Friday, July 12, 2013

New Leaf Agents Talk New Adult: Interview with Suzie Townsend & Kathleen Oritz

You may have heard of New Leaf Literary and Media. Think of books like Divergent, Insurgent, End Games, Losing It, Tempest, Shards & Ashes and Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. This is New Leaf. Even more exciting, New Leaf has opened their doors to New Adult literature, and two of their literary agents, Suzie Townsend and Kathleen Oritz, are here today to talk about NA and its future! If you're a New Adult author, you'll want to hear what they have to say. And make sure you don't miss their awesome giveaway at the bottom of this post.  

How do you define New Adult literature? What does it mean to you?

Soon to be a motion picture in 2014!
Kathleen Ortiz: NA isn't just YA with sex or an adult romance with some teens. It's about the experience of going from teen to adult -- and then realizing you're not quite as mature / adult as you thought you were. It's that turning point in life where you don't have the shelter of your parents and where you're 110% responsible for your actions.

Suzie Townsend: What I love about New Adult is that it’s so representative of the way we stumble through our college years and our early twenties, trying to find a place in the adult world, even though we still don’t feel like adults.

What do you think makes New Adult so appealing to readers - both in the "new adult" stage of life and those who are older?

KO: It's that time in life that we had the opportunity to be an adult and yet made many mistakes trying to be an adult. It's a point in life I feel some people wish they could relive (or redo!).

What do you want to see more of and less of in New Adult submissions?

KO: I want to see more novels about the experience of being NA. Unsure what this is? See my definition in GIFs here.

ST: This is going to be sort of a lame answer, but in contemporary, I want something that I don’t feel like I’ve seen before. Right now, a lot of the contemporary romance submissions I’ve received lately seem like stories that I’ve already read. In other genres, I want New Adult submissions with really strong characters that feel authentic to the New Adult experience (as opposed to just older YA).

Do you see growth potential in New Adult paranormal, dystopian, and fantasy, or do you think contemporary romance is it's perfect niche?

KO: Definitely potential for these other genres. Just a matter of time! (though I do feel they still need a strong romance line)

One of New Leaf's NA titles
ST: I think there’s potential for growth, but we’re at a pivotal moment for the age group. As we move forward we will need to see a successful New Adult title in a genre other than contemporary romance in order to see the expansion. (Here are my expanded thoughts).

In your opinion, is "new adult" here to stay? Where do you see the genre in five years?

KO: Absolutely! I do think that in 5 yrs it will have it's own shelf. Heck, it just got its own eBook label with online retailers...just a matter of time....

ST: I suck at predicting the future, so I’m going to say that it depends. If we see success within the expansion of New Adult into different genres, then yes, I think it will be here to stay and in five years it will be something everyone will know about. But I think there is the risk of the genre becoming too overcrowded too quickly and if it feels like there are too many contemporary romances that are too similar and not enough of them stand out as really great books, then I think readers could possibly move on to something else. I think the latter is less likely, but it is a possibility. 
Check out the awesomeness that is New Leaf Literary and Media right here! Browse through their list of authors and books. You'll definitely recognize some names and titles! Check out their generous giveaway below, and enter for a chance to win some literary goodness. Until next time, my friends...stay literary!

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