Hey, everyone. I’m super stoked to be a part of the NA Alley Blog. And I’m even more stoked to tackle this new and upcoming discussion: NA vs. Erotica! At first I was like, “Huh? Erotica? NA? No way…”It seems to be a topic of discussion around the Net these days, and it’s insinuating New Adult is just sexed up YA or erotica. Personally, I was a bit shocked. That had NEVER entered my mind.
Now, my publisher, Crescent Moon Press, was among the first presses to have an official New Adult line. My novel, Wasteland, was the first book published under their NA imprint. So, you can imagine, as I went around with the blog tours and interviews, I frequently got asked what this new up and coming category was all about.
Since my publisher bought six of my NA books (five are currently out), they helped me come up with a nice response to the NA question:
Young Adult stories are just as complex as any mainstream novel, however the romantic element is handled more gently in comparison. Also, the characters are generally in Middle School or High School. New Adult novels take the stories to the next level romantically, and the characters are usually out of school, dealing with life challenges.
So, yeah, my NA novels do have a little more romance, but by no means are they erotica. I, personally, don’t write that genre. Notice how I used the word genre there?
I view New Adult as a category of adult fiction, whereas Young Adult is a category of children’s books. So, yeah, New Adult stories are a bit past the first kisses and awkward interactions of high school, but they’re not quite the intense—and often graphic—stories of adult romance.
Or, like NA Alley Blog defines it: Bridging the gap between Young Adult and Adult fiction.
Just for fun, I checked the dictionary for a couple of definitions:
nounhistorical fiction is my favorite genre of literature: category, class, classification, group, set, list; type, sort, kind, breed, variety, style, model, school, stamp, cast, ilk.
categorynounhis music doesn't fit into any conventional category: class, classification, group, grouping, bracket, heading, set; type, sort, kind, variety, species, breed, brand, make, model; grade, order, rank; informal pigeonhole.
I like the words: sort, kind, variety and classification under the category definition. This feels more like where New Adult fits in.
Back to the dictionary one more time:
eroticadjectiveerotic literature: sexy, sexually arousing, sexually stimulating, titillating, suggestive; pornographic, sexually explicit, lewd, smutty, hard-core, soft-core, dirty, racy, risqué, ribald, naughty; sexual, sensual, amatory; seductive, alluring, tantalizing; informal blue, X-rated, steamy, raunchy, bootylicious; euphemistic adult.
Wikipedia had an interesting explanation of erotica that alluded to the idea of sex being the primary focus of the literature. And it’s been around for ages as a genre. Click here to read that. And if you Google erotica, it’s mainly represented as its own genre.
Like many genres/categories, lines can get blurred. For example, New Adult usually has characters out of high school. Just starting college or in college. Or maybe the characters aren’t heading to college at all. Just stepping into the next phase of life after high school, which means their issues are a bit different than those often faced in high school.
But in my first NA novel, my main character was over 400 years old. The heroine over a thousand years old. Sure, they “looked” twenty-something …but does that make Wasteland an adult novel?
Not this one; the heat level made it New Adult. Wasteland wasn’t quite as sweet as a YA novel, but not as hot as an adult novel. The second book in the trilogy, though, the heroine was nineteen…
See what I’m getting at? There are suggested boundaries/lines in each category/genre, but they aren’t all etched in stone.
When it comes to NA vs. Erotica…what do you guys think? Does erotica have any business in the NA discussion? What’s your view on the whole category/genre discussion? We want to hear from you! Opinions are welcome; let’s just stay respectful of each other ☺