I was pleased to have Julia Kent do a guest post about switching genres. Julia is a USA Today bestseller and the author of the popular New Adult romance “Random Acts of Crazy“. She’s here today to talk about crossing the genre barrier, and how being known in one genre doesn’t necessarily mean you’re pigeon-holed forever within that one niche.
Aside from the incredibly hot sex scenes and tension so taut you could string a guitar with it, what do erotica and New Adult romance have in common? Writers like Jacinda Wilder and Mimi Strong crossed over from one genre to the other, and so have I. Plenty of other erotic romance and erotica writers are in the process of that same journey, and the reason is easy to explain: because it’s seamless.
Erotica focuses on the main character’s sexual journey. “Journey” is key here – the character or characters have to explore what their own sexuality means to them in the context of their exploration of life. In the end, the sexual unfolding gives meaning to part or all of their life, and forces them to grow in new ways.
How perfect for New Adult! If you ask 20 authors, 20 agents, and 20 editors at traditional publishing companies to define “New Adult,” you’ll get 60 different answers.
Ask readers and you’ll get one answer: “I know it when I see it – and when it’s good, it’s perfect!” You define the genre now. Readers are eagerly reading books like H.M. Ward’s Damaged, Tara Brown’s My Side, my own Random Acts of Crazy, Raine Thomas’s Everly, Katy Evans’ Real, pretty much everything Abbi Glines writes – and so much more. Maybe it’s because it’s summer and the Kindle is easier to grab when time demands lighten up. Perhaps it’s the amazing covers.
Or maybe it’s because we are so enthralled with the journey that new adults face when their first major life decision stares back at them.
There’s that journey element again. In every New Adult novel you read, the main characters face a conflict centered around their first, major, independent decision. No parents to make the decision for them. Oh, the parents might try – and sometimes that’s the theme of New Adult books. Breaking away from parents.
In my books, Random Acts of Crazy (and the next in the series, Random Acts of Trust), the men are all from very controlling families in a wealthy upper middle-class suburb of Boston. Breaking away from “hover parents” and forging a strong, independent identity is key, all while falling in love with a woman who is about as different from the women back home as Remy (from Real) is from Christian Grey.
We are captivated by stories and by the never-ending process of growth. Characters stumble, make poor decisions, go through loads of internal angst and anxiety, and find themselves unmoored and unsure – just like in real life. And then they get out of their own way, feel the fear and take risks anyhow, make themselves vulnerable and hope for the best, and go into the world a little jaded but also more aware of who they are and what they deserve.
It’s all about the journey.
Julia’s bestselling New Adult “Random Acts of Crazy” is available online by ebook or paperback! I’d love to see this very talented (and super sweet!) lady go as far as she can, and personally can’t wait until the sequel!
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