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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A New Genre: New Adult

A few week's ago Steph mentioned on her blog that she writes for a young and new adult audience. That intrigued me, because that's how I think of my writing: for older teens and younger adults. Well, I started googling it, to see if it's actually a genre I could include in a query letter. And folks, it's an up and coming sub-genre.



That is how I would classify my own writing. I am thrilled that there may be a definite category for it soon. After all, we've all read about authors trying to get a book published with a 20-something protagonist, and being shot down because the book isn't "YA" but also isn't adult. So either the author dumbs down the character, or writes the age up to appeal to a genre. I agree that there should be and is an audience for characters in between ages.

How many of you would write new adult? How many of you would read it?




21 comments:

Mary Anne Gruen said...

I think that's the age group a lot of the stuff I'm working on would fit into. I got started with a fandom in that age category and I realize now that's where I fit for the most part.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

That's *so* where I fit. I entered the secret agent contest a few days ago, and got shot down by everyone b/c it wasn't YA: the POV was from a 20 year old woman.

M. Gray said...

YES. This is very very good news, Tamara. :) Especially since this is the age I like to write my characters. Olivia is 20.

Elisa said...

I would read it. I am usually annoyed by teenage characters but enjoy the fast pace of YA fiction. Same easy read with more intelligent characters would be lovely!

Simon C. Larter said...

My stuff is quite definitely adult. Yup. This kind of makes me wish I had the kind of brain that could work with an up-and-coming market in mind. Sadly, my grinding angst and bad-habit stories will have to stay in their current adult category. :)

Bethany Wiggins said...

I have written new adult. I hope it finds a house!!! I have also written things that are very YA. I love both.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I knew you'd be happy, Mary!

Elisa, I so agree w/ you. I love the faster pace but sometimes want to relate a little more to the characters.

You and me both, Bethany!

Simon, at least you don't have to worry! You have a place!

Kelly Lyman said...

Thanks for posting this! It is exciting news. Sometimes I classify my own writing for the this genre, but I"m not entirely sure. My MCs are around 17-18 years old, so I guess it could go either way.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Isn't it great, Kelly??? I hope it really becomes a strong genre before I start querying in March/April! Even the YA book that I have getting published, with MCs ages 14-15, the situation is so mature that I might even consider it new adult.

Elle Strauss said...

I just read a post at Jen'sPOV about the same thing.

btw, I left you an award at my blog

Julie Dao said...

I so agree! That is the audience I would love to write for and feel most comfortable with. I considered making my MC in her early 20's but gave it some thought and made her 18, but I'm starting to think I just may go back to my original idea. Why should YA stories have a limit on age (and 18 is supposedly the limit for an MC nowadays...)? Great topic. I hope a big market opens soon for the 20-somethings!

Voidwalker said...

That's pretty cool actually, since I think there is a gray area between the two genres of adult and YA. It will allow some of us to pitch our queries more targetted at an appropriate group!

One of my Novels I have on hole, definitely fits in this category.

Nisa said...

That is awesome! That's how I would classify mine as well. How cool!

Elana Johnson said...

I'd definitely read it. But I don't think I'd write it. My MC's are usually 15 or 16 and I'm okay with that. I really like it, in fact. :)

JenE said...

I'm right there with you. I'm writing a "New Adult" book, and am having trouble deciding if I should try to push it as an older YA.

Aaron and Emily said...

I think I would love it. I like to read YA fiction but sometimes get annoyed with the characters - like I want them to be just a little bit older. Or I find that the way the teenagers are thinking are beyond their years.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

thanks, Elle, I'll be right over to check it out!

I'm so excited, seems like you guys are on the same mind track as I am. There's definitely a market!

Julie, the book I'm going to start querying has a 20-year-old protag. She used to be 18, but it just didn't work for me. I know I have stuck her outside the 'acceptable' age. I'm hoping soon that won't matter!

There's definitely a need for you, Elana! YA is hotter than ever. Even adults are reading it!

Nisa, thanks for stopping by!

JenE, that's where my worry is too. We'll see if I can sell my book as new adult of I'll have to change the age.

Melanie J said...

I definitely write for new adults too but I'm not sure how I'd feel about reading it. I have a feeling sex and sensuality will probably be sprinkled in more liberally than YA which would make me hesitate. I wonder how much room there is for clean stories in that market. But I love the potential of the idea.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I think, Melanie, that a lot of new adult writers will feel like that gives them license to put in lots of sex. but I think others won't care. Many YA novels are full of sex, which is just plain irritating. The books I read,whether YA or adult, are not sprinkled with sex.

Chasing the Moon said...

I would absolutely read it! This is exciting news. There's a couple ideas that I have that could work for this sub-genre.

Thank you!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I sure hope this genre takes off, b/c I'm all about it!

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