Yesterday we had author Tammara Webber here and she answered our questions about New Adult romance. Today we have J.A. Redmerski author of The Edge of Never. Originally we planned to invite a few authors to answer our questions and we were going to post them all in once post. But since Ms. Webber and Ms. Redmerski both kindly sent us really great interviews we decided to post their interviews separately. That’s why the questions are the same for both authors and we think you’ll enjoy both authors perspectives on the topic.
FVBR: Besides the ages of the hero and heroine, what is difference between YA and NA and adult romance? What specifically qualifies a novel as New Adult?
J.A.R. I think New Adult primarily focuses on all of the firsts: first real job (outside of that job at Mickey D’s you get at sixteen when allowance just isn’t cuttin’ it anymore), first apartment, first real relationship. Of course, a lot of emphasis is put on the sexual aspect of NA fiction, too, and it is true that with NA, a writer is free to ‘tell it like it is’ without worrying about backlash from rightfully so, disgruntled parents. With NA, the stories are more daring, reckless and are about that self-discovery phase. New Adult is more mature than Young Adult and not too Adult. It’s right there in the goldilocks zone.
FVBR: New Adult seems to be gaining popularity with readers who tend to shy away from Young Adult novels. What do you think it is about New Adult that appeals to readers who generally prefer adult romance?
J.A.R.: I think that Young Adult is often way too innocent and unrealistic at times. Face it, in the real world most teenagers are far from being innocent. They have sex, they curse, they do things they might regret later in life, their lives are often questionable, but when writing about that kind of content in books for underage people, it’s a risk. This is why I believe many young adults (teenagers) are migrating more to the New Adult and even the Adult genres. Because they want to read about how things really are, not how some adults (primarily protective parents) expect life to be for people their age. Of course, there are also many teenagers who don’t do any of that stuff, but I still think that even they want to read realistic stories, too. And I’m not saying that all YA is too innocent or unrealistic, just that a lot of it is. And as far as why adults are leaning more toward NA, I think it has a lot to do with the banality of a lot of our adult lives. I’m 37 and I personally don’t want to read about failed marriages and all of the other things that plague adult life in literature and in the real world. NA is like going back to when life was fun, but when we were legal and allowed to do what we want. I think all of us who have grown out of that chapter of our lives like to relive it, even if only through fictional stories.
FVBR: What audience are you targeting when you write New Adult novel? Are you going after the 18-24 market similar to your characters in the books or are you trying to reach a broader age range? If so, how do you do that?
J.A.R.: I didn’t really consider any target age when writing THE EDGE OF NEVER, except that I knew I was writing for people older than 16. I hoped that people of all ages 17+ would enjoy it no matter what and so far it looks like the majority have. I’ve heard from readers ages 18 to 30 to 45 and in-between. So, I guess it worked out!
FVBR: New Adult has been described as Harry Potter meets 50 Shades of Grey by some readers. How graphic do you think you can get with New Adult writing? Is there a specific point where you have to draw the line in sex scenes?
J.A.R.: This is a really tricky question because there are a few ‘right’ answers in my opinion. First off, I don’t think it’s Harry Potter meets 50 Shades and I say that without even having read 50 Shades yet (I will soon! I swear!) But knowing what 50 Shades is about and from what I’ve read all over the…well, everywhere, I don’t think you can squeeze anything between the two. Harry Potter is its own element. It’s fantasy, completely unrealistic. If I were to compare the New Adult genre between two well-knowns I’d lean more toward something like Pretty Little Liars meets 50 Shades or something like that. As far as graphic sex, I think it all depends on the story, the type of characters and their personalities, but also what POV the story is being told in. If it’s being told from a narrative perspective then it should read more professionally (not using contractions, slang, etc.) and therefore not use ‘pornographic’ words like c*ck or pu**y, words like that. If it’s narrative and does use words like that frequently, then I’d say that’s leaning more towards the erotica genre. And if the story is told in the character’s POV, like mine in THE EDGE OF NEVER, it all depends on the character and how he or she would say certain things. So, yeah, there’s a lot of factors to take into consideration when it comes to the graphic level of sex scenes.
Thank you for talking with us today!
You can visit J.A. Redmerski on her website to learn more about her books.