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This blog is the often amusing, sometimes dangerous den of two British writers of contemporary and paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. Most of our stories are based in the UK and our heroes and heroines are passionate Brits - yes, passionate Brits exist! Come on in out of the cold, pull up a chair and see for yourself...

Thursday, 16 February 2012

The "New Adult" Genre

I've been seeing an awful lot of discussion flying around about the "New Adult" genre (18-35 year olds) over the last couple of days, so thought I'd air some thoughts and see how it may fit into the paranormal romance genre.

It interests me because I think my writing style may fit into that category... then again, maybe not?

My main characters are all between 25 and 35 years of age (well, for the most part. I usually try to fit an older man in there somewhere, because I have a soft spot for older men, and that's another blog post!), but my writing style tends to be much lighter than what you'd get in a book aimed for the adult romance market. I like my characters fun-loving and with young hearts and young minds. Maybe 'youthful' is a good word. I'm not sure... Anyhow, my personal feeling is that paranormal romances (or even paranormal mainstream fiction) lends itself to a younger writing style anyway. I think it's because there's something tongue-in-cheek about the supernatural, and how people react to it. I'm trying to think of a adult paranormal romance I've read that's oh-so-serious, and off the top of my head, I can't actually think of one.

Paranormal romance is also a great genre for exploring bizarre relationship connections that you wouldn't get away with in another type of romance, e.g. the power struggles between angels and demons, or werewolves and, I don't know, kittens or something. You can really take things to the extreme.

I'm all for a new genre if it's called for. But I have to say, that I find it hard to pigeon-hole my books. My style of writing may be considered more young adult, but the content is definitely adult; the characters are 25 years old or over, but they can often act like ditzy teenagers (can't we all?) -- I mean, where is the rule that says once you reach, what, twenty-eight? thirty-eight? you suddenly only think grown-up thoughts and do grown-up things? NO! Inside me is a cheeky, stroppy, sometimes amusing little child, thank you, and I think I'll remain that way until I'm old and grey!

So is there really a difference between the New Adult genre, and an adult book that's written in a younger style?

What really is the New Adult genre?

Feel free to jump in with thoughts -- I'm still trying to figure it out ;)


  1. *Hearts older men*

    My paranormals are tongue-in-cheek. I hold my hands up to that. Serious stuff goes on, but my characters have an odd way of dealing with stuff. Then again, if you're a supernatural in a so called "normal" world, you need a sense of humor.

    Teenagers - heck even younger children - now-a-days, want to be treated like adults. I mean if we think about it, how may of us snuck in to the cinemas to watch Certificate 15 films when we were 13? Or C18 at 16? "Adult themes" and storylines are laced in everything that has a teenage audience in mind. I think we need to slap the word adult on book/genres just to state that "adult" things go down within the stories. A young adult/teenager will read what they want to read at the end of the day. It's just our job as writers to make sure we point out the elements of the story.

    But honestly, I have no idea what the New Adult Genre is. Possibly a wider range? Or perhaps it is the final break down of all barriers when targetting young adults/teenagers?

  2. You make a good point here: "I think we need to slap the word adult on book/genres just to state that "adult" things go down within the stories."

    I think that's actually what a 'new adult' book is: You'll like this book / the theme of this book if you're a young adult, but adult stuff goes on in here, just so you know.

    So maybe my books do fall into that genre after all.... Heck, maybe everyone's does! I liked Jane Eyre at age 14; I read Little Women when I was around six. It's only now that I'm older, that I appreciate the less mature things in life - older men are the exception ;p