What Is Women’s Fiction? And Why Do You Write That?

I have been struggling with my current manuscript, finding the last third of the book to be the most difficult. Pulling it all together, grappling with endings. It’s kind of a slow and steady process, but the pain will be over sometime in June. Yes, June. I have a mental deadline. But today is blog day.

Feb 7 [17945]Let me welcome my Guest Blogger, Zan Marie Steadham. I enjoyed finally meeting her in person the other day when we met for lunch in Atlanta with two other Women’s Fiction writers, Melanie Logan and Emily Carpenter. It was fun getting to know these women re-emphasizing that we all go through the same journey through our creativity.

Zan Marie is a writer of Women’s Fiction whose blogging alter ego is “The Book Pusher.” She has mini book reviews on her blog at least twice a month because the second best thing to reading a good book is to share it with others. She particularly enjoys pushing books by her WFWA (Women’s Fiction Writers Association) buddies and the members of the Books and Writers Community. She lives west of Atlanta and nearly in Alabama with her college sweetheart husband of over thirty-eight years and their two toy poodles. She’s a 2009 Georgia Author of the Year Nominee and an active blogger. Check out her weekly posts at In the Shade of the Cherry Tree. Her humorous essay, “An Occupational Hazard” was published in the WFWA Quarterly Write On! Currently, she’s pitching her first novel.


All of us know the perennial question: “What do you do?” Our answer—“I’m a writer”—is followed by “Oooh! When is your book coming out?”

I promise that to truly answer what’s behind getting a book to market will create a vacuum in their attention span. Our voices become just like the adults on the “Charlie Brown” specials—“wah, wah, wah” For my quick analogy, check this blogpost, Now You Can Read My Book.

I like to tell people that women’s fiction found me. When I woke from a dream in March 2008 with the first scene of my WIP, I had no clue what genre it was. The story of a recently widowed, retired teacher who still mourned her husband and their five miscarriages, who meets an abused foster twelve-year-old and has her life changed one hundred eighty degrees, wasn’t a mystery (Though, there is a bit of mystery on exactly what the girl has experienced and why she resembles the teacher’s deceased husband). It isn’t suspense, thriller, or horror. (Though, to be honest, some people think the abuse fits that classification.) And as a contemporary story it doesn’t fit SF or fantasy. I was left with literary and mainstream.

I scratched my head when I tried to research agents. Mainstream covered way too many types of books. I didn’t want to spin my wheels when agent after agent passed.bl wh woman reading

Then, I met Amy Sue Nathan (check out her books! They’re fabulous) and her blog was promoting women’s fiction and mentioned the formation of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. The WFWA “an inclusive organization of writers creating layered stories that are driven by the main character’s emotional journey.”

I had an Ah Hah moment. I was writing women’s fiction. My current project is Upmarket Women’s Fiction and is a perfect book for book clubs. The WFWA has helped me hone my craft, find agents to query, and bolster me when I falter.

Now, I can proudly say, “I write Women’s Fiction. Let me tell you about my book.”

Ninety-nine percent of my questioners get wistful to read my story. They wish me well, add a few prayers, and say, “Let me know when it comes out.”

I can’t ask for a better conversation than that. 🙂

You can find Zan Marie on:

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/WriterZanMarieSteadham/

TWITTER:     https://twitter.com/ZanMarieS

WEBSITE/BLOG:  www.zanmariesteadham.com

Thank you, Zan Marie.

See you in June,



Published by jodywritessouthern

Jody Herpin writes with a southern accent. Re-discovering her love of writing in the last ten years, she has completed her second novel, "Relative Consequences," and is currently researching her third. In 2015, Jody received First Place for Novel Submission at the Southeastern Writers Association Workshop for "Weather Permitting." In 2014, she received Third Place for the Microcosm Award at the Southeastern Writers Association Workshop for her piece, "View of a Lifetime." She's constantly reading, researching and soaking up knowledge about her craft. Born in Savannah, Georgia, she has lived most of her life in the South, attending Decatur High School in Decatur, Georgia and living in Alabama, Georgia and North and South Carolina, Florida and Virginia. If she's not writing, she is decorating her home, attempting to paint with watercolors, reading, rediscovering the guitar, walking her Mini-Australian Shepherd, Bella, or cheering for her beloved Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Jody married the love of her life in 2014, and she and her husband, Mike Boggioni, a professional musician, live north of Atlanta, Georgia. She has two grown children and six amazing grandchildren all of whom live close enough "to holler at."

4 thoughts on “What Is Women’s Fiction? And Why Do You Write That?

  1. Great post, Zan Marie! I feel that my Sci-Fi stories are richer for having written Women’s Fiction in the past. Setting an emotional course for my characters has become step #1 when designing a plot. I love that your story’s setup came to you in a dream.

  2. Thanks, Cathy! Everything blends together to make a rich layered story. BTW, I love yours, too. 😉

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