Posted in News

Race in a Fantasy World

multiraceNobody likes to talk about race and racial discrimination in the real world, so why in the world would anyone talk about race in a fantasy novel. Well, my question always was why not? Fantasy is no stranger to this idea of magical classism, and it seems like because of that people seem to think that magical classism transcends race or that in fantasy worlds like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson or even The Hunger Games (Fantasy-ish. More like a branch of sci-fi since it’s dystopian but you get it) that racism doesn’t exist or at the very least the problem of racial discrimination is never blatantly mentioned in those novels.

When I set out to write The Immortal Queen Tsubame, I decided to bring that issue to the forefront, so not only does MaLeila, the protagonist, have the fact that she was essentially new magical blood and a female going against her, she had the fact that she was black as a third strike against her in a magical world that was predominantly run by white men who could trace their magical ties back thousands of years if they had. And I know a lot of people have an issue with that. They want people to be able to imagine the character and cast the story, but the fact of the matter is that there is no story if the MC wasn’t black and she didn’t have to face certain social discrimination that propel some of the events of the rest of the novel even though the book is a fantasy.

I also bring to the table the issue of black/African-American slavery in the magical world because certainly because a person had magic didn’t make them some perfect moral authority and in some ways, being a slave owner or slave that could use magic made the situation much worse. I can’t really delve into how without spoiling the book, but it was an interesting undertaking to say the least to figure out how race would affect a magical world. And if you’re interested to see how I deal with it, check out The Immortal Queen Tsubame.

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Posted in Perspective

Confessions of Holly Dae

Hey guys. It’s been a while. I know.

After last year’s disaster with Confessions of a Fat Girl, I decided to take a break. For a straight year and a half, all my efforts had gone into writing and trying to get my books to sell and not only was I burnt out, I was discouraged. I was bitter. I was angry. I was sad. I went into a literal depression. Sales for my books flat lined. I was putting in the work without getting any results from it and so I took a step back.

I learned a lot during that time. The first thing I learned was that I needed to stop writing to sell books and start back writing because it’s what I love to do. And though I loved writing the Confessions saga, I was trying to capitalize off a market or genre that I wasn’t my passion. Sure I was passionate about the things I wrote about, but it wasn’t the genre I wanted to be known for. So while I was taking my step back, I delved back into my old genre. Fantasy along with the romance I had gotten fond of and in the New Adult category that I had been writing in before New Adult was a thing. Yes, it looks like the New Adult boat has sailed. Yes Fantasy and Paranormal with romance seems to have passed, but for the first time in a while, I was writing the story that I wanted to read but couldn’t find and not the one I though everyone else wanted to read.

The second thing I learned was that I have to make this work. For the last year, I’ve been working at Geico, which means my life day in and day out is on the phone. At first it was part time, just to make cash I desperately needed. Then it was full time to pay on my car note. And while at first I thought I could do it, I thought I could work full time, walk into work day in and day out and be content.

Needless to say, I wasn’t.

While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with working eight hours a day, five days a week and sometimes more to put food on the table and pay bills, I was miserable. Some people are fine with it. For some people, my job is their dream job. And not to say I’m not grateful to have that job, but this isn’t how I wanted to spend my life.

After some self reflection, some praying, looking for a sign and finding it in a place I certainly didn’t expect, I decided to give this another shot.This time with money (some) to put into advertising. As far as I’m concerned, I’m working to fund my dream until it can sustain itself and sustain me. And maybe after I’m able to make this work another aspect of my life that I’ve been wanting and longing for will come into fruition. But maybe it’s not time for it yet because if it did happen, I would certainly lose focus on my writing and lose sight of this goal.

Now I’m back with some new content, a new series and a short story under the name H.D. Strozier and I’m ready to ride this horse until it drops dead. Lol. That said, Holly Dae, also known as Lady Dae, is back and hopefully she’s here to stay and make a name for herself.

Thank you for reading.

Posted in Rants

Book Bloggers Are the New Gatekeepers and Prejudice in the name of Diversity

So it’s been a while, but after the disaster that was the release and review tour of Confessions of a Fat Girl I had to take a while to recollect myself and regroup. That said, it’s been a year since I initially released Confessions of a Teenage Rape Survivor and after trying my best to get these books off the ground, it’s just not happening. Now I’m not here to bitch and complain, but the truth is, the publishing industry, even the self-publishing one, is messed up. I’m going to say something and I may get a lot of flack for this, but I don’t have that many followers or interactions on here or on twitter anyway. So here it is.

Book bloggers are the new gate keepers of the publishing world.

You can argue that book bloggers do so much and that they don’t get paid and that they do this in their free time and all that jazz, but that doesn’t take any truth away from what I’ve said. Nor does it mean I hate book bloggers or that I’m going to do something crazy and stalk or troll or bully one through social media. I’m just making a statement. And you can hear me out or you can go be a whistle blower and lead the book blogging community to burning me at the stake. No big deal. I have nothing to lose in this sphere of the internet as it is.

So way back when self-publishing wasn’t a thing, it was the agents and editors who were the gates to getting your book to the world. And they accepted and rejected what they wanted not just based on the market, but based on social prejudices, beliefs, political climate and every other thing that can sway people’s mindset. That left a lot of writers, a lot of good writers, in the never ending slush pile or getting rejection letter after rejection letter because they were different, bold, and went against the grain. But then comes along Amazon and the ability to self-publish digital e-books online. There was no one to tell anyone what was bad, what was good, what was acceptable and the e-book market changed the sphere of publishing forever.

Still, the problem was that how did anyone know what was good or not? Sure you could buy a paid review but how could you trust that. How did you get through all the slush of the 99 cent and free ebooks? Enter the book blogger. People have been writing and reviewing and talking about books for a long time, but e-books and the internet changed all that. Book bloggers were getting writers who were little known or would have never been known on the map. They started word of mouth and began using social media to engage with potential readers and were influential in getting them to buy books. They began to get power. And naturally, big publishing noticed and began to court these bloggers who mostly did what they did because they loved books.

To make a really long and complicated story short, the power began to shift. And while traditional publishing and big publishing still hold a lot of clout, book bloggers have the hearts of the readers and if they want to ruin a book and an author they can use their platform to do it and have done it. I’ve witnessed it on multiple occasions.

Here’s the thing though? With great power comes great responsibility and I have to say, book bloggers have abused it. Not on an individual level, but collectively. There seems to be this collective push for more “diversity.” The problem is that it seems that the book sphere and the book blogging sphere in general have a very limited idea of what diversity is. To them, it’s more non-binary characters, more characters who are in the lgbtq community, more sex, more grit, more edginess. Yet it seems to leave little room for anything else. It seems to me that while those things have made great leaps and bounds in the last year in terms of books (even if they still have a long way to go), I haven’t seen the same leaps and bounds in other areas, like black characters, Latino characters, POC characters in general, single characters, overweight characters, Muslim characters, Jewish characters, no sex, no recreational drugs, no promiscuous sex etc.

In fact, I’m would argue that this push for certain diverse aspects isn’t going against the grain anymore. Sex, edge, lgbtq, non-binary, grit, all that’s now becoming more socially accepted, so much so that it’s now becoming a trend. And while a year or two ago that was brave, I don’t see it as so anymore. What’s brave about it if people are accepting it and that’s what they want now? And if I know anything about publishers, money talks and they’ll give people what they want to read. And now it seems like book bloggers are doing to same thing to one group of writers as big publishing used to do to the writers who found success with self-publishing and getting the word out through book bloggers.

Now am I saying this is what happened to me and what happened to me? Am I saying my book was good and because of prejudices in the book world, it seem like none of the bloggers liked it and as a result it tanked? Shrugs. I don’t know what happened. But I can tell you that some of the criticisms of my book were “there’s no storyline,” “I didn’t like the main character,” “she was a bitch,” “she was insufferable,” “I couldn’t relate to her,” “the main couple didn’t have sex,” “I didn’t agree with the actions of the characters.” I could go on, but I don’t need to. Look, those are valid criticisms. I don’t mind, yet I felt like and still feel like I’m being shot in the foot for doing some of the same things with my characters and my story as books that were lauded and praised for doing the same things by book bloggers.

I feel like if I had been writing about sex on every other page, with everyone doing recreational drugs, where the heroine was skinny and blonde with blue eyes with a hero that was white, with blonde hair and knew his way around the bedroom, Confessions of a Fat Girl wouldn’t have gotten as much criticism as it did. I don’t think I would have heard that someone did like the book because they didn’t agree with the hero not having sex until marriage like there’s something socially wrong with it when these same readers read books with promiscuous sex and say it’s teaching girls and boys to own their sexuality.

Is that true? Shrugs. Maybe. Maybe not. But it sure does seem that way and because of that, I’ve decided that while being a successful writer who can stay home and write books all day and interact with her readers is my dream, the climate of the book world, book bloggers in particular, won’t accept the type of books that I want to write and because of that I can’t find a readership.

So am I done writing? No. I’ll never be done writing. I’m still writing. Do I still want to be a successful writer? Always. Is Hadiyyah’s story still happening? Eventually. Maybe next year. But I’ve certainly realized that I’m going to have to find a way to make my own way to get the world to see it, because I’m certainly done trying to court the rest of the book world into accepting what I write because it’s going against this new trend of edginess and sexiness and darkness. And I want to make clear there’s nothing wrong with those types of book. I read them. They’re in my tbr list, but I feel as though all other things have taken a backlash because of this push for them.

Posted in News, Rants

Meet Hadiyya: The Protagonist in My Next NA Novel Who Happens to be Muslim

So I’ve been in a writing rut lately, but just because I’ve been in a rut doesn’t mean I’m short of ideas. And there’s one idea in particular that’s been running through my head and distracting me from daily life because I’m constantly thinking about how this story can go so I decided to share it with you all. So without further ado, I’d like everyone to meet Hadiyya. Well, if you’ve read or plan to meet Confessions of a Fat Girl you’ve already met her or are going to meet her, but I plan for her to be the star of her own novel.

the odd couple
This is what Season and Haddiya are in terms of their perspectives on life and faith, but somehow their friendship works.

Hadiyya always stood out to me as a character. For one, her prompting is the catalyst that leads to Season meeting her love interest for the first time in Confessions of a Fat Girl, and she’s also Muslim and I decided she was Muslim very early on in the writing of Confessions of a Fat Girl, like in the first chapter. Her relationship with Season is loosely based off me and my best friend from college with a few differences. Like Season and Hadiyya, we both have different philosophies when it comes to faith, namely that I’m Muslim and she’s atheist (Sort of. At the very least, she is very skeptical about the existence of a Supreme Being or power). But while Season and Hadiyya are the same race (or identify as the same race since Season is biracial), I’m black and she’s white.  So we were definitely like the odd couple on campus and everyone in the administrative staff (and I do mean everyone) knew who we were. Again, Season and Hadiyya are only loosely based on my real life friendship. Still I was really apprehensive about making Hadiyya Muslim despite my good experiences so far.

muslim not terroristThere’s some really awful propaganda going out about Muslims. I mean, as far as media is concerned, everyone who ever did anything wrong is Muslim, and that’s just not true. It’s like any other group of people. A select few are really bad people, but many more aren’t. And when people said dumb shit like all Muslims are terrorists, my debate is as follows: Some men rape women, but not all men are rapists; In America, Christian Caucasian people enslaved, tortured, and raped black people and use Christianity as justification, but many more Christians are really good people; Some parents abuse their children, but that doesn’t mean that all parents are child abusers. You get where I’m going here? So how is it that an entire group of people can be demonized for their faith based on the actions of a few comparatively? And because no one seems to want to answer this question or deal with this question, I think it’s important to show another side of the Muslim faith and who better to write it than someone who is Muslim.

My religion isn’t something I’ve really broadcasted in the past, but I feel like if everyone else can get on social media and proclaim proudly what they are, then I should to. And I should be able to write about it just like everyone else can write about things that are important to them. That’s not to say Hadiyya is me because she’s Muslim. She’s going to do things and get involved in things that I never would. Not bad things mind you (or maybe it will be bad depending on your moral compass), just things I would never do. But I do think that there’s this unspoken agreement that in mainstream and commercial publishing, you shouldn’t necessarily mention religion or else your book is categorized as a book about faith or religious fiction, and it was something I had to grapple with as I wrote all the books in the Confessions Universe. But the fact of the matter is faith or lack of faith is a big part of people’s lives. It’s especially a big part of the black community, which the characters I write about are part of.

Now I have no intentions for this book to be a preachy book on Islam and Islamophobia and being Muslim because being Muslim does not define Hadiyya, but it is a part of who she is, as is her martial arts training, her skills in cosmetology, her love for movies from the seventies and eighties, her like for neon pink nail polish (lol), and her strong dislike for bullying, oppression, and sexism. And just like any other person, she has hurts and pains and desires and relationship problems, which brings me to what this book is about.

I'm not actually sure where this picture is from, but it says Platonic Romance, so I rolled with it.
I’m not actually sure where this picture is from, but it says Platonic Romance, so I rolled with it.

It’s in the Confessions Universe of course, and it’s New Adult but what it will be a confession of… I haven’t decided yet because while being Muslim is one of the things that defines Hadiyya, it’s not going to be the defining focus of this book. It’s about… something else that I can’t really give away without spoiling the book. Not yet anyway. But I can say this book will deal with a platonic romantic relationship between Hadiyya and a man she meets. A more than friends, less than lovers type of thing, but a little too close to be brother and sister that will really question socially accepted definitions of love, friendship, and romance. Because contrary to popular belief, love and romance is more than just being involved in a monogamous, sexual, touch-feely relationship with someone. You can have love for and romance with (and when I say romance, I mean a strong emotional connection) someone without being in love and wanting to spend the rest of your live with them, and many of the problems Hadiyya faces in her book will deal with the assumptions people make because of how mainstream media has defined friendship, love, and romance as these three separate entities where only two can be companions without raising eyebrows.

Essentially, this definition of romance is what I'm going for.
Essentially, this definition of romance is what I’m going for.

And I know some people are going to read this book, particularly other Muslims, and say that something Hadiyya does or says isn’t a total picture or reflection of the Muslim faith. I know, okay? But no matter what your religion, philosophical beliefs, or professions, we all have a different way of expressing it and this book isn’t about Hadiyya expressing being Muslim hence why this book is not—I repeat, IS NOT!—going to be titled “Confessions of a Muslim Girl” (again, that’s NOT the title). It’s about Hadiyya expressing herself and being Muslim is just a part of that expression, and like all my books, I’ll try to leave it up to everyone who reads it what to make of that.

This post was brought to you by:

Respect for Muslims Productions

I Can Love You But Not Be In Love With You Productions

Platonic Romance Productions

Friendship, Love, and Romance Productions

*Pictures Courtesy of Google Images*

Posted in Rants

Admired and Ridiculed: The Problem with Media Portrayal of the Black Female Body

With the release of Confessions of a Fat Girl, I thought it would be a great time to talk some more about body image. My book, which focuses a lot on body image isn’t the only thing that inspired me to write this post. In fact, this post isn’t just about female body image. Specifically, it’s about the black female and body image and the way society glorifies and simultaneously mocks the black female body, and more broadly, how society glories and simultaneously mocks the female body in general, telling us that we have to fit into an impossible standard. Not impossible because it’s impossible to achieve any look you want with implants and exercise and all that other stuff, but impossible because no matter how much you try to conform to the beauty ideal, it’s still not enough.

SerenaNow, if you haven’t been living under a rock these last couple of weeks, I’m sure people have heard about the controversy surrounding a comment being made by what I can only call sexist chauvinistic pigs and by The New York Times about Serena Williams. In the midst of her win and achievements, some people made the comment that she’s built like a man and some even said the only reason she continues to win is because she’s built like a man. There are a lot of things wrong with that statement. The first of which is that by making a statement like that, a shadow was cast on her achievements because it implies that only a man could make those type of achievements and since only a man can supposedly achieve what Serena Williams did, she must has achieved her wins because she’s built like a man instead of… I don’t know, maybe she worked her ass off. But that’s for another blog post at another time (probably after this one).

J.K.-Rowling-and-Serena-Williams2What really pissed me off about it and should piss all women off, but particularly black women is that once again have doubly applauded and praised her body and mocked her for it. Thankfully, Serena Williams has millions of people who love and support her and will defend her, one of the best defenses coming from my favorite person in the world, J.K. Rowling. But while it’s good to see people standing up to defend her, I have to say well of course they will. She’s a celebrity, but not only won’t she be the last black female or female that will be insulted by the media, the backlash against the comment made against her won’t solve the perpetual and centuries old problem of black women in particular being mocked for the shape of their bodies, and then having woman of other races try to emulate their bodies like it’s a new trend or fad. And you would think once it became a fad, black women would get the credit, but they don’t. Other people, usually white women get the credit and when black women raise up and call foul they’re accused of causing a division between women when women are all in the same fight. Well. Meh. In some cases, that is totally true. Women do have the same fight. But in another case, women of color, specifically black women, are fighting a totally different fight that not many people outside our group understand.

bantu knots
These are bantu knots. Not mini buns. Black girls have been doing them for a very long time.

I don’t feel like I need to give examples because it’s so overt that anyone can see it. But just in case you don’t understand what I mean, let me tell you a few. For years black women have and continue to be mocked by the texture of their hair and mocked for the styles that we put them in, even when their neat. We’re mocked for our weaves, our braids, our bantu knots, our afros. However, everyone wanted to make ado over “mini buns” that a model wore in Marc Jacobs’ show and got upset when black women cried foul and said that the so-called “mini-buns” were nothing new and that they were called bantu knots and that we had been wearing them since we got off the slave ships. Nicki Minaj was and continues to be mocked for her quirkiness, for the raciness of her videos, for being a female rapper (an admittedly good rapper even if you don’t agree with her messages), and for her body. Yet when Iggy Azeala blew onto the screen, everyone wanted to act like she had done something new, with people going as far as to say they didn’t know a woman could rap until they heard Iggy Azeala. Fine. If you don’t like Nicki, you don’t have to and we don’t even have to use her as an example. We can go way before her where black women have a long history of producing awesome female rappers, but that’s not the point. The point is people tried to put Iggy on a pedestal and ridiculed Nicki.

twerkAnd though I really hate that it became such a huge thing, twerking. I have to say it and excuse the rawness, but women, specifically black women have been shaking their asses for a long time and every time they’ve been ridiculed for it, mocked for having a behind big enough to shake. Yet Miley Cyrus got on stage and it became a thing. It became okay for girls to put a video on YouTube and shake her butt. And though Miley got some slack, she got and gets nowhere near as much as black women have gotten over the years for doing the same thing with their bodies.

Tina FeyNow that I’ve given some examples, let’s bring this on home and tie it back into my book and how the media has  women on a path to self-destruction because they make such a huge deal about body image. Admittedly, this kind of thinking—from a racial perspective–wasn’t at the forefront of my mind as I was writing Confessions of a Fat Girl, at least not from this angle. But the fact that 1) Season is overweight and 2) Season is also an overweight young woman of color means she’s not only dealing with the fact that she doesn’t fit the mold for the standard of beauty in real life, but the fact that even if she did, someone would have something to say about it. If she fit the mold, she’d be called trying to be white or accused of denying her black heritage. If she didn’t fit the mold and was a big, but proportionate (whatever the hell that means) curvy girl, her butt would be too big or she’d be accused of getting implants. And being overweight, Season doesn’t really fit any “approved” mold. In other words, if women who supposedly have “perfect” bodies are ridiculed, then Season and women like Season, who don’t fit the mold and might not ever fit the mold will never be able to win. Not while we live in a world where we are taught that there is a certain standard, where how you look is most important and if you look different from the norm you’re not the right kind of “pretty.” So is it really a wonder that people are overweight, that the new food marketing gimmick is sugar-free or fat-free or all natural, that people all killing and abusing each other and themselves over how they look?

And it’s easy to say that how you look doesn’t matter. And that’s true. Except that it does matter, even if it’s not right. No matter how “perfect” your body is, there’s something wrong with it.

So how do we fix this? How do we fight a world that on one hand essentially encourages us to flaunt it, but then mocks us when we do?

CoaFG Cover 1I don’t have “the” answer, but I do believe that it starts with us saying, “fuck how we look?” Asking why it matters like I’m asking? Asking who made it matter? And it starts with diversity in media, particularly in television, movies, and books and bringing awareness to the problem. And I’m not talking about making a joke or a comedy about it. I’m talking about books and shows and movies that take a serious look at what happens and all the complexities when you live in a world that defines your worth by how you look no matter what you have going on in your life. That being “thin” makes it all better when it doesn’t. That sometimes being thin just makes it a whole lot worse or even leaves you with the same problems.

Now am I advocating women to be fat? No. At a certain point, that’s unhealthy. However, being “skinny” or “thin” is not a guarantee to being healthy. What I am advocating is appreciating and loving the body that you are in not because of how it looks, but because of that body you—and when I say that I mean the electric spark or spirit or energy or whatever you believe that animates us—can exist and be here. And I think once that clicks into place, we stop worrying about how it looks and simply taking care of it so that we can exist, which is followed by having good health (as much as you can control), which makes your body look the way it was meant to look and once that happens we can not only break the mold but get rid of the pieces. And that’s not just black women, although this post was inspired by that, but all women. And I think once we do that, no one will say that Serena Williams is built like a man, or that someone’s butt is too big, and black women’s bodies won’t be admired and awed and oogled at the same way people admire, awe, and oogle at animals in a zoo. NO women’s body will be look at in a way that is both approving yet disapproving.

Now will this happen overnight? No. It won’t. But I have every intention of letting Confessions of a Fat Girl be a stepping stone that continues to stir the conversation about this issue.

This Post Was Brought to you by:

Confessions of a Fat Girl Productions

Built Like a Woman Productions

Beauty is Only Skin Deep Productions

*Images Courtesy of Google*

Posted in Rants

New Adult Should Not Mean Sexy Romance or YA with A Lot of Sex

I’ve been thinking a lot about the New Adult genre and what this genre consists of, mostly because after a long haitus from the genre, I find myself writing in it again with my last two books. The first time I was writing it, the genre didn’t have a name and I was calling in edgy young adult. And one of the concerns my betas had was that although my protagonist fell within the YA category at eighteen, she wasn’t doing the things that normal teenagers in that category do. In fact, her situations were decidedly very adult. Now, I don’t have that problem. When my muses said hey? Why don’t you write about this situation about a twenty-two year old girl developing an eating disorder, whose mother abandoned their family leaving her to take care of her siblings, while falling in love at the same time I instantly knew that this would be a New Adult novel… except I seem to have a different definition of New Adult than what seems to be marketed. Let me explain…

Black Iris
I didn’t like this book, but it really is a perfect example of what people were claiming New Adult was.

When New Adult first came out, everyone seemed to be sprouting that this was going to be the genre that would herald in something different in fiction, a place where there were no boundaries, no restrictions on the topics and people you could write about, where you could write about the things people think but are ashamed to say, and, as a bonus, sex and lots of it was welcomed. And boy did the genre welcome the sex. People who were writing young adult and wanted to be more bold with it jumped on the New Adult bandwagon with eighteen-year-olds, who were technically still part of the YA category as it pertained age-wise, but who had lots of good sex and did adult things. New Adult also proved that there was certainly an audience for college aged protagonists when it had one time been argued that no one wanted to read about those people. New Adult said, “Twenty-something-year-old’s have an experience, have something to say about the world they live in. And damn it, people are going to listen and take us seriously.” I’d even argue that the sudden boom of New Adult was a literary revolution, one that couldn’t have happened without the self-publishing and ebook boom. New Adult was on a roll and not even the fucking sky was the limit. THE UNIVERSE was there for the taking.

Maybe Someday
Um… I’ve never read this one. But based on what I know about it, it pretty much sums up what I think the NA classification has become. Come on people, it’s just an example. I may read it and like it one day.

Then something happened. Suddenly it seemed like everyone forgot about all those other different things and it seemed to become a genre that was sexed up YA and the same old stories were starting to be told. Girl goes to college. Girl falls in love with bad boy alpha male. Girl has awesome sex. Shocking twists! Girl decides she doesn’t care! Girl lives happily ever after with alpha male. Even if they didn’t follow that pattern, even if the romance was different, the fact of the matter is, suddenly New Adult wasn’t a category to group a certain age of protagonist who weren’t young adult anymore, but yet were still trying to learn how to navigate in and act like an adult in an adult world while letting childish things go. Suddenly, New Adult seemed like an excuse to write about college aged people falling in love and having a lot of sex. And somehow, the new adult category became a subcategory of the romance genre instead of a classification all on its own and that’s not what it was touted as in its conception, what I perceived it to be.

CoaFG Cover 1
And this is my book which I’d like to think is different from other NA. Feel free to bash it if you don’t think it is when it comes out.

All that said, that’s why even though I think Confessions of a Fat Girl is New Adult and it can even fit in the New Adult Romance category, a romance isn’t all it is. It’s about a girl thrust into a more adult world with more adult responsibilities than she was bargaining for and trying to navigate it like… well, like a new adult. Yet, that’s not what New Adult seems to be marketed as nowadays. It seems like if you’re not writing a romance with lots of sex your books aren’t considered real New Adult books. Now look, I know. I know there are some exceptions. I know there are successful New Adult books that defy this assumption, but there aren’t very many that I know of. All the ones that are being touted and promoted have sex in it. And that’s discouraging for the writers who are writing a books about protagonists where college didn’t quite pan out for them; who can’t find a job even with a degree and dreams aren’t coming true; who don’t have rock hard abs or curves in all the right places and don’t live up to a certain ideal of sexiness; who are stuck at home because they don’t have the money to go anywhere else; who are stuck at home because no college except the neighborhood community college was the only one willing to take them; who decided not to go to college: who aren’t in a romantic relationship; or, like in Confessions of a Fat Girl, are in a relationship but aren’t having sex.

Look guys. I’m not bashing New Adult Romance. I love a good romance. I’m a closet romantic even though I’d never New Adultadmit it except on this blog that no one I physically know reads. And if they ever read this, I will swear up and down someone pretending to me wrote it. I get that twenty-something is that age where typically we start craving and experiencing real relationships and having to juggle them with real life, not just high school. But I am a new adult guys. And my life is decidedly lacking in the romance department and we won’t even talk about sex. And I’m not saying I speak for everyone, I’m just saying that’s my experience and I’d enjoy reading a few novels that reflect that. I’m interested in some experiences that are totally different from my norm and my expectations. I want to be engaged and surprised more often.

All that said, as much as I love the New Adult classification, I really am afraid of its future. Because when all the stories are the same, they spark the same conversation. And even though that conversation might be good, after a while, those conversations start to get old and people are looking for the next thing to talk about, and that’s not what I want New Adult to be.

This Post was Brought to You By:

New Adult Should Not Mean Sexy Romance or YA with A Lot of Sex Productions

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*All images Courtesy of Google Images*

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Confessions of a Fat Girl Cover!

So today I finished writing, Confessions of a Fat Girl. As soon as I finished and because I plan to wait an entire week before I go back and edit it, I immediately went on to make a cover for it. I knew exactly what I wanted the cover to look like based on a reoccurring image that appears in the novel, so it didn’t take long. The longest part was finding the pictures I wanted to make this image. So here it is. And below are the attributions for the photo I edited.

CoaFG Cover 1

 

*In agreement with the creative commons license for this photo, I attribute the photo of the woman in the background to this link.*