Taking the New Adult Journey

Today I’m super excited to welcome a guest post by my Curiosity Quills sister, Ayden Morgen. Her New Adult novel, Fade, was just released. It’s downloaded onto my Kindle and as soon as I finish my edits I plan on devoting my weekend to reading it! Check out the book description:

What do you do when you realize that nothing in your life is what you’ve always believed it to be?

The death of Arionna Jacobs’ mother has devastated her, and Dace Matthews is torn in two, unable to communicate with the feral animal caged in his mind. When they meet, Dace tumbles into Arionna’s mind as if he belongs there, and everything they thought they knew about themselves and the world around them begins to fall apart. Neither of them understands what is happening to them or why and they’re running out of time to figure it out.

An ancient Norse prophesy of destruction has been set into motion, and what destiny has in store for them is bigger than either could have ever imagined. The end is coming, and unless they learn to trust themselves and one another, they may never unravel the mystery surrounding who they are to one another, and what that means for the world.

 

Doesn’t that sound A*W*E*S*O*M*E?!?! That’s a rhetorical question folks because yes, yes it most certainly does:-) Now without further delay, here’s Ayden in her own words about taking the journey into the world of New Adult novels:

Like many in my generation, I grew up reading Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High series. I discovered the books in the fourth grade, and quickly fell in love. Our local library had a seemingly endless selection of the books for me to choose from. When I made it through those, I eagerly saved my allowance to grab the newest addition to the series each time one hit the shelves.

My love for reading and writing young adult began there, and so did my adoration of the romantic side of the series as a whole. Elizabeth and Todd’s relationship left me swooning, as did Jessica’s passionate, but often brief love affairs with the boys of SweetValley. By the time I made it to high school, I’d added historical and contemporary romance to my reading list. And as with the SVH books, I fell in love.

Naturally, I soon decided to try my hand at writing historical and contemporary romance too, but discovered I had no clue what I was doing. As a high school student, I had no personal experience to dwell on. I imagined I understood what it must have been like to fall in love in the days of lavish parties for the nobility and abject poverty for the lower classes. I also imagined I had a clue what it was like to juggle a career or children with a budding romance in current times. But the truth was, I didn’t know.

By the time I finished high school, I’d grown frustrated with the poorly written and never completed manuscripts piling up in the corner. I yearned for a return to those early days when I could get inside a characters head and tell their stories well. And so I returned to my first love. Unlike with my attempts at historical and contemporary, I knew these characters. I passed them in the halls every day in high school, hung out with them in my bedroom, and spent countless hours on the phone with them. I was one of these characters, and writing their stories came naturally to me.

In college, my life changed rapidly. I struggled to juggle being a newlywed with being a full-time college student, a full-time volunteer, and a full-time home health aide. Even more challenging was the unexpected, early arrival of my critically ill nephew. He required frequent, long-term hospitalizations and around the clock skilled-care. My entire life turned upside down as we fought for his life, and I realized that I wasn’t the only one dealing with huge, frightening changes, either.

There were, literally, thousands of college kids my age facing the same sorts of challenges, but no one was writing about those kids. New adults like me were overlooked or outright ignored in the publishing industry, leaving us reading novels that no longer fit quite well, or with those still years beyond where we were in their lives. I didn’t have any grand plan to change that, but I did decide I didn’t want to be stuck writing characters that didn’t always reach far enough just because that’s the way it’d always been done.

And so my quest to write those characters I could relate to began in earnest. As with young adult, the new adult genre fit me. I knew those characters, because I was one of those characters. At twenty-eight, in many ways, I’m still one of those characters. I don’t know what it’s like to be thirty-five and at the height of a very successful career, but I do know what it’s like to be a newbie in the career field, or any of a thousand things new adults deal with daily. And I remember what it’s like to be that college student whose life changed overnight, too.

Unlike when I was that kid though, new adult novels have begun to find their place in the publishing industry, and to give an entire generation of twenty-somethings like me a voice we lacked then. We can skim the list of upcoming titles and find characters we can relate to, whether they’re high school seniors, college freshman, or nearing the end of those crazy years when everything changes, and we don’t always deal as gracefully as we might wish.

The journey here hasn’t been easy. There were times while writing Fade when I felt like, literally, the only one in the world starting out with a nineteen year old heroine. I had so many questions, but six years ago, finding someone who knew the answers to those questions was no easy feat. That’s changed drastically since Fade first began taking shape, and so has the willingness of publishers to take a chance on those of us who mix young and new adult characters and situations in our works. Personally, I couldn’t be happier about that!

xoxo,

A.K.M. 

A.K. Morgen lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her husband, and three crazy pets. Her debut young adult novel, Fade (The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book One) is available now from Curiosity Quills Press. You can learn more about Ayden and her writing at: http://akmorgen.com. You can also find Ayden on Twitter (http://twitter.com/akmorgen), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/AKMorgen1), and on Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/AKMorgen).

 

 

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17 comments on “Taking the New Adult Journey

  1. Jamie, thanks for introducing us to Ayden. Ayden, thanks for your courage and for continuing to write from your heart. I love “new adult” … it sounds so promising, so tender … the thought of a teenage who discovers the world for the first time. Much success with your work 🙂

    • Thanks so much, ramblingsfromtheleft. NA is such a fascinating genre, so full of possibilities, and mostly unexplored to boot. Writing in the genre is a little like being a new adult. Lots of potential! 🙂

  2. I read the Sweet Valley books too!

    And so right on is this: no one was writing about new adults. There is room for so much more in publishing because it can never cover everything that’s in the world around us.

    • Barbara,

      I loved those books. I was so disappointed to hear they were revamped to fit “modern” times in the 2008 reissue.

      I love that NA is finding its own niche in the publishing industry now. Finding a home for the generation was definitely a step forward! 🙂

  3. Taking your own experience and turning it inside out to make a great novel sounds like an exciting journey. Thank you for sharing the story behind your book! It sounds like an enticing read. 🙂
    Maybe Jamie will provide us loyal followers with a review?;)

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