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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Winner of Lynn Rush's Giveaway!

Thanks everyone who participated in the Lynn Rush giveaway!  The winner is listed on the Rafflecopter below and will be contacted soon!  Thanks again Lynn for stopping by The Alley!

Winner receives: 

The Wasteland Series by Lynn Rush

See Lynn Rush's Interview Here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 25, 2012

NA Misconceptions

Disclaimer: I’m no expert. As always, take this post with an opinionated grain of salt. :)

Today we’re going to discuss the New Adult category—shocking, I know—and categories, in general!

First, I should admit something: I am a nomadic info-sponge. It starts with one well-intended Internet search, and then comes the distraction. One thing leads to another. Something shiny catches my eye. I wander a bit.

Because of this, I catch a variety of posts and articles—lately, NA-centric ones. You know what I’ve learned? 

There are a few bloggers who oppose NA. (Everyone gasp now!) In the spirit of education, I’ve decided to summarize their complaints/misconceptions and answer them FAQ style:

We don't need one more category clogging up our bookshelves!

Hey, change is scary. I get that. But have you thought about it this way? Cross-category markets (like NA, which bridges the gap between YA and Adult) promote reading in both categories. It broadens horizons. It blends readerships. Win, win!

As for bookshelves, there are three schools of thought here:
  1. NA could comfortably fit into the adult category. It’d be harder to find, but at least it’d have a home.
  2. Same thing with YA.
  3. Four words: E-book Revolution. No shelves.
The ever-evolving publishing landscape will probably be the judge of this one. We’ll keep you posted. :) 

This is condescending. When I was that age, I wore artsy glasses, sipped lattes, and read the classics!

I wear artsy glasses, too! Only when I’m on the computer, though.

…What was I saying? Oh, right.  Are you assuming these market categories are strictly targeting a demographic that small? Believe me, these books are not written with only college-aged readers in mind. What about the “adults” who remember and relate to that stage of life? What about the curious teens, looking forward to their first taste of freedom? You don’t have to be 18-26 to enjoy these books.

Let’s try a different angle.

Show of hands, who likes The Lion King? It’s rated ‘G’ and, according to the Motion Picture Association of America, contains, “…nothing in theme, language, nudity, sex, violence or other matters that, in the view of the Rating Board, would offend parents whose younger children view the motion picture. “ Do you have to be a kid to enjoy this movie? Of course not. The category—or in this case, the rating—is simply telling you what to expect. Same with NA (and YA, for that matter). :)

This is another one of those marketing schemes. Marketing is the devil!

…Did you know my background is in marketing? :) I promise, I’m not [that] evil. This niche was formed because there was a gap in fiction. Traditional categories overlooked an important stage of life, and readers demanded its representation. NA, like other market categories, benefits the reader.

Don’t write NA. You’ll never get published.

My NA paranormal romance, STRENGTH, is coming 03/07/13 from Sapphire Star Publishing. Last week, Victoria  announced a deal with Curiosity Quills, and Juliana signed with Lyrical right after.

NA is happening! :)

There you have it! Agree? Disagree? Have a question? We’d love to hear from you in the comments. Have a great week!

P.S. Our friends over at YATopia are announcing something pretty big today. You might want to check it out. ;)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Congratulations Juliana!!!!

Hey, all, Victoria here.  Well, I have some MORE amazing news to share with you all today on this special Sunday post!!!

We are so very excited to announce that stellar NA Sister Juliana Haygert has signed a contract from the publisher Lyrical Press to publish her New Adult paranormal romance, DESTINY'S GIFT!

Eep!  We are so happy for her!!!

Check out Juliana's blog to read her official announcement and below is a blurb about her novel.

Nadine Sterling’s world is covered in darkness.
Natural catastrophes, disorder, and crime run wild. Humanity believes God has abandoned them.
Even in this chaotic world, Nadine’s life is normal—NYU student, barista in a coffee shop, talented singer, loyal friend, and dutiful daughter—except for her visions of Victor Gianni, her imaginary boyfriend.
She has excuses for her visions: exhaustion, daydreaming, and hallucinations, but is forced to confront them when she bumps into a real Victor, one who doesn’t know her and shuns her away. After the encounter, Nadine’s visions change to those of eerie fates, gods she’s never heard of, demons with sharp claws they are not timid to use … and instructions.
To discover whether she’s losing her mind or involved in a larger, obscure scheme, Nadine must follow the instructions—with the real, rude Victor—before the evil behind the darkness catches up with them.

Congratz girl!  You are a superstar! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Congrats Victoria!

I can’t believe we already have another success story to share with you. *happy dance*  

Our lovely NA sister Victoria Smith signed a contract with Curiosity Quills to publish her book, The Crimson Hunt, a New Adult sci-fi romance.

You should check out her own announcement on her blog where she vlogs about the exciting news and shares links to her query letter and first 500 words, interview with her hero Luca Grinaldi, an upcoming interview with her heroine Ariel Richmond, and the soundtrack!

Congratulations, Victoria! You deserve all the best!

This is me happy dancing! (I love Carlton dance!)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Interview with Tammara Webber + Win a copy of Easy!

UPDATE:  The Winner of a Copy of Easy is JAYBIRD!  YAY!
Tammara Webber

Hello, everyone, Jaycee here! Today I'm chatting with Tammara Webber, whose New Adult title, Easy, just hit #33 on the New York Times Bestseller list after being released for only a few short weeks!  It's a great book!  You can read my review of it on my author's blog.

As part of the interview today, Tammara has offered up one free copy of Easy on Kindle or Nook., so make sure you comment for your chance to win this fabulous book!

Now, onto the interview...

Tell me about Easy:
Easy is darker than my Between the Lines series, and is a blend of tough subject matter (sexual assault) and romance. The main character is Jacqueline, a college sophomore whose boyfriend of three years has just broken up with her, leaving her feeling stranded at a university she wouldn't have chosen for herself. On the heels of this heartbreak comes a sexual assault by a fraternity brother of her ex, and a new acquaintance with Lucas, a guy from her economics class.

EasyWhat compelled you to write Easy?
 I've had the basis for the story in my head and heart for a while. With the age group/setting, the subject matter, and the level of sexuality I wanted to include, it doesn't *quite* fit into regular YA or in contemporary romance. The publishing world has long discouraged college-set stories (exceptions: sequels or series that continued on from a typical YA setting into late teens/early twenties, and/or established authors). But after successfully publishing the BTL series, I didn't intend to query agents with Easy. That knowledge freed me to sit down and commit to writing Easy exactly as it was meant to be in my head.

What was your favorite scene in Easy? 
The sorority meeting. My entire body was solid goosebumps when I wrote it. I wanted to show the influence of one person who stood up to take the lead, uncaring of and separate from the opinions around her. I felt sure I'd nailed it, because my physical reaction told me that I had. When I got back individual critiques from my critique partners and beta readers with "CHILLS!!!" or "HELL YEAH!!" in the margins of the manuscripts, I was so happy I cried.

What was the hardest part of the book for you to write? 
There wasn't a part that was more difficult than others; the entire thing was a balancing act. I wanted to clearly paint the very realistic issue of acquaintance sexual assault and juxtapose it against the building of a positive, loving sexual relationship. I wanted neither to be sensationalized or too watered down, and I guess that was the most difficult line to walk.

What’s your favorite New Adult title?  
Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Why do you write New Adult? 
I've spent most of my adult life on a college campus, either as an employee or a student. I'm comfortable writing about that age group, and I feel many readers can connect with it, not just readers within the age group of the characters.

What books is sitting on your TBR pile that you can’t wait to read? 
I've had Insurgent since the day it came out and have been too busy to read it. My TBR pile - already purchased books including hardbacks, paperback and Kindle books - numbers at least 40. Being a writer doesn't interfere with reading, but being an author does. The business aspect of it, especially for an indie author (though promotion is expected of all authors) intrudes. I love to read, and being so tired when I crawl into bed that I can’t stay awake and get into a book I want to read can be very annoying.

Your favorite quote from any book. 
From Life of Pi by Yann Martel - I love the entire paragraph, but the end is this: " It's important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse."

What are you working on now? 
I'd love to say I'm working on the next book, but I haven't had time. I'm still dealing with that business aspect of having launched Easy, from doing interviews and answering emails and other messages to adjusting the website, mailing out promised signed copies of books, making sure the distributors are all doing their jobs, etc. I look forward to switching off the wifi and getting back to writing, but I'm not sure how long it will be before I can do that.

Congrats, Tammara, for making the NYT Bestseller list and 
thanks for chatting with me today!

Other books by Tammara Webber.  Click the covers to be taken to their pages on Goodreads.

  Between the Lines<br>(Between the Lines #1)   Where You Are<br>(Between the Lines #2)   Good For You<br>(Between the Lines #3)

You can visit her webpage at

Remember, one lucky commenter will be receiving a free copy of Easy.  
(Winner to be chosen Sunday, June 24th)

On another note,  someone (:cough:victoria:cough:) has made a very exciting announcement on her blog here to go see what it is!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Interview with New Adult Author Lynn Rush + A giveaway of her 3 books!

Hey, all!  Victoria here, and I have a special treat for everyone this Monday!  We have an interview with New Adult Author Lynn Rush.  She has written the Wasteland Series, which I can highly recommend because I read Wasteland, book one of the series, last month and it blew me away.  It's an excellent New Adult read full of action, adventure, and a great love story!  Lynn's a huge advocate of the New Adult category in fiction and is also offering a giveaway of all three of her books in the series at the end of the interview to our readers :D

Pick up Lynn's Books on Amazon today!


Why do you write/ support New Adult fiction?

I’ve always felt the twenty-something crowd has been ignored. When I first started writing I was told my characters were too old for YA and too young for Adult. Then the romance in my novels was too sweet for Adult and too intense for YA. I never seemed to fit in **LOL** But I always thought: What about the person who wants something “in the middle” like me? So, I figured I’d keep writing it and see what happens. Twenty-six books later…I’m still writing.

What are some common struggles that you run into when writing New Adult characters?

The characters come fine for me, the main problem I had was people accepting it. I, again, ran into resistance to their ages—where do they fit in? With Wasteland and Awaited I got a little slack because the characters were centuries old, “how’s that NA?” Well, the steam level is “in the middle” like NA, but also, my supporting characters are younger, too. And though my main characters range from nineteen years old to eleven hundred in the Wasteland Trilogy, they all look the “twenty-something” age. Clear as mud? **LOL**

In your paranormal romance, Wasteland, the book is told from the point of view of David, a half demon/ half human. What are some of your favorite things about writing from a male POV?

Men are awesome. So different than females, really. I read a stat once, let’s see if I can remember it: Females say like, 20,000 words in a day compared to men who speak a mere 7,000 words. That just amazes me!! To try and write a male character with that statistic in mind was a fun, exciting and sometimes frustrating adventure. But I did it for all three books (Tainted is book three—releases early 2013) and loved it. Another thing I love about writing the male POV was how visual they are. I had to remember that while describing thing. Men are very insightful! Sure, they don’t verbalize everything, but they register almost everything on a visual level. So that was super fun.

What kind of music do you like to listen to when writing?

Sure does vary. I have a few staples such as Skillet, RED, Seether, P!nk. Depends on the scene, my mood and my characters. I have playlists for Wasteland and Awaited on my site if you want to check them out. I have a lot of action in my novels, so the hard rock really helps those scenes flow with its edginess and energy!

What are some of your favorite New Adult books that you could recommend to our readers?

Some might be classified YA or Upper YA but here are a few: TASTE, by Kate Evangelista, Summerland, by Elizabeth Cheryl. I’m hearing Slammed, by Colleen Hoover is pretty good—I haven’t read it yet, but I’m going to have to check that one out for sure. There aren’t a ton out there, so I’m working my way through them as I find them.

What do you see happening in the future for New Adult fiction?

I think people are going to see how appealing it is. Especially those who are looking for something in between the sweetness of YA and the intense steam of Adult romances. I’m so honored to be partnered with a publisher who took the leap and developed their New Adult line starting with my novel, Wasteland. I think it’s only the beginning. There’s a need for NA and we’re ready to deliver it!

Thank you so much, Victoria, for having me here. I’m really glad you enjoyed reading Wasteland. I’m super excited about the Wasteland Trilogy and upcoming Violet Night Trilogy, which begins releasing in October! New Adult is taking the world by storm. I’m so excited!

Thanks for joining us over here at NA Alley, Lynn!  Everyone don't forget to enter the giveaway below and check out Lynn's great reads!

About the the Author:

“When I started out on this writing journey, it felt like such a far away dream. I constantly asked myself, ‘Really? Me? A writer?’ Then when I was published I still asked, ‘Really? Me? An author?’ Along the way things inspired me, obstacles shot up, and doors both opened and closed…but through my faith, family, and friends, I found motivation to continue on my dream - dreams of something bigger than all of us. Whether it’s writing, music, dancing …”

- Lynn Rush

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Congrats to Our Very Own Carrie Butler!

One of the great things about having a group blog is that we get to celebrate each others successes and triumphs, and boy, do we have a success to celebrate:  Our very own Carrie Butler has just signed a book deal with Sapphire Star Publishing!

Her book, STRENGTH, is a New Adult paranormal romance that will be released on March 7, 2013!

And what's this awesome book about?  

When Rena falls for the campus outcast, she provokes supernatural warfare that will put a whole lot more than her heart at risk.

You can read all about her receiving "the call" (well...the email) on her blog:  So, You're A Writer - BIG NEWS!

Please join us in congratulating Carrie!  
We're so proud of you, girl!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Getting into NA

Happy Monday!

It’s Bailey here today. We're starting our weekly posts today, so you can look forward to getting a new post from us at least every Monday (occasionally we'll have surprises for you mid-week).

From the title you can guess a little bit at what I’m going to talk about today -- I mean, it’s a pretty self-explained title: “Getting into NA.” But I want to take it a little further than just all the big things and little things you can do to learn about NA or be involved in promoting NA or writing & reading NA. I think we, as a blog, cover all of that pretty extensively with your Resources and Recommended Reads pages, and certainly with our posts.

Today, I want to focus on writing New Adult and I want to focus on how you can maybe begin considering if you actually write NA fiction and if the category is the perfect fit your book(s) and characters and your readers. 

During the first month, I read a lot of a comments on the blog to the effect of -- “I’ve never really heard of / considered New Adult, but it really does fit my book well! I’ve been trying to make my book more YA / Adult for the market -- I’ve been getting letters saying I need to age up or age down -- but this NA thing sounds pretty nifty!”

I get that. I remember the first time someone asked the question on Twitter, “Do you write New Adult fiction? Are your narrators between 18 & 29?”

And I said yes. To the second question.

That question & answer exchange on Twitter prompted all of this for me -- learning about New Adult and how this category was making its way onto the publishing stage; researching if New Adult really fit my book & my characters; joining this blog to promote the New Adult category with all its facets.

Today I want to say two things, and the first thing is this: I wasn’t immediately sure about New Adult. I wasn’t sure whether or not my book was actually New Adult or just a younger Adult narrator. And I think that’s OK. I think it’s perfectly OK to be curious but cautious. Especially as a writer.

I just write the stories I like to tell (like every writer I know). In the beginning, I knew my characters (18 - 24) were too old for YA and I was hoping they wouldn't be too young for Adult. I've read a small grouping of adult books/series with characters who are in their younger twenties, but their voices sounded older to me. Which isn’t inaccurate, exactly. I’m blessed to have a few younger friends, in their late teens & early twenties, that are “old souls”. But the two narrators I’ve focused on in the last three years -- one is 23, one is 19 -- they have life experiences and independence, sure, but they don’t quite know what to do with these two things.

And beyond that -- and really, I think it’s the beyond that that makes the stories worth telling in the first place -- both stories are about strong women in  urban paranormal settings. These stories deal with death and suicide and abuse and mental illness and loss. These stories deal with family and love and lust and happiness. And above everything else, these two stories really deal with all kinds of fear. These stories are so much more than the age of their narrators, and  yet, it seems like age is all anyone gets hung up on in the end.

The second thing I want to say is that the “New Adult” category -- while I think a very important category-- is rooted in the publishing sphere of the fiction world. To get a little philosophical on you, I’ve never much cared what age the narrator was so much as I’ve cared about the story being told & if the issues and conflicts are ones that I’m interested in being told. It’s why I like YA and Adult fiction -- both categories tells stories that deal with all the things I love to read. An actual book is about more than the age bracket we fit it between, but that doesn’t mean that an age bracket shouldn’t exist or doesn’t have a readership. The publishing sphere of writing is very important & very influential, and discussing and confronting these gaps should be equally important to us.

Since my initial, timid wade into NA, I have decided that New Adult is actually the right fit for me, and for my books, and for my characters, and maybe most importantly, for whatever future readers I may be lucky to have.

I do think writers should seriously consider the NA category for their books with younger adult narrators; and I think writers should seriously consider the other themes and motifs that fit well within the NA category when deciding if their book fits here -- because while age is a good place to begin classification, I think a category is about more than that (and that’s something that’s been touched on here and elsewhere and I’m sure will be discussed further but there isn’t time for it here & now in this post).

And regardless of whether or not you feel what you write or read is an NA story, we should all be here to promote the emersion and inclusion of a wide-range of narrators in an array of life-moments.

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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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