So last week, Cally Jackson hosted a blogfest on memories of age 18. This was in part, due to her new release of The Big Smoke, a new adult story that I've mentioned on this blog before. Although, I'm late to the blogfest, I still wanted to post because I think this new (and somewhat controversial) genre is so important.
Writers like Cally are slipping past the gatekeepers (who insist this age category is not relevant in today's market,) and paving the way for other authors, as well as bringing age appropriate content to readers who no longer fit the young adult category. Let's face it, 18 and no longer in high school is way different than 16 and still in the confines of high school life.
I graduated high school when I was 17 and got to start my "adulthood" a little early. When I turned 18 I was already in my first year at a local college and anxious to move out and be on my own. High school was great and all, and I had a steady boyfriend, but honestly, I was ready to start a new life.
I'd grown up in the same town with the same kids and don't get me wrong, I had an excellent childhood, but I felt the call of the wild. Big time. I was stifled by my parents' rules and felt my individuality had been stunted by the same old same old. And marrying my high school sweetheart just wasn't what I wanted until I'd had a chance to be my own person. (Yeah, I know, but hearts had to be broken.)So when my best friend decided to move to another city and asked me to be her roommate, I jumped at the chance.
We started college in a new town with our own apartment and although my school was paid for, it was up to me to work and pay rent. Meanwhile, my roomie was fully sponsored by her parents, and I admit that was a little hard to digest when I struggled to make ends meet, but it was also liberating because I got to call my own shots.
Being 18 and on my own for the first time ever was like I'd won the lottery. I'll always remember it as the best and in some ways hardest time of my life. When I finally got to shed the local trends of my hometown and become my own person, I flourished. I will never regret that choice. I was making adult decisions, even though I was a fledgling adult, and assuming responsibilities I'd never had before. I found my own style and developed my own tastes and discovered others who were similar. To say I made a few mistakes along the way, would be an understatement. I made a TON. But they were all mine.
That's why I strongly support the NEW ADULT genre as a separate genre. That age group is doing things younger teens aren't, and put in situations younger teens can't be put in. On the flip side, the difference between a 25 year old and age 18-23 is widely different. At 25 I was comfortable and confident in my shoes and I was on top of the world. But at that early adult stage beforehand, it's all so brand new.
Starting life after high school is like no other time. It can be scary and exhilarating and full of uncertainty. Stories that cater to that time frame are ideal, and I would've devoured them, had they been around.
There are many NA (new adult) writers out there and the genre is finally starting to grow. Small presses are recognizing the genre more and more. And there's even a NA Lit chat that happens every Thursday night at 9.
The NA Lit chat host happens to be an awesome writer/blogger friend of mine, EJ Wesley and what he's been able to do with these chats is amazing. You should check it out! There's a link to the right on my sidebar, but you can also go here for EJ's blog and the NA Lit chat homepage. The Twitter page is right here, too.
EJ has his own NA book out, as well as Cally.
And, psssst.... there's a NA eBook on the sidebar to the right here called FLOAT that just happens to be from yours truly. ;)
What are your thoughts on the NA genre? Write it? Read it? Have you been to any of the chats? How about your own memories of being 18? Please share ...