The joys of writing older women

 

combinedcoversEDITED TO ADD – I can’t believe I forgot about Plissa, the heroine of Protecting Her Heart, the third book in my science fiction romance series. So that makes three books with a heroine over 40!

Out of the books I have written (just counting the novel length works), the heroine has been over 40 in two of them. The Making of Henri Higgins features one older heroine – Elizabeta Del Fuego Flores is a single mother with two children, one of whom is down syndrome.

I intend to write many more books with heroines over 40, and here’s why:

  • Older women don’t have all the neuroses that young women have – our neuroses are much different J But generally they are more centred, know what they want and are less likely to care what anyone else things. When you’re older, you aren’t as scared because you know you can make it through whatever you want to. That leads to better potential for dramatic decisions.
  • Older woman are also more complicated. They’ve had a lot of different things shape their lives. They come with baggage – loads and loads of baggage – that they have to negotiate life with. They have mortgages and/or children and/or parents to care for and/or horrible exes to avoid that make life that much more difficult. That leads to better potential for conflict, the lifeblood of stories.
  • It’s my age, so it makes sense – I’m 46. I have a much better understanding of what it’s like to be a woman over the age of 40 rather than relying on my faulty memory of being a younger woman. Not to mention the fact that I didn’t really enjoy my 20s, whereas I am loving my 40s, so I want to write women of this age.
  • Most of my friends are my age or older. There’s a huge number of women our age out there. So that’s a massive market. Then there’s the fact that it wouldn’t just be older women that read older heroines. I can see younger women being inspired by amazing stories about amazing women. So there’s a good market.

The character I’ve written that I get the most feedback on is one of my older heroines. Her name is Claudine and she’s the star of my self-published short story “Claudine’s New Adventure”. Claudine has just said goodbye to her only child as they head off to university and for the first time in nearly twenty years is single and available to party. People love Claudine – she’s an older woman, facing issues they face. She’s also a larger woman, which goes down well. Claudine is definitely going to be having some new adventures – you’ll see one appear in the next few months J

protectingherheartWho are your favourite older heroines?

Progress report:

The heat has been killing me, so not much progress from last time:

  • Revision activities completed for The Importance of Being Ernestine – may be cutting a scene or two, and have some motivation to beef up for two of the characters
  • First quarter of the new Claudine book drafted

Cross fingers that it’s better this weekend and I can get some work done!

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