We all know the sub-genres of fantasy and the myriad elements of each, and we know our literary categories, those in which every genre, not just fantasy, exist. Well, this last year has seen the emergence of a new category: New Adult.
I’m excited about this. Not just as a reader, but as a writer. Trying to fit my stories into either YA or Adult has been tricky, often frustrating, and at times I’ve changed, or forced, what grew organically into one or the other category, when really it didn’t belong in either. Now, I’m going back through my WIPs and making notes on where I changed specific things, and re-reading my original drafts and thinking, “Aha, this is New Adult!”, which makes me very happy.
Currently, mainstream New Adult is contemporary romance, and though I’ve never been a huge fan of this (aside from reading all of Nora Roberts and Kathleen Woodiwiss) I’ve devoured a ton of these this year. And I have even more on my Amazon wishlist. They resonate with me because they not only center around the age range of most of my own characters (18-25), but because they explore the same issues as mine. And I’m not just talking sex. I’m talking about characters in the midst of that transitory period between youth and full adulthood, struggling to find their place in the world on their own.
But I think other genres, especially fantasy, are about to explode onto the scene. Agents and editors are asking for different genres in New Adult. Those who follow the Twitter hashtag, #MSWL, have seen this, and if you’re like me, reviewing updated agent bios and what they and their agencies want, you’ll have seen this as well. Here’s a great post by literary agent, Suzie Townsend, and her thoughts on New Adult and its emergence into different genres, as well as books already out there that might appeal to this audience.
Suffice it to say, I’m thrilled about all this. Beyond. Belief. And I hope one day to see a whole section in bookstores dedicated to New Adult Fantasy. What do you guys think?