FAMILY-TIES IN NEW-ADULT FICTION
Hi Folks! I’m Brandi Leigh Hall, and I write Sweet NA Paranormal stories with romance, twisty plots, a wee-bit-o-magic, and a whole lotta heart and humor. And besides the fresh & breezy writing style in my debut series—the other thing that makes it so different—is the focus on family. The love story is secondary.
So much of New-Adult fiction revolves around the “experimental” years—and getting out from under the proverbial thumb of controlling families. Which happens to be what many 18-26 experience. But what about those of us who have a support system we cherish and wish to remain close to? Or those who aren’t jumping into bed with bad boys, pushing our sexual boundaries to the limit?
As much as I LOVE reading such freeing stories, it’s not how all of us choose to live those crucial, character-building years. Some of us blossom later. Which is exactly why writing “sweet” New-Adult fiction called to me. I’ve always been someone a bit more conservative than most (in life, not humor!), with an old-fashioned heart who deep down still believes in those Jane Austen worthy, HEA romances. Granted, that could be why I still haven’t found “the one”, but it doesn’t keep me from holding out hope.
And I know there are PLENTY of folks out there who do as well.
I enjoy creating the type of sweet, romantic guys you pray your daughter’s fall in love with—and strong, independent, female characters that would make any mother proud. Even with the snarky ones.
But more than anything, I wanted my “feel-good” series jam-packed with a supportive family, willing to do whatever it takes for those they love, while still being refreshing, funny, emotional, fast-paced, and suspenseful. We all have tons of family issues we’d like to forget, so doesn’t it feel great when you can read about the type of family you’ve always dreamed of having?
Other New-Adult authors have books out with a similar focus on family, like Denise Grover Swank’s Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes (Rose Gardner Mystery, Book 1), and Kimberly Rose’s Truth In Wildflowers (Truth Series Book 1). And SJ Pajonasshared with me her next book has a huge focus on family as well. There are tons of others, too. So “family focus” DOES seem to be creeping into the New-Adult landscape. As someone who used to feel like an oddball for writing a NA series about a “sweet” family of do-gooders, and not smexy times, I couldn’t be happier to see others who share my passion for family
To me, our support system dictates so much about who we become as an adult.
In fact, my own relationship with my mother didn’t evolve into a true friendship until I reached those fragile NA years. And whether your family is blood related, one who welcomed you into the fold with open arms, or just great friends who became your family through a mutual bond . . . we would be incomplete without them.
For the most part, the family in my series is (loosely) based on my own, even down to the occasional “cheesy” dialogue. But let’s face it—in real life—we always roll our eyes at the cheesy things people say. For many, that’s just part of our dorky sense of humor. *raises hand in the air with a grin*
We’re not always eloquent with those we love.
We don’t always say or do the right thing, at the right time.
And we bicker with our family like we’re still 12.
And that’s what New-Adult fiction is all about. Honesty. I love how it spans so many genres—and heat levels—while allowing writer’s the freedom too keep things authentic to this developmental period in our lives. And yes, you can have stories with paranormal elements, while still focusing on “keeping it real”. I know, it’s practically a contradiction, right? But isn’t reality sooooooo much easier to swallow if it’s sprinkled with a dash of magic? It’s certainly how most children’s fairy tales are told (and by the very family I speak of).
So what do you think, does New-Adult have a place for family focus? And aside from “sweet” New-Adult having behind closed doors nookie, do you ever wish you could read more family-based stories that restore your faith in the genuine goodness in people?
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