Meet Guest Author Pamela S. Wight…

I am honored to be a guest author on Chris the Reading Ape’s Blog this week. My Secret is OUT.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

pamela-s-wight
I secretly enjoy reading . . .

oh, I can’t say . . .

Well, I’ve got to admit it . . .

I refuse to be ashamed of the fact that of all the genres I read, of all the authors I respect and sometimes try to emulate, of all the literary, historical, suspense and contemporary fiction I read, what I most enjoy is . . .

Women’s Fiction.

I fought this knowledge for a long time.

Even when I, myself, published two books that can be categorized as “women’s fiction.”

Instead, I call the genre of my novels “romantic suspense,” both words being true.

But basically, I write women’s fiction.

Why should that be embarrassing or shameful? How horrible, that I have been sucked into the male-dominated literary power structure of believing that books written for, by, and about women are somehow… LESS.

A close friend recently attended…

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34 thoughts on “Meet Guest Author Pamela S. Wight…

    • I think there are so many of us who feel as you do, Patricia, but are maybe like me, a little embarrassed to share it. Or maybe I’m just way too sensitive. ;-0 In my defense, when I attended graduate school to earn my M.A. in English Literature, “women’s fiction” was put down, repeatedly.

  1. Well Pam for the first time ever I don’t get what you are saying? I’ve come to respect you and enjoy your writing but haven’t really got a clue what women’s fiction is? I read you because you are you and tell one hell of a good story … end of. If the concept of women’s fiction is fiction written by women, of women for women then are you really expecting me to believe a man can’t write of women for women? Maybe I am writing the wrong book but I’ll write it anyway as me. God how I hate labels.

    • This is an excellent comment and question(s). I also hate labels, thus when I’ve talked to agents and they want to know what ‘genre’ my book is under, I refuse to say. But publishing companies want to sell a book under a “genre,” or as you put it, a label. This is one of the reasons so many authors are self-publishing – so they don’t have to put their writing in a certain genre or label.
      That said, in the “normal” publishing world, I have never heard of a book labeled as “men’s fiction.” Literature written by men is perhaps thriller, or suspense or mystery, etc. But it’s never called “men’s fiction.” But if an author is a woman, and she writes with female characters and female points of view, her work is labeled “Women’s Fiction.” This used to drive me crazy (which, admittedly, isn’t a far road to drive – ha ha). I have many male readers for both The Right Wrong Man and Twin Desires who have given my books great reviews. But they’re the brave ones. Most men don’t think they’re going to like a book that’s labeled “women’s fiction.” Thus, I’ve made sure I never characterize my books this way.
      Until I heard about Kristin Hannah’s talk, and her defiant embrace of the label “Women’s Fiction.” And then I thought “Oh, okay. She’s right. I’m writing from a female POV, and I’m writing about female characters who are placed in a suspenseful situation. I shouldn’t act ashamed about this. I am woman – hear me roar.
      I’m still struggling with this. Your work, written in a women’s POV, would be called Contemporary Fiction. If I wrote it, it would be labeled Women’s Fiction, Go figure. 🙂
      Hope this helps! You really got me on a roll here. ❤

      • I’ll be attending the 3 day London Book Fair in mid-March which will be awash with agents and publishers, not to mention actual and would-be authors … with plenty presentations and opportunities for questions … I think I’m going to have a bit of a stir once a mic gets in my hand! I really don’t get this Contemporary Fiction – Women’s Fiction divide at all. Given that all the feedback I get on my writing is from women and two of my three characters are women who don’t take kindly to being told what to think or do I actually thought for a while that I was writing Women’s Fiction but it seems physiologically I’m wrong. Pam you write fiction, contemporary … just like me but way better! Have a good weekend my friend … and I’ll not ever forget I write the way I do because of encouragement from you! Eric.

  2. While I believe that everyone has a right to an opinion, I do find myself rolling my eyes at “editorial review,” as if they are any more than … well, the opinion of one person who happens, at that time, to be working for a certain publication. So when Publishers Weekly (or any other “expert”) pans something, I take it with a grain of salt.

    People like what they like.

    And we as writers should write what we love.

    • I feel the same way, Erik, on book reviews AND movie reviews. Sometimes it’s obvious that the reviewer comes from an entirely different perspective than me, so I can discount a review easily. Sometimes I can’t tell, and I get persuaded by their words. Which is NOT smart. Word of mouth about a good book is the best way to go, I think. And for all of us in our careers – whether writing or counseling or doctoring or building houses – what’s most important is that we love what we do, we believe in it, and we do the best we possibly can.

  3. Pam, I loved learning a little more about you and your chosen genre: women’s fiction. What a great review to finish the article! I wish you success with your novels. I wonder which one I should read first.

  4. For me, the plot is a lot more important than the genre of the book. I read almost anything, except horror and overly-sexualized texts because they scare me and are triggers. But I love how you described you don’t “just” write women’s fiction ~ stand tall as a great writer 🙂

    • You and I are similar readers, Christy. No horror or gratuitous sex for me in the books I write or read . . . I’d end up with nightmares. When I write (and read) I need a good plot that is character-driven. Genre-schmadre. Just give me good writing! THANKS for your encouragement – standing tall as an oak.

  5. Yes, nothing wrong with Women’s Fiction. I’m glad there’s so much good women’s fiction out there. One of my current favorites is Liane Moriarty. I loved Kristen Hannah’s Nightingale. And recently I read a fun older book of hers, Summer Island.

    • You’re right- so many good books of Women’s Fiction out there now. I also really enjoy Liane Moriarty books. And thanks for the recommendation of Hannah’s Summer Island!

    • That’s all that should matter, Kate. Although I don’t enjoy a book even if it has a good plot if it doesn’t have at least one character that I like. I guess you could say I like to read and write books with character. 🤗

  6. Browsing the Atlas said it well, I love Women’s fiction because I can relate to the emotions and characters in them. A good book gives me enjoyment and entertains me. That’s what your books did Pam.

    • And that’s exactly my intention when I write a book: to offer entertainment and page-turning enjoyment. Oh, and in my blog posts too! For sustenance to keep my writing fingers moving, I use one of your recipes for a great dinner. ❤

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