9 May 2016

Lies in the Darkness by Amanda J. Clay

Lies in the Darkness by Amanda J. Clay
Publication date: May 9th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

It’s senior year at Pacific State University and all-night parties, cheap hookups and regrets are the ruling pastimes.
Sophie DeLuca used to be a nice girl—but that was before Luke Lamanuzzi tore her heart to shreds. Now she’s a walking trail of vodka-soaked destruction, something her sexy, smooth-talking coworker Davis won’t let her forget. He might have a secret crush on her—but his playboy reputation would never let him admit it. His best friend Blake’s own love of all-nighters and debauchery comes crashing to a halt when a one-night stand backfires. Level-headed Cassie seems like she’s the one who has it all together, but she’s just better at hiding her skeletons.
Ungracefully pirouetting in and out of love triangles, drug addictions and unwanted pregnancies, four friends stumble their way through their last year of study and try to grasp the realities of the world on the other side.

Your first book is a YA novel. How did you find writing New Adult this time round?I loved writing YA (and still do) but tackling an older audience was a fun experience that tapped a different side of my brain. My first series, Rebel Song, and Lies in the Darkness are very different concepts—one is set in a European revolution, one a California college town. But in general, I see YA and NA as sister genres—regardless of the setting, they both deal with the experience of coming of age. YA books focus on the struggle of finding identity in the world, breaking away from family and experiencing major events for the first time. Well, NA is very much the same, only one step further along in the process, with perhaps a few more mature concepts. The characters in Lies are trying to navigate the onset of adulthood in our modern world. They are facing very mature situations for the first time that they aren’t always equipped to handle, such as pregnancy, drugs and career choices.
The college setting of Lies lent my creative genius a little more carte blanche when it comes to adult situations and bad behavior—and these characters sure take advantage of it! Many critics of NA books accuse it of just being “sexed-up YA.” And some of it really is, I’ll admit. Hey, let’s face it, college students tend to have sex. Sometimes a lot of it! But I think they key to writing authentic NA, even when writing erotica, is to make the naughty bits genuine. Sure, there is a fair share of sex in Lies, but the goal is not to be gratuitous. Just like in YA or any genre, each scene—sexy or not—should forward the story or unfold a piece of that character’s psyche.
I tackle other adult themes in Lies other than just naked time, such as drugs, assault, and emotional disorders. And yes, these things can absolutely appear in YA, but the way in which the writer handles these themes needs to be slightly different. For example (and this is generalizing of course), if a teen is experimenting with drugs, she will have her parents and/or teachers to answer to. A 21-year-old off on her own is ultimately responsible for her own actions and consequences. For the NA character, mom and dad aren’t there to pick up the pieces if her choices shatter her world. For me, YA is about finding an identity, but NA is about finding and owning, complete independence.
Amanda J. Clay is a California native with a resume of clich├ęd Cali traits, like a love of breakfast burritos, yoga and red wine. She had a fantastic time studying English and Journalism at Chico State University and then a very serious time slaving away for a Master’s degree in Communications from California State University, Fullerton. She currently lives in the charming city of Berkeley, CA. When she’s not staring at a computer screen, she spends most of her spare time plotting world adventures. She currently has one published Young Adult novel, Rebel Song. Watch for her next release, an offbeat New Adult contemporary, out in 2016.

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