Hey, All! Victoria here, and I bring you a special post today. We're aren't doing Blog Me MAYbe today because we wanted to hold a guest post!
Today we're featuring "New Adult" Author Sharon Bayliss. She's author of the New Adult novel The Charge, which is coming out later this year through the independent publisher Curiosity Quills Press. (This publisher actively seeks New Adult works by the way ;D)
So without further ado, take it away Sharon!
It’s official. I am now a bona fide, NEW ADULT author. My forthcoming NA novel, THE CHARGE will be available this year from Curiosity Quills Press. So, yes, there is such a thing as a published NA author.
I didn’t set out to be a New Adult author, or write in any particular genre for that matter, I just had a story to tell. I wrote my story from the perspective of a nineteen-year-old college freshman, with no idea that writing about nineteen-year-olds was strictly "forbidden" by the publishing gods. Obviously, I’m overstating this, but it really is an awkward age for a main character. By most definitions, nineteen is too old for YA, but the character is young enough that the YA style and voice feels right.
So, I attempted to change my story to fit into an approved genre. I tried to age him up to make the story adult, but that didn’t feel quite right. I tried to age him down to make the story YA, but I couldn’t manage to break the high school graduation barrier. This story was meant to happen when he was a “new adult”, not a teenager. One of my beta readers told me, “He sounds like a man, not a boy. A young man for sure. But a man.” And I thought, “Well, yeah, that’s what he is.” As annoying as it was, I think it’s a good sign that I couldn’t just find and replace to change his age and make it YA. It means I had successfully defined my character’s age.
I often dreamed about stumbling upon a secret genre that described my work perfectly. And low and behold, it happened. I read this post by agent Vickie Motter and was introduced to “New Adult.” However, my excitement was short lived. I put “New Adult” into my Google search bar and didn’t find much. I certainly didn’t find any agents that said they were looking for it. So, even though I knew my novel was New Adult, I decided to query it as Young Adult. I got a few nibbles and some positive feedback, but overall, my query response from agents was a no-go.
As unfair as it seemed, I was getting ready to accept the fact that my novel might not be published mainly because it was hard to shelve. But then I decided to try something new. I queried independent publishers, many of which specifically stated they wanted New Adult. I started to get full requests, and quickly, and I got them from the publishers who said they wanted New Adult. Three days later…yes, you read that right…I was offered a publishing contract from Curiosity Quills.
In the end, I couldn’t be happier that my novel will be labeled New Adult because that is what it is. No more trying to fit my square peg into a round hole. It can be what it was meant to be.
Tell me, has anyone run into some of the same challenges that I did?
For more, check out my companion post “The Great New Adult Post” on my personal blog.
You can also connect with me here:http://www.sharonbayliss.blogspot.com/
There you have it, peeps! A woman who's gone out and done it :D Thanks, Sharon, for guest posting and offering to motivate others in the crazy world of New Adult!
One final thing, everyone. There's a pitch contest going on at Romance University on May 31st. It's going to be judged by Heather Howland of Entangled Publishing and Entangled is known for accepting New Adult Manuscripts!