What is New Adult? It’s a new genre (or category) of books with twenty-something protagonists facing life after high school. It’s one step above Young Adult and one step below Adult fiction.
“Used” — a New Adult Romance and the first novel in the Unlovable series — features a love-hate triangle between two rodeo guys and a barrel racing, tough-as-nails girl. Denver Dempsey hates the bull riding star, Ransom. She loves her best friend Greer. (But what kind of love is it?) Ransom has the hots for Denver. And Greer only wants Denver for himself. You see the dilemma. Oh yeah, it’s good.
While reading the book I knew I wanted to chat with Lynetta about her dynamic cast of characters and the country, college-town setting that’s so unique and engrossing. So now that I’ve had the opportunity to rope some answers for her, I can share all of these goodies with you.
Just to note, New Adult is recommended for readers 17 and up due to mature content. “Used” contains subject matter that may be sensitive to some.
“Used” features a love triangle between best friend Greer and bull riding star, Ransom. Did you always intend for there to be a love triangle between these two swoony guys, or did their relationships with Denver develop that way as you kept writing?
Lynetta: The very first scene I wrote for Used is the betrayal scene. Greer came to me as Denver’s best friend with benefits who does a terrible thing and sends her into the arms of another man. So, no, it didn’t start as a love triangle really. It was supposed to be pretty cut and dry.
After I wrote that scene, I began crafting their story and WOW! Greer shocked me becoming one of the most complex characters I’ve ever written. I was so worried I was going to miss my deadline because his and Denver’s past is so deep and complex and the “future” would be just as layered. That’s when I realized Used couldn’t be a standalone as originally planned and it morphed into a trilogy right before my very eyes.
Denver, the main heroine, competes in barrel racing. Do you have any personal experience with rodeo?
Lynetta: I rode horses growing up and competed competitively for about five seconds. One night, I was asked to call (announce) a horse show (rodeo), and I was in love. I saved my riding for fun and called the shots in the arena! Anyway, I had to do quite a bit of research on rodeo because rodeo out west is a way of life while it’s more of a pastime here in Mississippi.
Many people are new to New Adult, so can you tell us what makes “Used” fit within so well within the genre?
Lynetta: New Adult is all about that time in your life when your greatest strengths and weaknesses come into play. Your out on your own, but you’ve got this structured environment (usually college) wherein you’re given more freedom but still expected to behave like an adult. Throw in the fact that your brain is still forming and you’re beginning to figure out who you are without a ton of safety nets yet infinite possibilities, and you’ve got New Adult. Used fits because these rodeoers are living an adult life with their careers but are still trying to negotiate things like relationships, boundaries, and sexuality.
I am super curious how you came up with the tagline “Love. Hate. Triangle.” It’s brilliant! Did it pop in your head or did someone suggest it to you? And why does it fit so well with “Used”?
Lynetta: Ah! Brilliant?! That’s fantastic. When this story began taking shape, I realized it was much more than a typical love triangle. Denver hates herself. Ransom hates Denver. Greer … well, there’s a part of him that hates Denver. And Denver wants to hate them both! Then I thought “Love. Bam! Hate. Bam! Triangle. Bam!” as in there is no question of the angst and turmoil to be experienced in this book. That was immediately followed by … “People are going to thing I’m so weird with my one-word sentences.” Obviously, my weirdness doesn’t deter me.
There are many layers to Denver Dempsey. What makes her such a unique female protagonist?
Lynetta: Denver’s uniqueness comes from her ability to turn her strength into her greatest weakness. She’s headstrong and independent but without any kind of guidance. Having had the carpet yanked from under her many times, she’s adept at picking herself and excelling in her professional life. However, she’s used those events to fortify the walls around her feelings and has done herself a great disservice, blocking out true love and chances at happiness. Even though she claims that others can’t affect her with their disdain and lies, their perception of her does shape her. I can’t wait for everyone to see how she turns all that around in Freed.
Quick Fire Questions
What’s your desktop background?
Ah! I’m so narcissistic. It’s the Used full cover wrap. Can’t stop staring.
Team Greer or Team Ransom?
I’m officially on the fence. Legal counsel has advised me to say #TeamEffinFence.
Vampires, Werewolves or Witches?
Vampires! Hello, Klaus!
Are you a fan of any CW shows?
The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Supernatural and Reign. Yes. Yes, I’m a fan of The CW!
Would you rather be Mary Queen of Scots or an Original Vampire?
Keeping in line with my shout out to Klaus, I’m gonna go with Original Vamp.
Telekinesis, Telepathy or Teleportation?
Telepathy. Conversing with Edward on this level would be phenomenal!
Bull riding or barrel racing?
Bull riding—8 seconds of brawn, bull, and badass
About Lynetta Halat
Her first novel, “Every Rose”, was the perfect catalyst to launch her into the world of publishing, effectively burrowing her way into the hearts and minds of readers throughout the world. She has followed that up with an adult romance in “Everything I’ve Never Had”. Her love of the English language prompted her to pursue a Master’s degree in English from Old Dominion University in Virginia, where she also minored in snark and interpretive dance. She lives somewhere on the Mississippi Gulf Coast with her adorable husband, two amazing sons, and two loveable dogs. When she’s not writing riveting storylines, she likes to focus on her macramé art and her scouring of eBay, where she buys locks of hair from her favorite rock stars, most especially Bret Michaels and Dave Grohl.
— Becca Ritchie