New Adult seems to be one of those delicate topics with agents, at least the one’s I have spoken with or whose blog’s I’ve read that discuss the matter. Some are annoyed by it, as though its the latest sugar pop song of the publishing industry that is lodged in everyone’s mind on loop and won’t go away. Its catchy, but I hate it!! Some are indifferent to it and honestly believe its just going to be a minor blip, and a few others think it has a slim fighting chance.
Then there is the ever ongoing debate as to what NA really is. Is it a genre or just an age group? What does it entail? From the mouths of other authors at conferences I have hear NA defined as, “A book where the characters are between the ages of 18-25, and are dealing with the issues of that age, such as college, first career, and relationship issues.” So far the books receiving the label of NA, and are successful, seem to mostly be YA stories, with slightly older kids having steamy sex, and portraying grislier scenes of reality. Some agents think NA will bust out if it can get into other genres such as Sci-fi/Fantasy or Thrillers, others think that those genres should not be involved in NA at all.
So, what is it? I’m inclined to believe that no one knows and that everyone is continuing to muddle through until something huge explodes unexpectantly and it becomes ok to jump on the NA bandwagon….officially.
I sincerely hope the writing industry figures it out soon, because I have a completed book, where the age of the main character seems to be causing some issues with agents. When I say the MC is 19 they automatically say, “Oh that’s NA,” and they either won’t touch it or will do so with much skepticism. My book is not a contemporary romance story, its a light fantasy. Even though I “can” change the character’s age quite easily I’m not sure if that is best. So, while my beloved book sits on the shelf I hope that the writing industry will come to a consensus soon on what constitutes an NA book, because it would make querying the right agents a whole lot easier!
*Images are from Polyvore: