I’ve started writing a new novel in the New Adult genre – for late teens and early twenties. Books addressing the struggles of becoming an adult. I read an article about a New Adult author who became very popular self-publishing, Cora Carmack, and decided to read her book LOSING IT to discover what made it so popular.
Two gorgeous people, who had a head-over-heels crush on each other, and how they made their affair happen. All I could think while I was reading it was is this what it’s all about for twenty-something’s these days? When I was nineteen, I was reading The Classics, a teen-bride trying to catch-up on the college education that I’d passed up.
Initially, I wondered how the early-twenties crowd had become so fluffy. But then I got to thinking…
I’d also read a popular heart-wrencher in my late twenties, THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, by Robert James Waller. A story of a lonesome farm-wife who had a brief affair with a photographer visiting her town to take pictures of rural bridges. I’d cried at the end; I felt the raw emotion of the woman losing the love of her life when her family came back from a trip, and her lover moved on. I was drawn in by her pain and longing. I was entranced by the brief love the woman shared with the photographer that she carried for a lifetime.
Until my husband put it in perspective for me. He reminded me that anyone can have a fleeting romance. It’s the day-to-day living, the give-and-take of marriage, day in and day out, that is truly the test. Real life versus a few days. Would her photographer-lover have been able to handle that? Who knows.
The bottom line is the emotion that’s evoked from what we read. I think how a book affects us is determined by where we are in our lives, what we’re struggling with, every day, but also what we fantasize about.
And that, of course, is always relative.