Friday 4 January 2013

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The Love Hurts Blog Tour: Tammara Webber and Rebecca Donovan on New Adult

Today I'm honoured to have the Love Hurts Blog Tour for Easy by Tammara Webber and Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan stop by my blog! Tammara and Rebecca are here to share their thoughts on New Adult.

Tammara Webber on New Adult:

At the moment, there is no such thing as ‘New Adult’ – a book category wedged between Young Adult and Adult categories. St. Martin’s Press (NYC) coined the phrase in late 2009, attempting to invent the category by sponsoring a contest and offering a possibility of publication as a prize. Hundreds of writers submitted stories set in university or just beyond – a phase when characters are legal adults, but may be financially dependent on parents, grappling with first-love and/or first cohabitation relationship issues, and still coming to grips with becoming a conscientious member of society.

From what I understand, two manuscripts were chosen by St. Martin’s, but the authors were ultimately asked to move the main characters back into high school, and that was the end of any serious discussion of a ‘New Adult’ category, until recently.

Several Young Adult authors have successfully taken characters from their mid-teens and followed them into later teens and/or early twenties (ex: Where She Went by Gayle Forman and The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta). Few readers batted an eye at this, and yet the publishing industry – at least in the US – didn’t take this as a sign that readers would be interested in stories that began with older main characters... Then came the advent of digital self-publishing.

I began working at a university when I was nineteen – putting my husband through school. I didn’t go back and complete a degree until our children were in school, and after I graduated, I took a job as an academic advisor. Writing stories about characters in that age range was natural for me, and self-publishing allowed me to bypass agents and publishers and take my stories directly to the readers, who could choose to read or not. Buy or not. They bought.

After several ‘New adult’-writing ‘indie’ authors of became successful, publishers caught on: there is a market for stories with 18-23 year-old main characters.

I don’t know if ‘New Adult’ will ever become a legitimate category. Governing sections of the publishing industry would have to initiate the allocation of brand-new corresponding category numbers. They’d have to decide if that category should be further separated into genre divisions like contemporary, paranormal, etcetera. Publishers would have to decide how to segregate YA and NA: based on character age? Language? Sexual explicitness or drug use?

The important thing to me as a writer and a reader is this: there is no longer a blank space where these stories should have always been. These books have proven themselves to be marketable, and I don’t believe that omission will ever recur. If ‘New Adult’ never becomes its own valid category, the books will be absorbed into YA and adult categories (as is happening, rather haphazardly, now), based on either content or the protagonists’ ages – something that will take time and debate to decide.

Easy by Tammara WebberEasy by Tammara Webber - Jacqueline seems to have a knack for making the wrong choices. She followed her boyfriend to his choice of university, disregarding her preference. Then he dumped her. She chose a minor she thought she could combine with her music studies, but she's falling behind. And then, leaving a party alone one night, she is attacked. If it wasn't for the timely intervention of a stranger, she would have been raped. Now she must make a choice - give up and give in, or toughen up and fight on. Only the support of the man who is tutoring her and the allure of the guy who saved her from the attack convince her that it's worth fighting on. Will Jacqueline now have to make a choice between them too? And can she make the right decision? It's not easy... From Goodreads.

Rebecca DonovanRebecca Donovan's Thoughts on New Adult:

When I wrote Reason to Breathe, I wanted to portray the brutality of child abuse full on, without restriction. This is a darker book, with real issues. The violence is described in detail. The sex scenes don’t fade to black. And as Emma matures the language and situations mature as well. The New Adult category allows readers to know that this is a book that is meant for mature teens, and that it will also appeal to an adult audience. And the audience that is attracted to The Breathing Series is mature, with the average demographic being twenty to thirty year-olds. New Adult is not a new genre as far as the mature content is concerned, but like the labels we now see on everything from music to movies, it allows parents and teachers of younger teens to know what to expect. And it allows older readers to pick up a book they may otherwise have overlooked because it was categorized as Young Adult.

Reason to Breathe by Rebecca DonovanReason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan - An passionate love. A brutal betrayal. Unwavering hope.

In a town where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She's more concerned with feigning perfection, pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises. Emma doesn't want anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is.

When Emma unexpectedly finds love, it challenges her to recognize her own worth - but at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she's desperate to hide.
From Goodreads.

Thank you to both Tammara and Rebecca for such great guest posts. The New adult category/genre is something I've been thinking about a lot lately - a post about which I'll be writing next week, I hope - and so it's awesome to have both ladies' opinions! What are your thoughts on New Adult?

Be sure to check out the Tammara's and Rebecca's websites. Easy by Tammara Webber was released as on 3rd January 2013, and Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan will be released on 17th January 2013.


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