Monday, August 26, 2013

What we can learn from Miley Cyrus

Photo shared from My Home Away from Home's Facebook Page

The above photos is Will Smith and family's reaction to Miley Cyrus' performance at the VMAs. If you haven't seen can YouTube it because once was enough for me.

Miley Cyrus is a teen now. Back in the day she was the squeaky clean, Hannah Montana, then she decided that she wanted to shed that image.

She started with a movie role, then went on to crazier things like chopping all of her hair off and twerking. NOW we have the infamous performance.

So now you're thinking WHAT THE HECK CAN I LEARN FROM THIS?

There are good ways and there are bad ways to change your image. If you really want to get noticed and have people talking about you (and possibly not in the best light) you can go full-blown Miley and start twerking with a foam finger. If  you want to do it a little more subtly, here are some tips from an Indie author who went from writing clean, teen YA books about aliens to smoking hot New Adult titles with ten page love scenes.

In 2009 I wrote My Paper Heart and was told that a book with a college aged protag wouldn't sell. In some of the first versions there was open door sex and fellatio. When I tried to sell it as YA, I took all of that out. It still wouldn't sell because of the character's age. So I shelved it and said "Fine, I'll write clean teen fiction.

In 2011, How to Date an Alien came out. It received some good feedback and from writing that book I learned how hot a first kiss could be. I learned that writing YA doesn't mean that has to be all sex. I enjoyed writing the alien books and growing with my characters. Yet there was something in the back of my mind that wanted me to get back to more books like My Paper Heart.

When I finally did re-edit My Paper Heart and put it out just as New Adult started, it finally hit with the right market. Then I started devouring all the New Adult books that came out. There were some that had me really wondering "Is this too much?" Yet I couldn't stop craving more of these books. So I wrote The Only Exception and The Only One.

The Only Exception was my first dip in the really sexy waters. I wanted to try a hotter cover and to add a little more description to my love scenes. But at the same time, I knew I couldn't alienate the fans of my YA books. I didn't want to put something out there that was extremely graphic or shock the world into knowing that I now write sexy, New Adult books, so I took the stop of writing this book. Some fans of my alien books loved it, some wished I would have stayed writing about aliens.

And now for The Only One. An uber hot cover that some people weren't sure I should put out there. There is a BIG reason for putting that stock art on the cover and one that I'm not going to spoil. I wasn't trying to go all out Miley Cyrus crazy on my New Adult books, but I wanted to make a statement. These aren't my clean, teen YA books. If you think they are, just look at the covers and read the synopsis and they should tell you different.
I'm not knocking Miley Cyrus.
Okay, the performance did make my jaw drop...
But that's not the point.
What can we learn from her?
We can learn that to make a change or try and show others that we have a new image, doesn't need a great big spectacle. The world doesn't need to see every bit of you to know that you've changed. I do have a new YA book out there, and I've made it clear that it's purely YA, but as far as the future of my books, they will mostly be New Adult. It's what I love and it's what I think you all love.
Have you ever wanted to change your image?  Did you go all-out- Miley Cyrus teddy bear to do it?
Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. When not writing she spends her time fighting over fake boyfriends via social media.

Connect with Magan Vernon: Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. Love it, Magan! You're doing things the right way. :)

    1. I try. Some days I feel like I'm up there trying to twerk on everyone in publishing to notice me.

  2. It's funny you wrote this, because I was thinking something similar... there are ways to ease into adulthood without just going, well, full Miley. :D

    Take Justin Timberlake, for example.

    Great post! <3

    1. It's funny how the award show showed how one person can age into adulthood gracefully (the whole JT montage) and others...well...others are named Miley

  3. I haven't watched the video but I feel for her. It must be hard to shed Hannah Montana! you did an awesome job transitioning!

    1. I think there are actresses who have done a good job transitioning to adult roles and there are some that have had a hard time. I actually watched a special on Amanda Bynes the other day and they were saying she couldn't get any adult roles and that's what started her fall from grace. It's sad, but I think if you go slow and steadily do it, then it all works out.

  4. Miley is just the puppet of an obsessed designer Marc Jacobs. Jacobs controls Miley and told her to act like that at the VMA. Marc Jacobs is a manipulator who wants to lead everyone! He controls Kanye West, Lady Gaga, etc. Read the truth behind Miley's shocking performance on:

  5. Haven't seen Miley's performance yet and don't look forward to it when I finally watch the 2013 MTV Music Awards some point this week. You must do what is right for you and while I'm glad you didn't go Miley Cyrus, if hot writing is your thing, go for it. I'm glad being myself though I have matured and come out of my shell over the years.

  6. It's one thing to change your image. It's one thing to be provocative. But it's so not cool to look untalented and trashy. Miley has a long way to go in understanding what sexy is because right now, she's about as far away from achieving it as the Earth is to Jupiter.