Getting published is a real be-yatch! Hear about my ups, downs and a few random rants in between.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Hip Lit is born!

I had a great time at Thomas G. Pullen Focus Arts School. Shout out to Mr. V, Ms. Stukes and Ms. Ewalds' classes. I had a blast talking to you guys!

I was so tired when I got home (from yapping)that I had to take a cat nap. Who knew running your mouth took so much energy?

Hey, if you guys have never bothered to get to know your teachers you should. In my short time at TGP, I found out that one teacher designs clothes and another is an artist. So, there are some deep resources that TGP students can tap. If they ever bother to do a little digging.

Well, I get back home and had to get back to reality (i.e. writing). As I'm pecking away, I get an email from a literary agent who is interested in reading a few chapters of my book. When opportunity knocks, answer it! Even if nothing comes of this read, building bridges is important in anything you do. Okay, sorry, no more lessons.

Anyway, as I'm preparing a nice cover letter to go along with the chapters, it occured to me that while my book definitely favors the young ladies - it's really not just about that. The fellas in my book are key characters, as well. But since everything has to fit so nice and neat into a category, I'm really starting to wonder where my book can call home.

Sure, it's teen chick lit...sort of. But, look around at some of the teen chick lit books out there and it's not exactly along the same lines as most.

It's also not urban lit. The Clique never goes through anything as gritty or complex as most urban lit characters.

The whole situation is a real head scratcher. I don't want to be categorized, at all. I just want to write good, fun, young adult fiction with a little edge. But just like with music or television, books are always put into some type of category. Even if I don't categorize it, someone else will do it for me.

Next day, I'm talking this over with a colleague of mine. And guess what? Thanks to her, I realized I've created my own fiction sub-genre. So, you heard it hear first! My books are hip lit (hip literature).

Hip lit, to put it simply, are books where the characters are very much products of hip hop's impact on our culture. The clothes they wear, the music they like, the aspirations they have are influenced by hip hop. And this applies across races, income background and ethnic culture, because hip hop is a culture!

Also, the parents of these characters are all first generation hip hop heads. Like me. Not to tell my age, but I was rocking to hip hop when it was still just rap!

I'm excited, because if anyone is going to categorize me, it may as well be me!! And Hip lit is a great term because hip hop had a profound impact on me as I grew up, still does even as an adult and definitely has an impact on my daughter.

So, welcome to my world. Today, hip lit is born!

Peaches (and) Cream,

Paula Chase AKA Her Royal Cliqueness


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