Years ago I sent out the following in an email to family. Now I think I might take this little story and turn it into a larger one. Either way, I wanted to share it with you today:
As a writer I should be on top of developing fiction genres…but I feel like I missed a boat on this topic, as I had to look up ‘New Adult’ to see what the heck it is! And now, after reading various definitions, I feel confident I understand the difference between YA and NA. I have been labeling my Station Series as ‘YA Fiction’ since the first book was released, as that is what it fell under when I researched genres before publishing the series. But now that NA has taken off, I might have to make some adjustments. Why? Because NA seems to be a better fit.
Now, I could go online and read various blogs, websites and comments from readers to develop my own opinion on the matter (and I have but won’t list them all here), but to make things easier, I found a simple and straight-forward definition on Wikipedia. I’ll sit back and give you a moment to read it.
*fixes pony-tail…eats an apple slice…sips coffee…checks under nails…adjusts height of office chair…yawns because one cup of coffee isn’t doing it…flips through channels to find something entertaining for four-year old*
Okay – read it? Let’s move on. Since NA is specifically geared toward older adolescents and actual young adults, it makes perfect sense to me that it qualifies as an actual category. The NA genre (in my mind) is almost like a more intense version of YA with issues that come up after the character has hit adult age. Examples are just like YA but in NA there can be more descriptive sex scenes, a developing or aging character that falls under that 18 to 30-something age frame, life-changing issues like graduating school, starting a career, etc…and NA is targeted for a slightly older readership.
So I should ask the readers of the Station Series – does Piper Willow fall under NA or YA? I would say both. BUT, if you base her off of the NA definition listed above, Piper’s story is absolutely New Adult. I suppose I should attempt to market the Station books as NA and see what happens. This might help the parents out there, that ask if the series is appropriate for their fourteen year old. My answer is always for the parent to read the books first, and then make that decision, as every fourteen year old matures differently. Some can handle or even relate to Piper Willow, but others might be on the cusp and could benefit waiting a year or two before starting the series. Like I said, parents know best.
In the meantime I’ll list the book as NA and see if that makes you all a bit more satisfied with the genre. I don’t mind it – I feel like it narrows down my market for readers a bit, and that doesn’t hurt.
If you have a better definition or an entirely different view of New Adult Fiction, I’d love to hear it!