Out with the Young Adult Genre and in with the Old Adult Genre
A blogger had been asking how to market his book to old adults and was asking what they liked to read, and the response he got was so funny I almost lost my hat! The old man said, "What do ya think we like to read? We want to read books, good books."
Obviously the questioner was a teenager as far as anyone could tell from the preposterous question.
"We're people who have lived through all of the experiences that you have lived through and more," the man wrote, "so we've read what you have read and more. I think what you're asking is,
After I read through the article I felt that I better understood the workings of the modern book era. You have books that are classified young adult, because they are written for and probably by young adults. They are niche books that authors scour Google keyword tools to find ideas for. Those kind of books are built around an audience for their pleasure. And, there is nothing wrong with that! In fact, I have enjoyed many such books and even am guilty of writing a few!
But when it comes to literature, I mean real novels, there can't be an audience. Real, good, deep, writing is something that boils up from an author and his beliefs, experiences, and years of ideas blossom from the work. It is writing that the author can be proud of himself. He alone is the audience. A literary fiction novel, aka Old Adult Genre (I'm gonna make this one stick, I'm telling ya!) is different in that it is filled with words the author has to look up in the dictionary just to make sure he knows that it meant what it was he was trying to say. And then sometimes the word doesn't mean that certain thing, but he uses it anyway because he has written it in a way that it is going to work.
Old Adult books (I'm really trying to make it stick ya'll) change the face of literature because a person feels along with the writer. Emotion comes through the book because the author believes what is written (no matter how preposterous) while writing it! I dare say he/she wishes and lives it while writing. Old Adult doesn't have to be Old English or overly proper, times change, but it need be passionate.
The only reason Old Adult Genre doesn't exist is because it is something that no one person should be able to just attach as a keyword or a category of their own volition. Old Adult is something that literary fiction lovers will always covet because the only way to be marked by such a label is to withstand the test of time. The test of time ... when you've read a book a year ago and one day something you remember reading from it influences the internal structure of your writer's soul. Books can do that.
That is what the Pangea Chronicles is to me. It's a living breathing work that begs to escape me. Young adults will have no appetite for it, lest it snare their young years away into the oblivion of fantasizing about being an old writer like me.
What book or series are you writing that is Old Adult?