Henry's relationship with his college girlfriend, Mya, is falling apart due to something terrible that happened a few months ago.(Relationship troubles? Uh, ya think?)
Henry’s mentor is a legendary—and legendarily scrabby—older newsman who doesn’t take crap from anybody.(Maybe he was married to Miranda Priestly…)
Henry is accused of murder and must go on the run to prove his innocence.(Hmm…not quite sure if this works. But didn’t Bridget Jones end up in a Turkish prison in her second book?)
Henry meets a young woman who offers to give him a ride out of town, not knowing he’s a fugitive.(Aside from the fugitive part, isn’t this the definition of meeting cute?)Henry finds out that no less than half a dozen different people want him dead.(Main character realizes he/she is desired by several suitors? Hello!!!)
A mysterious black-clad assassin called The Ringer is dispatched to find Henry, retrieve a missing package and then kill him.(A strange man who wears all black? Can you say ‘Tall, dark and mysterious’?)
Consensus: Uh…in my effort to write a page-turning thriller, I just might have written the next GIRLS GUIDE TO HUNTING AND FISHING. I’ll leave it to readers to decide for themselves.
Jason Pinter is the author of THE MARK (Mira). Visit his website at www.jasonpinter.com.