The Disappearing Girl by Heather Topham Wood
New Adult Contemporary
Date Published: 5/7/2013
Kayla Marlowe is slowly vanishing…
Last year, Kayla’s world imploded. Her beloved father died, leaving her alone with a narcissistic mother who is quick to criticize her daughter’s appearance. During her winter break from college, Kayla’s dangerous obsession with losing weight begins.
Kayla feels like her world changes for the better overnight. Being skinny seems to be the key to the happiness she has desperately been seeking. Her mother and friends shower her with compliments, telling her how fantastic she looks. Kayla is starving, but no one knows it.
Cameron Bennett explodes into Kayla’s life. He’s sexy and kind—he has every quality she has been looking for in a guy. As Cameron grows closer to Kayla and learns of how far she’s willing to go to stay thin, he becomes desperate to save her.
Kayla’s struggles with anorexia and bulimia reach a breaking point and she is forced to confront her body image issues in order to survive. She wonders if Cameron could be the one to help heal her from the pain of her past.
New Adult Contemporary-Ages 17+ due to language and sexual situations.
5 Reasons to Write New Adult
New Adult is like a shiny new toy, there’s a big demand for it. If you look at the top 100 books on Amazon.com, you’re likely to find that many of them come from the New Adult genre. Book retailers have noticed the demand and Amazon recently officially added New Adult & College as a category.
You Can Take Risks
If you write young adult, you have to restrict the content. If you don’t, you’re going to ruffle a lot of feathers. A lot of readers don’t want to see books labeled young adult with the f-bomb or a lot of sexy time between the characters. With New Adult, your main characters can go beyond first base! The characters are in college, so getting busy isn’t as frowned upon like books with high school students.
College is the time of many firsts, which can inspire plenty of story ideas. College kids are often living on their own for the first time and experiencing the freedom of not having to answer to their parents. College is also often the time when you must decide what you plan to do with the rest of your life. I know I struggled with choosing a career (hence the four major changes lol) and writers can share stories about these issues.
College isn’t the only experience that can be found in New Adult literature. Writers can explore topics that are also important to the age group, which may include getting engaged, pregnancy, military deployment, etc. In The Disappearing Girl, I focused on eating disorders because I feel that a lot of people in this age group face this problem.
Tight Knit Writing Community
New Adult writers are very supportive of each other. When I first started writing, new adult was a new term being tossed around and other authors from the genre really helped me understand the appeal of the genre and how to write books that fit into this category. There are so many blogs, Goodreads groups and Facebook groups around now that can help new and aspiring writers of NA.
Heather Topham Wood’s obsession with novels began in childhood while growing up in a shore town in New Jersey. Writing since her teens, she recently returned to penning novels after a successful career as a freelance writer. She’s the author of the Second Sight series and the standalone The Disappearing Girl.
Heather graduated from the College of New Jersey in 2005 and holds a bachelor’s degree in English. Her freelance work has appeared in publications such as USA Today, Livestrong.com, Outlook by the Bay and Step in Style magazine. She resides in Trenton, New Jersey with her husband and two sons. Besides writing, Heather is a pop culture fanatic and has an obsession with supernatural novels and TV shows.
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