Shona Husk on the Character’s Journey in New Adult Novels

Australian author Shona Husk discusses how important those transitional years from ages 18 to 25 are as well as how she got started writing New Adult novels. She gives us a sneak peek at her upcoming novel, Ruby’s Ghost, which is being released on May 13, 2013 by Samhain Publishing. Shona’s also giving away a copy of her first novel An Elemental Tail to one lucky commenter. Welcome, Shona!

Rubys Ghost

The Character’s Journey

While I’ve always been an avid reader it wasn’t until I started writing that I actually understood the finer points of genre. I knew there was romance and fantasy and sci-fi and thriller…but sub-genres? No. I simply browsed the bookshelves until I found something was interested in.

When I did start writing YA wasn’t really talked about, now it stands on its own with or without romantic elements. The ones I’ve enjoyed the most have been about those kids just leaving school and starting to make decisions that will impact on their adult lives. But these are more New Adult than YA. New Adult is where the protagonists are between 18 and 25.

I don’t know about you but those seven years for me were busy. I started college and dropped out, I change course, started my career in civil engineering got married, moved interstate twice and bought a house. All of those decisions have affected where I am now and who I am now.

In that respect writing New Adult is fascinating as the characters are still forming. They carry childhood issues but they haven’t got adult baggage or experience. While I’ve written the widowed mother and a divorced hero, writing about college aged characters is very different. The issues they are dealing with are different, and yet no less important to them and their lives than those of an adult character. Finding love is still important, whether it be short term or long term and the friendships made during this period can last a lifetime.

Of course back when I started writing I didn’t know anything about YA or NA books. I was just writing paranormal romance and if the characters happened to be at college well, that was just their story.

AnElementalTailMy first published story was An Elemental Tail in 2010, in 2012 I got the rights back and in December I self-published it with a fresh edit and a new cover. The heroine is an arts student who meets a merman, along the way she has to work out how to juggle work, study and love. In May 2013 my second NA story will be released with Samhain Publishing: Ruby’s Ghost. After a tragic accident the hero is caught between life and death and he has to make some big decisions about what he wants out of life—for him those choices could be fatal.

While I don’t have other New Adult books in the pipeline I’ll probably write more in the future simply because that is the story that needs telling. And for me it’s about the characters and their journey.

More About Ruby’s Ghost

Breaking up is hard to survive.

One moment, Tate Cooper is giving his ex-girlfriend a lift home on his motorcycle. The next, his soul is suspended between life and death, wandering in confusion between the accident scene and the house he grew up in.

Except it’s not his home anymore. In his old bedroom sleeps a beautiful young woman, the only person who can see him. And the only person who can keep him from succumbing to the temptation to escape the horrific pain awaiting him in his mortal body.

Eloise Jones should be studying for her college exams, but it’s tough to stay focused when a lost soul keeps appearing in her room. She figures it must have something to do with sirens she heard screaming in the night, but she’s helpless to assist—and helpless to resist.

As Eloise tries to help Tate unravel the tangled facts surrounding the accident, longing and desire grow into an almost tangible bond between them. But then a second spirit appears, one with a darker intent that could separate them before love draws its first breath…

Warning: Contains a vengeful ex and a romance that crosses the boundary between life and death.

Where to buy:

More About An Elemental Tail

Four hundred years ago, Nik was tricked by his lover and left stranded as a powerless, but immortal, human. Now he craves only one thing: to reclaim the book that was once his tail and become a water Elemental again. Unfortunately, he can only locate the book when someone touches the pages. This time he won’t be left high and dry.

Isla is left a beautiful leather-bound book in her great-aunt’s will, perfect for using during her life drawing classes. However, she can’t bring herself to mark the translucent pages until a compelling crimson-haired stranger strips for art.

Nik is torn. Years of enforced humanity have given him a conscience. Despite his best efforts at remaining a heartless water Elemental, he is failing. He is falling for Isla, who has no idea she holds the power of the oceans, and his heart, in her hands.

Where to buy:

More About Shona

Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Blessed with a lively imagination she spent most of her childhood making up stories. As an adult she discovered romance novels and hasn’t looked back. Drawing on history and myth, she weaves new worlds and writes heroes who aren’t afraid to get hurt while falling in love. With stories ranging from sensual to scorching, she is published with Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing and Sourcebooks.

Where to find Shona online:

So, readers, how about you? Do you agree that we experience some of our most transformative changes during the ages of 18-25? What sort of things happened to you during that time? Think you’d like to meet a merman who looks as hunky as the one on Shona’s An Elemental Tail cover? 😀 Then let us know in the comments! Remember, one lucky commenter will win a free copy of An Elemental Tail. Thanks for guest blogging, Shona!


Published by

Jill Archer

Jill Archer is the author of the Noon Onyx series, genre-bending fantasy novels including DARK LIGHT OF DAY, FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE, and POCKET FULL OF TINDER.

7 thoughts on “Shona Husk on the Character’s Journey in New Adult Novels

  1. I absolutely agree. Being a new adult is just that: new. And the pressure is on to act like a grown up and do all the grown up stuff even if you’re not entirely sure you’re ready to. The baby bird is kicked out of the nest and forced to spread its wings. Some fall, some soar, and either way it’s a learning experience. YA is coming of age, NA is the arrival. 🙂

    1. I like your perspective on New Adult fiction, Karen. Personally, I think there’s no better time in a character’s life to place a story than ages 18 to 25. Sure, other dramatic things can happen to a person at other points in their life but — wow! — what a period of freedom, responsibility, and change. The decisions people face and make when they are first adults makes that stage of life a crucible. What writer wouldn’t be drawn to explore that? (And readers too, we hope!) 😀

  2. I’ll go along with the idea of rapid change during your early 20’s. The problem is that most if it went by so fast it seems a blur now. At the tail end of that time period I became a trooper, which counts as a big life change for sure.

    What’s all this about a merman? It’s always been a mermaid. Where’s the awesome cover with a mermaid on it? Why the gender bias? I’m feeling left out here!

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