Meet Author Carrie Butler

New Adult and I go way back...
·        In 2007, I started writing NA-ish serials online.
Just like a budding romance, every moment was filled with excitement and anticipation.

·        In 2009, a St. Martin’s contest coined the term “New Adult”—which perfectly described stories like mine.
Can you say DTR?

·        In 2010, I stopped writing serials to work on my first novel intended for publication: Strength (Mark of Nexus #1)—a New Adult paranormal romance.
That’s right. NA and I decided to go exclusive!

·        In 2011, I finished the book, learned everything I could about the industry, and began writing query letters to agents. The general consensus was that NA had yet to become a “thing,” and it was best to change my story to fit into an established category, i.e. YA or adult. (Womp, womp.) 

This was my “tempted by the fruit of another (category)” moment.

·        In 2012, a group of seven frustrated NA writers formed NA Alley with the intention of making this “thing” happen, come hell or high water. 

Consider this the literary equivalent of therapy...

·        A month later, a small press picked up Strength

Woohoo! I said yes (to the contract), and we set a date.

·        Several months later, “New Adult” started appearing on the world’s radar, thanks to independent successes like Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster and Tammara Webber’s Easy.

NA got a big promotion that put it in the public eye. I like to think I was a supportive partner.

·        In 2013, Strength was released into the world.

After months of planning, the “big day” had finally arrived!

·        A month later, I was interviewed by USA Today on New Adult fiction. (*faint*) NA Alley continued to grow, surpassing a million hits.

Ah, the bliss of the honeymoon period...

·        Four months later, I left my publisher, went indie, and released the next book in my NA paranormal romance series, Courage (Mark of Nexus #2).
Uh oh. Real life was settling in.

·        In 2014, readers requested (yay!) an in-between book from a secondary character’s POV. Honesty (Mark of Nexus #2.5) released in March as NA urban fantasy—this time, to little fanfare. I busied myself with NA Alley’s site revamp.

Had my spark with NA started to fizzle?

·        By late 2014, the series had won two awards, but its connection to NA had worn thin. Following in the wake of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey, NA erotica and steamy NA contemporary romance flooded the market. The movement set sales records and made all the headlines.

Unfortunately, those of us who hadn’t incorporated sexy times into our books started getting questioned about the validity of our NA titles. Some reviewers even began taking away stars for lack of sex. Why couldn’t we embrace all genres under the NA banner?

Somehow, without us realizing it, NA and I had grown apart.

·        In early 2015, I released the last book in my series—Loyalty (Mark of Nexus #3), an NA urban fantasy—with a bitter taste in my mouth. I found myself so discouraged that I put out the boxed set without any major announcement. The project was done. My support had faded. I didn’t want to think about it anymore.
Frustrated and depressed, I considered walking out on NA.


·        By mid-2015, I was ready to give it another try. If nothing else, the series I had fought so hard for deserved to be sent off with a bang. I made the first book (Strength) perma-free and took out a BookBub ad... targeting paranormal romance subscribers, instead of New Adult.

Holy unexpected downloads, Batman! Even if it was just a temporary bump, the response helped me believe in my writing (and myself) again.
NA and I made up. <3 span="">
So, am I still going to publish NA titles?

Of course! Just because the honeymoon is over doesn’t mean I’m ready to give up on us. My next project will be a niche outlier, too—an NA graphic novel! :)

Carrie Butler is an award-winning author, the owner of Forward Authority Design Services, and a co-founder of NA Alley—not to mention an inbound-certified marketer with a penchant for superhero socks and Firefly. Time away from her desk is spent playing with her rescue pup, yelling at the TV during hockey season, and indulging in target-based recreation. Otherwise, you’re likely to find her glued to her chair, discovering new ways to share her daydreams...

The Mark of Nexus series has appeared on Amazon bestselling, top-rated, and hot new release lists in various genres. It has also been mentioned in publications like USA Today and Writing New Adult Fiction—a recent how-to from Writer’s Digest.


Make sure to check out the other authors in the blogfest!!!

Apryl Baker