Geraldine Fonteroy: Plots of Gold

Geraldine FonteroyWoo-hoo! – International Chick Lit Month is here, and what better way to celebrate than to delve a little into what my warped little brain thinks chick lit is all about – stonkingly brilliant plots! Not just any old plots will do when it comes to chick lit. What makes the genre so endearing is the fab experiences a reader can enjoy by jumping into the intriguing (and occasionally insane) situations posed by the author.

For example, ever felt like one little lie is harmless in the grand scheme of things? How about a larger lie? Perhaps one involving an esteemed profession that usually involves years of study? Um, maybe not. In my Twinkle Twinkle Little Lie, the protagonist takes things a step further and impersonates a lawyer – with predictably grim and hilarious results.

For me, it’s the implied ‘what if’ in chick lit that keeps my Kindle working overtime, and the element of possibility that keeps us all intrigued.

Would you interview for a job in a world completely alien to you? Devil Wears Prada hits the right (or write!) note with the proposition that a daggy girl with no style can make it big in fashion. Better yet, it was based on the author’s own experiences. Not sure if Nicky Schmidt’s Naked in Knightsbridge was based in reality – although from what I know of her, Nicky isn’t adverse to a Hobnob or twelve. But a tubby, lazy, workshy twenty-something who sells herself online in a marriage of convenience certainly appealed to thousands of punters.

Chicklit plots and truth? Surely not? Lauren Weisberger might have relived her Vogue days, but what about all those other favourites? Are the plots for real? Personally, my books contain an element of reality. My first book, The Revenge Date, is based on a young friend I know. Both stunningly beautiful and studying to be a doctor, every man who meets her seemingly becomes instantly infatuated – including the boyfriends and husbands of her besties. Combine this lucky creature with that rather horrifying U.S. reality TV show Cheaters and you have the plot of The Revenge Date. Well, almost (you’ll have to read it (*she begs*)).

Of course, sometimes, a true plot of gold is about the impossible. Impossible wealth. Impossible beauty. Impossible scenarios. Step right up to my newest creation: Nightmare on Fifth Avenue. Gorgeous wife of billionaire awakes to find dead body in the lounge of Fifth Avenue apartment, and handsome husband gone. As the plot unravels, it becomes clear hubby is about as posh as a caravan by a motorway, and she struggles to hide the dire situation from snobby society friends.

If that’s all a bit much for you, then perhaps a nice dose of something by Hilary Mantel would suit, but for those who love the unexpected in love and life, and crave a buff knight in shining Armani, I can only suggest you keep your Kindles tuned to twists and turns of the amazingly creative plots that define chick lit.

Chin-chin, fellow chick-litters,

Geraldine. X

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Geraldine Fonteroy is a stay-at-home London mum who lives perilously close to the M25 with her family. She enjoys reading and writing chicklit, pubbing, EastEnders and the occasional sneaky peek at BBC’s Don’t Tell the Bride. Her latest novel, Nightmare on Fifth Avenue, is due out later this year.

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