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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Featured Book of the Month: "Gifted" by Liz Long

Thanks for the awesome first month, readers!
Hey, all!  Today is the first day of June and we'd like to thank-you all for an awesome first month.  We received over 8,000 page views and gained over 250 amazing, stellariffic (yes, I made up that word *grins*) followers!  We were blown away by the turn out and support for all things New Adult out there.  Thank you all so much and we hope to keep giving you as much information as we can about the NA category.

So, what's next?  Well, from now on we will be posting on Mondays only with the exception of special announcements, which you will always be able to see on the "Bulletin Board" on the right side of the page.  We have some suprises in store and hope you'll check-in often.

Don't forget you can be added as a Resource or a New Adult Author if you contact us under Contact Tab and you can now "Follow Us" on Twitter.  And as always keep those Recommended NA Reads suggestions coming!

Oh, and we will begin contacting the winners of our Opening Month Giveaway today.  There will be seven winners, BUT the prizes are first come, first serve as the names are drawn.  If you are a winner, you will be contacted and will only have 24 hours to respond in email about your preference of prize.  If we do not hear from you, we will have to move on to the next entry, so watch those emails closely the next few days so you don't forfeit your prize!

Now, here is what today's post is about.  Every month we will feature a New Adult book by a New Adult author.  We will tell you a bit about the book and offer a giveaway of the book, which will be given to one lucky reader at the end of the month!

If you're a New Adult author and would like your book to be featured as "Featured Book of the Month" and you're willing to offer one lucky reader a free copy of your book, just contact us under our Contact Tab!  You will get your own "Featured Book of the Month" post created by one of the NA Sisters and your book will be listed on the side bar of our blog for the ENTIRE month, woohoo!

Now without further ado, here is the "Featured Book of the Month" for June:

Gifted:  A Donovan Circus Novel by Liz Long

Even in a world of freaks, being a Firestarter is considered a dangerous Gift.

Lucy was born with the ability to create and control fire. She longs to leave the human world for one filled with Earthshakers, Transporters, and Chameleons, to name a few. When she rejoins the circus, it’s everything she hoped it could be—new friends, a potential love interest or two, and a place where she can be herself.

When troupe members begin turning up dead, however, Lucy is suspected of foul play. She must not only prove her innocence but also realize the full extent of her power. To find the real murderer, she must uncover the truth behind her father’s fiery legacy while figuring out whom to trust within her new circle. Little does she know the history of the Donovan Circus and its enemies might actually destroy the entire gifted world. (Goodreads.com)







About the Author:

Liz Long has been writing stories since she could spell the word "unicorn" (second grade). She fears a zombie apocalypse, though admits it would give her good reason to stay inside and write more. She is a proud graduate of Longwood University with a degree in English. Gifted is her debut title, the first in the Donovan Circus series. She lives in Roanoke, VA with her husband Jason and their Jack Russell terror, Fisher.

Buy Gifted:  A Donovan Circus Novel  on Amazon today!






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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

MAYbe Thursday: Featuring Rebecca Hamilton


MAYbe: May I Tell You Something about Someone Else?

Happy Thursday, my friends. I’ve always appreciated Thursday for some reason. It means the week is coming to a close and the weekend is just around the corner. Which also means, of course, that I have time to do some extra reading and watching movies and browsing around the Internet for random pictures of Chris Evans…oh. I probably shouldn’t have said that out loud. 

Today I’m going to tell you fab folks about someone else. Since this is the New Adult Alley, Rebecca Hamilton, a great NA authoress, stopped by to do an interview with us! Rebecca is the author of The Forever Girl Series, which is a paranormal thriller and romance series. Her sense of humor is great and she has a talent for writing about swoonworthy heroes (you will so see what I mean). Read on for the juicy deets!

Interview:


Hi Rebecca! Thanks so much for stopping by NA Alley! I was very excited to discover your books, and I have heard that they are prime New Adult material. Can you elaborate a little on what it means to have a ‘New Adult’ book?

Rebecca! :) 
Hi, Summer! Thanks for having me. The Forever Girl is certainly what I'd call a New Adult book.

The New Adult category to me is all about helping readers find what they are looking for in an ever-increasing book market. Now, when there are thousands of books to choose from, it's harder for some readers to find "exactly the right book". With the New Adult category, it should get easier. Readers who want to read about situations outside of high school but aren't yet ready for "serious adult reads" or "strong adult content" are likely to enjoy a New Adult read. You get the voice and style of a YA novel, but the content is slightly more mature. There may be a little more violence, or you may stumble on a sex scene or two, but you have a nice inbetween. The content isn't missing entirely (as it would be in most YA books) nor is it abrasive or overly-strong (as it can be in many adult novels). New Adult books tackle characters in their late teens through their twenties as they experience life in that stage beyond HS but not yet "fully grown up". I see New Adult as the real coming of age category.


The Examination of a Witch (Salem Witch Trials)
Can you tell us a little about the first installment in your series, The Forever Girl: Sophia’s Journey?

Sure I can! In the first installment of The Forever Girl series, the reader follows a young Wiccan woman (Sophia Parsons) as she attempts to silence a hereditary curse by solving a mystery surrounding the death of her ancestor. Three centuries ago, Elizabeth Parsons was hanged as a witch during the Salem witch trials. The body went missing before burial. As Sophia digs around in places she shouldn't, she falls prey to the supernatural world. Soon, however, she will learn that the supernatural world has always had claim on her. The Forever Girl has mystery, romance, flashes of history, and tons of the paranormal. Thematically, and through character, however, what you have is a 22-year-old young woman discovering her purpose in life. What New Adult can't relate to that?


What inspired you to write a book with a paranormal theme?

I've always loved the paranormal. I was a "paranormal chaser" growing up. As subscribers to "Weird New Jersey", my friends I would all look at the latest copy to find out more about local hauntings and places we could visit. I miss those days. Maybe it was all our imagination or maybe there was something more, but we always had a great time. I couldn't get enough. Even my tastes in reading and movies have always leaned toward the paranormal. Most people are surprised to learn I'm not a huge fan of fantasy. To be honest, most of the books I read growing up were horror, mystery, and literary fiction . . . but all of them had a twist of paranormal. Because of this, I suppose it's only natural that the paranormal would find it's way into my writing as well.


There are a lot of magical happenings, rituals and folklore woven throughout your books. Did you have to do any research while writing?

Tons! I was a practicing Wiccan for several years of my life, so that made the Wiccan aspects a bit quicker and easier to research. I just had to brush up my knowledge. For the mythology, I looked into the facts about the creatures I was writing, and aimed to make a balance between classic traits and new, unique developments. Sometimes I had to research locations. I printed maps, researched town histories, you name it. One of the most enlightening settings I researched was Damascus, Syria. It wasn't what I expected it to be, and from what I've heard, it's often not for other people, either. Of course, this is one the places where research bites you on the behind, because I had had a person or two tell me that particular setting "wasn't believable" because it wasn't what they expected. But that's the neat thing about Damascus. I will say research can be the hardest part as a writer. There are people out there dying to find something, and that can either be that you got the facts wrong or it can be that the facts don't match up with their expectations. I am one who recommends getting the research done, staying true to your character, and letting the chips fall where they may. But, then again, I love reality-based fantasy :)
Where the Salem Witch Trials went down.

Your book can get a little spooky in places! How do you come up with scary or otherwise “otherworldly” scenes?

I think it is inspiration from film and movies. I know what spooks me out without making me look away, and I wanted to make that happen in my books. The "spooky" parts are my favorite.

Why is your book great for readers looking to get their hands on some NA literature?

I think The Forever Girl really embraces the New Adult category because it gives an honest depiction of a 22-year-old. There are other books out there with twenty-something-year-old characters, but that number is just slapped onto what is really a 30-year-old. I made an effort to show that place in life—that mindset—of newly being an adult and being new to the adult world. I think what really defines New Adult are the characters. Is the main character a TRUE New Adult?? Are they doing through what most New Adults go through? While not all New Adults are chasing away ghosts or running from vampires, most can probably relate to being on your own for the first time, or working an undesirable job while trying to find a way to put their college education to use. I've also tried to imbue some thematic issues, such as what it means to be at home and issues of prejudice, that I think will really resonate with the modern-day, new adult audience.

I think that is another things to keep in mind, too. An older person reading a new adult novel these days might think, "This is Young Adult!" I think this is because several decades ago, being twenty-something was different. People got married at 16 or 18. Had kids. Helped their parents raise their siblings. Didn't need a college education to make getting a job easier. So I think it's true that a 20-something-year-old today is different from decades ago. In some ways we have it harder, and in other ways we aren't as quickly rushed out of our youth. I believe the modern-day new adults out there will read The Forever Girl and think, "Yep. This is what it's like being 20-something."

Or, at least I hope so!

Thanks again for stopping by to chat! We hope you come by again soon – keep up the fantastic writing!!

Thanks so much for having me!


To purchase Rebecca’s Books, click HERE!!
To learn more about Rebecca and her life of writing, visit HERE!!


May was an exciting month for all of us, so I just want to say thanks to everybody who has shown the love to NA Alley during the first few weeks of our existence. You guys are amazing! I won't be back until July, so....farewell for a while! 



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Guest Post: "New Adult" Author Sharon Bayliss



Hey, All!  Victoria here, and I bring you a special post today.  We're aren't doing Blog Me MAYbe today because we wanted to hold a guest post!

Today we're featuring "New Adult" Author Sharon Bayliss.  She's author of the New Adult novel The Charge, which is coming out later this year through the independent publisher Curiosity Quills Press.  (This publisher actively seeks New Adult works by the way ;D)

So without further ado, take it away Sharon!









It’s official. I am now a bona fide, NEW ADULT author. My forthcoming NA novel, THE CHARGE will be available this year from Curiosity Quills Press. So, yes, there is such a thing as a published NA author.

I didn’t set out to be a New Adult author, or write in any particular genre for that matter, I just had a story to tell. I wrote my story from the perspective of a nineteen-year-old college freshman, with no idea that writing about nineteen-year-olds was strictly "forbidden" by the publishing gods. Obviously, I’m overstating this, but it really is an awkward age for a main character. By most definitions, nineteen is too old for YA, but the character is young enough that the YA style and voice feels right.

So, I attempted to change my story to fit into an approved genre. I tried to age him up to make the story adult, but that didn’t feel quite right. I tried to age him down to make the story YA, but I couldn’t manage to break the high school graduation barrier. This story was meant to happen when he was a “new adult”, not a teenager. One of my beta readers told me, “He sounds like a man, not a boy. A young man for sure. But a man.” And I thought, “Well, yeah, that’s what he is.” As annoying as it was, I think it’s a good sign that I couldn’t just find and replace to change his age and make it YA. It means I had successfully defined my character’s age.

I often dreamed about stumbling upon a secret genre that described my work perfectly. And low and behold, it happened. I read this post by agent Vickie Motter and was introduced to “New Adult.” However, my excitement was short lived. I put “New Adult” into my Google search bar and didn’t find much. I certainly didn’t find any agents that said they were looking for it. So, even though I knew my novel was New Adult, I decided to query it as Young Adult. I got a few nibbles and some positive feedback, but overall, my query response from agents was a no-go.

As unfair as it seemed, I was getting ready to accept the fact that my novel might not be published mainly because it was hard to shelve. But then I decided to try something new. I queried independent publishers, many of which specifically stated they wanted New Adult. I started to get full requests, and quickly, and I got them from the publishers who said they wanted New Adult. Three days later…yes, you read that right…I was offered a publishing contract from Curiosity Quills.

In the end, I couldn’t be happier that my novel will be labeled New Adult because that is what it is. No more trying to fit my square peg into a round hole. It can be what it was meant to be.

Tell me, has anyone run into some of the same challenges that I did?

For more, check out my companion post “The Great New Adult Post” on my personal blog.

You can also connect with me here:
http://www.sharonbayliss.blogspot.com/
https://www.twitter.com/SharonBayliss
http://www.facebook.com/authorsharonbayliss



There you have it, peeps! A woman who's gone out and done it :D  Thanks, Sharon, for guest posting and offering to motivate others in the crazy world of New Adult!

One final thing, everyone.  There's a pitch contest going on at Romance University on May 31st.  It's going to be judged by Heather Howland of Entangled Publishing and Entangled is known for accepting New Adult Manuscripts!  

Laterz, peeps,

 

May I Tell You Something About Me (Carrie)?


I like artsy things.

If you were to look around my desk right now, you’d find pencils, pens, markers, paint, sumi-e ink, a plug-in pen tablet, and doodles galore. I’m right-brained. I can’t help it.
 
Yes, writing it a nice outlet, but sometimes I need a break. That’s where hobbies come in. I thought I’d use today’s post to share a couple of my digital paintings. :)

Just remember, I’m not a trained artist. I’ve only had one art class since I was twelve, and that was an “Easy A” freshman course in high school. This is the product of self-teaching, and it’s just for fun. 

Ramble, ramble, ramble—on with the show!

Rick Nash - Columbus Blue Jackets Captain



Etaw - My cousin's & his GF's cat

So, what are your hobbies? Do you consider yourself predominantly left-brained or right-brained? 
 
Have a great week! :) 

Monday, May 28, 2012

May I Tell You Something About Writing NA?


You’ve heard of the phrase “elephant in the room,” right? According to Merriam-Webster, it’s an obvious major problem or issue that people avoid discussing or acknowledging”. Heh. Sounds a lot like a certain underserved market in the publishing world…
 
Today, I’m talking about the New Adult (NA) stigma. 

Writers are often discouraged from writing in this yet-to-be-established category because it’s too risky. Agents and publishers are looking for solid, saleable books. There’s no market for it. There’s no—

Whoa, hold on. It’s not saleable? There’s no market? I beg to differ.

I think we’re seeing more and more support for this category every day. People want to read NA/Upper YA books. The problem is shelving.

I don’t know about you, but I refuse to miss out on awesome stories because writers feel disheartened by the odds. It’s not as if the publishing industry doesn’t like NA; it’s just that they need numbers, reasons, proof that there’s a following before they'll get on board. So, that’s what we’ll give them.

I don’t think you guys realize how much power you have as readers and consumers. If you buy it, they will bend. (Read that again and imagine me whispering it Field of Dreams style. If you buy it, they will bend… *Grins*)
 
First things first, we need more visibility. If we can’t start with physical bookstores, we’ll start with their digital counterparts. There’s plenty of “shelf space” there. All we need is for one of the so-called giants to agree. The rest will follow.


This is where I’d love to hear your ideas. How can we get NA out there? Start an e-mail campaign to Amazon, asking for NA or Upper YA to be made a separate category? Send post-cards to B&N headquarters, requesting the same? Eat cookies until we come up with a better plan? Let’s hear it, ladies and gents! :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

May I Tell You Something Funny?


Hey, guys! Carrie here. Great news: I’ve untied myself, and they’re finally going to let me talk! :)
 
For your end-of-the-week entertainment, I have a story from way back in the day. Imagine, if you will, a little brick church in the middle of nowhere. It's a warm Sunday morning, the elderly are fanning themselves, and the preacher is just about to start his sermon. Then a little girl skips onto the stage. 

Unannounced.

Said little girl, adorable in her naivety, was told by the choir director that she could perform on the stage someday. Her four-year-old mind translated this to mean a time of her choosing—a time like now—and she begins to twirl about the stage.

Her parents hide their faces in an attempt to mask their mortification  laughter. The rest of the congregation stares slack-jawed as the little girl begins to walk like an Egyptian. They do not clap.

She wanted them to clap, darn it!

She stomps to the end of the stage, plants her hands on her hips, and sticks her tongue out at the congregation. Yes, you read that correctly. She sticks her tongue out at the entire congregation. The little girl is whisked away, never to grace the stage again.

…That stage, anyway.
Walk Like An Egyptian by Bangles on Grooveshark

Tragic, isn’t it? If you need me, I’ll be dancing around my living room (where no one can stop me). ;) Have a great weekend!
 
P.S. Today is your last chance to enter the Editor-Judged Contest Hosted by Curiosity Quills Press. Better get on it! ;)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May I tell you about N.R. Williams?

Hey, all!  Victoria here again, and since this is my final day until the regular posts start, I just wanted to tell you how awesome you peeps have been in supporting us!  We heart you all and thank you for coming on this journey with us to support New Adult fiction!

Well, today I'm going to feature New Adult author N.R. Williams.  This author is actually one of our readers, just like you, who contacted us and offered to help us promote the NA category.  She's offering our readers a FREE eBook copy of her book so look for the coupon code below for your free read.

So, without further ado, here she is:


I've been inventing fantastical stories since I started talking eons ago. It's fun to create new creatures and new worlds or to elaborate on this one.

Blog: http://nrwilliams.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/#!/nancyrwilliams

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/nancy.williams.1610

Email:  gillael (at) aol (dot) com






And here's a bit about her book:

Missie, a modern American University student, is thrust through a portal into a medieval world where her flute has magical powers to heal and destroy, and to empower, The Treasures of Carmelidrium, to defeat Renwyk, Lord of the Symberveen. She is romanced by a prince and hunted by the symberveen. Will she find her way home? Does she want to? (Amazon.com)










Smashwords Coupon Code for free eBook copy: RA37B

Smashwords Coupon Good through June 1, 2012

Visit here to use code:


Laterz,


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May I ask something about you?





Hey, All!  Another day with Victoria here, and today I ask you all something so let's get down to business, shall we?  To start off I first got the idea for this question from fellow NA Sister Jaycee Delorenzo, so shout out to her!




Since we have both readers of NA and writers of NA out there I have two questions so everyone can play along, woohoo!

For Writers:

May I ask you about your current New Adult WIP (Writing In Progress)?


Tell us about it.  After all, hopefully we should all be reading your NA books in the future.  So why don't you give us a snapshot of what you're writing.  What's it called?  What's it about and how far into it are you?

For Readers:

What are some of your favorite Authors?



What authors' books do you just devour by the minute because their works are so intriguing?  It can be NA or not, doesn't matter.  Just share with us who you love!


Thanks all for now.

Laterz, Peeps!

Monday, May 21, 2012

May I tell you about New Adult Writing and Agents?

Another day of Blog Me Maybe, my friends, but what is different about today you may ask...  ME  *Grins*  My name is Victoria and this is my first featured post on NA Alley, so yeah!!!!

So today I'm supposed to tell you about me, but instead of gushing about how stellar I am (You can go to the NA Sisters section for that ;D)  I'm going to tell you about something I did recently that has to do with New Adult writing and how it relates to getting an agent!

Ah, yes, getting an agent.  Uber scary, right?  I know I was scared to death when I read about that little section of getting publishing and actually up until I went to the thing I'm about to tell you about I wasn't going to bother getting one.  Why you may ask?  Well, if you haven't noticed New Adult falls in between the categories of YA and Adult fiction.  And with that, makes it a darn hard sell.  No one knows where to put it so agents are fearful of touching it.  I was going to go straight to Indie publishing or go to an independent publisher for my work because I lost hope.  Well that was until I went to my first writer's conference.

I recently went to the Chicago North Spring Fling Writer's Conference.  I was looking forward to the free swag, I was looking forward to meeting new peeps to connect with, I was looking forward to finding an editor at an indie press and asking them questions about submitting to them, but what I was NOT looking forward to was hearing about how to obtain an agent.  You see, my friends, I lost hope as an NA writer and didn't want to pursue it...that was until I went to a presentation featuring an agent and my whole world changed for the better!


Sara Megibow (right)  and her client Tiffany Reisz (left)
I went to a presentation featuring agent Sara Megibow of the Nelson Literary Agency.  I got to choose between this presentation and How to Create the Perfect Villain seminar.  Well, I said, "Why not?"  It couldn't hurt to hear what she has to say.  And I'm soooo glad I did, because you see, Sara Megibow is actively seeking clients with New Adult manuscripts and actually represents author Allison Rushby who has just been contracted with the publisher St. Martin's Press (Yeah, those peeps that created the term New Adult) with a 6-episode historical e-serial that is set in 1920s London.  (Allison speaks about it here on this thread)

I pulled Sara Megibow aside after her presentation and she told me to go for it.  Submit, Submit, Submit those NA manuscripts, because she not only wants them, but she's selling them.  Publishers do want them and we shouldn't be scared to submit to her.  Well, after this bit of information I calmly stepped away from Ms. Megibow and went back to my hotel room and did a little bit of this...




So, after I composed myself I got a new-found hope!  There are agents out there who want our work and won't turn us down just because we fall between categories, so go out there with your head held high and you'll be surprised who you'll find ;)  To submit to Sara Megibow find here requirements here.

Later, Peeps!




May I Tell You Something About Writing?



Hiya, peeps. Summer here. I’m back to write a post for Monday, keeping up the MAYbe blog posts along with my NA sisters over here at the Alley. So here we go!

May I tell you something about writing?

Writing! It’s such a wonderful thing. It’s the perfect way to make a living and the ideal method for fictionally imprisoning your rotten ex-boyfriend. Whoops. Did I just say that out loud? I guess I did. I love to write. I’ve been writing since I was about 7 – and yes, when I was 7 my writing was way primitive but I didn’t realize that I could actually write well or that I could make a living doing it until I was about 13. Since then there’s been no turning back, and I have to be honest: being a writer is hard work.

I just authored and published my first book, Snappy Social Networking: How to Dominate the Blogosphere & Everything in Between. I’ve written many novels, but I figured as long as I was waiting around to finish editing my works of fiction, why not throw one of my how-to novels out there? I mean, a book is a book, non-fiction or fiction! I was pretty excited about it when it first came out. And honestly, I have learned more about writing from reading and blogging and simply living than I ever could by taking any course or sitting in any class. I'm sure I probably offended some math teacher somewhere, but hey. I'm just being honest.  

I was introduced to the New Adult Category though the blogosphere. As a college-aged chica myself, I was kind of wondering why there weren't more books written about what happens after High School. I mean, come on. Our lives don't stop once we grab a diploma and start paying income tax. They're just starting up. New Adult is fun for me to read because I identify with the characters. And if you're older than the NA age group? You understand the problems that the characters face because you've been there, too. But writing NA is a whole different story than reading it. 

Writing NA - or any book, any genre or category - can be damaging for the ego. Seriously. Revision and editing is more painful than going to an unlicensed chiropractor. I have a tendency to overreact and defend my position on a comma or a capitalized letter, but I always eventually overcome my pride. It’s a good thing, too. Writers must be editors. And editors don’t cry every time somebody tells you that your story sucks or that your hyphens are treasonous. (Oh, you didn’t know that hyphens could be treasonous? Don’t even ask.) So what’s my point? Writing is fun. I love it, I live for it. I sometimes have a tendency to absolutely hate it when I get frustrated but in the end I always end up going back to it.
I’m just weird, I guess.
Or maybe I’m just a writer.




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What is NA?

Typically, a novel is considered NA if it encompasses the transition between adolescence—a life stage often depicted in Young Adult (YA) fiction—and true adulthood. Protagonists typically fall between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six, though exceptions may apply. NA characters are often portrayed experiencing: college, living away from home for the first time, military deployment, apprenticeships, a first steady job, a first serious relationship, etc.

Other terms for NA include: Upper YA, Crossover Fiction, and Mature YA.

Mission Statement

As one of the first websites dedicated to New Adult (NA) fiction, NA Alley acts as a central hub for the category—promoting great reads, featuring authors, hosting contests with agents and editors, discussing industry news, and listing relevant resources. We have been quoted by various publications, including USA Today and Book Business Magazine, but our main goal is to encourage the readers and writers who make NA possible.

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