Happy Hump Day, peeps!
I've got to say, I'm pretty darn giddy about today's post. Let me give you a little lead-in.
Three years ago, when I was querying my first novel, Eve Of Samhain, I kept hearing the same thing over, and over, and over from agents.
Books set in College aren't marketable. They don't sell.
I had a publisher (not mine) recommend that I age my characters. In the original manuscript, Ryann was a college freshman, not a senior like she is now. I was told the book would be more believable if the characters were older/adult.
In love with my book and my characters, I aged them a little, but kept them in college. Surprise, surprise... I had zero luck getting picked up by anyone. That is, until an up an coming small publisher took a chance on me and gave my story to the world.
Eve Of Samhain and the two following books in the Hanaford Park series are humorous paranormal romance. Clueless about the "New Adult" genre at the time, I marketed my book as straight "Adult" pnr. However, I kept seeing readers ask if the book was YA because of the dialog and some of the situations. My answer was always "No" there are some definite mature themes and situations in the book that clearly knock it out of the YA category. Mainly the sex. (Yes, I know there's sex in a lot of YA, but the shmexin' in my books is a bit racier, lol!)
Fast forward to the beginning of this year. I purchased Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, fell in love with the story (which was set in college, btw!) and have since gone on a reading binge, purchasing and reading as many similar books as I can find. The common denominator amongst all the books I've been reading (Easy, by Tammara Webber, Flat Out Love, by Jessica Park) is that these books all fit into a genre I just recently discovered: New Adult.
The characters in this awesome genre are tend to be in a state of transition. They're on their own for the first time in their lives. They're relying on themselves, not their parents. Oftentimes, they're in college, or they're starting a full time job. The characters are making huge life decisions. Couple those life decisions with romance, and some great conflict, and you've got the makings for some great reading.
I'm giddy because for the first time, I feel like my Hanaford Park series finally has a category it truly fits in. Set in a college town, my characters are struggling to learn how to live on their own while going to school, and working. They've also got demons, vampires and shmexy supernatural beings chasing them down, lol!
I LOVE this genre. I'm most comfortable writing characters this age, and finally feel like I can write the stories I love and not have to worry about changing anything to fit a certain "mold."