Wednesday, 26 December 2012

New Adult fiction - what is it and why is it here?

New adult fiction is the latest genre doing the rounds at the moment. What is New Adult fiction and why is it here?

Believe it or not, there was no such things as "teenagers" until the term appeared in a 1941 issue of Readers Digest. It's believed the phrase "teen age" was around for a few decades before that, though only loosely referred to. The earliest reference seems to be from the 1920s when the word "teen age" was used to describe clothes and activities for children 13 to 19. Even right into the 1930s, there were only two stages of life - childhood and adulthood. You were a child until around 13 or 14, and then you were old enough to work.  

Around the 1940s, during the second world war, the government distanced the gap between childhood and adulthood by pushing out the length of school, and shipping home 15 year olds who'd lied about their age to serve in the war. No doubt this reform came about because it wasn't right to send children off to war, so the age when a child became an adult was pushed out to the age of 20 - after the "teen age" years were over.

Now that there was a new age group, there was a new culture. This culture skyrocketed during the 1950s and 1960 with - you guessed it - the invention of rock and roll. The Beatles and Elvis Presley are two of the most notable musical acts responsible for ramming home that wedge between childhood and adulthood. Whether these acts intended to target this middle market or not is irrelevant. Culture takes a life of its own.

And now another new culture seems to be growing. Hang on a minute! If we've already split the distinction between childhood and adulthood, why then do we need to make up yet another age group? It's simple really. whatever this age group will be called in the general world, in the publishing world it's called New Adult.

So hoiw did New Adult come about? Well, the "young adult" market has grown up. They've moved through the Harry Potter stage, through the Twilight stage, and walked right into the adult fiction market. The books in this market are all about divorce, marriage, work, crime, despression... Blek. How utterly droll and irrelevant to the energetic, often cashed-up and sometimes rambunctious group of 20 - 25 year olds.

InterestTeen is lucky to have interviewed a rising star in the New Adult market. Ally Shields is the author of the Guardian Witch series, published through Etopia Press and widely available in ebook and print at all online retailers.
Book one in this series is Awakening the Fire. 


Ari faces her first big challenge as a supernatural cop when a young human girl is brutally murdered. That's bad enough, but when a virtual reality drug hits the streets and foreign werewolves come to town, Ari joins forces with a human cop and an intriguing vampire in a race to prevent an Otherworld war.

ISBN: 9781937976828

Buy Links:Amazon US Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Barnes & Noble
All Romance Ebooks

InterstTeen asks: Writers are often asked if they have total control over their character’s behaviors. Is this the case with your characters? Do you aim to have some of them ‘play nicely’ but then their personalities take over and they just wanna fight? Can you explain how your characters take on a life of their own.

Ally replies:  Don't I wish! Since I'm what's known as a 'pantser' (as in writing by the seat of) or in more polite circles a 'discovery writer,' my characters tell their own story, and I'm along for the ride and the "prettying up.'  My witch Ari, in particular, has many more fights with Andreas (the vampire) than I intended. She just can't keep quiet, when she often should. But then that would ruin the fun. :-D

InterstTeen asks: As a writer of fiction, have you started getting into other areas of multi-media. I know you have a book trailer, and urban fantasy makes for great interactive games. If money was no object, do you dream of doing something like that? Or do you have other multi-media ideas like video interviews, video readings?

Ally replies: Not so far. I really am a fan of the written word. In fact, I still like print books. Gasp! Yes, I know, very antiquated. I didn't own a kindle until two years ago, now I own two. I do love my book trailer and will do more of those as each book comes out. I should have one for book two very soon. Of course, I'd be delighted if television or Hollywood came calling! <grin>

InterstTeen asks: What is the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?

Ally replies: I always try the local cuisine when I travel, so I've eaten some odd things. Most were not particularly memorable but the water buffalo in Egypt stands out. It was tough, stringy and tasted like shoe-leather. It was inedible, and afterward our group searched  Cairo for a McDonald's. Found one too!
InterstTeen asks: I take it your fans will be eagerly waiting the print release. How do you think having the books in print will change or help you as a writer?

Ally replies: It will help tremendously. I know a lot of people who don't use readers, so the print version will make it available to a larger direct group of readers, but the biggest advantages will be getting it to libraries, local bookstores and reviewers who only accept print copies. I'm really looking forward to holding that first book. :)

InterstTeen asks: What would you do if you woke up tomorrow and there really were vampires and werewolves running around? Do you think you’d know more about their characteristics than your neighbor, or do you think they’d surprise you. (ie you’d feel safe or you’d run for the hills)?

Ally replies: Oh, wow, it would probably depend on whose vampires and werewolves showed up! There are many variations among the different writers. If my vampires showed up along with Ari and Andreas, I don't think I'd be too worried. I'd just write them into submission! :) If they were like Bram Stoker's Dracula, I'd run for the hills.

InterstTeen asks:  Book Two is released in December. Will this one be the last book, and if not how any do you envisage?

Ally replies: The story arc for the series is currently written for seven. I have number four ready for submission to my editor later this month and have already started on number five. We'll begin edits in early 2013 on number three for a release in the Spring.
InterstTeen asks: Is there anything else you want to tell the readers? Tips on writing, being good to your parents, animal rescue, absolutely anything you want to contribute is welcomed.

Ally replies: I think I'll stick to writing, since it's a safer subject than many, and I have a super easy tip! Writing is like anything else in life, it is based on your total experiences. So my tip is - make the most of every day, beginning now. Absorb ideas, experience other points of view, listen to what others have to say, study the people and places around you. The more you understand your world, the more you'll excel in your writing or any other career you choose.

InterestTeen says: Thanks so much for sharing your story.

Ally replies: Thanks so much for having me! It's been awesome.

You can follow the Guardian Witch series and Ally shields here:

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