I think a lot of you will be happy to know I’m working on edits for BEN & CASSIE’s Novella right now <3. The Possibility of Us
COMING IN JUNE!
PAUSE FOR *SQUEEING*!
For those of you who don’t know Ben & Cassie, their story started in Dear Cassie
Dear Cassie tore my heart out when I wrote it. Cassie had an abortion just before that book began and was dealing with the aftermath of it during the whole of the novel. By the end she had found some closure, some forgiveness and a new relationship with Ben. It ts an upper-YA book with very strong language, sex, and sexual situations, but Ben and Cassie did not have sex in the book.
Cassie was not ready to be in a relationship again, let alone be that intimate with someone. Kissing was as far as they went, even though both of them had been sexually active before.
Fast forward six months after Dear Cassie ends to The Possibility of Us. This novella is New Adult because now they are both 18, out of high school and trying to decide what to do about their lives and each other. Their relationship has gotten more serious and toward the end of the book they have sex for the first time. They are finally ready to really commit to each other and finally ready to trust in their love physically.
Because their relationship has been so delicate, so filled with Cassie’s baggage I wrote the sex scene as closed door; meaning you know they are about to have sex, but I don’t put it on the page. It feels right for them, like they almost deserve to have this as something no one else can share, literally. BUT, then there’s the expectations of writing a New Adult book. My last book Sneaking Candy was FILLED with sex and sexual innuendo. It was a romantic comedy, a very different kind of book, but I still wonder if leaving sex out this time will hurt me when it comes to readers.
Will The Possibility of Us be less well received if I don’t give readers a glimpse into Cassie and Ben’s bedroom?
I’m going to admit something and maybe this admission has gone unspoken by other NA writers, but I feel pressure to live up to a certain heat level.
Perhaps it’s a little how teen girls feel when guys pressure them to have sex before they are ready. He won’t like me anymore if I don’t do what he wants. I am feeling the same way about readers. Will they still like me if I keep Cassie and Ben’s sex-life implied and not explained?
Genres have expectations, there is nothing wrong with that. I guess I’m concerned that one expectation of New Adult has become for the most part explicit sex.
My edits are due Friday and I will be going back and forth on what to do until then I’m sure. For right now, I’m sticking with what feels right for my characters, even if the market is pushing me to believe it is wrong.