First off, Happy Halloween! A couple of years ago, my husband and I were on a cruise during Halloween and we went to the big costume party onboard. So much fun! (here’s a pic of us as Popeye and Olive Oil!)
When I was brainstorming a topic for today’s post, I decided to take an informal poll about something I’m curious about. I’m in the process of re-releasing some of my early books, which it tons of fun, but it’s prompted me to go back and re-read all of them to make some updates. (It’s crazy how things have changed in just a few years. I had one book where the character talked about e-mailing to keep up with friends…but I changed it to a group text because the e-mail reference seemed so dated.)
As I’ve been reading those books, the characters all seem so very young. Some of the books were plotted more than a decade ago when I, myself, was in a different age bracket.
It got me to wondering about readers and their preferences. I know that for me as a reader, now that I’m a fortysomething…I find myself sometimes wishing for “older” characters instead of the twenty-something heroines I used to prefer. There’s still a place on my “to read” pile for those fun “first love” kind of romances. But some days I think I’d prefer to read about someone I can relate to right now, in this season of life, rather than someone I can relate to because I remember going through something similar a decade or two ago. Am I alone in this?
And as an author, I think that as I’ve “grown up” it’s become a little harder for me to write characters who are right out of college and just starting their adult lives. Capturing what it feels like to be under thirty is a lot more challenging to me than it was ten years ago!
As I look ahead to my next series, I’m toying with putting the characters in my own age bracket. A heroine who isn’t fresh-faced and in her twenties with limited life experience, but who is instead firmly in her forties, with a little more insight and an interesting backstory–and maybe even a wrinkle or two!
What do you think, readers? Do you prefer to read about young love? Or do you think there’s a place on your shelf for a series that centers around an older heroine?I’d love to know in the comments what you think! And if you have a recommendation for a book where the main characters are over thirty, please share!