Guest Post: New Adult Genre by Emma Meade

Today, I’d like to welcome Emma Meade as she discusses the wildly popular New Adult Genre.  It’s taking the world by storm. Here’s Emma’s take on the genre.  Welcome, Emma!

Thanks for having me here today, Emerald. I’m going to talk briefly about the New Adult genre, something I’m seeing more and more of all the time.

The New Adult (NA) genre was only something I began to hear around the blogosphere a year or so ago. Young Adult with sex is the description I seemed to find time and time again. Is that an apt picture of this genre? Not in my opinion. And as this genre continues to gain recognition, I think more and more readers and writers will discover that description isn’t exactly correct.

There’s some debate about what NA encompasses, so here’s what I think. NA centres on the period of a person’s life after high school up to their mid-twenties. The characters are still growing up, but they are out on their own now, perhaps in college or starting their first job, learning to be self-reliant and often making mistakes in the process. NA doesn’t necessarily mean multiple sex scenes and a thin plot, but the characters are more mature than teenagers in school. They are gaining more world experience and exploring romantic relationships.

In Beneath Manhattan Skies, my central character, Erin Harris, is nineteen years old. She’s a Freshman at an art school in New York. It’s her first time living by herself, and she’s far from the small town of Copperfield, Arizona where she grew up. Erin is learning to be independent and has to deal with money woes and the usual stresses of life that most young adults go through. Given all that, I’d put Beneath Manhattan Skies firmly in the New Adult genre. Of course, Erin’s got some supernatural problems to deal with on top of normal worries, in this case, vampires. She’s living life and learning to adapt to new situations as they arise. In short, she’s growing up.

I’d love to know what others think of the New Adult genre? Do you think it deserves recognition as a genre in itself, or do you see it as simply Young Adult with slightly older characters? Or perhaps New Adult should be viewed as a category (giving readers an idea of the age group of the characters in the story) rather than a genre.

Author Bio

Emma MeadeEmma Meade lives in rainy Ireland. She loves vampires, slayers, witches, ghosts, aliens & shadow men (or at least the youngest of the Shadow Men), and regular people who live extraordinary lives (think Slayerettes and you’re on the right track). Books, DVDS & TV show boxsets take up lots of space in her home, and she collects all the Point Horror books she can get her hands on. Writing supernatural stories and watching marathon re-runs of Buffy are some of her favourite ways of escaping reality.

Connect with Emma on:

Twitter     Facebook     Blog      Goodreads      Amazon Author Page   Website

Beneath Manhattan Skies

Beneath Manhattan Skies front coverNovember in New York is cold but full of possibility for college freshman Erin Harris. When her twin brother, Nick, shows up on her doorstep for a surprise visit, Erin is delighted. Unfortunately, Nick’s arrival coincides with the discovery of a body outside her apartment building, a body drained of blood. Right away, Nick assumes vampires are involved. He’s not exactly their biggest fan since Erin dated one in high school.

Juggling nosy roommates, a first date with a gorgeous guy from college and a brother on a Van Helsing kick is enough to keep any nineteen year old girl busy – And then Erin’s old flame walks back into her life.

Is Erin destined to be caught up in supernatural shenanigans, or will she choose a different path?

(45,000 word novella)

Add Beneath Manhattan Skies to your Goodreads’ Lists here.


14 thoughts on “Guest Post: New Adult Genre by Emma Meade

  1. Pingback: Hitting the Road with Beneath Manhattan Skies | Emma's Ramblings

  2. I’ve been wondering lately about what the “official” (has anyone yet decided on anything official?) New Adult genre encompasses.

    My project during this National Novel Writing Month centered largely around a 19-year-old protagonist striking out on her own for the first time, and while I personally wouldn’t say character age alone is enough to define a story’s genre, in this case, there were more adult-ish relationships than I’ve written hitherto. The only thing that makes me question whether it would be considered New Adult is that the book is decidedly fantasy (complete with a made-up world and mythical monsters), and most of the NA books of which I’ve heard tell are largely contemporary — with the occasional vampire thrown in. *nods and winks at present company*

    As my body of work continues to branch out in all directions, it’s getting harder for me to figure out how in the world I’m supposed to categorize myself. …which wouldn’t bother me except, y’know, the audience loves their categories. X)


    1. I don’t think there is any official word on what New Adult is, not yet at least. Many view it as simply a category rather than a genre. You’re right though about books labelled New Adult being mainly contemporary.


  3. The book is bought and ready to read as soon as I finish a couple of others I’m in the middle of. 🙂

    As far as the new adult genre is concerned…I don’t really care as long as it’s a good story. I don’t read a lot of young adult (some, though), but, for me, new adult is still adult. So I don’t really put it in a category by itself for my own reading. Yet I can see where having a separate genre might appeal to some readers, especially those actually IN that age group.


    1. 🙂
      I do read a good deal of YA. It feels like an opportunity to relive your teen years but in a much cooler fashion. Until about a year ago, I had never heard the term “New Adult”.


  4. I enjoy a good story with great characterization regardless of genre. I am, however, thankful that New Adult has been recognized. Several years ago I wrote a novel with a 21-year-old protagonist. That ms is still sitting in a drawer, waiting to be polished. At the time I wrote it, I realized there was no true home for it, especially given it was too mature for young readers. I’m glad to see New Adult take hold and I do believe it deserves its own niche.


  5. sherry fundin

    Thanks for sharing and bringing up the whole genre thing. It does nothing but confuse me. I think there are few real genres, but many sub genres. I think we need to simply things for your average reader. I have been blogging for over a year and I cannot figure out at least half of these genres and have given up trying. I guess I am just a simple girl and don’t want to have to think that hard about something as mundane as genres. LOL


  6. Hi Emma!

    What a great subject to tackle! But first, congrats on the new title! I can’t wait to read it 🙂

    I heard about New Adult a little over a year ago. There’s a great website out there, NA Alley, that tries its best to answer this question.

    In a nutshell, you nailed many things about NA. The protagonists are older, going through challenges in life not normally conquered in high school. The themes may be darker, too. This doesn’t mean that NA has to have explicit sex to belong to the category. I think it’s a category, not a genre. I think it’s a subset of adult, and the NA distinction gives readers an idea of what to expect.

    Unlike most NA writers, my books are most definitely paranormal. They include magical realms within our world. I call my books NA Paranormal Romance because the protagonists are around nineteen, looking to make their way in the adult world. Growing up becomes integral to the plot.

    I can’t really call my books YA because the characters are more mature and so are the themes, but they don’t fit into the gritty sex filled tomes known for NA at the moment. My hope is that more authors will branch out and use the distinction to show there are many shades of NA. I think there should be NA Paranormal, NA Contemporary, NA Fantasy, and so on. So maybe I do think it should be a genre, lol. I still can’t decide what the difference is.

    All I know is I love writing about the newest parts of being an adult, which mostly happen after the drama of high school.


    1. Hi, Christie. Thanks for stopping by. I’ll check out NA Alley in a bit, cheers.

      Paranormal New Adult isn’t huge yet, but I’d put my books and yours into that category, definitely. Great comments!


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