New Adult (NA) writing is a relatively new genre designed to bridge the gap between Young Adult (YA) writing and more traditional adult fiction. The New Adult genre hasn’t been around too long, but has delivered some of the most successful contemporary writers around!
The best New Adult writers are Krista and Becca Ritchie, Cora Carmack, Sylvia Day, Tammara Webber and Gemma Burgess. Stay tuned for some secret extras these writers have to share specifically with their most loyal readers, and to learn more about how these authors have made their millions.
The History of New Adult (NA) Writing
New Adult writing has been around for a while, but only began receiving formal recognition as a specific genre ten years ago (that’s right, around 2009)!
It could be said that New Adult fiction developed out of a growing desire for writing and novels which centralize young people as they begin properly navigating the adult world. Here’s an article which describes how New Adult writing has emerged out of YA fiction.
If you’re someone who enjoyed reading Young Adult (YA) fiction as a pre-teen or teen, you’re likely to seek out writing as an early adult which deals with and addresses experiences and challenges specific to the transitional period you have recently entered.
Some clever publishers and extremely bright writers have come together to target this particular audience: readers who are seeking the comfort and familiarity of the YA format, while wanting an exploration of more explicitly ‘adult’ themes and complications.
Is New Adult Writing Popular?
The short answer has got to be ‘yes, extremely!’ New Adult writing is currently one of the hottest commodities toppling off shelves across the world.
New Adult writing has taken the publishing industry and world-at-large by surprise, with titles rising to and remaining at the top of the most respected global bestseller lists.
It may not be as much of a surprise to hear that there have also been some excellent film adaptations of New Adult novels which have only added fuel to the New Adult fire currently raging across bookstores.
It has been said that New Adult fiction may have grown out of the success of the Fifty Shades of Grey series, novels which feature an early adult protagonist and which look at themes like sexuality more forensically and explicitly than YA would allow.
Fifty Shades, for the record, first emerged as fan-fiction, using characters and premises borrowed from the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer.
It’s clear to see that the New Adult genre has blossomed as readers and fans of YA have come-of-age, demanding a space within publishing of their very own!
Why Do People Read New Adult Writing?
People read New Adult writing often because they are able to relate more easily to the protagonist than when reading traditional genre fiction.
Protagonists in New Adult writing are likely to be specifically grappling with questions related to self-formation, sexual maturation and developing an understanding for the first time of how to navigate adult relationships.
These are challenges a lot of young people move through between the ages of 18 and 29, but these experiences previously went undocumented or underexplored by much fiction.
New Adult writing, like YA, also often combines an exploration of these difficulties with other popular sub-genres like paranormal romance (à la Twilight) or urban fiction to create thoroughly entertaining and rewarding reads!
Who Are the Best New Adult Writers?
Krista and Becca Ritchie
These two are twins, can you believe it? And they write their novels together!
Sounds difficult, but they have risen to dominate the New Adult genre with books like those from their Addicted series so well received that they have been contracted to develop countless more.
There’s bound to be a series they have written to suit your tastes. These girls also write contemporary romance, and YA on the side for older, and younger readers!
These twins are also, would you believe it, New York Times Bestselling authors.
Another New York Times (and USA Today) Bestselling author, Cora writes romance, and loves to develop ‘character driven stories’!
Some of Cora’s novels address leaving home to attend university, while others focus on delivering precisely the romance you are hankering for, with a side-order of delicious humor.
You might have already heard of her most famous novel, Losing It, and if not, this fun series is a great place to start!
It’s hard to put a figure on how many copies Sylvia has sold, but she’s at the absolute top of her game! Audiences love her, and can’t ask her enough questions about what is next for her characters and their worlds.
We’re talking about a number of novels and novellas with equally addictive and lovable characters, who occupy real-world settings, historical worlds, fantasy and even futuristic settings (sometimes under the name Livia Dare).
If you’re after a specific recommendation, her Crossfire series is currently performing particularly well.
A little bonus for you: Sylvia also writes non-romance novels under the pseudonym S. J. Day. These are for those of you who don’t always need or want a happily ever after ending!
These are stories with a lot of heart, and which helped kick off the New Adult phenomenon! Easy, her first novel, has certainly done well.
Tammara has stories which can be read as standalone novels, and she also has entire series for you to work your way through.
She writes about love, about Hollywood and her work has been extensively translated for those of you who would prefer to read New Adult writing in languages other than English.
Here’s something special: check out Tammara’s website for playlists of music to listen to while reading each of her novels!
Gemma started out as a film and television writer, before making the transition to writing novels! She writes about dating, about figuring things out at twenty-two, and about New York, where she lives.
Her novels were some of the first to be picked up around 2009 to headline the New Adult genre, and her New Adult writing has since developed a healthy audience of loyal fans.
Gemma loves comedy and has had a lot of success with television pilots and comedy specials since becoming an established author. She has won screenwriting competitions, and Best Comedy awards. These are great reasons to give her novels a read, with her Brooklyn Girls series a great spot to start!
New Adult writing hasn’t been around very long, at least not as a recognizable and named genre, but the writers working within this area have been extremely successful to date.
If you are a fan of YA who feels that shoe may no longer fit, give these New Adult novels a go!
You might just find that New Adult writing gives you that ‘just-right’, ‘Goldilocks’ feel you’re after; that blend of that sizzling excitement which makes early adulthood so memorable, and a healthy dose of the difficulties we face as we transition through this period, complete with tricky, but worthwhile romances and friendships.