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Aeicha @ Word Spelunking

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Stitch Blog Tour: guest post and giveaway

I'm excited to have the Stitch Blog Tour stopping by today with a guest post from author Samantha Durante and a giveaway

Stitch (Stitch Trilogy #1)
Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa’s body screams at her to run… but yet she’s powerless to move.
Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees – and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell – Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.
Because what Alessa hasn’t figured out yet is that she’s not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university’s idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface…
The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results.

“Am I YA?” 
by Samantha Durante (author of Stitch)

When I set out to write Stitch, I knew who the characters were, what was going to happen to them, and who I thought might like to read the book, but there was one nagging question that I wasn’t sure how to answer: “Is Stitch really a young adult book?”
What is ‘young adult,’ anyway?  For the answer, I turned to the greatest bastion of internet knowledge known to man: Wikipedia, of course.  According to Wikipedia, young adult fiction is fiction which is marketed to people between the ages of 12 and 18 (or maybe 10 and 25, depending on who you ask), and which generally features an adolescent (defined by Wikipedia as the transitional stage between puberty and legal adulthood) as the protagonist.

Okay, so by these standards, is Stitch a YA novel?  My target audience is readers ages 14 to… well, to whatever.  I’m 27 and I read a ton of YA fiction, and I know lots of so-called adults both older and younger than me who enjoy YA as well.  Based on that experience, I suspected that the majority of readers would be in their teens/twenties or maybe early thirties (basically, the Harry Potter generation, since we’ve all learned through that experience that we love “children’s” fiction at any age!).  Does having some portion of my target audience in the “young adult” range qualify me as YA?

I’m not sure, so let’s consider the protagonist perspective.  The star of Stitch, Alessa, is a 19-year-old college student.  Depending how you define “legal adulthood” she may qualify…  I guess from a “legal” standpoint (in the US at least) she would be an adult (over the age of 18), though she still can’t legally drink or rent a car and would not be considered by almost anyone to be finished maturing…  Oh, and then there’s the one small issue that after the twist, you learn that Alessa is not 19 at all, actually quite a few years older…  So maybe Stitch isn’t YA?

BUT, on the other hand, Wikipedia said that adolescence is about a “transitional stage” and regardless of Alessa’s age, she’s definitely still growing up, still figuring out who she is and what she wants to accomplish with her life.  Doesn’t that sound like Wikipedia’s definition of an adolescent to you?  Whoever said that adolescence has anything to do with “legal” adulthood?  And what idiot defined legal adulthood at 18 anyway?  College and the years following are often the most transformative in a person’s life – how can you possibly be considered an adult prior to completing that experience?  

The fact of the matter is, YA fiction (to me, at least) is about the journey of characters who are struggling with the most basic questions of life: How do I fit in with this world?  What am I here for?  What impact do I want to have?  And yes, many of us start asking ourselves those questions at 10 or 12, but the fact of the matter is that we’re still asking them at 18 or 25 or 40 or 67.  That’s why “young adult” books are SO popular with adult readers of all ages – because many, many readers can connect with the basic tenets of YA literature regardless of their age.

So yes, the characters in YA novels are often in their teens, but sorry Wikipedia, I don’t agree that this is what makes the book YA.  In real life, the transformative teenage years may kick off this self-exploration phase, but that reality is that there is no deadline for growing and changing.  In fact, you’re probably better off the more you continue to grow and change throughout your life.  And the same is true for characters in YA books – many stories may focus on the beginning of this transition in the teenage years, but these characters will continue to evolve and grow and grapple with the same existential struggles even after reaching whatever arbitrary number is defined as “legal” adulthood in their world.  And who says that that part of their journey is any less interesting than the beginning?

And so I decided: Yes, Stitch is young adult fiction.  Why?  Because by my definition,Alessa is still a young adult who’s learning what her path in life will be.  And any reader – regardless of age – who is contemplating that same question will be able to connect with her struggle.  After all, age is more than just a number; it’s “the accumulation of changes in a person over time.”  At least, that’s what Wikipedia says.

Samantha Durante: Site / Goodreads / Facebook
Samantha Durante lives in New York City with her fiancĂ©, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. Stitch is her first novel. Learn more about Samantha at

Purchase Stitch: Amazon / B&N / Smashwords 

Win an ebook copy of Stitch!
Samantha has generously offered one (1) ebook copy (format of choice) for one winner.
-Will run from 10/4 - 10/12
-There will be one winner
-Must be 13+
-One main entry per person
-Winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
Fill out Rafflecopter form to enter


jaimecr76 said...

Can't wait to read your book!

Unknown said...

Very interesting post. What about YA vs. New Adult? NA for is YA with some "grown up" situations thrown in IMHO. For example, Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire is usually labled YA, but due to the situations it is also labled NA. I judge YA and NA by if I feel comfortable letting my 14 yr old daughter read it. I loved Beautiful Disaster, but I don't want my daughter reading it. Thanks! Very thought provoking post!

biochemguy said...

Loved the post! I can't wait to read Stitch, thank you so much for stopping by. ^.^

Unknown said...

Samantha is so young and has accomplished more than people double her age! Congrats to her!

Sherlyn said...

Great post and giveaway! Stitch sounds like such an awesome read (:

PuttPutt1198Eve said...

I can appreciate your comments about just what is YA fiction because I am a 63 year old grandmother who just loves to read about dystopian, postapocalytic stories. It just seems that the YA genre offers the most and best of these. Stitch sounds great and I thank you for offering it up for a giveaway.

Sara @ Forever 17 Books said...

I love the author's definition of young adult. I am looking forward to reading this later on this month. :)

evrythngzen said...

Can't wait to check out this book. Sounds great.

Holly said...

Stitch sounds fantastic! Can't wait to read it!

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

I LOVE the cover - it is so intriguing! And the story sounds amazing. I love this description - "twist-laden trilogy". I can't wait to read it!!

ZaraAlexis said...

I'm very much beyond the YA age, but I read it amongst my other genres of fiction and I enjoy it for the reasons you've mentioned in your guest post! Can't wait to read this book! Thanks for the giveaway! :D

Samantha said...

Thanks so much for all the interest in Stitch!

@Redheaded Bookworm - Yeah, New Adult is definitely a good fit for Stitch, but it's still emerging as a genre and most retailers/websites don't even have an option to classify your book as New Adult, so that's another reason why I went the YA route. That, and because (as PuttPutt1198Eve mentioned) there's just so much awesome stuff going on in young adult fiction right now - I wanted to hop on that bandwagon! Haha.

Thank you guys so much for all your support and enthusiasm - I'm so excited to share this book with readers! I hope you all enjoy it!!