Flirt University – New Adult History 101 with Ruthie Knox (plus #giveaway!)
Welcome to Flirt New Adult University! Here you’ll find some engaging lectures about New Adult fiction from our knowledgeable New Adult Author “professors.”
On the schedule for today is New Adult History 101 with USA Today bestselling author Ruthie Knox, who will make her New Adult (and print!) author debut as Robin York with Bantam’s trade paperback DEEPER, available in January 2014!
After you attend your lecture, don’t forget your homework—enter to win our Rafflecopter giveaway and comment on our blog posts. And don’t forget to check the itinerary and catch other professor lectures each day through September 10! (Gear up for tomorrow’s New Adult Psychology 101 lesson from Flirt author Cassie Mae!
Good luck on your first day!
Flirt New Adult University – Academic Advising
Don’t Know Much About History…
Gather round, students, because it’s time for New Adult History 101.
Let me begin with an admission: I haven’t written the syllabus yet. In fact, I’m going to make you write the syllabus, because (a) I’m new at New Adult, myself, and (b) making students write the syllabus is a great professor trick for getting them to think about the essential questions at the core of their subject. Or, in this case, their genre.
So let’s talk, first, about our foundations. Imagine me with a pointer and a map. If we’re going to study the history of New Adult-land, we need to know where the boundaries of our country can be found.
Way back in 2009, St. Martin’s Press ran a contest for the purpose of inviting submissions of “fiction applicable to teens and twentysomethings.” These were to be stories about protagonists “slightly older than YA”—“a sort of an older YA, or ‘new adult.’” The following year, writer Kristan Hoffman, whose novel Twenty-Somewhere won the St. Martin’s contest, described the newly-minted subgenre in this way:
[T]he transition from teen to adult doesn’t happen overnight . . . . There’s a period of time where adulthood feels like a new pair of shoes. The expectations of independence and self-sufficiency are still new, still being broken in. New Adults are the people who have just begun to walk in those shoes; New Adult fiction is about their blisters and aches.
“Blisters and aches”—I love that. A+ for Kristan Hoffman.
So the question is, if New Adult is fiction about the new-pair-of-shoes period of life, with an emphasis on blisters and aches, what do we put on the “required reading” portion of this syllabus? Let’s be comprehensive—we’ll want to consider not just what New Adult fiction looks like today, but also what it has looked like in the past.
What got us here, in other words, and what books best reflect New Adult in the present?
Most lists of “foundational” texts for what New Adult literature looks like in 2013 include the names Tammara Webber (Easy), Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster), Colleen Hoover (Slammed), Abbi Glines (Fallen Too Far), and Cora Carmack (Losing It). But if you’re going to put them on our syllabus, let’s hear some justification. Why these books? What is it about them that makes them more popular, more foundational, more New Adult-ish than their competitors?
(Notice how I’m turning all the questions on you? Yeah. Old professor trick.)
Or, if we dig underneath these foundations—because of course when it comes to fiction, there’s nothing new under the sun—what stories came before? What were foundational New Adult texts for you, as you prepared for or moved through your own New Adulthood? (Extra credit points if you name books that are more than fifteen years old.)
Can’t wait to hear what you “students” come up with! I’ll join the conversation in the comments, nodding professorially and throwing in my two cents where it seems appropriate.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
USA Today bestselling author Ruthie Knox’s newest Loveswept contemporary romance, TRULY, debuts on Wattpad, the world’s largest online reading community, today! Check it out and follow Ruthie’s updates here.
Look for DEEPER, Ruthie’s New Adult debut as Robin York, in stores and e-retailers on January 24, 2014.!
And here are the winners from last week’s Flirt Blog Hop!