liz crowe – letting teens be teens

Welcome Liz Crowe on her Stewart Realty: Jack and Sara Print Anthology Virtual Book Tour!

Liz is an Amazon best-selling author, beer blogger and beer marketing expert, mom of three, and soccer fan.  Can you say she is one busy lady?  She lives in the great Midwest, in a major college town. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse. While working as a successful Realtor, Liz made the leap into writing novels about the same time she agreed to take on marketing and sales for the Wolverine State Brewing Company.

Her latest work, Stewart Reality Anthology, is a hot and steamy book that starts at the beginning, with the Jack and Sara Trilogy.  The Stewart Realty series is a best seller in family saga and urban fiction categories.  See for yourself what the buzz is all about.  Click on the picture below to read a blurb!

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We asked Liz, does she feel there can there be explicit sex in New Adult fiction.  Lets see what she has to say.  

Take it away Liz….

Ok, so there is a lot hollering and weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth going on out there in reader-land about “New Adult Fiction.”

If you take the more or less universally accepted definition of this subgenre you know that a book labeled as “New Adult” will contain, but not be limited to, young people assumed to be older than 12 or so (say, 16 or 17), in their growing-up years, all traumas included, and follow them as they “come of age,” although that phrase is wearing thin in all the scrabbling around for purchase on this slippery slope of sub-genre book categorization. (Pardon me, but I may have just given a couple of my editors an aneurism with that last sentence. fist pump)

It is, sort of, a way to take Harry, Ron, Hermione and “whatshername that marries Harry” and lets them have some quick and nasties in the corners of Hogwarts and tells all about it. Taking the “young adult” reader/character set into the next zone of life…that is “New Adult” to many.

Let’s take my books, starting with the 3 being pimped currently. The Stewart Realty series is, ostensibly, about grown ups. My main couple, Jack Gordon and Sara Thornton, are in their official past-the-coming-of-age stages of life. Jack’s in his mid-30’s more or less set in his man-centered ways. Ditto Ms. Thornton, in her late 20’s. However, as this series progressed and matured, along with it my writing skills and style, it became clear that knowing more about the “formative years” (read: teenage ones) for some of the characters was, in a word, required.

I went back and told Jack’s story, as a gift to my fans, in the free (on my publisher’s site, or .99 on all the other ones) Jack back-story prequel, House Rules. It’s a coming-of-age story if I ever read one. It has sex in it. Jack Gordon (for those of you who don’t know yet) is a 6’5” walking dildo of a self-confident man-whore when you meet him in Floor Time. The guy did not get that way by accident.  He was tall, dark ‘n handsome as a 17 and a half year old when his abusive father’s secretary teaches him…um… “the pleasures,” to use the Cave Bear verbiage. Big Time.

One of Jack’s best friends from his days at Northwestern Law School is Evan Adams. You meet him and his fiancée, then wife, Julie, in the first 3 books of the series. They really intrigued me so I wrote one of my longest books, Mutual Release, about those two and I bring them both forward from their teen years to their 30’s when they meet each other, scarred, effed up and half-ruined by their own “coming of age” years. Of course, Evan has a particular fetish—one that is making average housewives and college girls run out and buy nipple clamps and choke collars for themselves in a flurry of alarming, over-reaction. His is pretty damn strong, but somewhat destructive, and plays a huge part of his “coming of age.” So Mutual Release is New Adult with a STRONG “18 and over only” warning that has lots of glowing reviews.

Good Faith, the final novel of the series, which explores what happens to the progeny of super Type-A’s like Jack and Sara and their friends, is definitely a “new adult” novel. All the teenagers grow up, screw up (some of them in a HUGE way), learn, make more mistakes and generally do “teenager-ish” stuff like…. have unprotected, illicit sex, take drugs, drink booze, lie and sneak around. All in a huge, puppy-like jumble of themselves, as their 4 families are all intertwined and spend countless vacations and holidays together. It’s a real Magnum Opus of a novel and brings the whole saga to a very emotional full circle and I’m damn proud of it, as I am the entire series.

Now, to the issue of “can there be explicit sex in New Adult fiction” I say, “who cares?” As long as the book is labeled as “for mature audiences” (which is NOT putting an age limit on it—I read Fear of Flying AND Clan of the Cave Bear at 12. Yeah. You know what I’m talking about here).  For crying out loud there are some that claim “50 Shades” is New Adult, which I would heartily disagree. To me, “coming of age” is about the sum total of a person’s experiences as a teen. Events that form personalities as characters move into their early twenties and beyond. Not a Disney Princess Story with bondage and spanking and earth-shattering mutual orgasms that never end (watch, they’ll make a song for this someday, after Disney buys the rights once the Star Wars franchise is dried out like an old turnip).

Ok, I digress…. lots of folks are heated up about this topic. Should a New Adult book contain sexually explicit material? I say that if it is a true-to-life one, that purports to tell the story of realistic teens and twenty-somethings, it sort of has to. For many (most?) of us, it is when we learn about our sexuality, find our comfort zones and hopefully (in the case of men) learn some skills and (in the case of women) learn what we like about those skills.

There is room for “sweet new adult” just like there is “sweet romance” or “Christian fiction.” That is the beauty of the publishing world. I would advise that if you are looking for books that gloss over how teens act out just because they are exorcising the hormonal demons that beset them, you might want to read the “warnings” of books (including mine) very carefully. My books are “fiction” and many (most?) times defy categorization. Good Faith (and Mutual Release) both move way beyond the coming-of-age stages for their characters. In Good Faith you get not only the stories of the teens and early-twenty-something characters but also that of their parents—tales of mature marriages, parenting teens and holding down entrepreneurial, stressful careers.

That said, I do hope you pick up the first 3 books of the Stewart Realty series. It’s about grownups, also doing grown-up (and sometime stupid and selfish) things…. we never really outgrow that tendency, even when we have already come of age.

Thank you for having me!

If you want to know more about Liz, you can find her via any of the links below:

Official Website: www.lizcrowe.com

Official Blog: http://www.brewingpassion.com

Goodreads Page: www.goodreads.com/lizcrowe

Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Liz-Crowe/e/B00573TC7M/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1390825333&sr=8-2-ent

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/a2beerwench

Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/lizcroweauthor

Fan Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/lizcrowefans

Jack Gordon’s fan page:  http://www.facebook.com/jackgordonrealtor

Also, as added goodies Liz will chose from among commenters across the entire tour and award in Mid-March 2 signed copies of the new Stewart Realty “Jack & Sara Trilogy” print anthology (U.S. ONLY)

And….

Liz’s final, epic, mainstream fiction novel of the Stewart Realty series continues to enthrall readers and reviewers. As part of the re-release of the first 3 books of the series that focus on Jack and Sara’s early years, her publisher is offering GOOD FAITH for just $0.99 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble for the month-long duration the tour. You do not have to “know” these characters to appreciate Good Faith. But a great way to get to know them is to start with re-released anthology and then read Good Faith.  It’s not every day you can get a long, juicy, well-crafted novel for just a buck. But thanks to this tour, you can, for just 4 weeks.

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7 thoughts on “liz crowe – letting teens be teens”

  1. I’ve begun to wonder if NA hasn’t taken off in an entirely different direction than was intended. Not necessarily in a good way, either. Some of the very first NA books I read were Slammed, Beautiful Disaster, Easy, etc. They were beautifully written books, and yes, there was sex, but the books weren’t just written with sex scenes for the sake of writing about sex.

    I think initially that NA was like YA, only grown up a little bit and there was more freedom to write about sex. Somewhere along the line, this got confused to mean that NA HAD TO HAVE sex in order to be labeled as NA. Like YA — NA books are books written about age specific heroes and heroines. NA including ages 18-26 (? not entirely sure on the exact age bracket.)

    I’m certainly no prude…but I think NA needs to be clearly defined as a genre (like YA) that is written with age specific characters and not about how many times and ways within 300+ pages the hero and heroine can do the nasty.

  2. You write with so much humor and a biting wit, Liz. I agree about “yuck enough with coming of age, already.” Birds do it, bees do it, and teens I knew back in the forties definitely did it-not me, the virgin who never allowed ‘privileges ’cause mother said.
    So why not if it’s not gratuitous sex scenes. I haven’t read your books, as yet. To know you in cyber space is to love you so your stories are in my future, my friend. And we are both from the Mid west although I now live in NY. Love, Charmaine
    My long/short story No Time for Green Bananas got a 5 star review from LASR reviews. Might this be the rung of the ladder to success?

  3. I think that teens and younger are going to read what they want, even if their parents don’t want it. I would rather have an open discussion with my child than to forbid them and have issues. I am not against there being variety in all genres. Warnings are good and give parents and educators something to gauge about a book’s content.

  4. I think its all about writing in the perspective of the characters. A new adult sex scene is going to sound different from an adult scene. Mind out of the gutter – that is not what I mean.The vernacular is just different as we mature. A good author can adjust to the age of her characters. That’s what its about – whether it’s sexy or sweet, it has to feel true to the characters.

  5. Sometimes I don’t care for NA because I’m WAY past that age lol, but I think Liz does a great job of writing realistic scenarios, and I love the way the Stewart Realty series gives us the teen years but also shows how the characters grow up.

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