Send Me to College, Please
As you’re reading this, I’m packing up the truck and car, getting ready to take my oldest son up to Gainesville for his first year of college. That but-he’s-still-my-little-boy-and-can’t-grow-up-yet feeling stews just below the surface, but so far I’ve been successful at repressing it. I know it will win one of these days, probably once we move everything into his new apartment and it’s time to say good-bye. Then I’ll break down in a wet, slobbery mess of tears, in front of his new roommate and the pretty girls that will surely be next door.
I’ve felt it many times over the last few months of graduation, campus visits and apartment shopping—the tight feeling in my chest and the sting behind my eyes—so I know it won’t be pretty when it comes. The only way I’ve been able to fight it is by thinking about all that’s in store for him over the next several years (he’s pre-med, so yeah, lots of years ahead). In fact, sometimes I think I’m more excited than he is.
I remember clearly when I went off to college. Everyone who says high school is the best years of anyone’s life must be smoking something. Because it’s college that’s really the best time. The new-found freedom. All the new people and experiences. It’s a time of growth and discovery and, of course, weekends that start on Thursday night and lots of fun through Sunday.
So it frustrates the heck out of me that there aren’t more books about this incredible stage of life. My Soul Savers Series kicks off in Promise with Alexis leaving for college. When I was searching for an agent, I was told many times that the book isn’t marketable because the main character is college aged (although by book two, she’s far beyond). Anyway, the theory is that college students don’t have time to read for fun and no one else wants to read about characters in college. And I say Psh!
Since young adult readers like to read “up”—about characters older than them—they’d love it. I know I’d have been even more excited about going to college if I’d read about it while in high school. And since a lot of adult readers are reading Young Adult books these days, why wouldn’t they want something a bit more mature?
Instead, you have a lot of YA books that take place in boarding schools. And I can tell you that this is a big reason why. Agents and publishers are telling authors that college doesn’t work—isn’t marketable—but the dorm environment is necessary for the story. Parents can’t be around. Roommates do need to be around. The main characters need some level of freedom to accomplish what the story requires. So authors end up changing the ages of their characters and putting them in private school.
Unfortunately, this kind of thinking leads to a lot of similar settings. But more importantly, it leads to readers missing out on books about a huge part of life. Stories are essentially about a character’s growth—a transition from their comfort zone to something new and different. The biggest transitions in our lives are leaving home, getting married, having kids, becoming empty nesters and retirement. So why does that first big milestone have to be ignored?
I, as a reader and as an author, say it shouldn’t be. And so far, my books have proven that they’re marketable. Many readers do like to read about this age. What do you think? Would you enjoy an escape to that time of life? Would you like to see more books about the college years? Or do you think it’s better to have the YA and adult split so nicely?
About the author ~
Kristie Cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. She continues to write the Soul Savers Series, with the first two books, Promise and Purpose, available now and the third book, Devotion, coming February 2012. She’s also written a companion novella, Genesis, coming October 2011. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle.
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Email ~ kristie (at) kristiecook (dot) com.
The Books ~
Alexis Ames has a life full of promise…but not all promises can be kept.When Alexis Ames is attacked by creatures that can’t be real, she decides it’s time she learns who she really is, with or without the help of her mother, who guards their family’s secrets closely. After meeting the inhumanly attractive, multi-talented Tristan Knight, however, Alexis retreats behind her façade of normalcy…until she discovers he’s not exactly normal either. Then their secrets begin to unravel.Their union brings hope and promise to her family’s secret society, the Angels’ army, and to the future of mankind. But it also incites a dangerous pursuit by the enemy – Satan’s minions and Tristan’s creators. After all, Alexis and Tristan are a match made in Heaven and in Hell.Promise is the first novel of a series that explores the ideas of how damaged a soul can be before it can no longer be saved and how far we will go to protect the souls we love and those we do not. This first book introduces Alexis and Tristan and their trials and tribulations to unite. Their union is the Angels’ first step as they prepare for the war for human souls to enter the physical realm.
Lost in despair, Alexis teeters on the edge of an abyss, her lifeline of hope fraying into a thin thread. If it snaps, she’ll plunge into complete darkness. With the help of her son and her writing, she’s been able to hold on. Until now. Erratic impulses, disturbing delusions and her own demonic blood threaten her sanity. When she’s forced to choose between hanging onto hope or letting go to serve her Amadis purposes, she faces a decision with inconceivable sacrifices.
Alexis runs to the one place she thinks will provide answers, only to find herself at the center of another battle of good versus evil, not only with the Daemoni, not only within herself…but also against the worst opponent imaginable. But even if she wins, what will she lose?
* One winner will get a signed set of the new editions of Promise & Purpose
*One winner will get a signed set of the old editions of Promise & Purpose (fewer than 1000 printed, so these are limited edition)
*One winner will get a Soul Savers Series swag pack (bookmark, magnet, pen, etc)
GIVEAWAY Rules for entering:.
Please complete the form below – do not leave information in the comments – it will not count.
Contest ends on September 1st at 11:59PM. Winners will have 48 hrs to respond to their emails after being notified of their win or another winner will be chosen.