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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Seniors as Heroes and Heroines In Books

Author, Sandra K. Marshall, is addressing age in romance books in our blog today.

Okay, you might wonder what prompted me to write about this topic, so I'm going to tell you.  Last Friday, I went to our TWA retiree luncheon for management and salaried retirees.  My old manager who follows my blog faithfully came to me and told me I needed to write a book about 80 year-olds because they still have sex and to use him for the cover model.

He laughs and says, "The details will be longer because we're a bit slower."  I laughed and said, "Phil, no one wants to read about old people having sex."  He said, "Why not? We read sexy books."  Needless to say, we had a good laugh over this conversation, but it did make me think because there are a lot of older people out there who read romances and even erotica.  They just might want to see themselves in a story depicting their sex lives.
This man has always been a handsome man, and still is even though he's not as tall and robust as he was once.  He's active, plays golf, goes on cruises, travels a lot, and his wife and him are both active.  He has a great sense of humor and would make a great character in a book. 
Here are some actors and actresses who are 80 plus who could be models for books if they were the main characters.
Christopher Plummer
Angela Lansbury
Betty White
What do you think?  Would you use 80 year-olds as heroes and heroines in a book?  Smile!  Probably not as we're a young oriented world, and most young people don't want to think of their parents and grandparents having sex.  Wink!


Paris said...


Your buddy has a point. We all know active seniors who no doubt still enjoy life to the fullest but as authors we know that a majority of the romance audience is typically younger. I could see this working as a second story line in a family saga or romantic suspense if the characters had been real life heroes and the reader had a visual of their younger selves.

Tina Donahue said...

A good idea - however, I see this more as a mainstream romance than the hotter than hot kind. Don't know how many readers would get into a romance like that.

Cara Marsi said...

Sandy, I agree with what Paris said. I could see an older couple as a secondary story line. I'm no spring chicken myself, but I prefer writing and reading about thirty-somethings. This topic of using older heroes and heroines comes up a lot in romance discussions, and some publishers have brought out lines with older h/h but those lines folded because of lack of sales and interest. Your friend is right that older people do enjoy sex, but it's not a good sell for romance books.

Sandy said...

Thanks, Paris and Tina.

Cara, I'm sure if we described the fat, or the wrinkled skin it wouldn't work. lol

Thanks for your input, guys.

vicki batman said...

Hi, Sandy! You know there are beautiful older people, but this genre hasn't been embraced. I agree with Cara and Paris about a secondary line and if the older characters are popular, maybe on offshoot for them. I have 70 something year old friends and they are beautiful.

Rose Gorham said...

Great concept. Have you read Jeanne Ray's, Julie and Romeo -- I think those characters were in their sixties.

Sandy said...

Vicki, I'm sure it would be a tough sale to use older couples for the main characters in any book.

Rose, no I haven't read that book. I can't believe a book with characters in their 60's would get published. Thank you for telling me about it.

Melissa Keir said...

I've heard from others as well Sandy about writing "older" heroes. I know that there was a poll recently about how old readers want the main characters to be. The mid 20-30's was the range with some outliers depending on the reader's favorite genres. I have some great ideas for stories featuring a handsome Daniel Craig or Pierce Brosnan but I can't see many readers embracing those stories because of society's age bias. I love the idea of using them as a secondary to plan and remediate the thinking..

Sandy said...

LOL Melissa, you're always thinking of new stories.

Judy Baker said...

Hmmm, something to think about. They say 10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day! There's lots of them.

Maggie C said...

I write about older heroes and heroines - so far in their late forties and fifties. I self-publish!

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