I've been a fan and proponent of the New Adult category ever since I first heard about it. For those who don't know, New Adult deals with characters in the 18-21ish age range, where people usually leave home, find themselves on their own for the first time, and have an entirely different set of problems and issues than characters in either YA or Adult books. I've also said that I was writing New Adult before I even knew what it was.
I found some of that writing a few weeks ago, in an abandoned story from March of 2010. And it's something I want to discuss now and get back to writing someday.
The story itself deals with college, with being away from home for the first time and finding out the real world is nothing like what the main character expected. The story also deals with magic, non-human races, interplanar travel, and horrific things from worlds far, far beyond our own. While that's the kind of stuff I find incredibly fun to write, I also think it's the kind of thing the growing New Adult category needs more of.
Simply put: a lot of New Adult stuff is romance, and there have been more than a few media stories talking about NA as nothing more than YA with more sex. Granted, judging by some NA book covers, that doesn't seem too far off. I know NA that isn't romance exists; take a look at the Catalog of NA Reads over at NA Alley,
one of the best resources around for New Adult. (No, seriously, take a
look; the site's very well-done and this entry will still be here when
you get back.) It's a good list for a growing category, but the listing is far longer for "Contemporary" than "Speculative".
This is a tremendous opportunity.
I'm only speaking for myself here, but the years that NA covers were the years that my life changed a ton. What better time to find out the world is not what you think it is, that there's worlds beyond the one you know and that there are things out there that not only beggar description but that pose a threat to existence as you know it? How do you balance the life you thought you'd have with the reality that's nothing like you expected? And how do you stay awake in an 8AM class when you're tired as hell because you were up until dawn stopping a cultist ritual from breaking a hole in reality?
Okay, it's not like falling asleep in an 8AM class would seem all that unusual. But I think the rest stands.
New Adult is still growing, but it has a listing on Amazon.com and there are some bookstores with NA sections. (Yes, I've seen pictures.) So I'm hoping that by the time I get around to writing this story, not only will there be an audience for it, but publishers who think it's going to be huge. And I'll be happy to know that I'm not the only one who thought college would only be made better with a few encroaching eldritch abominations.
Next entry: rereading a book I finished in 2005. This might hurt.