Monday, April 29, 2013
The New Adult genre has been a thing for a long time. I'll even go as far to say it's been around as long as stories themselves, but recently St. Martin's Press and the rest of the publishing industry decided to slap a title on these stories. Here's what Wikipedia has to say on the genre (with a little help from St. Martin's and NA Alley).
"New adult literature touches upon many themes and issues to reach the readership that falls in between the categories of young adult and adult fiction. Many themes covered in young adult fiction such as identity, sexuality, depression, suicide, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, familial struggles, bullying are also covered in new adult fiction, but the various issues that are dealt with in the category hold it separate.
Some common examples of issues include: first jobs, starting college, wedding engagements and marriage, starting new families, friendships post-high school, military enlistment, financial independence, living away from home for the first time, empowerment, loss of innocence, fear of failure, and so many others.
This category focuses heavily on life after an individual has become of legal age, and how one deals with the new beginnings of adulthood. Commonly, these themes and issues have been seen taking place post-high school in popular new adult fiction titles, but there are exceptions." -- Yes, I'm citing Wikipedia because they had the most clear definition.
Inside Romancelandia, I've seen a bit of a divide on the subject. Some think this is simply a marketing gimmick, another set of quick buzz words to push something that already exists. And others actually find this is new description to be rather helpful and exciting. I actually fall into both camps. Do I think it is a bit of a marketing ploy? Yes, but honestly that's how you sell things. You use marketing techniques to drive customers to your product. Books are a business. But for me categories like this help me understand what I'm getting.
I'm at a point in my life where the Boyfriend and I are struggling to get beyond our college life-style. I mean I have to put in the effort to not stay up all night, watching cartoons and eating junk food. He recently just bought his first car. That was a traumatic experience. It's only been in the last couple of years that I've stopped calling my parents every time something goes wrong. For a while I felt that I was reading romances with characters that we too serious and in periods of their life (secure in their careers, too mature to get swept up in slightly immature (fun and hilarious) situations etc.) that I just couldn't relate to at all. New Adult solves this problem for me as a reader.
What does this have to do with me and my books? I'll tell you. When I first started writing Better Off Red, I realized that I hadn't read many books about characters in college. I think. I wanted to read more stories, particularly more romances with characters that were of college age.
When I first started sending Better Off Red out for submission, I knew I had unique problem. Now there are Young Adult books with sex. Forever by Judy Blume is one that immediately comes to mind. That book has a lot of sex in it. A lot, but it's a straight up YA novel. It was written for the YA audience and the main characters are in high school. Better Off Red has explicit sex, but Ginger is 18. She acts and talks like a typical New England 18 year old. She's a bit on the angsty side. She's trying to nail down her sexuality and a good studying schedule. Ginger's life just didn't fit in with the standard romances I was reading.
So who the hell was I going to sell this book to? Luckily Bold Strokes was willing to deal with me and Ginger, and that part of the story is history, but then I had to market the damn thing. And that was tricky too. I could say it's a paranormal romance, but it still didn't fit in with the adult or the YA paranormal romances I was seeing out there.
Then along comes this New Adult business and I feel like Ginger and the girls of Alpha Beta Omega finally have a little place where they belong. Where dealing with class schedules and new relationships and parents and vampires all makes sense. So I'm taking a stand or jumping into the pool (thanks Jeanette), and I'm going to say that my vampires series is most definitely New Adult. All of my main characters will be between 18-22. They will all be in college and dealing with their sexuality and their parents and race and the undead.
Yeah. New Adult feels good.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
|no one is as cool as SJR|
We were in Wal-greens and she was telling me that those sunglasses were cool. It was a day she had to take a her little sister to the store. For me that was the first time in my pre-teen life that my big sister, easily the coolest person I knew (she wore Exclamation! perfume after all) was trying to bring me to her level. I texted her about it the other night and we both had a laugh remembering those silly sunglasses that we quite a hit at camp.
What does this have to do with writing? I'm glad you asked even though you totally didn't ask. Something interesting happened the other day. I got paid. YAY! Let's hear it for money. This isn't about money though. Not really.
I think every author has their favorite stories and their favorite characters -- of their own. If a reader asks my what book of mine they should read, I automatically say Better Off Red. If they had little time I'd tell them to read Better Off Red, or The Fling if they ABSOLUTELY hate paranormal, but I always start with Better Off Red. I don't even know that it's my favorite of my books, but it is the first thing that comes out of my mouth. Funny thing is The Fling has been my best-seller since it's release around this time last year.
I've blogged about The Fling and the trouble it caused me.(Check out this post for my account of writing and editing while suicidal.) When I finished The Fling I hated it. Not, the work or the characters, I love both, but I hated my relationship to the book itself. Its creation reminded me of a very, very bad time in my life. But I sucked it up and went on with things, wrote some more, what have you.
At one point I told my live-in-lifemate that I had a feeling that readers would like The Fling the most. A few months later I saw my publisher and she confirmed that The Fling was doing very well indeed. Not that my other books were doing poorly, The Fling was just doing better. A year later, that's still the case.
So what does this all mean? Hell if I know. Does writing while suicidal work? I guess though I don't recommend it and I'm sure I don't want to go down that path again. But I do know that as an author what I think about my work on a personal level will most likely not match up with what the readers think. In the fall my new short, Forever Yours, Eileen which I think is the best thing I've written so far, will be out. We'll see what readers have to say or if they even give it a chance. Here's my favorite review of The Fling to date.
By the way, The Fling is still for sale.
Misc. Update : Here's what I'm working on now/what's coming up from me.
Edits for At Her Feet which will be released in September
then I'll be writing a hetero novella
then I'll be writing a lesbian novella
AND THEN I'll be writing a hetero novel
Two lesbian shorts of my lesbian shorts will be released in September
Another lesbian short of mine will be released in October.
then I'll get around to writing the next book in the Vampire Sorority Series.
Sorry I'm taking my sweet ass time. Also take all the writing portions with a grain of salt. Sometimes I say things I don't mean.