General Stuff

I am currently rocketing through a 5 & ½ book series – the ½ book is a novella – which was categorized on Amazon as “Teen and Young Adult”. This caused a double-take as I had previously believed the ‘Young Adult” designation to be a polite term for “Teen Fiction”. It would appear that readership categories are built upon shifting sands.

Up to now, my understanding was that “Young Adult” (YA) covered the 13 to 17 years’ age range while the awkwardly named “New Adult” (NA) covered 18 to 25. Those readers younger than 13 were classed as Pre-teen, Juvenile, etc. The boundaries of YA are a bit wobbly as some mavens set the lower limit as 14 years whilst others set the upper limit as 18 years.

One possible reason for this inexactitude is that the 13 to 18 age range spans several levels of maturity. Given that boys are a year or two behind girls, with regard to maturation, it’s easy to see why the boundaries are a bit fuzzy.

The same holds true for the 18 to 25-year age range. Your understanding of life at 18, when you’re leaving high school and headed for college, is much different from that at 25 when you’re married and trying to hold down a job.

What’s more, the categories themselves are not universally adhered to. At the 2016 BookExpo/BookCon in Chicago, the manager of the IBPA booth was barely aware of the NA category and thus placed Urban Mermaid on the shelves for Juvenile books.  Based on this, any child receiving a copy for their birthday is in for a big surprise.

Just so everyone is straight on this, Urban Mermaid is for readers 18 and older. This does not mean the book is specifically aimed at the New Adult market. It is the author’s opinion that readers in the NA & Adult readership categories will relate to it more than YA readers. It was written in a style to attract the NA segment as well as older readers. Given that ISIS is regularly lopping off heads in the Syrian desert and the 2016 Presidential race makes you want to select “None of the above”, we could all use a simple, sweet, escapist kind of story.

IMG_0926A week ago, this morning, I joined the ranks of retired Americans. (Re-tyred is a play on the British spelling of “tire”. Brits & Canadians will get the humour. The rest of you probably won’t.)

The contractor position which had occupied my time for over 18 months, ended sooner than expected. Since I had planned for this job to carry me at least to retirement age, I was faced with a bit of a dilemma. I could return to the soul-crushing task of trying to find another job – age discrimination at 58 would be a walk in the park compared to that at age 64 – or I could simply call time on my career and follow my hallucination dream of becoming a writer.

It wasn’t even close! Retirement won, hands down. Of course, I did carry out due diligence by checking my company’s current openings for positions which matched my skill-set. Those positions I did find, all required me to relocate. With three houses to manage – my late mother’s, my late mother-in-law’s, and my own – the prospects of wrapping up 3 properties and disposing of  a combined 100+ years of accumulated stuff, the chances of being able to complete my relocation anytime soon were slim and none. What’s more, I’d have to report for work at where-ever and my wife would be left with most of the work AND her own full-time job as well.

Like I said, it wasn’t even close.

So, after taking a week off to attend the 2016 Virginia Festival of the Book – more on that in a subsequent post – I’m back at my desk here in Hopewell, trying to sort out a book give-away, get going on my second novel, pay some bills, and establish some sort of daily routine.

So, what does this mean for The Parsons’ Rant?

Well, I’ve got two blog sites to deal with, now. There’s the Tails From Colony Island site (ColonyIsland.com) that deals with my series of novels. And then, there’s this one as well. I plan to limit posts on the Colony Island site to topics dealing directly with the series and to use this one for the usual ranting and raving.

The Parsons’ Rant has been neglected for the past couple of years. There are a number of things which no longer work and will require repair, replacement, or elimination. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. So, if you’re one of the loyal few who have followed The Parsons Rant through the lean times, thanks.

Now, to edit Chapter 1 of novel # 2 and also figure out why I can’t get any sound out of my PC this morning.

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Dr. Data has PAD - Pipe Acquisition Disorder

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