Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pub Life: Writers Talk About New Adult

This week's Pub Life post focuses on a topic that is near and dear to my heart :) I've been writing New Adult (NA) for a year now and it's been a crazy and fun ride! In the past year NA has become a popular topic and there's been a lot of talk about where the category is headed and why it exists.  I talked to NA writers to get their thoughts on the category and why they write it.  If you're curious about NA, I hope this gives you an idea of why we're all so passionate about it :)

“I write Norse-mythology based New Adult novels. I absolutely adore NA because of its flexibility. Someone once told me the college years hold the most freedom with the least responsibility you'll ever know -- and that freedom is an absolute playground for an author in terms of character development and plot. Plus the NA category is brand spankin' new, so the rules are malleable; at least for now, we can snuggle into whatever niche suits us and nobody can tell us we're doing it wrong. The freedom to write just about anything we can imagine, in a category that's just finding its way in the literary world? Sounds like a dream come true to me.” 

ST Bende, The Elsker Saga (Elsker, Endre and Tur)

“I was kind of a late bloomer— the girl who spent her high school years studying for SATs and ACTs and froze around guys.  I didn’t have a boyfriend or go to parties or have the fun I read about in YA.  College, on the other hand, was a different story.  College was this magical time where I felt full of possibilities; each day and night brought something new and exciting my way.  College made me feel like adventure was on the horizon, as if I was in that very moment, growing into the person I’d always wanted to be.  That’s why I write NA.”

Chanel Cleeton, I See London..., Harlequin HQN, Jan. '14

“When New Adult became an official category, I felt like I could finally write the story I wanted to write. In so many of the manuscripts I’d previously worked on, my characters always insisted that they were older than the traditional YA, but I thought I needed to age my characters down in order to fit my stories into the more marketable category. With the introduction of NA, so many of us can remain true to the story we want to tell and our characters can be who they want to be.”

“I’ve always loved edgy YA stories, but with NA I can explore topics in a way which is not possible when writing for a younger audience.  While in university, I struggled with many things and was the broken character I love to write about. Except back then, I didn’t realize I wasn’t the only one struggling with these issues. Writing NA lets me show my target audience they aren’t the only individuals who feel that way, and they don’t have to face their problems alone.”

Stina Lindenblatt, Wide Awake, Carina Press (Harlequin), January 20th '14

"When I realized THE SOUND OF US fit New Adult perfectly, it really came as a surprise since I've written Young Adult for so long. I really love the community of New Adult authors. We all help each other out, whether we write erotic NA or fluff (I'm on the fluff side), to reach our readers. The reading community is beginning to take NA seriously, and as a result so are publishers. It's going to be thrilling to see where New Adult goes, and as a "new adult" myself, I'm just glad to be along for the ride."

Ashley Poston, The Sound of Us, Bloomsbury Spark, December '13

"I read and write both YA and NA, and I love New Adult because the main character is past the awkward firsts and diving into real life firsts -- first job, first real love, first "crap, I just got paid and still have no money" realization. Whereas the teen years are about figuring out who you are, late teens/early twenties are about defining it and the NA genre offers a place to explore that. I love the college setting. So many firsts! And NA offers an opportunity to dive back into it -- without the tests and 8am math classes."

Brenda St John Brown, Swimming to Tokyo, Spencer Hill Contemporary, July '14

If you want to learn more about NA check out some of these amazing resources:

NA Alley
New Adult Lit Chat

I'm also teaching an online workshop on New Adult for the Young Adult Romance Writers of America from September 9th-20th.  Details are online at

If you haven't tried New Adult yet, here are some great titles to get you started:

Wait for You by Jennifer Armentrout writing as J. Lynn
My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron
Losing It by Cora Carmack
The Apollo Academy by Kimberly P. Chase
Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines
Speak Easy by Melanie Harlow
Slammed by Colleen Hoover
Taking Chances by Molly McAdams
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
One Week Girlfriend by Monica Murphy
The Registry by Shannon Stoker
Easy by Tammara Webber


Chanel writes New Adult contemporary romance and Young Adult thrillers.  Her New Adult debut, I SEE LONDON…, will be released by Harlequin (HQN) in January 2014, followed by a sequel, LONDON FALLING, later in the year.  She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.  You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook or on her own website.


  1. Awesome post! I kept reading each tidbit doing "oh, that's totally why I love NA" and then repeating it for the next :) So many awesome reasons why NA is the best!!