Hi, I am finishing up a book that is based on an event that actually happened when the main character was 17. It is mostly fiction but contains some true events. I have written this book from the heart and it has flowed very easily. It sounds realistic and believable. The character is a teenage runaway who later becomes a music groupie. It starts off with her first sexual encounter at the age of 14 with an older boy. I am trying to establish the fact that she is a wild child and has started early. There is nothing weird in the book, no children, animals, porn or anything perverted. It is simply the story of a teenage runaway. In the story, she does turn 18 however it does not start off that way. As a 16/17 year old, she goes on to have sexual encounters with older boys and men (roadies, etc) who are over 18. Back in the groupie days, this was common and nothing new. I was told tonight by an author friend of mine that I would have to change the character's age to 18 before I could write about anything sexual with her. This is not realistic to her character. The book is almost complete and I am torn on what to do. I want to make it real and this was her life, the way she lived and I want to write about it. My friend said if I sent it to a publisher, they would not pick it up due to underage sex. If I self-publish, would I have to change her age? It was never, ever intended for YA or children of any age but now I am not sure what genre to fit it into. Thanks for your advice!