Happy 4th of July, 2013

Dear Flakes,

Here we are again at the 4th of July. I’d just like to take a moment to thank you all for coming to the table, reading, commenting, and discussing our ideas with us at Eat Your Serial. The idea of discourse, discussion, and expression are at the heart of American liberties and to be able to do so freely, and to have robust conversations is our ultimate goal in sharing our ideas with you. Thank you for your part in our experiment of First Amendment execution, but beware…you’ve only emboldened us to go bigger, and “go west” (at least as far west as one can go on the internet. Expect fireworks from us in the near future to rival the Macy’s show that some of you will certainly be witnessing tonight through various means. The execution of our rights is our honor and duty, and any open discourse we can have in large groups helps us all to grown and understand the multifaceted prism of ourselves. Our growth as a company, as well as your support is invaluable whether you agree with our writers or disagree–the more you come and read, and comment, and share the better off we all are. In this age of deep political divides, hard party lines, and victory-without-compromise mindsets in our American government and in national conversations it is important that we remember that only through interaction, and only with open minds can we truly learn from each other and move forward in a mutually beneficially and decidedly positive direction. At Eat Your Serial, whether we disagree about Man of Steel or Affirmative Action, we’re glad to openly share our perspectives and offer them to you. It is a particular point of pride and accomplishment whenever we get a comment, like, follow, or share in social media or on our posts because we know that you are interacting with our thoughts and either endorsing, challenging, or engaging their content. But beware, Dearest Flakes, as your interaction with us only emboldens us to think bigger, go harder, and share more–and have no fear that is exactly what we intend to do. As we continue to build our American Dream at Eat Your Serial, have no fear, we intend to explode with new ideas, thoughts, projects, and initiatives. Big things are on the horizon and we hope that you will forge our new frontiers with us.

While you are gathering with your friends and loved ones on this day, please know that our thoughts are with you and we are wishing you a happy and safe celebration. For our part, we will be reflecting on everything we have and how much more we have to give to all the important and not so important conversations in the world.

We’d also like to take a moment to remember those who gave their all so that we can execute our important freedoms–your sacrifice has added to your immortality, as you are inextricably linked to the execution of our most basic and fundamentally important rights.

Happy 4th of July, and God Bless America

Brandon Melendez


Eat Your Serial, Inc.


Is Young Adult Really Young Adult? and the Emergence of New Adult

When it comes to writing, I feel I’m able to switch between certain genres pretty easily. I’ve written YA (Young Adult), Science-fiction & fantasy, steampunk, and most recently, flintlock fantasy. Granted, many of these are somewhat interchangeable, but they all have distinguishable elements that make them what they are. For example, YA is supposed to be intended for a young adult audience, generally ages 13 to 19. Teenagers. However, I know many readers (myself included) who are over the “intended age” of the YA genre, some of whom are in their 30s and 40s, who really enjoy YA books. This leaves me with the question: Is YA really YA?

My understanding of the YA genre is that the main character must be in the YA age range, and be faced, more or less, with the emotional and societal challenges that someone his or her age may face. Granted, the character may have to go out and kill, something most (but, unfortunately, not all) don’t know about, aside from what they’ve seen or read. But these characters are usually forced to deal with extreme emotional issues. Teen romances, peer pressure, substance abuse, and the like. However, does that mean that only readers in that age range can relate to and enjoy these books? Do people in their 30s and 4os not know what it’s like to deal with romances and peer pressure and substance abuse?

Although, I will say that content is one of the factors that defines the YA genre. Because this genre is supposed to be intended for a young adult audience, the way it’s written and the degree of violence and language is generally all the same. These books tend to have a lesser amount of graphic violence and sex than in standard adult books. It’s still there, but only to a degree that it wouldn’t necessarily scar a teenager. Seeing someone shot certainly would screw you up less than seeing someone get raped and ripped apart (in most cases, anyway. Certainly there are circumstances where death in any form will cause severe emotional trauma), and the vulgarities are generally kept do “damn,” “hell,” and “bastard.”

Now this is where the NA (New Adult) genre comes in. NA is intended for and usually has characters in the age range of 20 – 29. Quite literally a new adult. These books generally deal with a little more extreme issues than YA. They may involve financial  or marital issues, and the content is somewhat more graphic. These books tend to have more graphic violence and sexual scenes, but perhaps not to the degree of a standard adult book, and the vulgarities now span from “damn” and “hell” up to “shit” and the occasional “fuck.” But the books are intended to be read by an audience that is exposed to that more.

But, despite the degree of violence and sex in these books, does that mean that readers of any age can’t still enjoy them? Just because the main character in a YA book in only 16 years old, does that mean that someone who is 45 can’t relate to what they’re going through and still root for them?