By Kitsy Clare
I’ve written young adult novels, even award winning ones, so I wondered how much harder it could be to write new adult lit? It seems like a natural extension of the YA genre—following the teens we love to write about into their heady twenties, with all of the challenges that come with moving away from home and the drama of first long-term loves.
Well, it’s yes . . . and no to the idea of new adult being simply an extension of YA. Sure, NA lit is geared toward 18 to 26 year-olds. But we’re not the same people in our twenties that we were as teens. We have new concerns such as finding an apartment, a job and a career path that takes us in fresh, uncharted directions. Hopefully we have at least a little more maturity than at seventeen. J
I wanted to do the genre justice, so I read and studied up. I spent lots of time piling through my own notable twenty-something experiences: crap jobs, weird boyfriends and hot dates; exciting trips; apartments furnished with castoffs in marginal (or trendy) neighborhoods, and a perverted boss who drove me to quit that job and land a better gig.
So far in my new adult writing adventures I’ve learned a few things, which I’ll share for anyone wanting to explore the genre. It’s not just about the romance. You can’t only write a string of sizzling sex scenes. You also need a strong plot peppered with spicy characters. Yes, you need a swoonworthy love interest, but not a clichéd type who’s been done a zillion other times. Granted it is about the two leads getting to know each other, the dating or working together—the mounting sexual tension. But we ladies enjoy the wooing more than just the banging-yes?
The NA saga must well written, with engaging turns of phrase and lyrical lines. Vary word usage please; don’t repeat the same phrases, such as “his lips curled up” or “her breath hitched” over and over ad nauseum. Keep readers turning pages not only for your unexpected plots twists, but also for your snappy dialog and sensual prose.
I found that there’s no one right new adult category. New adult fantasy, thrillers and realistic contemporary stories are equally popular. The characters don’t necessarily have to be troubled or “broken” though many compelling stories have this. Characters can also be funny, ruthless or as filthy rich as a movie star. They can be cowgirls living on a ranch or city dwellers living in converted lofts. And there must be a barrier that keeps them apart, until later. It could be work-related competition, an unreliable old boyfriend who comes back and needs to win over his long-lost love, or anything that the leads must push through to be together.
Start from what you’ve experienced, writing about the type of guys who you always found hot! For me, it begins in the big city, my city—Manhattan—and the art world I knew so well, even as a twenty-something. The characters in my NA romance novella, Model Position are slightly broken. They’re also ambitious, artistic, and looking for love, maybe in all the wrong places!
Book title: Model Position
Author: Kitsy Clare
Genre: new adult contemporary romance novella
Release date: February 20, 2014
In Manhattan’s glitzy gallery scene love and art are perilous games.
Will Sienna dare to play?
All too soon, artist Sienna Karr will graduate art school and be flung out into Manhattan’s glamorous but cutthroat gallery scene. Luckily, she’s just met Dave Hightower, heir to the hippest gallery ever. He’s asked her on a date, and offered to introduce her to the gallery owner, his intimidating aunt Lydia. Sienna’s excited! Now she’ll be able to climb the ranks and make those all-important art connections.
Trouble is, she’s falling hard for the sexy live drawing model, Erik, whose sizzling green eyes seem to pierce right into her soul. Dare she risk losing those potential art contacts for love? Erik insists that Sienna is a real talent and her painting stands out above all the others. But she worries that he whispers this come-on line to every pretty art student who flocks around him during breaks. And her friends worry, is Erik up to her pay grade? What kind of guy chooses modeling for a living? Who is he, really? Her choice may be her ruin—or not—but she must decide fast. Everything in Sienna’s super-organized life is turning to terrifying yet sweet chaos.
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Blurbs in praise of the book:
"Kitsy Clare paints a provocative picture with words - a sexy montage of art, beauty, lust and love as colorful as any artist’s canvas." -Share my Destiny, romance book blogger
"A captivating and sensual work of art!" -Jaycee DeLorenzo, author of The Truths About Dating and Mating
“Model Position is sexy, suspenseful and oh, so hard to put down. Kitsy Clare mixes a skillful, fast-moving story as Sienna, a talented but uptight art student takes on the trendy New York art scene. She’s caught between the pull of ambition and the possibility of steamy, but true-blue love in the form of Erik, a delicious male model with no connections. Or is he true? And is Erik really all he seems to be?”
-Helen Mallon, author of Indecent Exposure & other short stories;
Book Reviewer, Philadelphia Inquirer
I prop my canvas on the easel and squeeze oil paints onto my palette. I’ve been looking forward to this last new class of spring semester. It’s so different from what I normally do: computer art—neat, digital prints. But oil paint is buttery and sexy, with a warm pinesap aroma that I could inhale all day. I make sure my paints are in a perfect color-spectrum line, from cadmium yellow and permanent rose, all the way to the darkest ultramarine blue.
I’m like that. At home my shoes are arranged from lowest to spikiest heel, and the dresses in my closet are color coordinated. Order is good. Chaos is scary. I’ve known that since my mom went through her third divorce. Three hubbys done in by her sinkfuls of dirty dishes, mountains of wrinkled clothes, and hoarded bags of dresses from shopping sprees she couldn’t afford! No mess in my life. Not happening. You could eat off my apartment floor.
So far in class we’ve only done charcoal drawings, so oils will be an interesting change. Though I don’t have high hopes for today’s model. The live models have been a motley crew: a guy in a clown suit and Medieval court jester’s hat, a dowdy lady in a diaphanous gown, and a skeletal girl in a bikini who bit her nails and paced during breaks.
Where are all the sexy male muses?
“Hey, Sienna!” Dave Hightower saunters in and chooses the easel next to me. He hands me a steamy cappuccino.
“For me? Thanks, Dave.” This is why I like Dave. Well, that and his passion for expensive Italian sweaters, leather dress shoes, tight black denims, and the body to work them. I sip my drink and look around at the other guys in class, all dressed in the arty grad-school uniform of paint-spattered jeans and T-shirts with slogans. I shake my head and return to the more pleasant sight of the well-dressed man next to me, who’s flashing me an array of professionally whitened teeth. I can’t help but admire Dave’s perfectly coiffed black hair, longish but combed back neatly. He has chiseled features and a strong brow, as if he’s carved out of marble. Intimidating, really. I’ve never dated a guy as put together as Dave.
But I feel like I should.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a snob. Dressing like a slob is fine for freshmen, but we’re in our twenties now.
This summer after I graduate, I’ll be pounding the pavement, searching for a lucrative arty job to replace my part-time gig retouching perfume ads for Chanel. Artists have to present well in the real world. They have to pay their car loans, credit cards, and apartment rents like anyone else.
Dave Hightower catches me admiring him and grins. “Ready for our date later?”
I just met him two weeks ago, and he asked me out during our last class. I’m looking forward to it and to getting to know him—and his family’s gallery—better.
“Sure, where are we going?”
“I’ll take you over to Studio Hightower, my aunt’s gallery,” Dave suggests offhandedly, as if I am not already completely aware and awed. It’s been all Merry, Harper, and I have talked about since we found out Dave was in this class. My two best friends here share charcoal sticks, drawing paper, and essential buzz. “There’s a show at Hightower you’ll like,” adds Dave, “of wildly painted neon environ-scapes.”
I nod. Sounds off-putting. I prefer the order of photorealism and crisp digital art, but I keep my mouth shut. After all, it’s Dave Hightower.
Anyone who has talent and ambition would kill for a solo show in Studio Hightower. It’s on West Twenty-Second Street in the heart of Chelsea, the hottest gallery district in Manhattan.
“Hey, always up for new art,” I say. “I like wild art done by a loose hand.”
“Manually manipulated is the way to go,” Dave says suggestively as he waggles his eyebrows and puts his fingers into plastic gloves.
Plastic gloves for painting? Germaphobe. I’m a clean freak, and even I don’t do that. I quickly ease my judgmental cringe into a fetching grin as I search for a funny comeback. “I wonder who our next model will be. Do you think Mr. Court Jester will make a repeat appearance?”
“I’m betting on Nightgown Lady.” Dave squeezes out his last color with an oozy splot.
The teacher, a soft-spoken man in faded corduroys and wire glasses, announces that the model will be out momentarily. From across the room, I exchange anticipatory glances with my friends, Harper and Merry, and pantomime a fake drum roll. They snicker and do drum rolls back. The class turns its attention to the small stage in front of our easels. It’s been set up with risers and a red velvet curtain, as if it’s a Broadway production.
Then the model emerges, and I almost spill my cappuccino on Dave’s shoes.
The sexiest male muse I’ve ever laid eyes on pads out, all oiled coordination and sleek muscles. He’s at least six-four, and every chest muscle ripples and cuts in the right place. His hair’s sandy and shaggy, and his jaw is square and resolute with a gold-dusted five-o’clock shadow. But it’s his eyes that strike me most; they’re emerald green with a slight upward slant toward each cheekbone, as if he hiked all the way here from a northern land of sun and wind.
When Kitsy Clare isn’t creating romances on her Mac Air, she teaches writing workshops. She also loves to draw, travel, read spicy romance, sci-fi and all kinds of thrillers. She divides her time between New York City and her Catskills studio, where she enjoys the sounds of birds, bullfrogs and the random coyote.
She also writes young adult fiction as Catherine Stine. Her YA futuristic thriller, Fireseed One won finalist spots in both YA and Science Fiction in the 2013 USA Book News International Book Awards, and was an Indie Reader Approved notable book. Her YA Refugees, earned a New York Public Library Best Book. Ruby’s Fire, the new companion novel to Fireseed One, is receiving high praise from reviewers. She’s a member of RWA, SCBWI and SFWA. She loves her readers and enjoys hearing from them.
Giveaway Information –
2 Art of Love wristlet bags (US & Canada)
One Kindle with built in Wi-Fi plus 5W USB Charger (US/Can)
Ebook bundle of Ruby’s Fire and Fireseed One (INT)
$50 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
1 ebook of Model Position (INT)