Where the Happily Ever Afters Are Always In Color

Tag Archives: Blacker Than Blue

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 922

12.27.2012
BOOK BIRTHDAY SURPRISE! 

 

Blacker Than Blue is now available in paperback and ebook from Bold Strokes Books. Go ahead, spend your holiday money. Load that ereader. :)

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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 862

10.29.2012

You’d think I’d forgotten all about this blog. Ha. I didn’t. I’ve just been busy. I’ll skip the details and jump right to the news.

Blacker Than Blue is days away from going to press. I had a hell of time editing it and I have to say I think I could write at least four stories for Benny and Cleo. I love them as a couple. :) In January, right before its release, I’ll be doing a book/t-shirt giveaway, so keep your eyes peeled if you like winning stuff.

Once that was done and off to the magical land of paperbacks and ebooks, I finished my first/final round of revisions of At Her Feet. If you’ve been following my blog, you might be asking what At Her Feet is. Well, my publisher was happy to buy Suzy & Pilar off my hands, but after batting some ideas around, we went with a title change. At Her Feet should be out some time near fall 2013. I think. I’ll report back when I know for sure.

And that’s it, really. I’m working on some non-romance related things. I might take a class. You’re never too old to further your education. When I get back to the romancing, I have two hetero romances I want to write and then there’s the next Vampire Sorority Sister novel to research, write and then beg my publisher to buy. I’ll report back when I have concrete plans. In the meantime, Happy NaNoWriMo for everyone participating. I’ll leave you with Melanie Fiona’s Stop My Heart. I heard it in Crate&Barrel; last week and now I’m obsessed with her. ?
 

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 Day 758

07.21.2012

First let me say, I’m having trouble picking a Tokyo/Miyoko for my Vampire Sorority Series. Check out this post here if you want to give me your two pennies worth of opinion. I need feedback people.

Updates!!!! Here’s where I’ve been. Here’s what I’ve been doing.

- The Advocate Magazine asked lil old me to contribute to this month’s I Advocate section. Seeing myself in a magazine period is amazing. Being featured in The Advocate is just mind blowing. Pick up a copy on newsstands now. :) 

- I was also featured over at Romance Cooks, sharing a recipe that always makes me think of my vampire queen Camila from Better Off Red. Check it out. Make some cookies.

- I’m taking FOREVER to edit Suzy & Pilar. I’m not under a deadline with it so I’m taking my sweet ass time. Eeeep.

- Next week (July 25, and 26) I’ll be loitering at the annual RWA conference in Anaheim. If you’re there and you see me, say hi. I’m wicked nice. Really.

- I also realized that I missed the two year mark for this blog. Ooops. I’ll do a big TWO YEAR post soon. Feel free to listen to my new favorite song while you wait.

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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 589

02.08.2012
featuring my short story, Study Break

I have a short story and a book creeping up on me here and I haven’t been talking about them at all. WHY??? Because I’m behind the eight ball like a motherfucker on Blacker Than Blue: VSS Book 2 and it’s due in three weeks. The day the manuscript is due I have to appear in Palm Springs for a four day event where I will be reading three times. I hate reading out loud in public. I hate reading out loud when it’s just me and my cats, but I’ll have to do it three times in front of friends and other people I respect. Throw in the huge shitshow with the RWI/RWA contest (I’m not going to rehash it, but here are the details.) and the subsequent interview I was asked to give and you’ll get one strained Bekah. My stress levels are at an eleven right now. Any time I spend on the internet I use to take away the pain of being on level eleven. I don’t want to talk shop. But that’s only half of the problem.

See here’s the thing, I’ve had a really traumatic relationship with The Fling, which will be out April 16th. click this preorder it. Now that it’s done and my editor helped me give it the tweeks it needed, I am very happy with the finished product. I LOVE the characters. Love them. I want to marry at least four of them and spend forever in their loving embrace, but getting to this point was trying and that’s putting it lightly.

I started writing this book at a really bad point in my life. I was leaving a job, suffering from a really intense back pain, a good friend of mine died in a car accident and I won’t lie, I was suicidal. I didn’t try anything, but I made plans. And guess what, that shit showed up in my writing. Oksana, who is a character I’m very happy with, got all of my sads. Luckily my mental state improved. I left the horrid job and the horrid boss. I got to spend time with my family. I sulked to my mom. I reconnected with an amazing friend. WE GOT KITTENS! I brought more positive into my life and my moods started to stabilize. Thank god for my boyfriend who held my hand for that time.

But let’s back up. So this is all going on and then I hit that horrid sophomore slump. Better Off Red walked out of my brain with its bags packed and was just waiting for a cab to the airport. I had to drag The Fling out kicking and screaming even though I was trying to send it on a nice vacation. I had the whole story outlined to death, but my stupid, crazy, depressed brain and my busted back were making it so very difficult to get the thing down on paper and then I would get bummed that it was taking me so long and then I had to do final edits on Better Off Red and then I was bummed again. It was a mess.

Oksana looks like Amber Rose in my imagination.

Anyway when I got The Fling back from my editor her notes basically said “WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED!” Emotionally, I was trying to kill Oksana and every thing I did to her was in complete contrast with how awesome she is. Seriously bro, she’s a sexy biracial Russian chick who lives with her grandma. Those of you who’ve read Better Off Red know I try to incorporate a nice bit of humor into my writing. It’s there in The Fling. I’ve given myself a few chuckles rereading the final product (not out loud of course), but with as much humor as there was I loaded Oksana down with emo. It wasn’t working. Editor and I talked. We fixed it. Oksana is not crazy anymore and I am very happy with the final story, but see I don’t want to talk about it because every time I look at that book, I think about how depressed I was while I was trying to write it. I think about how painful the process was and I just don’t want to go back there. But I have to suck it up.I have to tell you people all about it.

I’ve learned a lot writing and editing The Fling. I learned what I need to do complete a project with my sanity intact and as a result working on Blacker Than Blue has been a much smoother process. Even though I’m a little behind, I know I’ll finish on time. I’ve even LOST weight while writing it. I know, I’m shocked too.

So my point is, I have another book coming out in April. I’m really happy with it. You should by it. I can’t wait for you to meet Annie and Oksana. :) If you’d like to have a look at them go here. Warning: some of the Annie pics show boobies. If you’ve read Better Off Red you should DEFINITELY pick up Women of the Dark Streets. I’m calling Study Break VSS 1.5. It gives you a look into Benny and Cleo and leads perfectly into Blacker than Blue. It’s also busting with great shorts from some great authors. I’ve sneaked a peek.

P.S. I know talking about depression and suicide makes some people really uncomfortable, but some times talking about it saves lives. 

Also this rocked my world.

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