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 embarrassing awesome questions we'll answer in a VLOG. You can check the details HERE.

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?



Post a Comment

  1. I agree. Eventually the other genres will be discovered, and one of them will be the next big thing. YA paranormals and dystopians used to be hot, and now YA contempt are hot. In a few years it will flip around again.

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    1. A lot of parallels between NA and YA for sure, Stina. Both in their journeys to becoming full-fledged categories, and how the various genres within evolve.

      Hope NA becomes just as prominent as YA in the minds of readers and bookstores, too. :)

      Thanks for stopping by the Alley!

      ~EJ

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  2. I think the genre is just beginning and will grow for a long time to come.

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    1. Totally agree, Alex. The last year has seen NA grow so much. Gets me very excited for what's to come. :)

      Thank you for stopping by, sir!

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  3. I think that we're just scratching the surface of NA, and it's really exciting to be in on it in the beginning. I'll bet many writers felt that same way when YA first started gaining popularity. I'm writing my NA now and am excited to see where it goes.

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    1. Love to hear you're trying your hand at NA, Trakena! Authors telling NA stories: that's how we'll continue to grow this sucker. :)

      Best of luck to you, and thanks for commenting!

      ~EJ

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  4. Because being in that transition of life between Young adult and Adult is fraught with more than extra smexy, the New Adult category is also a growth-buster in the making.

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    1. Agree, AB. Such a complex time in life. So many stories that need to be told. :)

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  5. Awesome article EJ! I'm still surprised NA hasn't been a "thing" before - to me, those college-aged years were the most dramatic. The most freedom with the least responsibility most of us get to have. Seems like the perfect period in life for some epic stories to unfold. So glad we're getting these great books now. And thanks to the Alley for pushing the genre to the forefront!

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    1. Thanks, ST! I think it's a fantastic time to be an author in general, and getting to be a part of the New Adult movement is extremely exciting. :)

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  6. Totally agree with you. Awesome post!
    To infinity, and BEYOND!!! :D

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  7. No one knows where this genre can go. The audience is growing all the time.

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    1. Totally uncharted territory at this point, Michael. Personally, I think writers and readers live for that. :)

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  8. I'm in agreement with the others here. I'd love to hear what agents and editors are saying. Well done, E.J.

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    1. NA has definitely won many of them over, CL. We may have to 'nudge' them a bit to get them to see the vision of diversity in content I'm preaching here. lol But I do think it'll happen. Just takes that one sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc. NA branded story to blow up. :)

      Thanks so much for stopping by to comment! Truly appreciate it. ~EJ

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  9. Well said! Can we make our side look like the Bat Cave? :D

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    1. Totally should've 'shopped the Bat Mobile in that pic! *damn* Stupid lawyers would've ruined it anyway. ;)

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  10. I'm with you, E.J. We all hope that NA is not just a passing fad but is here to say. I'm with you on it becoming a niche rather than a novelty. Well said!

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  11. Excellent post. People will always want to see for themselves, and we'll each experience it differently. NA's going to be around for a while.

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  12. I agree. I think the romance angle took off first because the death of chick lit left a void for readers, but I do think there are a lot of other genres to be explored with this age range of characters.

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    1. Definitely, Ru. Reader appetite--or palette rather--just naturally changes over time. It's up to us to figure out what they're hungry for. :)

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  13. This is a very timely post. I was one of those who published a book as upper-YA before we really knew what NA was, and now that the category is uber-popular, I've been wondering where it'll go. I've been worried that by the time the next book comes out in December, NA will be on the decline (though I certainly hope not!).

    Additionally, it seems like many early NA titles have very similar themes and I'm excited to see authors branch out into the different "corners" you mentioned -- NA thriller, NA noir, NA LGBT, NA horror ... the possibilities are endless.

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    1. Thanks, Steph! (Appreciate the tweets, too. :)

      I don't think you have much to worry about in terms of if NA is still going to be a hot commodity. Truly believe it's here to stay. I encourage authors to more focus on getting the voice right, and think about ways they can stretch the category. You're already on the right track with your thoughts on thrillers, noir, etc.

      Very exciting times!

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  14. Awesome article! I agree that NA is just beginning - so many publishers now publish New adult now, and new imprints are being set up all the time. Everyone seems to be writing NA, too, and I think that's because there's now a market for it. Things can only get better! :)

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    1. Thanks, Emma! Can't wait to see where it all goes, and thrilled to be a part of it. :)

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  15. The hot stuff goes in cycles. Who knows what's next? We can only hope it's what we write. Right?

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    1. I definitely think there's an element of being at the right place at the right time, MP. But some things just seem to endure changes--like awesome sci-fi! :D

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  16. Well said, EJ! It can only get better and brighter from here!!!

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    1. Thanks, lady! :) Really appreciate openminded authors like yourself. There's a vision in all of this, I think, and it's up to us to figure out how to get there.

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  17. Great post, EJ. So much more to explore with NA characters! Looking forward to reading (and hopefully writing) more interesting, moving, and remarkable stories in the future.

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    1. Looking forward to seeing your name out there, Jill!

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  18. I hope NA is just getting started because I have a ton of story ideas I'm dying to get out there.

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  19. I sure hope NA is just getting started because it's all I want to write and read right now! Great post, EJ.

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    1. I'm the same way, Amy. I've got a YA project I completely put on hold just so I could explore and write more NA.

      And thank you! :)

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  20. Good books are forever. Once they are published, they don't have an expiration date.

    We also need to remember how slowly publishing works in relation to our "do it all 5 seconds ago or miss it" world. If one of us were to get a traditional book contact today (fingers crossed for all), we'd be probably be looking at a 2015 release. 2015 still sounds like science fiction to me. So all of the NA books that have been acquired by publishers aren't going to really explode for another 2 years.

    When I spoke to my agent about this, I told her I was worried about missing out on the NA market, that it would be flooded. She believes it hasn't even begun yet in earnest. I think that's exciting. Look what's happened to the YA market. NA has so many more possibilities.

    Kristen

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    1. "She believes it hasn't even begun yet in earnest. I think that's exciting."

      Hear! Hear! :)

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