Saturday, March 31, 2018

#NA vs #YA and #Sex by Leslie Scott

Our guest today is Leslie Scott. Please welcome her and help her shake off her nerves.

Hello Roses! I’m going to skip the lengthy introduction and just say that I’m a stay at home, homeschooling mom, and my debut romance novel released last December.

I debated what to blog about here because admittedly I’m more than a bit intimidated.  I’ll shake the nerves off as I go, so be on the lookout for flying bits of anxiety.  You see, when I first signed my contract (almost a year ago today) my critique partner (who is priceless to me) wrote a post about me right here on this very blog. ~ waves at Vonnie ~

The Finish Line is the first of my Arkadia Fast Series, which centers around a small Texas town where street racing is not just the pastime—but a way of life. The Finish Line, the as yet to be released Hot Lap, and the in progress Full Tilt Boogie are all New Adult romances—which brings me to what I’m going to discuss today: I don’t write YA.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a fellow romance writer turn to me and say “Oh, you write YA, right?” I usually just smile and say yes because I don’t want to stop and explain how my novels aren’t Young Adult and that there is a difference.

When most people think Young Adult, they think children—teenagers. Which, New Adult is not. The age difference is the biggest difference. Contemporary romance usually starts with an adult character, established in life. YA is angsty teenagers in the throes of firsts love. NA is a new beginning, those first days of college life or striking out on your own for the very first time.

In YA romance novels, characters are figuring out who they are going to be and what the world has to offer them. In NA, the characters know who they are and are exploring the world and their place in it.
My heroines are college aged, free to make all the mistakes and bad decisions that would often leave a contemporary heroine called TSTL. Though, I tend to think my ladies rectify all the bad decisions—with the help of a bad boy hero.

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room—sex. Young Adult, generally, is not known for graphic sex. New Adult has sex and the rollercoaster of emotions that comes along with it. And believe me, with a college aged heroine

So, if you’ve stayed away from New Adult thinking it’s YA—don’t. Trust me the genre is not the same. But, if you’re a fan of YA you’ll certainly find some similarities. At the end of the day, New Adult Romance is its own genre—one that much like its characters is trying to find its place in the romance world. There are a lot of talented authors writing about—as Vonnie Davis calls them “these damn kids”—who aren’t really kids at all. You’ll find on the conflict, spice, and happy endings you find with a contemporary romance—just in a different voice. Check one out!

Twitter: @leslieSwrites

The Finish Line on Amazon:
The Finish Line on Barnes and Noble:


Diane Burton said...

Welcome, Leslie. I didn't get hit by any flying bits of anxiety, so you must have worked through it. LOL Good comparison between YA and NA. The targeted audience is quite different, esp. from my contemporary heroines (who are in their late 20s or early 30s). That college-age & early 20s readers are looking for books like yours. Congrats on your debut novel, as well as the rest of your series.

Margo Hoornstra said...

I remember you, Leslie. Welcome. Any friend of Vonnie’ know. Welcome, too, to TWRP. I like the way you plowed through the jitters. Well done. Best of luck with your series. And thanks for the primer on what is and isn’t NA.

Vonnie Davis said...

Leslie Scott, do I know you? Leslie failed to mention she now has 3 books under contract with TWRP. The 4th is under development. We've been helping each other for almost two years. She tells me when my language is too dated or as she puts it--you sound old here. Best of luck, hon.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Congrats on 4 books, Leslie! How cool to have someone help you with that, Vonnie. I know I'll write something and think...whoops, will my readers know that slang or phrase?

Rolynn Anderson said...

Leslie, you have a gem of a helper in Vonnie. Congrats on TWRP contracts for four books! Thanks for the YA/NA delineation. When did the NA movement start and is it an accepted name for a genre in all platforms? I write about 30 year olds usually, but we don't have a name for that. Weird, isn't it? Thanks for joining us today and good luck!

Jannine Gallant said...

Congrats on your new series, Leslie! My daughters are in college, new adult age. They still seem like kids to me. My oldest also reads my manuscripts and tells me when my expressions sound like an old lady. Those of us who are over 50 really do need that hit of youth to make our characters more realistic. Sounds like you've found your niche!

Leah St. James said...

Welcome, Leslie, and congratulations on your successes! I've been wondering what the differences are between YA and NA, so thank you. I love how you related the NA characters to those who are TSTL from the "older" set--they're not stupid, they're learning. I like that. (Geez, brings back so many memories of my "stupid" days!) I might just give the NA genre a whirl. I do think we need to invent a genre for us more...mature romance lovers. How about SA -- "Still Adult"? Or SK -- Still Kickin'? Or maybe there is one already and I just don't know about it!

Leslie Scott said...

Hey ladies, just a note... I've been incredibly sick this week. So I'm just now crawling out of bed and feeling semi human. lol So forgive me for throwing one massive comment out. It's been a rough few days for sure.

Diane, thank you so much! And yes you're right... the target audience is a bit different. Though, my biggest reader/fan is a 40 year old housewife. LOL

Margo, thank you! And the same goes... any friend of V's is alright in my book. <3

Vonnie, I love you. That is all. lol

Thanks Brenda, in truth, I haven't had to catch her on much these days. I think the last one was commode. LOL

Thanks Rolynn, I'm going to do a followup reply to your question in just a bit (I need to do a quick bit of research, lol).

Hi, Jannine! What's so funny, is technically to college age kids I'm an old lady (my mid thirties). LOL I think we all need modern refreshers, in the same way we do research on a certain part of the country. Ya know?

Leah... yes! You totally should write a NA. My novella coming out is just "Still Adult" or "Adulting Already" characters. Writing those that are still learning allows for way more opportunity for conflict. Lots of mistakes to be made.

Leslie Scott said...

Rolynn, so as far as romance I think two of the largest (for me anyway, though admittedly I didn't read 50 Shades) were Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Maguire and the 50 Shades novel. Both were released in 2011 and I think that's when New Adult became a thing (I could be wrong here). Though, through pop culture it's been around for years. Look at just about every show on the CW Network.

And yes, New Adult is across all platforms. On social media if you follow #mswl a lot of agents and editors contract mainstream fiction New Adult. So, it's not just a romance thing. It's the target audience and the age of the characters that defines New Adult as a genre, much the same as Young Adult.