Stephanie Tyler is a New York Times bestselling author. She also co-writes as Sydney Croft. Stephanie was part of the blitz I hosted for her publisher Carina Press.
Why I write New Adult by Stephanie Tyler
I love writing New Adult because I love the age group New Adult encompasses (approximately 18 to 25 years old) and for me, looking back, those were some of the most fun times in so many ways. You’re on your own, you’re making mistakes and getting in trouble and falling in love…there are so many possibilities open to you. So many choices.
Did I mention the falling in love thing? Everything about that time is so heightened—there’s a sexual edge to a relationship that makes it different and confusing and complicated and wonderful. So New Adult isn’t just for readers who are between those ages—I think anyone of any age can enjoy these types of books. It’s a reminder of fun times, for some, a realization of how far we’ve come. And a reminder that sometimes being a little crazy and out of control is still a good thing.
The best and worst things about being a writer
The best thing about being a writer? Where do I start? Getting to do what I absolutely love for a living (aka I make shit up for a living and I get paid for it!) — because I don’t think that many people are blessed with their dream job. Writing’s something you can’t get out of your blood—and it’s been said that if you can give it up, you should, because it’s not an easy career—but I think that’s part of the tradeoff. Working from home and commuting from the bedroom to the kitchen and back for your coffee, staying in pajamas, making your own hours. And this is such an amazingly exciting time for writers—we have so many options open that I didn’t have when I first started, that weren’t around even three years ago. So for me, the job just keeps getting better, because I’ve got a lot of creative freedom.
But the absolute best thing? Glowing reader emails or Facebook messages or Tweets. To know you’ve touched someone with your books is the ultimate goal for every writer.
The worst parts of being a writer? Well, honestly, worst is a relative term here, because the good definitely outweighs any bad. I guess the thing to know is, that even though you’re published doesn’t mean that things get easier. With each book, I get better but it doesn’t get easier. Because you know more about craft, because you’re stretching yourself with each subsequent thing you write. So the self-doubt is always there. There’s always going to be a lot of rejection. And I’ve never believed in that mantra of, “grow a thick skin” because writers are who we are because we’re very sensitive, sometimes to the extreme. And that’s what we need to be in order to do our jobs.
So really, the worst parts are the trade off for the best parts, and I can definitely live with that for my dream job.
How I wound up being a New Adult author
I’ve got an obsession with writing military men and men who ride motorcycles. Have from my very first Blaze (Hunt, a Navy SEAL who rides a Harley). So when I got the idea for my Defiance series (Defiance and Redemption are already out, and Salvation comes out in May of this year), it was simply a matter of perfect timing.
I didn’t set out to purposely write a New Adult romance. I love the show Sons of Anarchy, but some of my favorite episodes happen early in the series, when Jax and Tara reconnect after many years apart. I wanted to know more about them when they were younger—what they looked like when they first fell in love. And then I started to twist it together in my mind—like, what happens to the kids who grow up with parents in a motorcycle club? What happens, specifically, to the girls who grow up in that environment?
I wanted to write those girls at 18, 19, 20.
And then I threw my characters into the perfect storm and billed it as, “Sons of Anarchy meets The Apocalypse”. Because for me, the MC dynamics and the women who marry into the culture always presented a unique challenge. Putting them in a crisis allowed me to recreate the MC a bit, but still have the MC guys be their overbearing, alpha selves (because honestly, they’re my favorite men to write about). And the world I’ve created is a joy to hang out in for me while I’m writing it.