Andrea Sachs of Time magazine interviews Susan Elizabeth Phillips, the New York Times bestselling romance author of the new book, Match Me if You Can (Morrow). Susan explains the difference between chicklit and romance. She says she doesn't make any distinction between them in her writing. She also explains what make a novel a romance.
Time: You mentioned Bridget Jones. What's the distinction between chicklit and romance?
Susan Elizabeth Phillips: In my own work, I don't make any distinction at all. People say, what do you write? I say, I write romance, women's fiction, chicklit. I think it all fits very comfortably under the same umbrella. Basically, I write books for womenóbooks about relationships, books that make you laugh and sometimes make you cry a little.
Time: What has to be in a book for it to be considered a romance?
Susan Elizabeth Phillips: The love story between the hero and the heroine has to be at the center of the book. I think that's pretty true in my books. I usually write a secondary love story, with maybe nontraditional characters. Sometimes I write older characters. I'm interested in female friendships, and family relationships. So I don't write the traditional romance, where you just have the hero and the heroine's love story. I like intertwining relationships.
We quite enjoyed Match Me if You Can: it's fresh and funny.