Book Review: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys Anthology

Synopsis

For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Lois Duncan, and Daphne Du Maurier comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best writers of YA thrillers and horror

A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke.

Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.

Fans of TV’s The Walking Dead, True Blood, and American Horror Story will tear through tales by these talented authors:

Stefan Bachmann
Leigh Bardugo
Kendare Blake
A. G. Howard
Jay Kristoff
Marie Lu
Jonathan Maberry
Danielle Paige
Carrie Ryan
Megan Shepherd
Nova Ren Suma
McCormick Templeman
April Genevieve Tucholke
Cat Winters

My Review:

I do enjoy a good anthology. You find new authors you never knew existed, read stories from some of your favourite authors, and everything is in lovely tasty bite-sized stories that mean you get to read an entire tale in one sitting. Slasher Girls & Monster Boys is a perfect example of this. There were some stories that didn’t float my boat, but hey we don’t all have the same taste, and that’s what makes the world go round (along with money!) but there were a few stories in there that really caught me by surprise and didn’t let me go. Carrie Ryan’s In the Forest Dark and Deep is very evocative and has an almost Twin Peaks vibe (although it made much more sense) I particularly liked it as it has an Alice in Wonderland theme and I’d studied Lewis Carroll’s book for my own twist on the tale Lost in Wonderland. I also loved Cat Winters’ Emmeline, which was gruesome and atmospheric.

From a writer’s perspective, this is a beautiful collection of stories that show the breadth of literary horror possibilities out there, and all the authors put their own spin on them, in their own style.

The front cover is a little cartoon like for me; I would have preferred something more sinister to represent the feel of the stories inside. However, I do appreciate that this is primarily for a YA market, so I can understand the choice.

Overall I’d give Slasher Girls & Monster Boys 5 out of 5 stars. A wonderfully creepy collection of little YA gems.

Find Slasher Girls & Monster Boys on Goodreads

Doing the zombie shuffle – Zombies in YA literature

img_0443_v2I find zombies scary – there I admit it. I always have done. And I can tell you why; we are just one mad scientist away from zombies becoming real. Zombies worry me, and movies aside, they are certainly not new to literature.

I read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at school. It’s only when you get into the nitty gritty of this book you realise it was one of the first ever zombie novels. The creature, albeit more sentient than your average ‘braaaains’ screeching shuffler, is a re-animated corpse. Considered a ‘flawed creation’ by Dr Frankenstein, the creature has to contend with some serious abandonment issues, loneliness (after all zombies are pack creatures) and some rather vengeful thoughts. All in all, the zombie in question doesn’t act much like the zombies we’re use to today.

Moving quickly through the years to Carrie Ryan’s Forrest of Hands & Teeth we find Mary, the protagonist, struggling to free herself from a predictable YA love triangle while avoiding the ‘Unconsercrated’. The name of the zombies in itself echoes the book’s theme of religion; but apart from that, they seem to lumber around the forest being said hands and teeth. The zombies provide only one author objective: they are the threat that seeks to harm the main characters. The only zombie character that comes to ‘life’ is the fast and slightly vengeful, Gabrielle – who seems to retain some of her former personality and is hell-bent on killing Mary for allowing her to die.

Darren Shan’s Zom B uses zombies to unite its characters. One of the themes of this book is racism and yob-like behaviour. Although by its title, it’s a zombie book, the shambling flesh-munching creatures serve as danger and a catalyst for character development. They unite the survivors – regardless of their misguided beliefs.

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion did something extraordinary with zombies – he made them the romantic lead. The book is written the first person from R’s point of view. It was a bold move that paid off and put zombies in a different light altogether. After that, Lisa Habel’s Dearly Departed also took zombies firmly into the romance genre.

Now it would seem that zombies are not just evolving but contorting into a new type of ‘monster’. Maybe it would be more accurate to say they are going back to their gothic character-driven roots. Who’s to say that if Dr Frankenstein had given his monster a bride that it would have gone very differently for him, and his loved ones.

As a YA urban fantasy writer, I love zombies, and am, to a degree, guilty myself of simply inserting them into my story as a wall of rotting flesh that relentlessly rolls towards my heroes – I did, though, introduce a new dynamic in my series, Battle of the Undead. It’s vampires VS zombies. So what happens when a vampire becomes infected? A Vambie or a Zompire? Find out now with the first in the series, Bad Blood:

Evernight Teen   Amazon US     Amazon UK   Barnes & Noble   Nook    Amazon Canada   Amazon Australia 

Rule Britannia – examining the main character of Bad Blood

britBad Blood is a vampires VS zombies horror set in England. Told first person from a vampire’s point of view, I knew as the writer; I needed a certain type of character who could tell the story, engage with the reader and survive the zombie hordes as they drag their rotten asses through the burning streets of London.

Britannia is over 4 hundred years old and was born Brianna. Daughter of a wealthy merchant she lived like a princess and was set to marry the love of her life… when Nicholas the vampire saw her. He kidnapped her, made her a vampire against her will, murdered her fiancé then kept her captive for 20 years in a crazy attempt to woe her. When she was finally free, she swore a vendetta on Nicholas and evolved from spoilt little Brianna to the blood-guzzling, ass-kicking, England protecting, Britannia.

Her lost love was a soldier in his majesty’s service so Britannia declared herself a secret protector of the realm, fighting in every war and falling ever deeper in love with the memory of her dead soldier. That love is reinforced on an almost nightly basis with her daydreams. She might be lying in wait on the roof of a West End Theatre to kill Nicholas’ newest vampire, but be imagining herself inside with her fiancé, enjoying a show. The mirror of a violent vampire dreaming she’s a bored housewife is held up throughout the book and is both an endearing and dangerous quality for a character to have.

She’s spent centuries learning to fight, to use her strengths and weakness as assets. Her favourite book is the Art of War, and she prides herself on winning every battle. She’s competitive, stubborn and amazingly loyal – but all that comes with a price. She still needs to drink human blood to survive, and when she does, she considers it the natural order – she certainly isn’t the guilty type. The vampires in Bad Blood have no glamour abilities. They cannot read people’s minds, and they certainly cannot make a bite in the neck painless. Usually when they feed they kill, but now zombies are fighting with them to be top of the food chain, they’re on a more ‘little and often’ diet and have to change their behaviour to survive.

Bad Blood is fast paced, and both humans and vampires get a lot of horrific problems thrown at them – I had to make sure Britannia was equipped to deal with these problems, to cut them up with her trusty scythes, and shoot them right back to where they came from.

So why not order a copy of Bad Blood today and let Britannia take you by the hand and give you a tour of the zombie-ridden streets of London and beyond. Don’t worry about the undead clawing to touch your pretty flesh; she’ll protect you. There’s only one thing that she asks in return…your blood.

Want a Halloween read? Pick up Bad Blood today: Evernight Teen   Amazon US     Amazon UK   Barnes & Noble   Nook    Amazon Canada   Amazon Australia 

Author Interview Swap with Andrew Buckley

bio-pic-squareTell us about your publishing journey…

I wrote my first novel ‘Death, the Devil, and the Goldfish’ over the course of 6 years. I then spent two years querying agents to no avail. One agent recommended I build an online platform so I reluctantly began my social media journey and, through Twitter, I met my first publisher ‘Curiosity Quills Press.’ I signed 2 novels with CQ before securing an agent, the fantastic Mark Gottlieb at the Trident Media Group in New York. Since then, thanks to Mark and Trident, I’ve published two more books, one with CQ and my latest novel ‘Hair in All the Wrong Places’ with Month9Books.
What do you love about being an author?
I love everything about it. I love that it’s hard work, I love building stories, creating characters, exploring new worlds, and hearing people’s thoughts about my work (good and bad). I’m also keenly drawn to a career where you can work with or without pants.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
It’s probably a terrible choice because he’d likely kill me at the end of the meal but I’d like to chat with Lestat, Anne Rice’s Vampire Prince. I’ve read a lot of Rice’s books over the years and the Lestat character is steeped with so much emotion and experiential layers that he’d be a very interesting person to chat with. And being as it’s my final meal, I’d like Fish and Chips.
If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
Using my latest novel ‘Hair in All the Wrong Places’ as an example, I’m not sure who I’d cast as the leads as they’d be young middle school aged but I’d want to cast Kurt Russell as the older werewolf, Silas Baxter, Kevin Spacey as Mr Winter, and Betty White as Colin’s Grandmother.
Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
Why can’t they be both?
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?hair-in-all-the-wrong-places
Medieval times! I think the dark ages would be a ton of fun as long I didn’t get run through with a sword or catch dysentery or anything to that effect. I always thought siege warfare was very interesting. People trying to break into castles, the feudal system, all those swords! Although I’m not really partial to horses . . . I may have to reconsider.
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
I’ve been pretty fortunate to have some great advice over my short time on this earth. It would have been good if someone had told me to travel more when I was younger. Once you have kids (I have 3), travelling becomes a whole Oceans 11 bank heist planning experience.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
Werewolf, obviously a werewolf. Heightened senses and the ability to turn into a giant wolf creature. It would also justify all this hair I have.
Where do you write best? 
In bed, at night, when the household has gone to sleep. I don’t know if that’s the best time but it’s the time I get to write the most. I’m pretty sure any time of day would work if I had the opportunity.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
I’m currently reading the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown and it’s AMAZING. Book #1 had a few pacing issues I thought but I couldn’t put book #2 down, and now I’m launching into the third and final book. It’s a great series if you’re looking for a ski-fi with a bit more of an edge to it.
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
I actually write in fantasy, urban fantasy, spy thriller, satire, and paranormal horror already. My foray into writing a spy thriller was my big departure from my usual genre and writing style. I had this concept for a female James Bond character that I wanted to develop. You can find the adventures of Eliana Havelock in the novel ‘Havelock’ by Jane D Everly (I promise it’s really me).
Where can fans find you online?
I’m active on Instagram, Facebook, and twitter, links to which you can find on my author website at www.andrewbuckleyauthor.com

Author interview swap with Cynthia A Morgan

morgan-3Tell us about your publishing journey…

I started out publishing my book, Dark Fey The Reviled, through Kindle Direct Publishing.  It was the easiest and fastest avenue to get my work ‘out there’, but I quickly realized that patience merits a far better publishing experience.  Though I subsequently released my second book, Dark Fey Standing In Shadows, via KDP as well, I shortly thereafter withdrew both of them when I signed with a publisher, Creativia.   I have found their SEO marketing expertise far superior to anything I could have accomplished on my own, but maintain my Indie Author freedom, which appeals to be greatly.  I have the best of both worlds!


What do you love about being an author?

I love words, love painting pictures with lyrical expressions and detailed descriptions that transport readers wherever I wish to take them; so for me, being an Author is my calling.  I have found the poetry I write touches people in ways I could never plan or anticipate and that is an immense blessing for a writer.  I also love the freedom to do what it is that I enjoy, while earning a few pennies from it.


If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

 It would more than likely be one of my own, I have to admit; as I do find them endlessly fascinating, but if I didn’t, my readers would not either.  So I would have to say Gairynzvl or perhaps Evondair, or both…and we would enjoy a vegetarian meal of some sort beneath the eaves of the forest.


If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

I will confess, this is something I’ve actually thought about, because I have been told by more than a couple of readers that they can see Dark Fey as a movie.  I tend to envision actors I am familiar with, like Tom Hiddleston as Gairynzvl, Scarlet Johansson as Ayla, and perhaps Chris Hemsworth as Mardan; however my characters are young, early to mid 20’s, so better suited might be Jennifer Lawrence as Ayla, Liam Hemsworth or even Jack O’ Connell as Gairynzvl and Freddie Stroma as Mardan or perhaps even better as Evondair.


Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?  reviled-awards

The nice thing about vampires is you can have it both ways, really :)


If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

My interests have always centered around Regency Period England (the early 1800’s).  I am actually working on a historical romance set in this period, so I would love to visit to gain a better understanding of the constraints of the day, which were many, and the culture, which was quite different from ours today.


What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner? 

We Create our own Reality through what we Say and what we Believe.  The Power of Positive Thought truly does Move Mountains.


If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why? 

That’s easy, I’d be a Fey, of course, because I would love to live in Jyndari, even in its darkest moments, and have the gifts, not only of Flight, but the ability to read another’s thoughts, wield magic or bend light.  It would be amazing.


Where do you write best?  

Always at my laptop, in my writing room, often with music playing that is ethereal and mystical, rhythmic and very frequently tribal. Delerium gets played repeatedly, especially when I’m working on Dark Fey, or Brunuhville.


What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

I recently read The Eternals by Richard M. Ankers, a vampire tale set in the distance future with a dystopian flavor and steampunk twists that really captured my imagination and left me anxious for book two of the trilogy, which is being released this autumn. His strong lead character was irresistible! (who just happens to be both sexy and a blood-thirsty vampire)


standing-in-shadows-w-5starIf you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

 I love writing, it doesn’t really matter what genre it is.  I have a work in progress that is Historical Fiction/Romance; I have written YA Romance/Fiction; Dystopian/Sci-Fi and even Children’s stories.  Of course, I also write poetry.  If it involves words, I will (most likely) write it.


Where can fans find you online?

All Things Dark Fey Website http://allthingsdarkfey.wix.com/feyandmusings 

Blog / website: www.booknvolume.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MorganBC728

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/booknvolume

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cynthey728

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Morgan/e/B00JYJ0NEG

Dark Fey The Reviled on Amazon/Kindle:    https://www.amazon.com/Reviled-Dark-Fey-Book-ebook/dp/B00RZMVNQQ
Dark Fey The Reviled on Amazon UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Fey-Reviled-Cynthia-Morgan/dp/1505413230

Readers Favorite 5-Star Review:  https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/dark-fey

Dark Fey Standing In Shadows on Amazon US –  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018HF4HSA

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018HF4HSA

Readers Favorite 5-Star Review:  https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/dark-fey/1

 

Links to:

 Delerium – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_xNJfMq1l3ce9_K8Esj7nw

Brunuhville –  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZg2-TZBGrwRbuettVf10uw

The Eternals by Richard M Ankers https://www.amazon.com/Eternals-Richard-M-Ankers-ebook/dp/B01FVCE7O

Interview with author Sarah Daltry

poster
With me today is  author, Sarah Daltry.
A funny thing happened on the way to being published…
I realized I like doing it myself. That’s not 100% true and, in fact, I am most likely publishing Bitter Fruits with someone else. However, I did come to the realization that self-publishing is ideal for someone like me. I’m a control freak. I love being involved in every detail. I have a million questions and I want them answered immediately. I want to work on my schedule, at my pace. I want to decide which giveaways and sales I participate in and I want to choose my covers. All of this had led me to love the idea of being a hybrid author. For some titles, I would like the support of a publisher, but I want to keep a few for myself. It’ll be an interesting experiment to see how each path turns out.
Do you always cast your books in your mind as you write them, and if so who would be your favourite lead?
Not at all. I picture my characters, but they don’t look like anyone I can think of and I actually find fault with most suggestions of famous actors as my leads. I also use stock photos for covers and I end up eventually seeing those models as my characters. This is true with every book I read as well, so when they don’t look similar in movies, I feel like it loses something.
What is your fav supernatural creature and why?
Angels. I love angels, especially the fallen ones. Angel and demon mythology ties in very well to my personal love of theology. I know that probably sounds funny coming from someone who writes erotica and romance, but I am obsessed with religious stories and texts. I find them so intriguing. In Bitter Fruits, that’s evident, I’m sure.
Best book you’ve read recently?
Laini Taylor’s Days of Blood and Starlight. I have read many books in the nearly year since I read her book, but it still stays with me.
What advice would you give to other authors?
I’ve learned that it’s important to trust yourself. No matter what choices you make in your writing, someone thinks it’s the wrong one. It could be your editor, it could be a beta, or it could be a reviewer. However, if you believe it was the right choice, listen to yourself. If you let every critic affect what you do, you’ll never write anything. That being said, I do think it’s important to take in feedback. I just think you need to filter what you instinctively know is true and leave the rest.
NA is it the new YA? 
Absolutely not. They are completely different markets. The most obvious is the way that NA pushes boundaries that YA is not ready to cross. But you are also dealing with different fans. There is massive crossover, but the market is still not the same. For example, I’m in my 30’s and I read everything from middle grade fiction to stuff that should come wrapped in brown paper. The context is crucial in appreciating each for its own merits. YA deals with issues that young people face – identity, relationships, family problems, bullying, peer pressure, academic pressure, drug use, violence, etc. NA deals with the problems of people who are older. Their issues may be the same, especially when it comes to those first three. However, when I picture a YA romance and an NA romance, I get a very different idea in my mind. A YA romance is sweet. It often deals with first love, with the emotions that go along with that experience. NA romance is often steamier, even if that doesn’t mean it’s explicit. The characters have had their first loves and their first heartbreaks. They’re not thinking about Prom – they’re thinking about marriage. That is a massive difference for a person and for a reader. When I finish Anna and the French Kiss, I’m not wondering if Anna and Etienne get married; probably, they won’t. They’re what? 18? However, when you read something like Beautiful Disaster, there is a definite possibility of a real long term connection between the characters. Sure, they may also be only 18 or 19, but something changes between high school and college. We date in high school because everyone does and we date the people who are there. In college, we are becoming the people we will be as adults and we are looking for someone to balance us out in our future.
Where can fans find you online?
My website is http://sarahdaltry.com and all my social media links are there, as well as my book titles.
*Sarah’s work and website is 18+

Book Review – Mortality by Kellie Sheridan

 

cover31408-medium

Synopsis:

After suriving a deadly plague outbreak, sixteen-year-old Savannah thought she had lived through the very worst of human history. There was no way to know that the miracle vaccine would put everyone at risk for a fate worse than un-death. Now, two very different kinds of infected walk the Earth, intent on nothing but feeding and destroying what little remains of civilization. When the inoculated are bitten, infection means watching on in silent horror as self-control disappears and the idea of feasting on loved ones becomes increasingly hard to ignore. Starving and forced to live inside of the abandoned high school, all Savannah wants is the chance to fight back. When a strange boy arrives with a plan to set everything right, she gets her chance. Meeting Cole changes everything. Mere survival will never be enough

My Review:

I do love a good zombie book and, with there being so many out there now (Yes, I know I’ve written one too!) you really have to have something different going on with the plot to really stand out. Mortality gives us something different. It’s a story first person from two characters’ points of view: Savannah and Zarah. It was a little dangerous for a book to do this, but with tense chapter conclusions and different timelines, it flows nicely. I must admit though, that I preferred Zarah over Savannah – I found the latter kind of self-centered and two dimensional compared to the sweeter Zarah. Maybe it was because their stories are told at different points of the zombie cycle – maybe not; but I did find myself looking forward to hers over Savannah’s chapters.

From a writer’s perspective, I enjoyed the duel narrative and the world that Kellie Sheridan created. There were 2 waves of zombies in this book, which was a stoke of genius. The plot point I had trouble with was the militia. In zombie books and movies these can be a very scary addition to your cast. In fact, in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later the soldiers were, to me, scarier than the jerky flesh-craving zombies – and I did think that the author could have made more of them – although this is part of a series, so maybe that will happen later on.

The front cover is very apt to the feel of the book, but it does reveal a major plot twist, which would have added to the overall interest to the book if it hadn’t been ‘let out of the bag’ from the offset.

I’d give Mortality 4 out of 5 stars, as I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good zombie book.

Buy Mortality 

Interview with Bonnie Ferrante

Bonnie Ferrante

Bonnie Ferrante

Bonnie is one of my fellow Noble authors and she loves living in Northern Ontario, Canada even though she spends most of the long winter indoor writing. She chants, bikes, gardens, reads, stitches, volunteers, studies the Dharma, paints, plays/works on the computer, attends live theatre, enjoys being trounced in scrabble by her husband, Fred, and is often found ripping up pieces of her yard or stripping furniture. She hates cooking and cleaning and loves her robot vacuum, (too bad it can’t move the furniture). Her son, stepsons, and extended family keep her young. Once upon a time, she was a grade school teacher. She has entirely too much imagination and not enough opportunity to indulge it.

Tell us about your publishing journey.

I wrote short stories for magazines and anthologies and a newspaper column while I taught part time. When I became a full time teacher, writing fell by the wayside, although I wrote plays for my drama club and worked with a Young Authors club.

When I stopped teaching, I decided to tackle novels, which is what I really wanted to write. Noble Romance Publishing accepted my first book, Dawn’s End. I wrote two sequels, Dawn’s End Poisoned, and Dawn’s End Outworld Apocalypse, which they also published. All three are ebooks and the last is also a paperback. They can be understood in any order, although they are chronological. The trilogy is speculative (a blend of fantasy and science fiction) and written for ages 16 and up.

I have two self-published collections of short stories. Some were contest winners and some were previously published in anthologies that are now out of print. Bouquet is a trilogy of Buddhist themed fantasy and science fiction stories. Inhale contains contemporary stories, some with a fantasy twist. They are available on Amazon.com. I priced them at $0.99 as a way to bring in new readers.

My Amazon author page with links to my books

I am currently working with Tradewinds Books in Vancouver, British Columbia on a historical paranormal novel entitled Switch which will be out in 2014. It is about a young disenfranchised woman whose ability to see ghosts endangers herself and her family. When she has the opportunity to learn herbalism, it seems she may be able to contribute to her family’s survival, but this takes a macabre twist.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I always wanted to be an author. I just didn’t have the time, training. or confidence to pursue it full-time until 2009.

 What’s your views on social media for authors? Which sites do you recommend?

If you are just starting out, I’d say stay away from too much social media. It will eat up your writing time. There are, however, terrific blogs by authors and agents on writing that are invaluable. Also, keep abreast of what is happening in publishing. Some of the good ones are: Evil Editor, The Write Practice, The Creative Penn, and Janet Reid, Literary Agent.

Once you’ve reached the publication stage, it is essential to have your own professional facebook page separate from your family/friends one. Goodreads would be the next one I’d say was essential. You may want to have a blog, but if you are already struggling for writing time, I wouldn’t recommend it. There are so many out there now you really need to have a niche to pick up followers. Twitter and Linked-in can also be helpful.

My Facebook:

 Twitter: Bonnie Ferrante 

 Goodreads.

 What’s your favourite part of the publishing process?

The best part of writing is the first draft where my mind is free and I’m juiced at the prospect of what I’m about to create.

You’re currently writing a historical paranormal novel – what’s your fav time period and why?

I love Tudor Times in England (1485-1603). It was such a turbulent period in history, so full of extremes. Life was full of more than the usual amount of change: political intrigue, religious revolution, plague, war, female queens, and innovation in the arts.

When it comes to the paranormal – what still scares you?

I enjoy vampire and monster stories, but a part of me is always aware that it is fantasy. Ghost stories, however, shake my beliefs. There are so many strange incidents of haunting that I am never sure what is real and what is imagination.

What advice would you give to new writers?

Read and discuss what you read. Examine what propelled the plot forward, how the author made you care for and understand the characters, what worked, and what didn’t work.

Write every day. It doesn’t have to be something you plan on publishing. Be critical of your writing. Reread it and polish it.

Take writing classes, in person or on-line.

DAWNS END 500x776

Poisoned500x776

Dawn's End Appocalypse500x776 (1)

What is ‘New Adult’ ?

shutterstock_61385206

Okay guys, so what is ‘New Adult’? Well to be honest with you, I only heard the term myself  a few months ago. Looking online it would seem that the NA and YA debate has been going on for quite some time, and as I describe myself as someone who writes both adult and YA fiction, I thought it was about time I got to grips with this new genre… NA.

I Googled around a bit to answer this question, and it would seem that everyone has their own thoughts on it – just like they did on YA when it became popular all those years ago. Here’s the sum of my findings; you might not agree with me, you may have your own ideas – and if you do, please feel free to add to this post by leaving a comment below.

Age:

In YA, readers like reading about characters who are just a little above their own age – so the maximum age here is around 19. NA is there to bridge the gap between young readers/ teenagers to, well New Adults – so characters should be in their twenties and therefore have scope to deal with more adult situations. 

Sex:

To me, the biggest ‘no,no’ in YA is sex. You don’t have sex scenes in them, you can elude ever so slightly to them, but you can’t glamorize sex in any way – same goes for drugs and rock ‘n’ roll – no wait, rock ‘n’ roll is fine! LOL

Within the NA genre there is room for sex, as characters are older and it would be quite frankly unrealistic to not include at least a mention , just don’t go too over the top. Personally I’d stick to kissing, and leave the reader at the bedroom door.

Content:

In YA the themes and character arcs are very much all about growing up and turning from child into adult. Responsibility and changing for the better are common traits in YA books. When you hit your twenties you should have already gone through these personality changes, so you really need to think back to the main issues you had at that age. To me, its very much that you suddenly have all these new adult responsibilities, yet still have some childhood restrictions on you. Parents of twenty somethings will know all about this – they’re still a child in your eyes, but in the eyes of the world they’re an adult.

Character:

With NA, you have more room to move on your character’s lives and what they do. In their twenties they could still be at university, or be working. They could even be married, or have a child. To me, NA seems to lend itself more to the supernatural and paranormal genre. Themes and content that were off limits in YA are suddenly back on the menu with NA. And although I’ve never censored either action or bad language in my YA stories, you can really go for the gusto in NA.

As always, check out publisher guidelines before submitting. Most major publishing houses have started splitting off NA into its own imprint and will all have different views of what NA means to them.

List of Romance Genres

file7551283339240

I just can’t stay away from those lists!

My two top genres are horror and paranormal romance and as I’ve already covered horror genres, I thought I’d do the same for romance. Looking at the list, the explanations tend to be a little obvious, so rather than patronize you with over-blown explanations, I’ve kept it brief and included links to examples where necessary.

Adventure Romance:

Strong hero, even stronger heroine. These face paced and full of danger and can be set anytime and anywhere. Happily Ever After OR HEA is preferred here by most publishers, but as always, do read each publisher’s guidelines carefully when submitting.

Chick-lit:

Relatively new genre, these are romances with a dash of humor and HEA (happily ever-after ending) is more flexible here. It’s a bit cliched but think Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding.

Contemporary/ Main Stream:

Not to point out the obvious, but this is set in the present and will date quickly. HEA is optional. So many authors and examples here, as they are set in the normal world, with natural human characters.

Dark Fantasy:

This combines elements of supernatural abilities and paranormal creatures. It goes a little beyond the normal sword and magic fantasy romps, but can also have quite serious themes. A good example of this is the WindLegends series by Charlotte Boyett-Compo. HEA here is optional.

Erotic Romance:

Not to be confused with Erotica, Erotic Romance focuses on the development of romantic relationships through sex making it a consistent theme through the story. The sex is not there for titillation sake but should be so bound into the story line that taking it out would ruin the plot. HEA is a necessity here.

Erotica:

Shall I just say it… Fifty Shades of Grey. Although there’s a case that E L James’ novels should be sitting in Erotic Romance, as the main character’s relationship is both cemented and complicated through sex. I personally think that the amount of it required to show this is less that what was shoe-horned in. You’ve also got a lot more license in Erotica to delve into the darker/ more fetish related practices here. A great example of well written Erotica is Liliana Hart’s Erotic Fairy Tale books. HEA is optional, although I think still preferred by most publishers.

Fantasy:

Like Fantasy in general there are both saga and political elements involved with this genre. Game of Thrones is a classic example of a good fantasy. When adding this element into your romantic mix though, you have to be careful. It’s a strong genre and can easily over power your romance. It’s kind of like banana in a smoothie, it doesn’t matter what other fruit you put in there, if you throw in a banana – it only taste of banana! HEA is optional.

Futuristic/ Sci-Fi:

Strangely Stephanie Meyer’s The Host comes to mind. Set in the not too distant future, and with a strong theme of ‘love will conquer all’ and an emphasis on the deep love of both family and partners. This is a great genre to really let your imagination run wild. You can create your own world and therefor tailor the situation to the needs of your romance. HEA is not always found in these worlds, but personally I’d always try for it.

Gothic:

I think we’re on the verge of a comeback for Gothic Romance. Often described as brooding and dark, a classic example would be Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Check back at my horror genre list for more info on Gothic Blue Books.

Historical:

Not hard to work out what these ones are all about, but tread carefully, some time periods are just simply not interesting so won’t appeal to either readers or publishers. Lots of information and authors can be found on Historical Romance Writers.

Medical:

Novels in this genre centre on characters in the medical profession and even have their own Mills & Boon line. These books reached their peak in the 1960s but still have a place in modern romance, especially if mixed with other genres. Vampire doctors and werewolf surgeons?

Military:

Don’t just stick to the obvious on this one. Think sexy assassins and sassy bounty hunters – also don’t be afraid to throw in the supernatural on this one too. Kaylea Cross does this genre justice and she also has some great suspense romances too. Usually a HEA here, or Happily Ever After For Now – again check guidelines.

Mystery/Thriller/ Suspense:

Danger abound in this genre. There’s usually something to solve either a murder or another crime. These can get pretty dark and HEA is optional.

Paranormal:

My personal favourite. I love reading them and writing them. They’ve never been so popular and have even morphed into Dark Romance too. The best example, and one of my fav authors, is Keri Arthur, although some of her books also drop into other genres listed here too.

Regency Romance:

The Regency period was between 1811 to 1820 and although strictly a Historical Romance, is so popular that it has a genre all to itself.  For a massive list of books see Regency Reads.

Time-Travel:

I shy away from time travel in my stories, as its hard to keep a good grip on what’s going on. If you tackle this one you have to be ubber vigilant with your plotting. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is a strong example of this genre.

Urban Fantasy:

So, as per the horror list, this is supernatural elements within an industrial/ town/ city setting. I personally love these as the setting itself makes the paranormal aspect slightly more believable. Lots of examples here, however there’s a really comprehensive anthology aptly called The Urban Fantasy Anthology which would give you a great selection of authors such as: Kelley Armstrong, Holly Black & Patricia Briggs.

Young Adult:

The Young Adult category was introduced in 1983 and includes all the above, but for a younger audience. We’ve spoken a number of times about this genre and of course the most obvious and popular example for this genre is The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer.

 

There are probably hundreds of more genres for romance, after all, its one of today’s most popular reads. If I’ve missed any off this list, please feel free to leave a comment with the addition, a description and links to good examples.