If you’ve visited my blog before, you might notice a few changes. Like the fact that I’m now labeling myself as a writer of Young Adult and New Adult. I haven’t given up on my YA projects, but I’m adding another category to my repertoire.
My decision was partly inspired by my discovery of New Adult fiction. Over the past year, I’ve enjoyed a lot of books in this category. It doesn’t hurt that many of the titles are readily available for my e-reader, perfect for those weekends when I want to curl up with a good romance. I also like reading about characters that are farther along in life than high school. They’re often in college or working at their first jobs, struggling to figure out what they want to do with their lives. They’re involved in intense romantic relationships that might lead to serious commitments. It’s a passionate, messy, exciting time.
The other reason I started writing New Adult is because it’s easier for me to draw on my college and graduate school experiences than my awkward high school years. All through high school, I was a shy book nerd whose only outlet was musical theatre. It wasn’t an easy time for me, especially since I went to one of those classic-1980s John Hughes type high schools, with all the requisite cliques. Once I started college, my life changed. I came out of my shell. I made new friends, joined a science fiction and fantasy writers’ group, fell deeply in love for the first time, and actually had adventures.
When I was nineteen, I went on my first archaeological dig, which set me on my career path. Instead of dreaming about becoming an archaeologist, I could actually be one. For the next seven years, I studied archaeology and art history in college and grad school. I was fortunate enough to travel and work on projects in the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
Given my background, I decided my New Adult stories should be set in the world of archaeology. For my first book, Field Rules, I chose to write about field school. It’s the perfect set-up: take 12 –15 college students, stick them in a foreign country, force them to live and work together for two months, and encourage a “work hard/play hard” mentality. Romantic entanglements are bound to occur! (And yes, I’m speaking from experience).
With one completed New Adult manuscript under my belt, I’m excited to dive into another. I’m having a blast reliving my experiences as an archaeologist, although it makes me miss my life in the field!