Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Courtney Cole and Rachel Van Dyken: What's Next for New Adult?

by Joyce Lamb)

Courtney Cole, author of If You Stay, and Rachel Van Dyken, author of The Bet, join HEA to discuss what they think will happen next in the New Adult genre.

Q: Do you have a favorite trend that you see happening in New Adult now?

Rachel: Right now one of the coolest things trending with NA is authors putting out books that are paranormal or fantasy New Adult. It's been amazing to watch and super exciting as well! I think that readers were starting to get overwhelmed with all the contemporary NA out there, so it's neat that the authors are taking notice and starting to put a fun twist to NA.

Courtney: I'm hearing that dark thrillers will be making a rise. If that's true, I'll be ecstatic. I love a great dark thriller! :)

Q: When writing your own novels, how do you balance what's popular at the moment and staying true to your own originality?

Courtney: I never shy away from writing something just because the market isn't ready for it. What I do is … when I get a great idea, I take a look at the market and try to decide if the book would be salable at that particular time. If I decide it wouldn't be, I just hold on to it until it IS a good time to release it.

Rachel: Honestly, this isn't too difficult for me because I'm such an avid reader that if I read a type of genre I really, really like then I immediately want to write it. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing? I think it's important to stay true to what you know but at the same time, people fall in love with your characters and your voice, the only thing that changes when you put those same characters and your same voice in a different genre is the setting. I know some readers are afraid to branch out because they only like certain genres, but I always try to encourage them to try reading the other genres I write. Nine times out of 10, they like the historicals just as much as they like the NA and vice versa.

Q: You both have books out this month for the first time in print — If You Stay for Courtney (out now) and The Bet for Rachel (April 29). How does it feel to see your book in print?

Rachel: I needed a paper bag to breathe into. What an incredible accomplishment! I'm sure Courtney's probably freaking out, too. As an author it's always your dream to see your book in print and in stores. I'm going to be the crazy lady throwing my book into people's carts ... just kidding ... maybe. OK, fine so I'm not kidding. ;)

Courtney: It's AMAZING to see my words sitting on bookstore shelves. It's a lifelong dream coming to fruition, and honestly, it still feels surreal.

Q: What do you think is next for New Adult? What direction would you like to see the genre move in?

Courtney: I'm really hoping that we'll see an expansion and see it branching out into other sub-genres, like dark thrillers, etc. I truly believe that New Adult is a very valid category, and something that the market has needed for a long time. I hope it just gets bigger and bigger.

Rachel: I see a huge surge of NA fantasy. I just finished a fantastic series that was NA but with a Greek mythological twist. I devoured it. The fun thing about NA is that the genre is an age group ... so if you want to change the setting? Or even add a historical element, what's stopping you? It's such a new genre that there really aren't any "rules" yet. And, yes, this does mean that one of these days I'm going to try to find a way to combine the Regency rake with the NA bad boy. I've been thinking on this for a while. It needs to happen. ;) That's the beauty of writing ... you make the rules, obviously within reason. It's such an exciting time to be an author!

Find out more about Courtney and Rachel at their websites, and

(Photo: Forever)

Courtney Cole, author of "If You Stay"(Photo: Kim Ortiz, Prestige)

(Photo: Forever)

Rachel Van Dyken, author of "The Bet."(Photo: Greg Hoskuns Photography)