Older Characters

What do I mean by those words? For some people, 35 is older. I’m sorry, I really have a hard time wrapping my mature mind around that concept. 40? Yeah, I can go there. Except I was really in my prime during my 40s and 50’s. I ran for the school board for the first time when I was 40. (and lost–not fun, but ran again when I was 44 and won. Much more fun. 😊)

IMG_3312 kids hate this pic.:)

I was in my 50’s when I went back to school to get principal certification. And I didn’t begin writing until I was in my 60’s. Maybe I’m just a late bloomer? Well, yeah pretty sure. But I’d argue age and our perception of age has changed. Even for women.

Women in the real world anyway, perhaps not in Hollywood. But the last I checked, I don’t live there. 😉

I write romances with heroes and heroines in their 40-s and 50’s. Second chance love, but always with danger thrown in. My tag line is “Romance, Suspense, Second Chances. Experience Required.” My stories almost always have the parents of the main characters in them, too, as supporting characters, so folks in their 70’s. I like the generational thing.

I remember attending my first RWA convention. It was in Dallas, and I’d just retired from being an elementary school principal. I went not knowing a soul, not even belonging to a local chapter. Everyone was welcoming and friendly. One of the sessions was put on by Harlequin, I think, and they were touting their new line of romance with older characters. I can’t remember its clever name, but I do remember thinking, Yea! There’s a place for me. LOL Remember, I was very green.

I didn’t even know that I don’t write category romance. I believe that line fell by the wayside. But as we’ve all grown older (a thing, if we’re lucky. we do), the idea of reading about folks who are closer to our own age falling in love and solving problems and getting into scrapes and getting out of them has grown in popularity.

On Facebook, I belong to a group for writers of Seasoned Romance. I understand at RWA this summer there will be a panel on this subject as there was at the recent RT conference.

This makes me happy. Partly because maybe there will be more readers for my books, but also because there will be more books for me to read.IMG_3926

My husband read a recent NY Times article about the importance of reading and raising kids to be productive adults. The author accepted a challenge to read 100 books a year—of all kinds. He and his wife challenged their teenagers to accept the challenge. They haven’t yet made it, but that’s one of those goals that even if you don’t make it, you accomplish a whole lot with the attempt.

I confess to not reading a wide variety of books, but even when I was laid up all last summer with my broken ankle resting above my heart, I didn’t read 100 books in that year. That’s a huge goal, but a worthwhile one for a person of any age to set.

So, where do you fall in your reading? Only read books with younger heroes and heroines? Do you read multiple genres? How about the number. Are you in the 100 Club?  Love to hear from you.

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