Friday, June 28, 2013

Blog Tour Stop: Dancers and Divas by Kathy Petrakis

The Dancers and Divas book series follows hip hop dancer Elena Martinez and her best friend, actor Sebastien Duval, as they navigate their way through New York’s top Performing Arts School. They not only have to deal with auditions, rejection and endless rehearsals, but also their own personal journey and that of their friends and enemies, in order to discover their true selves and their dreams.

Passion and Pain - (which will be $0.99 during promotion)

Kathy has stopped by today to talk about the significance of New Adult books.

Why write New Adult books?

For a long time Young Adult was the talk of the town – the new genre to separate teens from children. But the problem was a thirteen year old and a nineteen year old how very different maturity levels, interests, challenges and reading levels. How can one genre accommodate people at such different points in their life? It can’t. Then New Adult came along – some people claimed it was Young Adult with sex or Mature YA. I definitely think that is one way of describing it. For late teens, sex, its introduction, experience and misuse plays a major role in their life. But for many, new adult is the college years when independence begins – first jobs, first time out of home. To me it’s both - it’s mature teenagers taking on new worlds regardless if they are still in high school or are now living independently or starting college.

In the Dancers and Divas series, the main characters are teenagers but they experience just about everything a young adult possibly could from sexual awakening, independence, bullying, self-doubt, lust and of course friendship, love and loyalty. There are some who have to find a way to survive on their own, others fighting their parents’ expectations, and others supporting their parents through illness. Their age is irrelevant except that many of these experiences are new.

Is there sex? Of course there is. Especially at that age, sex is the cause of so much angst, happiness and confusion. There are teenagers holding onto their virginity, others who are comfortable with their sexuality and use it to their advantage and others who experience the worst of sex. It’s definitely not an erotic book but sex is definitely one thing these teenagers need to face one way or another. It’s real and sometimes it’s scary and sometimes it’s great – but it’s only important in that it has an impact on a character.

There is no doubt that everyone experiences new things in their life, whether they’re five or fifty-five. But late adolescence is such a vital time for forming your identity that I love having my characters at that age. There is so much that comes their way, both good and bad that it opens up so many avenues of creativity for me. I never set out to write something for New adults or Young adults – these were my characters and this is what they experienced while still in high school and it definitely isn’t for a twelve year old!

And it’s not just teenagers reading in the YA /NA genre – many adults do also which just goes to show how these experiences can affect everyone! Many of my future novel ideas still include characters in the same age band for that same reason as do many TV shows.

I hope you enjoy reading the series as much as I enjoyed writing it.

1 comment:

  1. I think new adult certainly has an audience that craves understanding and the ability to identify with characters. Anyone who writes in the genre has a great deal of my respect. WRITE ON!