Where the Happily Ever Afters Are Always In Color

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Today I’m talking about this New Adult fiction business. What’s New Adult, you ask? Well I’ve been asking the same thing for a few months and over the weekend I decided to get to the bottom of this for my own selfish reasons. I’ve read three titles that I enjoyed, Homecoming by Nell Stark, LoveLife by Rachel Spangler, and Sheltered By Charlotte Stein. I’m currently reading Take What You Want by Jeanette Grey, but only Jeanette’s book was presented to me as a New Adult book.

The New Adult genre has been a thing for a long time. I’ll even go as far to say it’s been around as long as stories themselves, but recently St. Martin’s Press and the rest of the publishing industry decided to slap a title on these stories.  Here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the genre (with a little help from St. Martin’s and NA Alley).

“New adult literature touches upon many themes and issues to reach the readership that falls in between the categories of young adult and adult fiction. Many themes covered in young adult fiction such as identity, sexuality, depression, suicide, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, familial struggles, bullying[6] are also covered in new adult fiction, but the various issues that are dealt with in the category hold it separate. 

Some common examples of issues include: first jobs, starting college, wedding engagements and marriage, starting new families, friendships post-high school, military enlistment, financial independence, living away from home for the first time, empowerment, loss of innocence, fear of failure, and so many others[7].
 
This category focuses heavily on life after an individual has become of legal age, and how one deals with the new beginnings of adulthood. Commonly, these themes and issues have been seen taking place post-high school in popular new adult fiction titles, but there are exceptions[8].” — Yes, I’m citing Wikipedia because they had the most clear definition.

Inside Romancelandia, I’ve seen a bit of a divide on the subject. Some think this is simply a marketing gimmick, another set of quick buzz words to push something that already exists. And others actually find this is new description to be rather helpful and exciting. I actually fall into both camps. Do I think it is a bit of a marketing ploy? Yes, but honestly that’s how you sell things. You use marketing techniques to drive customers to your product. Books are a business. But for me categories like this help me understand what I’m getting.

I want to know if I’m reading about a certain age group or certain themes. A perfect example would be Regency romance and Westerns historicals being separated under the umbrella of historical romances. I love historical Westerns, but I’m not a huge fan of Regency romances. These categories help me find what I’m looking for as a reader. As a reader, I also enjoy reading about the 18-26 age bracket. These romances a bit more mature than YA.

I’m at a point in my life where the Boyfriend and I are struggling to get beyond our college life-style. I mean I have to put in the effort to not stay up all night, watching cartoons and eating junk food. He recently just bought his first car. That was a traumatic experience. It’s only been in the last couple of years that I’ve stopped calling my parents every time something goes wrong. For a while I felt that I was reading romances with characters that we too serious and in periods of their life (secure in their careers, too mature to get swept up in slightly immature (fun and hilarious) situations etc.) that I just couldn’t relate to at all. New Adult solves this problem for me as a reader.

What does this have to do with me and my books? I’ll tell you. When I first started writing Better Off Red, I realized that I hadn’t read many books about characters in college. I think. I wanted to read more stories, particularly more romances with characters that were of college age.

When I first started sending Better Off Red out for submission, I knew I had  unique problem. Now there are Young Adult books with sex. Forever by Judy Blume is one that immediately comes to mind. That book has a lot of sex in it. A lot, but it’s a straight up YA novel. It was written for the YA audience and the main characters are in high school. Better Off Red has explicit sex, but Ginger is 18. She acts and talks like a typical New England 18 year old. She’s a bit on the angsty side. She’s trying to nail down her sexuality and a good studying schedule. Ginger’s life just didn’t fit in with the standard romances I was reading.

So who the hell was I going to sell this book to? Luckily Bold Strokes was willing to deal with me and Ginger, and that part of the story is history, but then I had to market the damn thing. And that was tricky too. I could say it’s a paranormal romance, but it still didn’t fit in with the adult or the YA paranormal romances I was seeing out there.

Then along comes this New Adult business and I feel lik
e Ginger and the girls of Alpha Beta Omega finally have a little place where they belong. Where dealing with class schedules and new relationships and parents and vampires all makes sense. So I’m taking a stand or jumping into the pool (thanks Jeanette), and I’m going to say that my vampires series is most definitely New Adult. All of my main characters will be between 18-22. They will all be in college and dealing with their sexuality and their parents and race and the undead.

Yeah. New Adult feels good.

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Hey, I need opinions. I’m writing a short story about an existing couple, but I can’t decide which couple to pick. What do you guys think? Should I write about Ginger & Camila, Benny & Cleo, or Annie & Oksana? I’m going to decide by Friday 3/ 8/1. Please help. Gimme your opinions in the comments below. Please. Help.

Update: I’ve gotten feedback everywhere (facebook/tumblr/twitter), but here. Was it something I said??

Here’s the tally so far.

Annie & Oksana (The Fling): 9
Ginger & Camila ( Better Off Red): 8
Benny & Cleo (Blacker Than Blue): 4

Ginger and Camila took it!
Final Tally:
Ginger & Camila: 14
Annie & Oksana: 9
Benny & Cleo: 4
Looks like I have a sexy short about Ginger and her Mila to write. :)

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 Day 911

12.16.2012

Women and Words Holiday Hootenany is going strong. Today a copy of The Fling is up for grabs with a bunch of other BSB books. Go now! Win things!

Also – On Friday Better off Red and Blacker Than Blue were put up for grabs over on Smuketeers.com. I didn’t post about it because I was pretty much in fetal position all day. I’m pretty sure they are still available to head over there for a chance to win my vamp books as well.

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 Day 900

12.05.2012

Lots of news! Events! Awards! News! News! News!

I’ll go with the part where you can win free stuff. Though, it’s all pretty good.  

Starting today (DECEMBER 5th) the awesome ladies over at Smuketeers are kicking off their 12 Days of Xmas Holiday Extravaganza.

Head on over to check out holiday fun with 64 amazing romance authors, myself included. We’re giving away books, too. I’ll be tweeting when my day is up, but go over there now. NOW!

 –

Starting Wednesday, December 12, 2012, Women and Words will be kicking off their 2012 Holiday Hootenanny. Everyday readers can enter to win a book from a list of great LGBT romance authors. I’ll be featuredd on Day 5, giving away a copy of The Fling. 

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On Thursday, January 10, 2013 I’ll be participating in Book’d in Burbank, a literary social event. I‘ll be reading from Better Off Red. If that doesn’t bring you running, there will a comedy MC, drinks and desserts. :) The drinks and desserts are what got me on board. Check out more here, courtesy of Liz D.

 

And lastly, the news that has me super pumped.

Elisa Reviews announced the winners of the Rainbow Awards over the weekend and TWO of my books won awards.

1st Place: BEST DEBUT LESBIAN NOVEL/BOOK – Better Off Red

2nd Place: BEST LESBIAN EROTIC ROMANCE – The Fling

2nd Place (tie): BEST LESBIAN PARANORMAL/HORROR- Better Off Red

This is amazing because so many fantastic books were nominated, books I absolutely loved. I inhaled Meghan O’Briens The Night Off and Awake Unto Me by Kathleen Knowles. I almost cried during Robin Silverman’s reading of Lemon Reef. To be included is such an honor.

I’m particularly excited about Better Off Red‘s win for debut novel. An author can only win that type of award once in their career and to win it for a book and characters that are so close to my heart is both humbling and encouraging. 

For the complete list of winners and honorable mention recommendations check out click HERE.

I’ll post again soon. There is cover art for At Her Feet in the works… ?

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 Day 617

03.07.2012

I’m reporting back to say that I made it through all of my readings over the weekend without passing out or puking all over myself.

Seriously though, the 6th Annual Bold Strokes Books LGBT Book Festival was wonderful. I read selections from Better Off Red and The Fling and I think I did all right. And I think I made my mom proud by wearing a dress.

courtesy of Angie Williams.

I look hot mid-sentence. I received excellent feedback on Better Off Red and The Fling. I signed some books. It was all very exciting.

In other news, Blacker Than Blue is off to my editor and I must say I am VERY happy with it. Moving forward, I have two books and two shorts in the pipeline and I plan on cleaning up a screenplay. We’ll see how all of that gooes.

In more other news, if you don’t follow me on twitter, you haven’t seen this little beauty. Fangdangler finished reading Better Off Red and found himself inspired to draw Ginger and Camila. To say I love it would be an understatement. He also has some great adventure time fanart on his deviant art page.

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 Day 559

01.09.2012

I know some people come to my blog through avenues other than twitter so here’s the skinny on the up-down (I know that made no sense). I’m guest blogging today over at Babbling About Books and More on why I write lesbian romance and more importantly, why I write ethnically diverse lesbian romance. Do check it out.

the awkward teenager i reference in this guest post

And in response to the recent rash of writer on reviewer crimes, here’s my personal stance. I read reviews, but I know they aren’t for me. They are for other readers. As a writer it is not my place to attack reviewers for their opinions. I am psyched that people have read my work and that’s that. To the authors attacking reviewers for posting reviews OF YOUR BOOK, not your looks, or your mom, or your kids, please chill out. You’re making the rest of  us look crazy. Smoochies!

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 Day 557

01.07.2012

Check out the Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event starting today (Jan 7) through Jan 21 over at Babbling About Books and More. Posts from lesbian authors, publishers, reviewers and bloggers.

My post will appear on Jan 9, but today, author and (my) publisher Radclyffe is blogging about the facts of queer fiction AND she’s giving away books. Click the link. Leave a comment!

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 Day 503

11.15.2011

Gingered beardo and fellow author, Chuck Wendig has an excellent post on his blog today about writers following their own path. Over the past year and a half I have received some amazing advice, some terrible advice, met and chatted with some awesome agents and writers and come across publishing types I’d just as soon push in front of a subway car before I forced myself to speak to them again. In that time, I have definitely learned that this writing journey is my own.

If you haven’t been following this blog from the start, 503 days have passed between my first submission to an agency and the official release off Better Off Red. No, Bold Strokes Books does not fuck around when it comes to getting books out. Just another reason I feel at home with them. Minimal BS. :) No other author will experience what I have in the same amount of time, just as I will never share their exact experience, but that’s the beauty of this life thing.

Though it’s been on sale for a week and some change, today Is Better Off Red‘s proper book birthday, which means you should be able to walk into bookstores and pick it up. I’ll probably go to my local Barnes and Noble and put it up on some display near the front. :) I’m sure they love when people do that. So far Better Off Red has received some awesome reviews on Amazon and goodreads from people who aren’t my mom and that makes my heart very happy. I’d like to give a special shout out to my editor Cindy who made Better Off Red the book it is now. I love her guts. 

Several of my fellow Bold Strokes authors also celebrate book birthdays.

Rob Byrnes’s Holy Rollers (gay fiction/mystery)

Jeffrey Ricker’s Detours (gay fiction)
I’m almost done with this one and its fantastic

Radclyffe’s Sheltering Dunes (lesbian romance) The next installment in the Provincetown Series

Yolanda Wallace’s Lucky Loser (lesbian romance WITH TENNIS)

Sam Cameron’s Mystery of the Tempest: A Fisher Key Adventure (Young Adult/mystery)

Edited by Richard Labont

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 Day 488

10.31.2011
HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!
So mega surprise to me this morning, Bold Strokes Books is offering all of our November titles early. MEANING… you don’t have to wait until Nov 15th to pick up Better Off Red.
Paperback it up!

or

ebook it down! 
In another news, I received this amazing 4 star review from Bibrary Book Lust. Check out the awesome things Sally had to say about Ginger and the rest of the girls here. (she put the stars up on goodreads).
And lastly – here’s what I’m wearing tonight to the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival. I look ridic, but its okay. ITS HALLOWEEN!

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 Day 408

08.12.2011

I had so much to say a few days ago, but then I stopped screaming about the themes in The Help and I forgot the other topic I wanted to blog about so I’ll just throw out some updates and random thoughts as I often like to do.

Better Off Red is in its final stages of production. It’ll be off to the printers soon. I’m pumped. A handful of people have been nice enough to tell me they have already pre-ordered a copy and that makes me happy to the tenth degree. I’ll have romance trading cards featuring the cover art and some deets on Ginger available soon.

The Fling will be out April 16, 2012, a perfect tax time gift for friends and family.

I’m in stage 2 of , lets say, 20 in writing Blacker Than Blue: Vampire Sorority Sisters Book 2. That should be released Fall 2012 granted I get to step 20.

 I’m obsessed with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Rainbow Dash is my dream pony. 

I think Jay-Z and Kanye’s new song OTIS sucks.

Febreze stopped making my favorite scent: apple spice & delight. I had to settle for pumpkin harvest & fall

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was pretty good.

I’m still shocked that DJ forgot Kimmie Gibbler’s 16th birthday.

I dyed my bangs blue which required me to bleach them blond first. The blue washed out this week when I relaxed my so in the end, my hair is now blond. Dreams do come true.

My cats love knocking shit off the table and one of them thought this was a great idea.

Until next time. :)

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