As you may or may not have noticed, I have stepped back from calling REMOVED, RELEASED, and the Nogiku Series “New Adult.” (The term is no longer in the blurbs.) A year ago, New Adult was set to be the hot new category, but over the course of time, it has become more of a genre of college-age romance books. Which is fine, I suppose. There is an audience for that. But what does that mean for other books about 18-25 year-olds working or struggling through this age but not at college? I want to call them New Adult, like I did for Nogiku Series, but readers have yet to embrace that. Guess what? They are New Adult books regardless of what readers are looking for! Just like Sanaa is struggling to find herself at twenty-years old. Dmitri in SUMMONED is as well.
Let's hear from SUMMONED‘s author, the wonderful Rainy Kaye, on Why SUMMONED is New Adult.
When I started my first series, FLY INTO THE DARK, New Adult wasn’t really a thing. I tried making the main character younger so the books would fit nicely in the YA category, but it messed up my timeline. Few things make writers neurotic like messing up their timeline. Making him older didn’t really sit well either.
So I was pretty much clapping-and-jumping-up-and-down excited when New Adult started to show up. It’s not like characters had never been in their twenties before, but it did feel awkward trying to place them on a shelf.
New Adult deals with that awkward stage between finding independence and knowing how to use it effectively. New Adult characters deal with leaving behind childhood and teenage years, discovering their place in life, and dealing with complicated relationships.
Contemporary is a generally more popular genre, so it’s not surprising that New Adult runneth over with it. That’s great; there is certainly an audience for these books.
But I rarely read contemporary, and I don’t write it. This leaves my books in the awkward-of-the-awkward position of being New Adult…in a fantasy setting. SUMMONED is no exception.
I could have made Dimitri younger so he could sit among the YA crowd. In fact, the prequel novella, AXIOM, is just that: Dimitri as a teenager. Call me cynical, but I couldn’t convince even myself that a seventeen year old risking what Dimitri does in order to be with Syd isn’t just some hormonal kid.
Twenty-something year olds are trying to figure out not who they are as much as how they fit into the rest of the world. This is where Dimitri is: how he can be his own person, be a part of society, be in love while forced to fulfill terrible wishes. I wanted him to have a more mature understanding of how screwed he is in life.
Plus, he needed to be resigned to his fate. Resentful, but resigned. That means he needed a few years as a genie behind him.
In the end, making him younger would have made him less believable–and it would have messed up my timeline.
I agree, Rainy, and for a long time, my characters were in their late teens and trying to fit a Young Adult mold, and it didn't work for me either. When I put them in their early twenties, where they belonged, suddenly everything clicked. Is it New Adult? Yes. Is the market ready for us? I'm not sure, but we're here with books for them when they are!
Thanks for stopping by today!
Do you want to read more New Adult outside of college romance? Chime in in the comments.