New Adult Romance Genre? New Adult Genre in general.

I’m amazed at the amount of interest concerning the “New Adult” fiction genre.  Blogs, book blurbs and redefining what it means to grow up has been taking over the books and the news about the books over the past year..

It’s interesting what happens when the rules of the game change.  For example, a book about college life and romance set in 1969 -1970 and the struggles of the 20 – 22 year olds seniors about to graduate was published as a book about kids or adults depending on who’s talking and listening, and their lives in 1969 – 1970.

Viola!  Ta Da! The New Adult genre comes to town.

And I have to admit that I like it.  A lot.  This same book is much more interesting.  Yeah it’s still about the obvious –

  • Boys and girls transforming into men and women, ages 21 to 23 years old
  • College life
  • Drugs, sex and rock and roll
  • Consequences of making one decision over another

But, the emergence of the New Adult genre and the inevitable list of criteria that follows anything new as we try to understand it, the novel, Life’s What Happens, has been pushed to the forefront of interest for one reason.  It looks at what it means to be a new adult in another time.  Here’s the NA Romance “Life’s What Happens” and some insight into the book.:

ü  College life – Life’s What Happens is told in flashback and the flashback is 100% the senior year for nine fraternity brothers and  their friends.  It’s all college all the time.

ü  Moving out of your parents’ house and living alone for the first time – Most of  the characters in the Life’s What Happens story live on campus or in town and not at home and all for the first time.  What’s interesting is the character arc of those that maintain a weekend tie to their families and those that are immersed into the on-campus life.

ü  First jobs – By senior year they have studied and majored in the classes necessary for their first real job as an adult.  This criteria is part of the angst that some of the characters go through. What happens if you’re not allowed to start your career?  What will you do about it?

ü  Deciding who you want to be, career-wise, and in general. Identity issues. Existential issues. – By senior year they have made these decisions and are actively trying to make their decisions come true.

ü  First serious relationships, finding love – Anyone who has gone through college knows that it was very rare that anyone retained any opposite sex relationships by the time they reached their senior year.  In Life’s What Happens one of the nine fraternity brothers set out in their senior year to accomplish this.

ü  Sex – It’s less important that it be a “first time” as it is in YA. But the character should still be figuring stuff out. Since our readers can watch R rated movies, we can also be a little more explicit here without as much controversy. –  Because this is all about New Adults in 1969 and 1970 and despite the publicity or history of the sex in the sixties, sex then was different than sex in the 21st century especially compared to the beliefs and actions of the millennial generation, the target market to a degree of the New Adult genre.

ü  Experimentation – Sex, drugs, alcohol. Of course, not all new adults engage in experimentation, but the phrase, “I experimented with “x” in college,” is a phrase for a reason. –  Drugs were relatively segregated to some of the class of 1970 but wine, beer and hard liquor were center stage.  Even states were confused back then with the application of blue laws and 3.2 beer.  Fake IDs were a cottage industry for one purpose and that wasn’t to outsmart and outwit the TSA.

ü  Isolation – Living alone for the first time can be difficult –  Most of the characters in Life’s What Happens lived in the fraternity house where living there was more difficult to living alone.

ü  Single life – New adults often do not have life partners and families yet, so their main relationships may be with friends and boyfriends/girlfriends. –  Many stories centered around the characters living their life with their brothers and girlfriends on campus and no longer at home with family.

ü  A struggle to “find yourself” – This was the mantra of the 1960’s.  No further comment needed.  Yes there is actually.  The major plot point in the book is what happens when everyone finally is on the path to fining themselves and someone totally blocks the path.

ü  Change – Moving out, going to college, finding a job…it’s a lot of transition. –  Triple check and then add the draft road block thrown at them with a last minute Thanksgiving Eve congressional vote.   You never can say enough about Nixon.

ü  Money challenges –  Goes without saying.  In some cases in the story a temporary shortage of money and the decisions made can lead to a life time change in goals.

Don’t let the term romance and new adult fool you.  Experts today are still explaining how the book series Fifty Shades of Gray qualifies as a new adult romance but a comparison with the preceding checklist and it becomes obvious. What’s interesting is what passed for normal and beyond normal in this arena in 1969.

Here’s the book.  Enjoy!

Life's What Happens REVISED COVER - Copy

Summer reader? Then start it off right and cheap!


Start your summer reading season off with a sale! Mystery series on sale starting TONIGHT.

The CUL8R Time Travel Mystery Series has two books going on sale tonight until the end of May.

Book #1 is OMG [Oh My God]
OMG eBook 3

Kelly, a teenager from Texas has recently been orphaned and sent to live in Florida with her aunt Jane, a busy lawyer. Right away Kelly meets her tall, nerdy neighbor Scott, and they bond over a shared love of a video games and a mysterious gadget they find in Aunt Jane’s garage.

The gadget turns out to be a lost invention of Thomas Edison’s called the “Telephone to the Dead”. The mystery begins when Scott gets the Spirit Radio to work and a girl named Wendy comes through, pleading for help . . . from beyond the grave. Is Wendy a ghost? And if she didn’t kill herself, who did? Kelly, Scott and his best friend Austin must find a way to go back to 1966 to help her . . . without getting killed.
Well plotted and fast paced. Martha Bryce
The best time-travel novel I’ve read yet, and I hope there’s more to come. A big thumbs up! C
WOW! I’ve been thinking about that book for a week now since I finished reading it. It kept me engrossed with intelligent writing, depth of characters and a fast pace. Overall, a very satisfying novel. Jasmine

Find OMG starting Memorial Day evening on Amazon.

Book #2, BRB [Be Right Back]
BRB eBook Cover 2

“It’s difficult to investigate a crime that hasn’t happened yet.”

Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey have just returned from changing a girl’s life in 1966 and are a little battered and bruised from their adventure. But when a small voice pleads for their help to save her family from a murderer, they know they must respond.
They research the story, but there is very little information to be found. All they know is that it takes place on Crystal Key, a small private island off the Florida Keys. Since it appears to be deserted, they decide to pop in, gather clues, then pop back. It was a good excuse to spend a lazy day on a beautiful beach.
But from the first step, their journey back to 1980 goes horribly wrong. The area is crawling with drug traffickers and tens of thousands of refugees fleeing Cuba. They meet the young girl and her family, but their intervention puts them in the direct path of the killer.
Can they find out who he is in time to save the girl, her family . . . and themselves? Or are they destined to be a madman’s latest victims?

“It’s an exciting mystery with plenty of surprises to keep you guessing.” Danielle Marie

“The “CUL8R” series stands out and shines as something unique that manages to mix fantasy with realistic characters and situations.” Erica Lucas

“I literally could not put this book down.” K. J. Pierce

Find BRB starting Memorial Day evening on Amazon

And before school starts back in the fall or the end of the summer depending on the schedule, latitude and attitude, Book #3, BION [Believe It OR Not] will be released. This is the first time of the characters in the series finds themselvesBION eBook 1 in a serious romance. Here’s the cover.

PAPER to PIXELS; A Writer’s Journey


This blog will be about the journey of my wife, Kathy Clark. An excellent, creative and successful writer of fiction who sold millions of books in the 1980’s and 1990’s and decided to pursue a writing career in Hollywood and take a few years off. Then she got the bug to create more fictional stories. Great stories with clever and realistic characters that must be told and told in book form. This blog will take you on the journey and keep you posted of the progress that started in 2010 and continues today full steam.

Denver and Parker, Colorado, 2010, Mystery Writers of America. Amazing group of talented authors Kathy met with every month at the ancient Denver Press Club building. The first indoctrination to the ePublishing life. Uh—oh. Where’d the books go anyway? For that matter where did the book stores go that used to the sell those things I have stacked by the room fool on two different rooms in my house? Maybe that’s a good thing! Maybe not having editors, agents, readers, beta readers, proof readers and the other gate keepers and process pipeline orifices will be a good thing. Of course it will.

And maybe Kathy will be better off if she attacked more commercial genres more like the stuff that went into scripts she was writing. After all she won dozens of screenwriting awards so she must be good at those kinds of stories. Sometimes producers even paid her to write scripts. That was cool.

And her fan base? She couldn’t go back to LA, San Diego, Houston, Denver, New York City, New Orleans, London and who knows where else to try to find them all. Did they keep up with the technology? Kathy was on the internet in 1993. Wasn’t everyone? We’ll have to see. Reestablishing her fan base who lost track off her and it also assumes they’re still alive. This will be interesting to find out.

The journey is made interesting when you compare the last book disappeared from the mall bookstores in 1995 and jumping back in to fiction in 2010 meant there are few mall bookstores left and book publishing industry today operates largely without the middlemen and gate keepers of agents, editors, buyers and book sellers. Professional authors and readers all feel that the quality of writing is very uneven. Another task.

So Kathy’s current back list can be found on her author site at The site was so named because that is her peak creative hours most days. There is a young adult or teen time travel mystery series also started and it has its own web site just to keep the R rated stuff from the PG13 stuff better separated.

The CUL8R Teen Time Travel Mystery series can be found at As this is being written, Book #2, BRB is well underway.

Her most recent adult suspense is After Midnight AFTER MIDNIGHT REVISED

The mainstream fiction story I wanted to write and she did 75% of the work on, Life’s What Happens, was published in late 2012. Life's What Happens NEW GIRL

And the teen time travel mystery series, CUL8R, launched at the end of 2012 with book #1, OMG. OMG EBOOK COVER REVISED

Samples and links for all stories on the websites. BRB for Blog #2.