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Today I’m thrilled to be a part of Louise Caiola’s blog tour for her new NA book THE MAKING OF NEBRASKA BROWN that released in February. I have a sweet place in my heart for Louise because she contacted me to be on my blog in my first years of blogging.

So here’s Louise to share on writing new adult stories. Details on her giveaway will be at the end of the post.

The Craft of Writing New Adult Fiction

For years I had been drawn to writing them – these characters who weren’t exactly pimply-angst teenagers and not quite young marrieds. Yet I felt stifled, knowing that in order to fit the “mold” of the YA genre my protags needed to hover around that joyful age of eighteen or thereabouts. So I quieted the voices of these feisty twenty-somethings clamoring to be heard. And then it happened. Yes! Some unseen Person of Great Literary Authority (Oz perhaps?) deemed New Adult an Actual Genre. The creative bells of freedom rang throughout the land. Yet, with victory came confusion. Just who were these New Adults anyway?

Perhaps it might be easier to discuss who they aren’t: sex-crazed sorority sisters hell-bent on frat boys and keggers. Nor are they frat boys with one-track minds hormonally pinned. The New Adults are experiencing and experimenting with life while wobbling on the loose ledge between youth and maturity. Full-blown adulthood is clearly on the horizon and they surely see it looming. The New Adult knows their fate is sealed yet those sweet bubble gum days of old are still close enough to taste. To write the New Adult is to exploit that awkward straddling of being both here and there. The significant and dizzy duality. It isn’t enough to portray this genre as being something like the Thirteenth Grade. In fact it’s an injustice to the genre. New Adult Fiction is a multi-faceted rite of passage. In order to write it, the author must first have walked a mile in its shoes. This isn’t to say that you need to be older and wiser to get it right. But you ought to at least have a solid frame of reference.

The New Adult relationship is a most precarious one. It could be the stuff that forevers are made of. Or not. Nonetheless, the choices are weightier. They will carry with them more sustainable consequences. The New Adult cannot afford to be bogged down in triviality. They have matters of everlasting urgency before them – career choices and partnerships destined to stamp who they are in this world.

While some may argue that New Adult Fiction may be the catalyst for subsequent so-called sub-genres, (what about the thirty, forty and fifty-year old crowd?) I think it’s safe to say those stories are already being written and read anyway. There is no danger in exploring literary opportunities as they arise. If nothing else, it gives the writers more fuel for thought which in turn gives the readers more choices in books. It’s a win/win.

The world - be it in literature or otherwise - is in a constant state of flux. The New Adult genre is
reflective of those changes. I’m grateful for the chance to splash around in these waters for a while. And hang close. You never can tell what slice of life might provide the next new literary craze.

Thanks for sharing your advice, Louise.


The last thing eighteen-year-old Ann Leigh remembers is running from her boyfriend in a thick Nebraska cornfield. This morning she’s staring down a cool Italian sunrise, an entire continent from the life she once knew. The events of the eighteen months in between have inexplicably gone missing from her memory.

All at once she’s living with Tommy, an attractive, young foreigner asking for her continued love. Though he’s vaguely familiar, she recalls a boy named Shane in America who she reluctantly agreed to marry. Juggling a new world while her old one is still M.I.A is difficult enough without the terrifying movie scenes spinning a dizzy loop in her mind: glimpses of a devastating house fire, a romance gone wrong, an unplanned pregnancy, and a fractured family – each claiming to be part of who she once was – a girl and a past somehow discarded.

Ann Leigh must collect the pieces of herself to become whole again, but she doesn’t know who to trust especially when Tommy’s lies become too obvious to ignore. And above all, her heart aches to discover what became of the child she may or may not have given birth to.

The Making of Nebraska Brown tells the story of one girl’s coming apart from the inside and the great lengths she’ll go to reclaim herself and find her way home.

You can find the links to purchase the book here:

And you can find Louise:

Website: http://www.louisecaiola.com/

So there will be two giveaways. The first is a blog tour giveaway of a $25.00 gift card. Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And Louise has generously offered an e-book of THE MAKING OF NEBRASKA BROWN for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through April 12th. I’ll announce the winner on April 14th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, please leave it in the comments.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 or older to enter. International entries are welcome.

Here’s what’s coming up:

Next Monday I have an interview with debut author Katherine Ewell and a giveaway of DEAR KILLER, her contemporary story about a teenage girl who’s a serial killer. Katherine wrote this when she was 17 and it’s one of the most different books I’ve ever read that keeps you thinking.

Next Wednesday I’ll be hosting a giveaway of UNDER THE EGG by debut author Laura Fitzgerald. It’s a MG contemporary mystery that our follower Jen Petro-Roy describes as “A cute, charming smart, and fast read.”

The following Monday I’m interviewing debut author Emma Pass and giving away a copy of ACID, a dystopian novel I’ve been dying to read since it released last year in the UK.

And the following Wednesday I have a guest post by debut author Skila Brown and her agent Tina Wexler on revising. There will be a giveaway of Skila’s MG novel in verse CAMINAR, a story inspired by Guatemala’s civil war and Tina is offering a query critique to one lucky winner.

And don’t forget Casey’s Agent Spotlights.

Hope to see you on Monday!


Beth said...

What an intriguing premise! Congratulations to Louise.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks for the post on NA writing, a genre im very interested in. Congratulations Louise.

Hope you're okay Natalie.

cleemckenzie said...

Had to enter this one! Thanks for the great giveaway and introduction to these writers via fb and twitter. Here's my best to Louise. FYI I had trouble with one Twitter Follow. Now I can't remember which one, but the link didn't take me to Twitter. Gah!

Unknown said...

Thank for featuring Louise's book! It's on that will stay with me forever. I'm sharing this post from @InkMuse and @Immortal_Ink :)

Louise said...

As a long-time fan of LR, it is a great pleasure to be here! Many thanks for having me and for the kind wishes from your lovely followers. Best to each of you.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Louise's book sounds lovely. I have heard so much about New Adult Fiction, I need to read one asap.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

It was gratifying to see New Adult spelled out so well. For quite some time, I've wondered what exactly would qualify as a NA book. Her book sounds fantastic. I would love to win it!

Crystal Collier said...

Wow. I can't imagine that--waking up and not knowing how you go there? Crazy.

It's been fun to watch the rise of the New Adult genre. It definitely takes some pressure off YA to push the envelope and allows writers to explore a more mature but still young place in life.

collenga said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

Louise said...

I agree, Crystal! The twenty-something crowd has long been deserving of their own niche.

Hanne Arts said...

Thanks for the giveaway :)

The Pen and Ink Blogspot said...

This genre is so intriguing as is the blurb for your novel. Thank you for all these insights.

Krysten Lindsay Hager said...

Sounds like a great book and glad to see the genre opening up. 13th grade--I like it! Shared on twitter.

Kristin Lenz said...

An intriguing mystery! Congrats on your novel and best of luck, Louise.

Rosi said...

This sounds like a winner. Thanks for the info on NA. Congratulations and good luck with your book, Louise.

Louise said...

Thank you, ladies. Your kindness is much appreciated. :)

Patti Richards said...

Congratulations Louise! Thanks for sharing your journey and best of luck with the book!

Stephanie T. said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I've never known any books that belonged with the NA category. I guess this would be a good one to start with :)

I followed via email and GFC: Stephanie T.

Email: snowpup832@gmail.com

Martina Boone said...

Love "the stuff that forevers are made of" -- great post! Thank you.

Jemi Fraser said...

I never understand why people are nervous about 'new' genres! The more the better!! :)

Kimberly Gabriel said...

I loved her descriptions of who her characters are and who they are not. Sounds like a great read! Thanks for sharing Natalie!

Louise said...

What a great gathering of comments! It pleases me to see such a welcome response to the NA genre.

Leslie S. Rose said...

Yay, Louise. Isn't it wacky it took NA so long to find its wings?

Louise said...

It is, Leslie! The publishing world runs on a calendar all its own. :)

Robin said...

This one sounds intriguing. Great thoughts on NA. I have one twirling in my mind I haven't been brave enough to start yet (but then I do have 3 other books I'm juggling:) )

Best of luck to you!

Heather said...

An excellent insight into NA. And your book sounds great!

Donna K. Weaver said...

I write New Adult, and I do sometimes feel like I'm pushing again a tough perception and have been criticized for not making them all about the steam in relationships. But as Louise said "Full-blown adulthood is clearly on the horizon and they surely see it looming." I love this aspect. With YA, the characters are still under the power of adults. With New Adult, they aren't necessarily that much more mature or experienced, yet they truly are the masters of their destinies. I love this genre.

Hanne Arts said...

and my email is hanne-arts[at]hotmail[dot]com

Louise said...

Yes! There is a unique blend of innocence and innovation at work in this genre. It is wonderful to explore!

Jennavier Gilbert said...

Free books! I'm always in. Thanks for another excellent interview.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great giveaway!