March 21, 2017

Why PJ Sharon writes New Adult novellas @pjsharon #RLFblog #NewAdult

Hey Readers,
Thanks so much for joining me today at the Romance Lives Forever Blog, and thank you, Kayelle for having me.

Writing an NA Novella Series

I've been at this writing/publishing thing for a while now and one of the most common questions I hear from readers is "How do you come up with your ideas?" The second most common question I hear is, "What made you want to write for young adults?" The answer to both of those questions is the same. I had a crazy teenaged life! Writing allows me a kind of do-over by taking my experiences and helping my young characters learn, grow, and find a hopefully ever after end. It's been very cathartic for me. It also allows me to impart to readers some hard lessons learned without being preachy. I tend to write books I wish I had had to read as a teenager. Like many of us, I went from reading Nancy Drew Mysteries to Stephen King with very few options in between. I am thrilled to be part of the phenomenon of great young adult and new adult stories exploding onto the book market.

When I first wrote Savage Cinderella back in 2010, I had no idea it would lead to a series of novellas six years later. Brinn's story came about after I'd been walking in the woods with my dog. I had a vison of a young girl running through the forest in tattered clothes, dark hair flying. Alongside her ran a bear (I live in the Berkshires where this seemed logical somehow). The questions that followed led me to pen the story of a kidnapped girl left for dead in the High Country of North Georgia, where she survives in the wild for several years…until a young nature photographer, Justin Spencer, finds her and convinces her to come back to the world. More a Tarzan story than a retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale—and far-fetched perhaps—but it became a Holt Medallion winner and grabbed the imagination and hearts of 3.6 million readers on Wattpad!

Being that my character, Brinn, was eighteen and living on her own, the story fell into the New Adult category—a change from my other novels which fit neatly into the young adult genre. Although it is contemporary and a romance, there are also elements of suspense/thriller, since Brinn is soon stalked by her kidnapper and must face off with him to truly gain her freedom. As much as I enjoyed telling this story, it was difficult to write parts of it from the perspective of the villain and live in his sick and twisted head for so many months. But when I was done, I always had in the back of my mind that Brinn's story wasn't over…it was only just beginning. I stewed on where to go with the character for quite some time while working on a dystopian trilogy and a non-fiction project for the next few years. And then novellas (shorter novels about 20-40 thousand words, or half the length of a full novel) became popular again and the ideas for more of Brinn's journey began to flow.

Finding Hope, the first in the novella series, picks up a year after Brinn's return. Well into her recovery, nineteen-year-old Brinn finds her life with Justin has become a safety net she relies on, but something is missing. After years of living wild in the mountains, taming her need for danger and independence turns out to be her greatest challenge. When Justin's friend Cody—now in the FBI—asks for her help in solving a kidnapping case, it sparks new purpose for Brinn—as well as major complications in her relationship with both men.

Lost Boys, the second novella in the series, follows Brinn and company when Justin's friend Cody has disappeared, and Brinn is determined to find out why. Despite an escalation in the tensions between them over Cody and Brinn's complicated friendship, Justin agrees to join her on a journey that leads to the mysterious jungles of Colombia, where whispers of human trafficking bring them face to face with an old enemy.

Brinn and Justin join forces with friends to do the unthinkable—enter the dangerous jungle on a rescue mission, sparking a battle for the lives of nine young boys and a fight for their own survival. Brinn's haunted past rears its ugly head as she is forced to once again take on a brutal killer. But in risking her life to save her friend, will she lose the one man who has sacrificed everything for her?

Yes, there is a bit of a love triangle which has spurred a "team Justin" vs. "team Cody" rivalry among my Wattpad readers, but the underlying theme is Brinn's growth, recovery, and discovery of herself as an individual—themes I think need more focus in Romance—especially for young adults. I'm currently working on the third novella, Sacred Ground, which will pit Brinn and friends against a crooked mining company in Wyoming while on a search for a ghost from Justin's past. I'm expecting a late Spring release and excited to have a few more ideas for future adventures.

If you haven't yet found the joy of reading novellas, think of them as a quick, tasty, and satisfying reading snack…without the calories! I'd love to give away an e-copy of the original novel that started it all, Savage Cinderella, to one lucky commenter.

Do you read novellas? Why or why not? Discuss…
Be well, keep reading, and let your favorite authors know how much you appreciate their stories by leaving a short review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads.
Peace and blessings,

Savage Cinderella

Eighteen-year-old Brinn Hathaway has survived on her own in the Northwest High Country of Georgia since she was left for dead in a shallow grave by the man who kidnapped her as a child. When a young nature photographer, Justin Spencer, catches the wild girl on film and the two form a tentative friendship, Brinn must decide if coming out of hiding is worth the hope—and the danger—that may await her.
If you enjoy this journey of romance, suspense, and hope, follow Brinn, Justin, Cody, and a cast of new characters through a series of novellas (30-40k word short novels). Each story will bring a new adventure, another crime to solve, and more danger for Brinn and company as they delve into the world of human trafficking and beyond.
Genre: New Adult
Author: PJ Sharon
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG 13
Buy Savage Cinderella
blisher: PJ Sharon Books

PJ Sharon Social Media

PJ Sharon is an award-winning author of young adult books, including Pieces of Love, Heaven is for Heroes, On Thin Ice, and Holt Medallion winner Savage Cinderella. Follow the Savage Cinderella Novella Series with Finding Hope and Lost Boys.
Healing Waters completes her YA dystopian trilogy, The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael, which RT Book Reviews calls "An action-packed read with a strong female lead."
Her debut non-fiction title Overcome Your Sedentary Lifestyle (A Practical Guide to Improving Health, Fitness, and Well-being for Desk Dwellers and Couch Potatoes) is a holistic living, self-help guide packed with easy to implement tips sure to motivate today's sedentary masses toward a more balanced and active lifestyle. For more info on PJ's books and updates on new releases, sign up for her newsletter or visit her website.
In her "real life" job as a Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer, and Yogi, PJ has been called "a powerhouse of positivity and productivity." Her mantra is "find balance in all things, and live every day to the fullest." A black belt in the art of Shaolin Kempo Karate, avid kayaker, and singer of Italian art songs, PJ has two grown sons and lives with her brilliant engineer of a husband in the Berkshire Hills of Western MA where she writes YA…because every teen deserves a hopefully ever after.


  1. Thanks for having me today, Kaberle. I'll check I throughout the day to respond to any comments.

    1. So nice to have you on RLF. :) I shared your post on Twitter, Facebook, G+ and Pinterest.

    2. Thanks Kayelle! I'll randomly choose a winner for the ebook on Friday and let you know who it is so you can post it if you like. I'll take care of contacting them:-)

  2. Hi PJ!
    I read your post with rapt attention. :> I have a YA paranormal I wrote 5+ years ago - never published - which has been calling to me for months now. I plan to switch it from YA to NA as you can be *sexier* with NA and I am by trade an erotic romance author. *wink* My intention is to also have it be a series of novellas. Thanks so much for sharing your journey...I wish you much success with your future endeavors!

    1. Thanks Lynda. Sounds like a good plan. As much as there is a romance element to the NA novellas, I opted to keep it pretty clean for my crossover YA readers, but many people expect more heat in NA so you should be fine, especially since you're known for steamier stories. Have fun with it!

  3. NA is such a perfect fit for you, PJ. Well done! I loved Savage when it first came out. Novella format will work great. So much tension in that book. I wish you the best with this new way of packaging your work.

    1. So nice of you to drop in, Sandy! I've missed "seeing' you around the net. I'm enjoying writing about the NA issues and working out the life decisions of new adults. The novella form is also appealing in that they are very straight forward plots with no significant subplots. It's not as daunting a task as full length novels.
      Hope all is well with you and that you're writing up a storm!

  4. Thanks for hosting me, Kayelle. I used to choose the winner of the e-book. Congrats to Sandy Rowland!


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