Monday, June 24, 2013

Asian NA - What is that? + Let me sponsor your next group read! (US only, for now)

I love that New Adult came about, and that we're talking about it.

I live in Metro Manila, in the Philippines, and I write contemporary novels. They're called Chick Lit by publishers but the way I write them, they're actually New Adult.

This is what being a young adult and new adult (18 to 25) in my country is like. It's about being told that:
At 14-17, you can't go out on dates until you're eighteen. And that you're a problem, if you do anyway.
At 18-20, you can't go out with guys unless you're with your friends, his friends, and at least one other parent, preferably people who "share your values." You should stay home and not be like (insert teen mom's name here) who never got to finish college and now has a child to raise. And guess how teen moms are judged.
At 20-23, you should not go out at all, and focus on graduating with good grades, so you can find a good job. You "shouldn't be so serious" with your boyfriend, because your priority should be getting a good job so you can help out with your family. It's selfish to spend your money on things like coffee and gadgets and Boracay beach trips.
At 24-25, "Why are you still single? Maybe it's your personality. You're wasting your youth and beauty. I'll set you up with my friend's son now before you become a spinster." And if you're fine with just dating, seeing people, without planning your wedding just yet? No, don't admit it, they've got more to say about that. 
So yeah. It's about spending most of this wonderful time as a "new adult" being told to be chaste and responsible and career-oriented, only to call us spinsters if we follow the advice. It's also, sadly, about making us feel horrible if we stumble during this time, using us as cautionary tales to scare the younger girls, and the times when we recover gracefully and make awesome lives for ourselves can't (shouldn't) be acknowledged, because it's just not the norm.

So what is Asian NA? It's about independence first, I think. And romance. And career. And sex (sure). And money. And real friendships. Everything you start to discover once you're free to discover them.

I wrote this because I notice that some people say "NA" when they're looking for explicit stuff, and might be disappointed with books like mine, which are more sweet than steamy, but are about people of the NA age range. I guess I wanted to explain the cultural context of why "sweet" can be realistic for a twenty-four-year-old. And I wanted to find the people and readers who think this is realistic for them.*

Do you want to read Asian NA? 

1. Sign up here to get a (hopefully monthly) email update of Asian books you might be interested in.
2. Here's my Amazon page: Most of my books are NA contemporary romance.
3. If you're based in the US and would like to do a group read of one of my books, I can sponsor your group by offering:

  • A special discount up to 20% off the paperback edition for your group
  • Discussion questions and notes for your book club
  • An Amazon gift card to raffle off during the discussion

Sign up here:

(*I'm not ruling out steamy, of course. I totally think I live among people living unapologetically steamy lives. I just wish they'd write about it!)

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