Facebook Meme: A Crazy Night Out

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via Unsplash

You and your friends go out to see the hot new band, South of Forever, but things don’t go quite as expected. Copy and paste, then tag your top nine friends on your profile.

Loses their ticket and can’t get into the venue:

Gets locked in the bathroom before the band goes on:

Has too much to drink and passes out during the show:

Tries to climb onstage and is escorted out by security:

Crowdsurfs all the way out to the parking lot for more tailgating:

Dives to catch the drumsticks and needs stitches:

Meets the band backstage but forgets to take pictures:

Yells out something embarrassing to the lead singer:

Sleeps with the band’s hot bassist but no one believes them:

How We Can Save New Adult Lit

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via Unsplash

I’ve noticed two things lately that have utterly bummed me out.

  1. The literary category New Adult has become nearly synonymous with “weird soft porn.”
  2. Authors who previously identified as NA writers are now scrambling to escape that description.

This was kind of a cause/effect. I think a lot of authors had certain goals and expectations for NA, then found that readers had another set of notions entirely. I’m seeing more and more frustrated authors. I’m also seeing an almost mass exodus from NA to Young Adult or even adult fiction.

Part of me wants to beg these authors not to leave. The other part of me totally understands. Who the hell can compete with abduction and stalker “romance”?

The problem is, the term “New Adult” became a kind of catchphrase, a wave for authors to ride. Anyone could slap that term on their book and sell it, because there were hungry readers who loved the initial NA invasion and wanted more, now. It didn’t take long for readers to become almost conditioned to think that these non-NA books were NA through and through. Some readers even avoid NA altogether now because there’s a certain connotation that goes with it.

And so the category is dying a fast, painful death. But what can those of us who still believe in NA do? Can we save ourselves from the drowning ship?

I’m seeing some authors re-branding their NA books as YA or adult. While it might make sense for some titles depending on content and subject matter, this is not necessarily the answer. Those three stages of life are vastly different from each other. My problems as a teen, twenty-something, and now nearly thirty-year-old are like comparing VHS to DVDs to Blu-ray. They will continue evolving as I advance.

I still think the lit world needs that bridge. When I was a bumbling nineteen-year-old, I could’ve really used a book like Jennifer Armentrout’s Scorched or Sarina Bowen’s The Year We Fell Down. These books wouldn’t have yet spoken to me as a high school student. As a twenty-seven-year-old—almost 28, oh my—I can read books featuring NA characters and look back on my own years with nostalgia. The older I get, though, the more I identify with books by Jodi Picoult or Diana Gabaldon.

Readers need to be able to relate to characters. Sometimes, those pretend people are all that get us through our days, simply because we know we’re not alone.

If you’re writing NA lit, keep doing what you’re doing. There are people out there who need your books.

I’m not sure that we can defeat those “other” books any more than we can end piracy. All we can do is continue what we’re doing: writing great books that people can relate to. The rest will come.

Update, April 5th, 2016: Wow! When I wrote this post, I figured I was basically shouting into the void. I shared this on Kboards, Stumble Upon, and all over Facebook and Twitter, and the response has been almost overwhelming. thesios on Kboards suggested I band with other NA authors and cross-promote, so I’ve started a little project. For now I’m starting small, by organizing NA authors by genre so that we can cross-polinate each other in our newsletters. The group is growing quickly, and we have a nice variety of genres. I’m so happy that it’s not just me who loves NA so much! If you’re an NA author and would like to collaborate with us, please join our group.

Meet Jett Costa

Diving Into Him (South of Forever, Book 1), by Elizabeth Barone: Teaser 2

In celebration of the re-launch of the South of Forever series, I’m sending exclusive extras every week to my email list. Two weeks ago I sent a fun interview with Jett Costa. This week I’m sending an interview with Koty Jackson—plus revealing the covers for both Diving Into Him and Savannah’s Song before they’re shared anywhere else! CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP.

On the Road Magazine recently sat down with Jett Costa, the powerhouse frontwoman of Perpetual Smile, to talk about her new band and what’s on the horizon ahead.

The twenty-six-year-old woman released multiple platinum-selling albums with Perpetual Smile and was set to go on a major national tour when tragedy struck. The band’s guitarist and Jett’s co-writer Phillip Hilton was diagnosed with terminal cancer, forcing Perpetual Smile to fill his shoes—and fast.

Hilton was a fan favorite and was beloved by his band mates, but his replacement Koty Jackson was quickly accepted. It seemed as though Perpetual Smile was about to blow up the rock scene, but Jett Costa’s battle with alcoholism forced the band to call off their tour—and caused them to lose their label’s support.

Now, one year later, Jett Costa is sober and determined to make it. She’s relocated to Boston, Massachusetts—one of the music capitals of the United States. Alongside Koty Jackson, she’s rebuilding her legacy.

On the Road: Jett, thank you so much for joining us here today.

Jett: Thank you for having me.

OTR: Musicians face a lot of hurdles in this industry, but it’s almost as if you’ve been pummeled these last couple of years. We’re so glad you’re back at it. Your new band—South of Forever, right?—is currently holding auditions. What’s it like, starting from scratch?

Jett: Yeah, South of Forever. You know, it’s weird, rebuilding. You have the choice to either reassemble the rubble or scrap it all and go in a completely different direction. We wanted to go a more bluesy, soulful route—lots of runs and bass. Take things to a deeper level with our lyrics—but still have fun, you know?

OTR: We? Oh, right, you’re working with Koty Jackson again. Previously, you and Phillip Hilton pretty much ran things with Perpetual Smile. You two had a lot of years of experience in the business and with each other. How does that compare to working with Koty?

Jett: Well, one thing that we’ll be doing differently is, there won’t be any female/male vocal interplay, like with Perpetual Smile. Maybe Koty will do some background vocals, but for the most part it’s gonna be me singing. *laughs* I really wanted to try something completely different, take things to the next level. There’s always something you can learn, you know?

OTR: Speaking of Koty, there were rumors of a relationship between the two of you. There were even some very suggestive photos leaked on Twitter. Are you still together? How does that affect your partnership?

Jett: There’s really nothing to say on that subject.

OTR: It seems like you’re avoiding the question. Fans are dying to know. Can you give us anything to go on here?

Jett: Any rumors you might’ve heard are just that. We’re very committed to making music.

OTR: Fair enough. So, if not Koty, is there anyone else special in your life?

Jett: My guitar.

OTR: Not budging on that, are we?

Jett: *smiles sweetly* *gives interviewer the finger*

OTR: All right, moving on. You’re holding auditions for South of Forever right here in Boston. What are you looking for?

Jett: South of Forever is going to have a lot of piano driven songs—completely different from anything I ever did in Perpetual Smile. So we’re looking for a strong keyboardist. We also need a bassist and drummer. We’re looking for musicians with experience in the industry—lots of it. I want to get a demo together and get signed right away. We’re used to being on tour constantly. If you play with us, you’d better be prepared!

OTR: Thank you, Jett.

To learn more about South of Forever, visit their website at http://southofforever.com.

If you enjoyed this interview, join my email list for more!

Behind the Scenes of the South of Forever Series

Diving Into Him (South of Forever, Book 1), by Elizabeth Barone: Teaser 1

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In two months, Booktrope is releasing the second book in the South of Forever series, Savannah’s Song! They’re also re-releasing the first book, Diving Into Him (originally self-published in August 2015). Both books will be out the same day, on May 7th. In celebration, I’ve got lots of behind the scenes goodies for you.

I’ve also got a crazy goal, but more on that in a minute.

For the next two months, I’ll be giving you exclusive behind the scenes bonuses. They’re kinda like the extras on a DVD. Every week, you’ll get something new and for your eyes only. All you have to do is join my newsletter. This week, for example, I sent out a magazine interview with the feisty Jett Costa—lead singer of South of Forever and the main character in Diving Into Him. Here’s a little snippet:

OTR: Speaking of Koty, there were rumors of a relationship between the two of you. There were even some very suggestive photos leaked on Twitter. Are you still together? How does that affect your partnership?

Jett: There’s really nothing to say on that subject.

OTR: It seems like you’re avoiding the question. Fans are dying to know. Can you give us anything to go on here?

Jett: Any rumors you might’ve heard are just that. We’re very committed to making music.

OTR: Fair enough. So, if not Koty, is there anyone else special in your life?

Jett: My guitar.

OTR: Not budging on that, are we?

Jett: *smiles sweetly* *gives interviewer the finger*

Next week, you’ll see the book covers—before anyone else! Don’t miss it. CLICK HERE TO JOIN MY NEWSLETTER.

This launch is going to be lit. I love this series so much and want it to succeed, which is why I’ve set a crazy goal.

I want to sell 1,000 copies of each book in their first month out.

Crazy, right? I know I can do this—but I’m going to need your help. Mostly I need help in spreading the word about the series and the fun extras. If you have a second, you can start helping me right now.

  1. Share the teaser at the beginning of this post on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest (or all three).
  2. Join my email list for FREE.

Thank you so much. I really appreciate your help. 😊

Now let’s do this!