Keira: In the past couple of months, I’ve heard a lot about “new adult” romances. How do they differ from young adult romances or contemporary romances? Is there blending of genres?
Leesa Bow: New Adult is where the characters are usually 18-25 years of age. We know this can be a sensitive time with many changes happening in the individual’s life, and so the struggle of becoming an adult is generally central to the New Adult story.
I consider Young Adult characters to be 17 years and under so that is a major difference. In New Adult the characters are often experiencing monumental firsts: first time leaving home, first time at college, first job, and first real love. Falling in love at this age is intense and emotional, so the romance is considered spicier than Young Adult.
You could say New Adult bridges the gap between Young Adult and contemporary romance.
Keira : Tell us about your new release Charming the Outback? How is this different to other Australian rural romances?
Leesa: Charming the Outback is the second book in my Player series and is Maddy’s story. We are first introduced to Maddy in my first book, Winning the Player, as Aubree’s BF and Hunter’s cousin. Maddy is feisty and refuses to settle down, until she meets Luke. We learn Luke returns to his family’s station to work on the sheep property. Six months later Maddy accepts a teaching position at a nearby country town hoping for a second chance at love.
Charming the Outback combines rural romance with New Adult. It has the flavor of rural romance along with the outback scenery while adding the emotional turmoil of younger characters stumbling to find true love.
Keira: Your novel Winning the Player focuses on football. Do you love football yourself? What drew you to write romances around sports?
Leesa: The football I describe in Winning the Player is Australian Rules Football, which differs to soccer, rugby and American football. I love all forms of football but was drawn to Aussie Rules as my husband played for many years.
Keira: Are there any particular challenges or pluses to writing new adult or sport romances?
Leesa: I find getting game facts, terminology or catch phrases correct to be challenging. Thankfully I have a number of sporting male friends I can quiz.
Writing New Adult can be emotionally draining since the characters themselves are at an emotional age experiencing extreme highs and lows. It’s a great ride and a journey I love.
Keira: What are you working on next?
Leesa: Currently I am working on another sport series (cricket). Jardine is book 1 and will be released December 15 in a box set with seven other New Adult authors. During November I intend to write Caught Out, book 2 in the series.
Over Christmas I will complete Embracing the Player, book 3 in my Player series.
Early 2015 I hope to publish my NA fantasy series, Ulara. This book is close to my heart as I first wrote the story from an oncology ward while my daughter was receiving chemotherapy.
My daughter is now in remission and doing well.
WINNING THE PLAYER
When injury destroyed her dream of playing college basketball, Aubree Taylor fled overseas. Now she’s finally home again and ready to move on with her life. Until she runs into Hunter Stone on her first night out, the only guy who’s ever meant anything to her – and the last person she wants to see.
Since she ran out on him two years ago, Hunter hasn’t been able to get Aubree off his mind. The sexy football star has had girls all over him for years, but Aubree is the only one to have ever seen behind the cocky persona he puts on for the crowd.
Despite her attempts to keep her distance, Aubree is unable to resist the strong attraction between them and it isn’t long before they fall into a passionate relationship. She has never been afraid of a challenge, but Hunter’s arrogance and inablity to trust are testing her to her limits. Aubree must decide whether to follow her heart and lower her guard…or risk losing the best thing that’s ever happened to her.
CHARMING THE OUTBACK
When jaded city girl Maddy McIntyre packs up and leaves Adelaide for a new job in the country, it’s not only a chance at a fresh start. Six months ago, the first guy she’d ever loved shattered her heart before moving home to Broken Hill. Deep down inside, Maddy is hoping that living in the same town will give her an opportunity to prove to Luke that she’s one temptation he can’t resist.
But when she arrives in Broken Hill, Luke White is not the same guy she knew in the city. And it soon seems very clear that he doesn’t want her there. Although Maddy settles in quickly, excelling at work and partying with her new friends, she can’t understand why Luke is remaining so distant. Particularly when all her instincts are telling her that they’re meant to be together – and that he feels the same burning attraction.
As Maddy learns more about Luke’s family and background, she begins to understand that his mixed messages are caused by balancing what’s expected of him with what he really wants. Maddy gave Luke her heart long ago and, despite their differences, she knows she’ll only ever be happy with her hot country boy. But how can she convince him that she’s the risk he needs to take?