Hey, gang! Great to be back for my second round here at the Alley! And things are as busy as ever around the place.
We're getting VERY close to hitting 1,000 blog followers, and we want to celebrate by letting y'all ask us
Loyal Alley patrons will also know that we're getting ready to kickoff a whole mess of NA Crush Tourney madness. From what I've seen so far, the competition is going to be fierce, and you all definitely love your NA heroes!
I'll confess, I'm sitting out the Crush Tourney for the most part. For two reasons: 1) I'm not exactly an expert on male, crush-worthy NA characters, and 2) I'm in the process of moving from Texas to California, so I'm a touch busy.
But here's the thing, I'm not at all opposed to the fawning over of the NA hotties. Romance is obviously a huge part of what NA is. I get that. In fact, not only do I get it, I embrace it.
You might be saying, "What the hell, E.J.?! Weren't you the same dude who said NA could be more than what it is, and that it's for everyone? You can't be happy with anything that might remotely perpetuate the 'NA = sexy YA' mythos. Right?"
Well, I did say those things, and I DO try to debunk that mythos as often as I can. NA is definitely already more than just contemporary romance for those who are willing to scuff the surface a bit.
But more than that, I believe we are just beginning to see the birth of true New Adult literature. Which is definitely not to say the titles that have come before aren't truly NA. Books like Easy, Beautiful Disaster, My Favorite Mistake, and Losing It are synonymous with NA for a reason.
Those books and authors--along with many others--went into the cave first and, with torches held aloft, shown light on things people had never seen before. They did an incredible service for our favorite category.
In fact, authors are still piling into that cave, exploring every nook and cranny, shouting, "I found something!" and waiving still more inside to see what it's all about.
Now, you may think that once everyone knows about this cave, the fun and exploration will end. People will get bored, and start searching for the next great wonder. But that's not how this kind of thing works.
Did exploration of the Western United States end when Lewis and Clark finished up their trip? Heck no! Do people still visit the Grand Canyon? Heck yes!
Once everyone knows where something great is at, and what it is, that's when the true power of discovery kicks in. How? Simple, it becomes more than a niche, more than a novelty. It becomes a destination. People start taking their friends and family to share the awesome thing they've discovered.
So what's next for NA?
Basically, we stroll into that cave, slap some halogen lights on the walls to really brighten up the place, and get down to the business of studying it. We start learning how, as opposed to being overwhelmed by the issues of why and what.
Now that we can see it for what it is, we build walkways and paths to areas the first explorers didn't even fathom existed. We work to define it, to mold it, into something lasting and inspiring.
People have been walking on the moon for decades, but every kid still wants to go there. They want to see the blue earth floating in the distance, and feel the gray, alien soil crunching under their boots for themselves.
It's pretty clear to me that NA is becoming a destination. A place readers and writers want to experience for themselves and make their own. So I say we're just getting started. What do you think?