Happy Monday, WG2E-Land!
We’re kickin’ off our brand new WG2E Ebook Genre Series with the wonderful PJ Sharon who’s sharing the scoop on a relatively new genre – New Adult.
Take it away, PJ…
Since D.D. came up with the idea of talking about specific genres here at the WG2E, we thought this would be the perfect time to introduce you to a relative up-and-comer. The term “New Adult” has been kicked around the industry for a few years. So far, the genre has been classified via the age of the protagonists (19-23), and the subject matter (college life, moving away from home, and the transition from young adulthood to adulthood). Also known as “cross-over” stories because of their appeal with adult readers as well as older teens, this niche market has long been ignored, mainly because it was deemed “too risky.”
Somehow, publishers felt that 18-22 year-old readers—the intended demographic for these books—were too busy with college life to read and that their buying power was perhaps limited. But since the onslaught of adult readers who are now reading more YA lit than ever, there is a new demographic in town. Thank you Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games. The demographic now crosses over to the 19-33 year-old females and beyond. Moms and Grand-moms are reading the same books as teens! But keep in mind that this is the same demographic who also read adult romances and often want something other than “teen” stories, but like going back to the idea of all those “firsts” in life. They want edgier reads. With so much variety in the voluminous YA market (that panders to 12-17 year-old readers), it makes sense to start creating some new criteria and helping readers narrow the search. In comes the New Adult genre, a way to separate the true “teen reads” and the books that tell edgier, more adult stories about older young adults. NA fills the gap!
There are several traditional houses like St. Martin’s Press, Random House and others, who have jumped on board, ready to take advantage of the trend. I guess they’ve decided that it’s now worth the risk to separate the New Adult from the Young Adult books. This is long overdue, IMHO. I’m sure the traditional publishers are pretty rigid about the age requirements of the protagonist before they include the books in the NA genre, but as an Indie, I can “fudge” the rules a bit.
HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES is one of those books that I think fits perfectly into the NA category, despite the 17 year-old protagonist, Jordie Dunne. The fact that the hero is 19 year-old Alex Cooper, a war Veteran wounded in combat, sets the book apart from other YA reads. I have previously categorized the book as Contemporary YA Romance, but by doing so, I may be missing a huge part of my readership. Some sites listed it under “children’s fiction” because of the YA label. Although I don’t want to misrepresent the book, it clearly falls outside of the YA genre. There are a vast number of YA authors whose books belong in the New Adult category because of content or the age of their main characters, but whether there will be backlash for us “bending the rules,” only time will tell.
In the meantime, I’m offering HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES free today and tomorrow for Kindle if you’d like to download it and see what all the fuss is about. http://tinyurl.com/cbcf76s
In Heaven is for Heroes, seventeen year-old Jordie Dunn must face the loss of her brother when he’s killed in the war in Iraq. But Jordie doesn’t believe the military report that his best friend and fellow Marine, Alex Cooper, is at fault. In her quest to find the truth and help Alex, the guy she’s had a crush on since the ninth grade, Jordie discovers that the truth isn’t the only thing she wants.
A disgraced Marine is faced with a tough recovery, a rekindled high school crush, and the girl determined to prove his innocence.
What do you all think about the New Adult Genre? Should there be strict limits on age? Or is the subject matter to be considered?
PJ Sharon is author of several independently published, contemporary young adult novels, including Molly finalist, HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES, FAB Five finalist, ON THIN ICE, and SAVAGE CINDERELLA, a finalist in both the Sheila and the Florida Romance Writers Golden Palm contest. She is excitedly working on The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael, a YA Dystopian trilogy. WANING MOON, Book One, is now available on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.
Writing romantic fiction for the past seven years and following her destiny to write Extraordinary Stories of an Average Teenage Life, PJ is a member of RWA, CTRWA, and YARWA. She is mother to two grown sons and lives with her husband in the Berkshire Hills of Western MA.
Connect with PJ here:
Book Trailers: http://www.youtube.com/pjsharon64
Follow PJ on Twitter: @pjsharon
“Like” PJ on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pjsharonbooks
Find PJ on Amazon’s Author Central page: https://www.amazon.com/author/pjsharon
Follow PJ’s Promotional blog @ http://pjsharonyawriter.blogspot.com
Follow PJ’s Tuesday Scribes blog @ http://secretsof7scribes.wordpress.com