The Emerging New Adult Genre and Christian Fiction

 

Indie BookFest 2013 held in Orlando, Florida

Indie BookFest 2013

This weekend I went to my first writer’s conference, Indie Bookfest 2013, in Orlando. It was an interesting experience, way outside of my comfort zone, but I am very happy I went. Peggy Martinez did a fantastic job putting this event together. One of the sessions was a panel of authors discussing the difference between the Young Adult and New Adult genres. The authors on the panel were Amy Miles, Raine Thomas, Chelsea M. Cameron, and Kristie Cook. While these authors write primarily fantasy and paranormal books, what they had to say about the emergence of the New Adult genre was interesting.

 
Most of the authors started out writing Young Adult books geared to kids between 11 and 16, so they were cognizant that their current fans may pick up their New Adult novels as well. The general consensus was that indie writers were the first to fill in the gap of literature targeted to young adults between the ages of 18-30; the age when we face some of our biggest life decisions. The authors on the panel cited  that the inclusion of sex is the biggest difference between Young Adult and New Adult books.. They all agreed that they felt more than a simple kiss was needed, but  that a fade to black was more effective than graphic details. 
 
The discussion made me think about how I see New Adult. I agree that the 18-30 age group has been neglected in the past. These are the years when we have to make decisions about what major we are going to pursue in college, what job we are going to take, who we are going to marry, if we are going to have kids, and yes, the decision to have sex is also a big one that we are faced with as well. As a Christian, this is is probably the biggest decision. We feel temptation and desire just like everyone else, but we also struggle with our beliefs and our desire to remain pure as Christ intended until we are married. 
 
At the end of the panel discussion there was a short question and answer period. One audience member asked the authors how they thought the image of New Adult as purely sex books could be changed. The answer that stuck with me most was for authors who are writing clean books to speak out. A New Adult book can be Christian, fantasy, paranormal, science fiction, or romance without making it all about sex. Be assured the books you find on this website that are promoted as New Adult  will not encourage sex outside of marriage  and the marriage bedroom door  will remain closed.
 
If you are interested in books that don’t have graphic violence, language or sex stop by Clean Indie Reads. Lia London has done a great job gathering authors from all over the world. I think every genre is represented.

Comments

  1. I can’t believe that YA was really expected to cover 12-18 – especially in this day and age. WOW…And I am familiar with your dilemma of trying to make a name for your work in a genre that has conflicting messaging to yours… It’s a challenge to make a name in *any* case, but can be truly frustrating for Christian authors in the mainstream… for sure! I know many of them!

  2. I had no idea about the New Adult genre! You learn something new every day! Thanks! And best of luck in making an impact for the genre. 🙂

  3. I think the category of “New Adult” came in large part from a backlash of the direction YA was heading: more and more explicit sexual encounters, as well as very adult topics of drug use, rape, and abuse. The age range listed for YA is so broad — 12-18 in most cases — it’s laughable, really. Plus, younger readers than that regularly dip into that pool.

    My point being that New Adult is going to have a hard time shaking that sexual stigma because its origins are steeped in that. Hopefully works like yours can change that perception!

    • I hear what you are saying Alan. It’s going to be an uphill battle, but I need a challenge in my life and I think there are probably some great books on Clean Indie Reads that can help change the stigma of the New Adult genre.

Now it's your turn. Tell us what you think.

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