Follow-up on the last post about Magical Realism. Editor Kelly Jensen had this awesome POST describing what MR is and some excellent YA titles that represent the genre.
I received an email from one of my readers asking for a post on what New Adult is.
Let me first start with what it is not.
New Adult is not:
Erotic romance with characters just out of high school or entering college. (Some may challenge me on this)
For the moment, it is not any other genre or category but contemporary. (But with NA growing and selling well that may change)
What New Adult is:
It’s a gray area, really, still being defined. But the story focuses on characters who are just out of the high school or college age, ranging from 18 to 25.
Racier sexual tension. I say sexual tension because not all New Adult titles have explicit sex, though most will have more than upper YA.
Unlike Adult fiction, NA relies heavily on first person narrative like YA.
The intended reader market is both older teens that are reading YA and crossing over into Adult fiction, AND adult readers who have enjoyed reading YA novels and will easily read the NA crossover titles.
New Adult carries many of the same themes found in Young Adult: self-discovery, adult situations, choices and challenges met for the first time, and many of those firsts found in YA. Like YA, the characters in NA still contain a great deal of innocence and naivety in regarding their world and situations. These characters still view themselves, like teens do, with a sense of immortality, I can do anything, I’ll show you what I can do mentality. With Adult fiction, the characters have a sense of reflection and retrospect, and sometimes a hesitancy that comes from having a background built of life lessons that guide their actions. For NA characters they still face the world with an in the moment, first time facing this thought process.
And you will most likely find similar character types. Quiet, shy heroine and tattooed bad boy or vice versa. Ugly pasts or trauma, abusive past, running away from the past. These are the current character types, and certainly not the only ones.
Librarian Molly Wetta posted this this fantastic article about New Adult. Check it out HERE. She even lists some current best-selling authors in the NA market.
If you look at Cora Carmack’s first NA title, Losing It, you can see that sexual awakenings is a big theme in New Adult. But I like that Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl is more about letting go of that high school life and discovering who you are and will become. I think both authors’ books are excellent examples of New Adult.
Until next time. If you have an question or a topic you’d like to see, shoot me an email on the contact page.
UPDATE: I am still reading through queries and up to March 13th. If you queried before then, I am still considering your work. I also still have several partials and Fulls I am reading.