Stacey Marie Brown is a a pretty cool lady. She's a new adult author with a great novel, Darkness of Light, out on Amazon and Barnes & Noble today (find the synopsis for the book at the bottom of this post). Stacey is one of those authors that really, truly loves New Adult fiction - she's not just hopping onto a bandwagon or a growing trend. She's passionate about it, and today she's going to talk about the allure of New Adult fiction, and why it's resonates with so many people.
Take it away, Stacey!
The Allure of New Adult Fiction
By Stacey Marie Brown
It’s the classic coming of age story, girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love. But, this version has sex, swearing, violence, drugs, and alcohol. Yes, I am talking about New Adult Fiction, or simply NA. It has always been around but was never named, nor did it have the following it has now, especially in the fantasy genre.
The Harry Potter books showed, on an international scale, “kid’s books” weren’t just for kids anymore. Adults of all ages were also enjoying these so-called children/ young adult books, even if they did not have kids. Harry Potter became acceptable for adults to openly read, but you still wouldn’t be caught in public reading any other YA book. Then, along came Twilight and Hunger Games. With the movie releases, the amount of adults, with or without kids in tow, attending, buying merchandise, and starting group forums online exposed a previously ignored category. Things began to change. Adults were admitting how much they loved this older YA genre.
Do we need to thank books like Twilight for the fact we now have so much attention on the New Adult fiction? As much as some people would like to heartily disagree, there is no denying these movies, and the hunky males in them, have brought the spotlight onto the older fan.
Adults, who previously had been switching book covers or secretly stealing their teenage daughter’s books when she was at school, could now put away the flashlight and come out from under the blanket. Twilight and The Hunger Games movies let the more mature fan come out of the literary closet and read teen books out in the open. And, boy did they. Thousands, if not millions, of copies of these books were sold in every language around the world.
But, let’s be honest, 'tween books left most older fans a little unsatisfied. When you are into your thirties, it gets a little harder to relate to a fourteen-year-old mind. A girl getting kissed or holding hands with a boy just doesn’t do it for us like it might have once. These books are sweet and the heroine is usually a good girl who doesn't have pre-marital sex or swear—ever. There is nothing wrong with this, but it feels somewhat unrealistic for the adult reader and many older teens, especially in the world we live in now.
Fans started to take it upon themselves to continue with the story or write alternative scenarios for the characters, creating a cult-like following with fan fiction. They took the characters they love and created alternative stories from the original, upping it from PG to PG-13 or even R rated material. E. L. James' success with 50 shades of Grey started simply by writing explicit fan fiction for Twilight, which probably ended up with a larger following than Twilight itself.
Until recently there had only been a select few established authors who dominated this formerly unclassified genre. Unknown authors struggled to find an agent or publisher, hearing their novel was too mature for teens but too young for the more mature reader. They didn’t know how to market it. Frustrated, authors started to forgo the standard agent/publisher avenue, understanding there was an audience out there who desired these stories, and are now publishing the books on their own. NA books are mostly being released by independent authors. It is still tough to be independent, but some have found huge followings and have made a fruitful career in writing NA.
Why do I think there is such a following and love for this genre? Because it is the best of both worlds. Most adult readers, including myself, still enjoy the excitement of the “firsts.” Like the first real love—that time in your life when you were becoming an adult and things were thrilling and new. It has angst, but also has more action than a hand up the sweater. I know a lot of people in their 30s and 40s who were reading YA books and loving some aspects of them, but finding the stories a little too young for them. Now with NA, readers and writers finally have books they can relate to—ones that have a little more spice, a lot less innocence, and are more relatable.
As an author who prefers this genre, I'm so glad my book, Darkness Of Light, has a home. I can’t believe it actually took this long, but now that NA is here it will only continue to grow. NA is definitly here to stay.
For more information about Stacey and her book, Darkness Of Light, check out her website at: Stacey Marie Brown.com
Darkness of Light Synopsis
|(I this this cover is so pretty!!)|