This week, Wendy and I met for lunch at Le Bilboquet, a French restaurant in the heart of Buckhead, located in the “Shops of Buckhead.” Just off Peachtree Road (and, for those of you who don’t live here, there is only 1 real Peachtree), the restaurant is on a corner, with the Spanx building just behind it and à côté. We sat by the window on a rainy Wednesday and caught up over a glass of wine about our recent and upcoming travels, current events, and this and that.
Les fleurs sur la table–l’une commerciale, l’autre, littéraire
Wendy had lots of fun on her recent trip to a Caribbean island, where she celebrated her birthday. She has a few European trips planned for next year, and I’m off to France in a few weeks. We are both passionné about what’s happening across the pond. And Wendy knows that Mademoiselle (my daughter) is in France right now, and was in Paris last weekend.
We also talked about my books, and I updated Wendy on where things stand with “Book 4.” (She knows the title, whose initials are AZSG.) The “full manuscript” (the entire book) is in the hands of two people in the publishing industry, and I’m waiting to hear back.
I met one of them in Nashville, and I told Wendy she said that UNDERWATER and AZSG (title to be revealed later) are upmarket fiction, rather than straight suspense, and cross over from suspense into women’s fiction.
Wendy smiled. “Isn’t that last part what I said, after I read it [AZSG]?” * (Wendy was my beta-reader this fall, and her feedback was invaluable.) “And most readers–and people who buy books–are women,” she added.
“Right!” I said. “You did say that, and they are.”
“What is ‘upmarket’ fiction, though?”
“Basically, it’s a merger–or an intersection–of commercial and literary fiction,” I said. “It appeals primarily to women, especially book clubs, and its readers are usually well-read and educated. The stories have strong characters and plot, but are a little more thoughtful and discussion-provoking than commercial fiction.”
“Books like Gone Girl,” she said, and I nodded.
We chatted on, and I told Wendy I would let her know when I had any news about AZSG. When we said au revoir, I glanced up at the Spanx building, and was struck by the fact that the protagonist of UNDERWATER is the CEO of “SlimZ,” a fictional version of the Atlanta-based company.
Who knows? Maybe, some of my readers work there…
*I don’t know if these were our exact words, but this was the gist of it.