Dear Author May Book Club: Author Q&A with Erin McCarthy
1) New Adult is exploding right now. Why do you think that it’s resonating with readers?
I think it’s resonating with readers because it bridges the gap between YA and traditional romance. It’s about the pivotal point in life where for the first time ever there is no parental supervision, and the choices made have major impact. Personally, I really enjoy writing the genre because it allows me to write heroines who don’t have it all figured out and who make mistakes. With romance, we expect the heroine to behave in a certain way and to be mature, even if she hasn’t found Mr.Right yet. With new adult, the heroines are still figuring out who they are and making decisions, both good and bad, that will impact their twenties and beyond. There is no expectation of perfection.
2) Rory’s storyline explores one of the things that I think is interesting about the newly independent character and that is as she is exposed to experiences different than her upbringing, she changes in response to those experiences. For instance, Rory grew up in a fairly privileged environment and learned firsthand that there were those not as fortunate as her, that were experiencing life differently than her. What insight can you give us (without spoiling) the character growth of your female protagonist?
We all approach the world from our own particular experiences and Rory has been raised in the same environment for her entire life so of course she hasn’t personal experienced things like poverty or an abusive family. While she is inherently a good person and always has been, college and her relationship expose her to another facet of life she hasn’t experienced before and of course that allows her to grow as a person.
3) Was the transition from writing adult contemporary to a novel like True a challenge? Yes or No?
No, not at all. I have always loved writing YA and I have loved writing stories with more angst in them, but that really wasn’t the direction my career took, so I write the humor in my romances that readers love. But I enjoy the raw emotion of new adult.
4) When writing your book, do you begin with your characters or does it begin with a plot?
It depends on the book, but usually I start with a basic premise (such as roommates pay to de-virginize her) then I create the characters. The plot comes to me as I flesh out who they are, what they want, what creates conflict between them.
5) Who would you define as the audience for New Adult books?
Woman between 18-40 seem to be the primary readership of new adult, but I don’t have any hard statistics on that. It’s just based on what I’ve seen from reviews, etc. I do think the genre is for readers who want less of the fantasy element to their romance read.
6) What’s next for Erin McCarthy?
Fangs For Nothing, a paranormal vampire romance I wrote with Kathy Love will be out in July. This is a humorous sequel to The Fangover. I’m also in an anthology with Carly Phillips, Hot Summer Nights. Then in December, Full Throttle, my next Fast Track book will be out.
And there will be a second new adult book out in November 2013. This one will feature Riley, Tyler’s brother, and Jessica, Rory’s roommate. Tyler and Rory will be back, along with the younger Mann brothers. Jessica finds herself without a place to stay after lying to her parents, and she ends up bunking with Riley… lots of sparks between those two.