I’m excited to welcome author Nike Chillemi today. She’s talking about a “new to me” genre emerging onto the Christian market. New Adult. Let’s learn more.
New Adult is a category just making its way into Christian fiction. It’s dominated by contemporary romance novels and novellas set in college or on that first professional job when the main characters are transitioning into adulthood. These characters are trying to gain a more mature identity while mastering the adult world they’re entering. New Adult tackles all the issues young women and men face in their early 20s and tends to embrace the more difficult ones such as sexual assault, recreational drugs, fraternity hazing, casual dating, and more.
I’d never written New Adult before. Yet, I forged ahead into this category because my Romantic Suspense novella, THAT SPECIAL ONE, seemed to be a natural outcropping from my detective trilogy. I fell in love with the college students in this story, and I hope my readers will as well.
College freshman Ivy Chalmers moved in with her aunt and uncle in Arroyo, Texas. She needed to get away from her alcoholic and weed smoking mother. Ivy longed for a different life than the revolving-door-men in her mom’s life. Making a one-eighty, she vowed not to make a serious dating commitment unless she knew it would be that really ‘special relationship ‘.
Corey Jones had been the man in his house since age twelve, when his alcoholic dad abandoned him and his mom. Once in a while, his dad showed up trying to extort money from them using threats. Then his blue-haired, self-centered cousin Ava came to live with them and the way she treats his mom enrages him.
Ivy is thrilled when she meets an upper classman from a neighboring college and thinks he might be ‘that guy.’ When she is horribly betrayed, her world is thrown upside-down, and she plunges into a depression. In a steady and kind of clumsy way, Corey is there for her during her worst moments. But his family is plagued with alcoholism, the life she had with her mom, the life she ran away from. What’s wrong with her that she attracts the wrong guys? A s if that weren’t bad enough, there’s an arsonist terrorizing their tiny village.
Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started at a very young age. Her first major work was a Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned as a little girl (colored might be more accurate) about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista with a humorous side. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.
Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and its Chair, a reader’s choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She has been a judge in the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories; and an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category. Her four novel Sanctuary Point series (out of print), set in the mid-1940s has finaled, won an award, and garnered critical acclaim. The first novel in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes series HARMRUL INTENT won in the Grace Awards 2014 Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historical Suspense category. She has written book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and John 3:16 Marketing Network. http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/
Where to find That Special One: