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Wednesday, June 20, 2007
REAL WOMEN WEAR RED by Kathy Holmes
I was watching another episode of the “Bachelor” and noticed that these women were so comfortable calling themselves “girls” and wearing pink. When Trista married Ryan from “The Bachelorette, everything in her wedding was pink—the table coverings, the bridesmaid dresses, the cake. Everything imaginable was pink. And then I realized that the latest genre in women’s fiction—chick lit—was targeted for this same age group and all of the covers were pink. What was up with these “girls” today and what was with all the pink?

Anyway, as an antithesis to all of that, I started writing about 3 women from 3 different generations: 20-something, 40-something, and 60-something and these women wore red because that was a woman’s color—not pink. And it didn’t matter their age—they all wanted the same things. And that’s how “Real Women Wear Red” came to be.

While writing this manuscript, I was originally uncomfortable putting myself out there so strongly on the page. My husband kept saying, “Let her out.” And I did. He loved it, my critique partners loved it, and test readers loved it. When an agent loved it and offered to represent me, I loved her. But my timing was all wrong. The chick lit boom began to slow down and publishers and agents noticed sales began to slow.

So what next? Well, no matter what genre you call it, I believe there’s the forgotten woman in fiction. It’s the woman (she could be any age) who has never married or recently divorced and without kids. She’s asking, “Where’s fiction written for me? I don’t want to read the chick lit for 20-somethings and I don’t want to read hen lit for 50-somethings. Where’s fiction about women who reflect my lifestyle, my choices, my circumstances?

No matter our age, we want to read contemporary women’s fiction that has the same tone, the same attitude, the same search for the inner woman and what she’s looking for that she thinks will make her life happy. I want to write about the questions that we, as women, ask ourselves, and you can ask these questions at any age. Questions such as, “My life isn’t working and I desperately need to change something, but what?” “Is it time to get married, will I ever get married, will I ever have kids, do I even want kids?” “Should I buy a house, settle down, move to Paris , change careers?” “What is it I’m supposed to be doing with my life?”

I’ve been called a “trendsetter” and that I’m ahead of my time. And maybe I was when I began writing Real Women Wear Red as a twist on the whole pink cover, chick lit trend. But I feel the time is right, the attitude is right, and all I have to do is persevere. I chose to self-publish Real Women Wear Red, even turning down contracts with e-publishers. I hope that you will not only enjoy my attitude through my writing on my blog, but that you will also enjoy it through my fiction. And that I’m one step closer to getting my “women’s fiction with attitude” out there.

###

Kathy Holmes is on a mission to write women’s fiction in a way that inspires women of all ages to follow their dreams. As part of her journey, she turned her life around when she realized it wasn’t working any more, including searching for the father she had never met. And once she met him, she was motivated to raise an awareness of fatherless daughters through novel writing. In support of that, she also posts on blogs and writes online articles.

From all facets of the publishing world (from journalism to printing to technical writing to fiction writing), to all corners of the US (from Los Angeles to San Francisco to the Pacific Northwest to the Midwest/Northeast, and Southeast), she has used all of her experiences to spread her wings. Myths of the Fatherless and Real Women Wear Red are just the beginning of Kathy living outloud and pursuing her dreams.

Kathy Holmes
Author of Real Women Wear Red and Myths of the Fatherless
http://www.kathyholmes.net/

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About Me: Dorothy Thompson is CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book, an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book promotion and social media marketing for authors.  Visit her website at www.pumpupyourbook.com.

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