Just Part of the Pattern
I missed a few blog posts so this is a bit of a catch up post.
First, I read BLACKOUT, the third and final book in the Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire).
There's not much I can say about Blackout without giving away HUGE SPOILERS for Feed and Deadline, the first two books of the trilogy. I can say this: I don't normally like zombie books. Straight horror does nothing for me. Tell me a good story, though, and I'll accept almost anything. And that's what Mira Grant does. She tells a really good story. She tells a BRILLIANT story. She tells a story about friendship and family and what the US would look like and function like if our lives were governed by fear of everything, if the safest way was to be alone, and there was no way to keep yourself or your family entirely safe. In this case, the danger was the living dead. Zombies. Nomnomnom brains. That kind of thing. Grant's zombies are based in virology, that US scientists found a cure for cancer and a cure for the common cold but when put together in the human body, turned out that these cures attached to each other and made dead people come back to life (called 'amplification'). The trilogy is full of political conspiracy, heartwrenching decisions, sadness, death, humor, and delightful characters. I cannot recommend this trilogy enough.
I also finished reading A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. I am saying NOTHING until my friend Jennie and I do a Books n' Beer chat this next weekend so I can talk some things out with her (we're both HUGE Wheel of Time fans) and have coherent thoughts. Expect a big post on AMOL next Sunday!
In other news, my car broke down on Thursday night and I was tragically upset, except it was an easy fix. I was out of town this weekend on a non particularly easy weekend for a lot of reasons. What we experience is what we write and read, isn't it, in some way? I surprisingly didn't read this AM, and my writing is slower. I want to curl up and read pretty poetry and cry a lot, but that's not really productive, so I'm trying to pull myself together.
I'm been writing a story that I think I would probably call New Adult, but then that brings up the whole debate about whether New Adult is necessary or a marketing ploy or whatever it may be.
I like New Adult. I think that it probably IS a marketing ploy but if publishers and editors buy into or use the ploy, then agents will pick up people who write NA, and people will write NA for a demand that's mostly artificial right now, but supply can create a demand if marketing is good enough. It's like a backwards endless looping cycle of some sort. In my head, I can see that this could work, even if it is artificially created.
As a "new Adult", I LIKE stories that are about 18-30yr olds that have nothing to do with marriage, children, divorces, etc. I want to see magical realism and SF/F written for that age group. I want to see really well written non-chick lit books being written for people my age.
Then I had to think about why. What is different about my experience now that is NOT reflected in Young Adult or Adult fiction?
I still see a lot of myself in YA fiction. It's probably part of the reason I read YA (okay, the other part? There's some effing AWESOME YA being written. Read YA!). I see myself in young adults still struggling to find themselves in relation to their parents and understanding what relationships with other people look like. I understand that still.
In adult fiction, I tend to read fantasy and sci/fi because I don't relate to anything in the realistic/contemp subgrene. Except, TELL THE WOLVES I'M HOME was *amazing*...and totally has a young adult narrator and could be considered a crossover book, so I'm not sure if I could count it.
What's different about my personal experience that I am not seeing in literature that I think could be filled by New Adult?
- I'd like to see older -years coming out books. More and more people I know aren't coming out until their 20's. There's an increasing amount of LGBTQ book for teens and that's AWESOME. It would have UTTERLY changed my experience as a teen if I had had those books. But I'm having a hard time finding books that represented the experience of a lot of twentysomethings that they finally found their way to a place, physical or mental or emotional, where they could come out safely.
- Books about dating/falling in love that neither end in marriage, nor are chick lit romantic comedies. Where are my books that are like 500 Days of Summer and Crazy Stupid Love and Silver Linings Playbook in ink? (Note, I say Silver Linings Playbook KNOWING that it is a book, but the movie was a completely different feel, and I want that, in a book).
- Books about the leaving of home. We twentysomethings are doing that later and later in life. Bring me the book of the breaking of ties when you're already supposed to be an adult and aren't, yet.
Maybe I'll actually finish this WIP and then you guys can all be around for watching me struggle with how the heck to write a query or pitch it. NA? YA? Adult fiction? (Note: I think the violence and the age of narrator eliminate YA from the possibility list).
I don't know yet. I am still thinking about all of this.
Shaun Hutchinson and I had a twitter discussion in which he challenged authors to "write better adult fiction" rather than making a whole new genre. Regardless of whether New Adult takes off or not, that's a very fair challenge.