When I tell people that I’m writing a new adult romance book series, a few people will ask: “what’s new adult?” I happily give them my five-second response: “It’s a genre of stories about a young character who is venturing into adulthood and dealing with all the challenges that come with doing so – whether they be related to their career, sexuality, family or sense of self.”
People normally bob their heads in full understanding and then ask: “Is this like a trend or a real genre?” If you remember the whole ‘chick lit’ phenomenon then you know why they ask.
Starting out on my writing journey, I wasn’t entirely sure what new adult meant. All I knew was that I enjoyed the books people were calling new adult, so I figured I must be one of the fans. After doing quite a bit of research, I discovered the truth was I had been reading new adult (of the romance variety) for some time now. The themes that are dealt with in the new adult romance novel are not uncommon – though sometimes buried – in adult romance fiction. It’s through the rise of e-books, indie writers and a healthy dose of a few mega-successes that the genre has gained some much deserved definition and prominence.
And those new adult fans are just gobbling up the books .
New adult is just getting the wind under its wings. As the new adult readership grows and demands more, I see the genre expanding to include diverse themes, settings, relationships and more male leads.
So, yes, I do think the new adult genre will last. It will evolve like any other genre, but will remain for as long as there are readers interested in stories about self-discovery through overcoming obstacles in the early days of adulthood.