Booktopia’s Head of Romance Haylee Nash ponders her vicarious rebellious streak.
When I was small, I was the good girl. My parents love to recount how, even as a baby, I was always content. They would go out to dinner with friends and happily take me along, knowing I would sleep quietly in my carrier (once so quiet that they nearly left me there). When I got to talking age, I would happily sit up and chat with the adults, content in their company. When my sister came along, I looked after her (mostly) without complaint, cleaned up her toys, got her ready for school. I was good.
Even as a teenager, I was well behaved. I went out to parties and, occasionally clubs, and smoked the odd cigarette but, thanks to the open relationship I had with my father, he knew about everything I did and gave me permission. He even drove me to the hospital after I sprained my arm in an incident involving drunken skinny dipping and, bless him, didn’t give me a hard time. All in all, a fairly respectable childhood.
So you can probably imagine that the concept of rebellion is one I am not well-acquainted with, which is why it holds such fascination. How I had dreamed of sneaking out to meet a guy, to steal a new outfit, to have a party at my house while my parents were away. To have a secret. Because that’s what it comes down to. The act of rebellion is not about what you’re doing, but the fact that you shouldn’t be doing it. The thrill doesn’t come so much from the drug taking or the dirty dancing but from the potential for getting found out.
This is why I love New Adult. I am now at the age where I can legally do most of the things that I wanted to do back then, and those that are illegal hold little appeal. But rebellion still glitters darkly at me and I fulfil this urge through reading about those who do what I didn’t, what I couldn’t.
Haylee Nash has been reading and raving about romance for 15 years. She has previously worked as the Publishing Manager at Harlequin Australia and during her time there launched the Harlequin Teen, Harlequin Spice and local acquisition programmes, as well as Harlequin’s digital-first romance imprint, Escape Publishing. Haylee is now the Romance Specialist at Booktopia.
You can follow Haylee on twitter at @HKretrospect