Monday, May 21, 2012

New Adult Genre

Our guest today is author Lynn Rush, who is touring her new release, Awaited, second in the Wasteland Trilogy. To celebrate, she is offering a FREE “Prelude to Darkness” short story.

About five years ago, when I first began writing for publication, I just wrote. Seriously, I just put down everything that came to mind. Heck, I didn’t even know what point of view (POV) meant—much to the dismay of my very first critique partner. 

As I learned the craft, I soaked up anything and everything I could find about my new-found passion. Then around six months into my journey as a writer, I was told my characters were too young for Adult novels yet they were too old for Young Adult (YA) novels. 

Naturally, being a newbie I asked, “So what should I do?”

And the overwhelming response was, “Change the age of your characters.”

That didn’t sit right with me, so I didn’t change anything. 

Then, as I continued writing, I heard that my romance was a bit sweet for Adult but a little too intense for Young Adult. 

Once again, when I asked what to do, I was told to change what and how I wrote. Now, perhaps it was either me being stubborn or just being too new in the industry to care, because I decided to stick with what I was doing. If it kept me from getting published, I was okay with that, because I just loved writing.

Don’t get me wrong, as the agent and editor rejections came pouring in, I did second guess things—a few times. But it always came back to the point of me feeling like I needed to write the stories of my heart.

Then I heard about something called New Adult (NA).
A couple of years ago a publisher, St. Martin’s Press, started throwing the phrase around. I don’t think it went as far as the publisher actually releasing any novels in that category, but it started something.
And, it confirmed that maybe what I wrote might be okay after all. 

So, I kept writing. 

It was Wasteland (my 13th novel) that helped me break into this category. A boutique publisher, Crescent Moon Press, was ready to jump into the New Adult category full force. They even developed a line for it. And I was to be their flagship genre-breaking author. Very exciting indeed!

But is there an “official” definition of New Adult? I’m not one for “official” anything, so this is how I explain it when I’m speaking about this new and exciting space: 

YA is fairly sweet on the romance side of things, and Adult romances can get pretty intense and detailed.
Think of it in terms of a bedroom door and how “open” it is. In YA it’s not really open at all—or maybe just a tiny crack. In Adult romances, it can be wide open and the romantic scenes are sometimes very detailed.
New Adult is right in the middle. The door into the bedroom is cracked open, but a lot is left to the reader’s imagination.

With Wasteland (Book1,Wasteland Trilogy), I have been told my story falls between being very sweet, all the way to being called a very steamy read. The reviews for Awaited, (Book 2, Wasteland Trilogy), are describing the romance portion as more of a focus in the story, yet decidedly calmer than Adult levels of steam. 

I really focus on the emotional intensity rather than the physical steam, but ultimately how it’s interpreted is up to the reader. 

Just the way I like it.

I hope this sheds some light on the exciting genre called New Adult. But feel free to leave questions in the comments. I’m happy to try and answer them. 

To read an excerpt from Awaited, go to Lynn's website  
And register here for a FREE download of “Prelude to Darkness”. During the tour Lynn’s other eBooks are being offered with a special price for Wasteland ($5.99).  Awaited is available for $7.99.
Driven to write, Lynn Rush often sees her characters by closing her eyes and watching their story unfold in her mind. Book reviewers say that her plots are well developed, and the writing is strong and full of artistic details – stunning in both characterization and her action-packed storylines.
A prolific author who began her writing career in 2008, Rush now has more than 25 novels to her credit. Six are currently under contract with Crescent Moon Press. Wasteland, the first novel in the trilogy was released in August 2011 and continues to receive five-star reviews. Rush holds a degree in psychology from Southwest Minnesota State University and a master’s degree from the University of Iowa.
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  1. "A prolific author who began her writing career in 2008, Rush now has more than 25 novels to her credit."

    Prolific is hardly the word for a writer who can spew out better than 6 novels a year. If this rate is not a typo, then it is a jaw-dropping record of a writer who is in a league of her own.


    --Larry Constantine (Lior Samson)

  2. Yay, Lynn, for spreading the New Adult love!

  3. "New Adult" - I like the concept! And this is the first I've heard of it. Thanks for sharing, Lynn! I'll look for your books.

  4. I keep waiting for the industry to create a "Mystery With Relationship" genre. I'm in! Best of luck with your book, and kudos for writing what worked, not what someone wanted.

    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  5. This is a great post, Lynn. I'm glad you were able to find a niche and achieve that goal of being published. I also agree with Larry - six novels+ per year is amazing!

  6. Thanks for have me here today! I love talking New Adult! :)

    Thank you, Larry. I have a lot of time to write not having children and only working part time. :)

    Traci: Thanks!!!

    Juliana: Happy to. It's a great new space out there. It's on its way!!

    Jodie: Nice to know you, Jodie. Thanks for swinging by.

    Terry: Thanks Terry!!! :)

    Brianna: Thank you. It just felt right to write what I loved. It's an exciting time!! :)

  7. I wonder what the category is for: 'Where the heck is the bedroom?'

  8. Well said Lynn, well said. Again thanks for spreading the word!

  9. I had not heard of this new genre, but it makes perfect sense. What young girls read 20 years ago as YA fiction is being read by girls 9 and 10 years old now. There needs to be books that are geared toward the older teens that can also be enjoyed by adults. This is neat!

  10. I'd never heard of New Adult. Very interesting. I can see why there'd be a big group of readers for this level.

  11. I love this, Lynn! New adult genre — I'll remember that.

    To a writer and reader who believes that adults should behave like adults (more or less anyway) but who abhors graphic sex scenes and believes they don't move a story forward but instead serve to titilate a reader's senses, this is a breath of fresh air. More power to you!

    I agree that it's emotion rather than bedroom details that create character and advance story. I can sympathize, empathsize, love, hate, and cheer the characters — and keep turning pages without becoming a peeping Tom.

    Wow! You're certainly a prolific writer. As one who works and reworks a story until it's honed into something I feel good about, I'm almost envious. Great post!

  12. This was a good read, definitely good to know that there is a new genre becoming available. There have been a few YA stories that I felt were a little "too old" for the age group.

    I feel like a few of my stories fall in between as well, so it is nice to hear that there is a genre for them after all :)

  13. Christopher: LOVE IT!!!!
    TwentySomething: Glad to. I just love watching the New Adult category grow!!
    Maryann: Thank you!! I'm very proud to be with CMP as they step BOLDLY into this new category.
    Helen: Thanks!!! It's a super exciting time!
    Linda: THANK YOU!!! I'm so blessed!
    RA: Thanks for stopping by. Yes, it's long overdue, isn't it?? :)

    Thanks you guys!!! :)

  14. Well said, Lynn! Hooray for NA! :D

  15. I know several authors—some who found their way into publication, others who resorted to self-publishing—who fell through this particular crack, Lynn. Thanks for stopping by to tell us about it. I'll spread the word!

    I have a question, though: Is the only determining factor sexual content? What about violence or language, for instance? Is protagonist age at all a factor, or only what activities are engaged in?

  16. Hi, Kathryn. Great question.
    The answer is...YES. LOL.

    It's a bit of both I would venture to say. Mostly the characters are out of high school--twenty something.

    In my Wasteland Trilogy, I have some young characters in all the books. Specifically, in Awaited, the heroine is 19 years old. So the "age range" of that main character more fits the New Adult. The hero is 439 years old, yet resembles a twenty-something. But overall, the steam level is significantly less than an Adult romance. The violence level is definitely more intense than a YA should be reading as well.

    Now in my next trilogy that starts releasing in October the characters actually are twenty somethings. And, they live on a college campus. . . so from nearly every angle it's New Adult for sure.

    So, it's a mix.

    I'd love to hear what others have to say on this...It's a great question, Kathyrn.

  17. Thanks for filling us in on the New Adult genre.

    As an editor, I definitely see the place for it, and I hope more publishers give it a chance.

  18. Lynn, Thank you for being my guest on BRP and filling us in on this new genre. Very interesting and intriguing!

  19. Hi, Lauren. Thanks for stopping by!!!

    SURE, Heidi. It was super fun to be here! Thanks for being part of the book tour!

  20. I just heard of New Adult tonight. Aside from any publishers, does anyone know of any agents who are seeking out this genre?

  21. Hi, Lee. Yep, actually an NA blog wrote about this:

    Slowly but surely agents and publisher are checking out the NA genre!!!! :)

  22. I've been describing my YA series as "Young Adult with an emphasis on Adult."

    "New Adult" sounds so much better!

    Now, if Amazon would stop lumping all YA/NA fiction under "children's literature" I'd be ecstatic.

    My books are about a couple of hormonal teens trying to find a way to outsmart a chastity curse -- not really appropriate for children ;-)

  23. true. NA is a sub-division of ADULT, not children's....

    But, it's so new, things will work themselves out, I have full confidence. :) Thanks for stopping by!!!! :)


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.


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