Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Aspiring Writers Series #9: Christina Lee

Hey guys.  So today, we're going to do something different today.  I'm interviewing an author, yes, but instead of answering general writing questions, we're going to focus on the New Adult subgenre.  Don't know what that is?  Read on to find out!
1) What is the industry's official definition of new adult? How is it similar or different to yours?  I don’t think there is an official definition. Writers, industry professionals who are market savvy, and avid readers of the category are probably most clear on what it is—and what’s it’s becoming. In my opinion, it’s the combination of: The characters ages (roughly 18-26), the voice of the characters (older than YA, younger than a mature adult, usually written in first person POV) and the conflicts they’re faced with (self-discovery, first-time independence, sexuality—all in the setting of college, military, career, etc.). 

2) Did you classify your novel as new adult or did someone else? I did. I set out to write a New Adult novel after reading tons and falling in love with this category of books.

3) What are some of the myths of new adult and how are they debunked? Some of the myths I’ve come across are: That NA is just sexed up YA. That it’s all sexy contemporary romance, with shirtless guys on the cover. You can debunk the myths by reading NA across all the different genres (contemporary romance, sci-fi, paranormal, dystopian). You’ll find varying degrees of emotional and physical connection—it’s out there, just look for it.

4) Is age really a deciding factor in the labeling of new adult? Could you have 17, 18 year old protagonists dealing with adult/dark themes and still label it new adult? Of course, there’s cross-over in every category of books. Examples: Colleen Hoover’s HOPELESS is considered New Adult because of the issues in the book, even though the MC’s are in high school. And Trish Doller’s SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL is classified as Young Adult, even though the characters are well past high school.

5) Do you think new adult as a subgenre will spark a trend and the industry will have an onslaught of new adult releases or do you think it's more of a passing trend? The onslaught of New Releases has already begun. The major publishing houses have recognized it. New Adult is pretty much here to stay.

6) Finally, please tell us a little bit about your work and where we can preorder it. My New Adult contemporary romance ALL OF YOU releases on September 17th from InterMix/Penguin.  You can view the blurb and order information on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

7) Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives near Cleveland with her two favorite guys. She's addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything.
New Adult/Young Adult author. NA Contemporary Romance, ALL OF YOU, releases September with Penguin. BEFORE YOU BREAK in 2014. Repped by Sara Megibow. 
Also the creator of Tags-n-Stones.com jewelry.
You can find Christina's blog here.



  1. YA sexed up! Like that definition a lot.

    I'm still wondering if it's a fad--not that NA is going to go away, but that the hype around it will die out some.

    I know books aren't television, but so many college-settings in the TV-world are unsuccessful in comparison to high school settings.

    That being said, It's a Different World spin off from the Cosby show was a huge influence in my life as opposed to say something more high schoolish as Happy Days.

  2. Steve, I think you make an excellent point in regards to television shows with high school vs. college. Sometimes, I think it's easier to set a story in high school because "the rules" (aka the stereotypes) are much more clear than in college. You have the cliques, you have who's allowed to be cool, etc. whereas with college, things aren't so easily defined. Having said that, I think stories about main characters searching for themselves while in college would be an interesting read as long as the story doesn't have a college that resembles high school (frats and sororities, etc.) I think once you hit college, there's much more depth to employ as a writer.