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Friday, June 14, 2013

Guest Post: Molly Cochran *Plus Giveaway*

What impelled me to write the Legacy series (Legacy, Poison, Seduction) was magic. That is, I needed magic because nothing else in my life was working.

At one point a few years ago, everything I cared about seemed to vanish. My marriage ended, even though I was still in love with my husband. My mother died. My sister stopped talking to me. My son went to college. Wanting to run away from my life, I sold my house and moved to a distant state where I didn’t know anyone. And in the worst decision I ever made, I stopped writing.

I’d been pretty successful up till then, with a couple of bestsellers (Grandmaster, The Forever King), but none of that seemed to matter at the time. It was the low point of my life, when I was full of questions and had no answers to any of them.

Searching for some of those answers, I went into therapy, talked to clergy members, experimented with a lot of unusual New Age modalities, and started reading about Wicca, which I discovered was not a satanic cult of wicked hags, but a way of thinking that embraces the sacredness of the earth, the value of women, and the possibility of magic.

Well, why not? I thought. Why couldn’t magic exist to counterbalance all the horrible things that people do? That’s when I got the idea for the Darkness, the distillation of pure evil that’s at the center of the Legacy books.

The first time I thought of Katy, I pictured her riding a bus on her way to stay with relatives she didn’t know, who would turn out to be nice, normal people who happened to possess a host of strange and wonderful abilities… Witches, in the way I’d come to understand them.

For the first time since my troubles began, I wanted to write again. I wrote about magic, but it was the writing that saved me. I think that was the magic.

And that’s how Legacy was born.

POISON (Legacy, #2) By: Molly Cochran
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Release Date: December 4th, 2012
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13547250-poison
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Poison-Molly-Cochran/dp/1442450509/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364354577&sr=8-1&keywords=molly+cochran
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poison-molly-cochran/1108180003?ean=9781442450509
Indie Bound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781442450509
The Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Poison-Molly-Cochran/9781442450509
About the author:

Molly Cochran, author of the teen paranormal romances LEGACY and POISON, has written 26 published novels and four nonfiction books under her own name and various pseudonyms. Her books include New York Times bestselling novels GRANDMASTER and THE FOREVER KING, coauthored with Warren Murphy, and the nonfiction DRESSING THIN, also a NY Times bestseller. She has won awards from the Mystery Writers of America (Best Novel of the Year), the Romance Writers of America (Best Thriller), and the New York Public Library (Outstanding Books for the Teen Age).

SEDUCTION, the third installment in the LEGACY series, is scheduled for release later this year through her publisher, Simon & Schuster.

Friday, June 7, 2013

What is NA?

As I said in my last post, I have been hanging around a lot of people who enjoy New Adult literature and I spent a good bit of that post talking about my New Adult plans. But I have also noticed, while talking to people, that many don't know what NA actually is. Today I am going to break it down for you as best I can.

First of all, to combat a pet peeve of mine, NA is not a genre. Let me repeat that. NA is NOT a genre. Just like MG, YA, and adult fictions are not genres. The New Adult category usually contains characters between the ages of 18 to 25, though if you ask different people they give different ages. THe main thing is the characters are around college and early-post-grad age. The characters don't have to be in college, but they are around college age. The other main component is that they should be discovering themselves. At this age, most people don't fully understand themselves, so these books explore that period of time for a person.

My second pet peeve with people's assumptions of NA is that it is just porn featuring younger characters. NA novels don't even have to have romance in them let alone being just porn. Yes, yes, there are a lot of people that cash in on the stereotype that NA is young porn and write exactly that, but those are not the defining books of NA. I can name several books that defy this stereotype and, in fact, I will name several NA novels, with and without sex, at the end of the article.

The themes of New Adult are something unique. YA is never going to deal with the full coming of age about being away from your parents for the first time and having to flounder about without support. This college/post-grad age is when we are not kids anymore, but not quiet adults yet and these books deal with that. Yes, as mentioned before, there are some mature themes such as dealing with sex, but that is a major part of growing up. For many people this is the age where, for the first time, we are free to do what we want and we have to figure out how to deal with making these decisions.

Another important aspect of NA is the voice. New Adult will generally probably be more edgy than YA, but not as world weary as adult. As Entangled's Embrace (their New Adult line) editor, Nicole Steinhaus said in a post for the NA Alley blog, "An authentic NA voice touches greatly upon the outlook of your character, how he/she sees things through the eyes of someone who's survived high school and now realizes the world will not crumble at their feet if their boyfriends break up with them or they argue with their best friends."

Just like NA is not a genre, it is not comprised of only one genre. NA is not only contemporary romance. I know for a fact that I am working on an NA mystery and have vague plans for another mystery and a paranormal. I know people who have NA science fiction, fantasy, historical, the list goes on and on. New Adult is a category, so it can encompass any genre the writer may feel like writing. Right now there are a lot of contemporary romances in the forefront, but I think this is because contemporary is generally so much easier for people to digest when it comes to something new. They don't want to be hit with a new category and have to deal with a different time period or society than their own.

Some people argue that we don't need a New Adult category, that new adults are just plain adults. But think about it. When you were in your twenties and searching for something to read in the adult section of the book store, how many of those characters could you relate to? How many were a twenty-something struggling with getting their first job or dealing with bills for the first time? Not many I would think, because even now, with New Adult becoming increasingly popular, it is not an easy thing to find. When looking for something about people like me, I never know whether I should be in the adult section (because I always have people telling me I'm an adult now) or in the Young Adult section (because people are also always telling me I'm just a kid).

It's a confusing period of life. Not knowing quiet where you stand and not having many literary characters to turn to that share the same problems. This age bracket was too often ignored before New Adult. No high schooler who reads YA would want to read about a twenty-something figuring out life and no adult wants to go back to thinking about the turbulent time of life, so we were left out to hang.

So what do you think about New Adult fiction? Do you love it? Hate it? Do you have a different opinion on what it is? Have any more questions? Discuss it in the comments!

Here are a few well known and lesser know NA novels:

Easy by Tammar Webber
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
The Dark Proposal by Megan Cashman
Girl Under Glass by Monica Enderle Pierce
State of Emergency by Summer Lane
A Summer to Remember by Elle Chardou
Stripped by Brooklyn Skye
Runaway Groom by Sally Clements

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tackle It Tuesday: Writing and Other Things

I try to stay active on social media, because it is one of my best ways to find out all sorts of information about what is going on in the publishing industry. My favorite places to visit are Twitter and Absolute Write (not including my email subscriptions to Shelf Awareness and Publisher's Lunch, and the publishing blogs I follow on Tumblr).

Why am I telling you all this? Well it has started to affect my writing. But be glad, because it is affecting me in a good way. I am a participant in a thread on the AW forums called "Old People Writing for Teens." In this thread the topic has come around to New Adult fiction. Personally I am a big fan of NA and have several plans for stories in the category. So this conversation has been exciting me. Add to that, I have come in on the ground floor of a great new Facebook group, New Adult Authors Unite, and this has been dragging me even further into my love of NA.

What does all of this mean? I decided to start plotting out an NA mystery that has been n my mind lately. I am still going to be working on my romance, and I don't plan on actually starting the actual writing on what is now tentatively called Murder at G*Con until I have at least most of the story outlined and much more notes written.

I am so excited about this story, even though it probably won't be written until much later this year. Most likely after Song in My Heart is done with the second draft and stuff. But that's all that has really been going on with me. This is my one week of summer vacation. I finished a class last Friday and am starting two more Monday that will continue until early August, but after that I will officially be a college grad!

Do you guys ever have an idea that just won't let you go until it gets written?