Adventures in New Adult, Part Five: Now What?

When I started these posts months ago, I said I was willing to have my mind changed. And it has. Sort of.

I’m not going to argue over the validity of the category – it exists. And while I don’t think I needed these stories back when I was in my twenties (and I’m willing to bet a good number of my friends would agree) there’s definitely an argument to be made that they have a place now.

So. What happens now?

I bet you can guess.

C’mon. Guess. Ten bucks says you already know.

Why, Amanda, are you writing your own New Adult novel?

Ding ding ding ding ding! Give the girl a prize!

Yes, I am writing my own crackolicious NA romance. But let me back up a bit here.

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a story about a 23 year old who’d spent the last two years of her life hunting the man she held responsible for the death of her parents. Along the way she teamed up with a charismatic billionaire and ended up falling for him. While I’d initially seen it as a different sort of story (May-December romance, a strong thread of suspense, oh, and did I mention she’s a virgin?) I’ve come to realize that Best Served Cold is solidly in the New Adult contemporary romance sub-genre. It’s got a lot of the popular elements: tragic past, billionaire hero, heroine who’s been hanging on to her virginity for far too long. I hope, eventually, readers will love Rhia and Akira as much as I do. Especially Akira. Definitely one of my favorite heroes.

Am I going to get a lot of flack for pitching Best Served Cold as New Adult when I didn’t set out to write an NA story when I started that book? Likely. But that’s what it is. That’s the label that sits easiest on it. Could I be wrong? Also likely. But I won’t know until I pitch it.

Lest you think I’m trying to make the square peg fit into the round hole, I’ve been working on not one, not two, but three other ideas that I’d set out to write as NA from the beginning, and I’ve got the synopsis written for two others. The three are at various points in their first draft phase, and there’s always the possibility they’ll never be finished (hey, it happens!). Two are interconnected, in that they’re meant to be part of the same series. The third, the one I’m currently working on, presented me with a couple of new challenges.

The first one was I decided to see if I could write a story with not one, but two tragic pasts and see if I could refrain from slitting my own throat before I finished it. So far, so good. The characters are massively fucked up and I’m really enjoying finding out how they can hurt themselves and each other.

Second? It’s dual first person POV. I’ve written dual third person POV before, and I have to tell you, writing from the guy’s perspective? Hard. Now. Make that first person and delete about a decade off the guy’s age (the majority of my male characters are well into their thirties) and I find I’m struggling to remember just what immature douchy things guys did when I was in college.

Third…well, let’s just say I’ve put off my super sekrit smut project in favor of this not so sekrit smut project.

There are a lot of opinions on what’s going to be the next big thing for New Adult, or New Adult romance. The editors at Carina are pushing for m/m pairings, and yeah, I could get behind that. But I personally think we’ll see a lot more erotic romance in New Adult as time goes on. That’s the age of anonymous hook ups and flings, where you think with your hormones first and your brain second. There are some steamy NA books out there already, and  there are a few NA erotic romance titles, but I think we’re going to see a lot more. Bluntly speaking, sex sells.

This particular project is my first full-length erotic romance. And I have to tell you, writing a story where the physical relationship takes precedence over the emotional one has been difficult. Making sure I don’t lose sight of the emotional conflict (and the external one) is probably the biggest challenge I’ve taken on so far, and I’m not entirely sure I’m succeeding. Hopefully by the time I finish it I’ll have figured it out.

That’s it. Those are my thoughts on New Adult. Does the story end here? No. But this blog series does. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Adventures in New Adult, Part Five: Now What?

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