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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Does Age Matter

I like writing about heroine’s that have experience behind them. If a woman has had experience with love and relationships, she brings a sense of humor to the search for “the one”.

By the time a woman is over forty she should be all settled, know herself, have what she wants in life, right? But if she doesn’t, there’s a story to tell. A woman of fifty, like Sandra in my book Sleeping with the Lights On, has life experience to offer up.

What’s your take on the age of a heroine?

Excerpt from Sleeping with the Lights On:

I must admit, I not only looked good for my age (God, I hated that phrase), but I didn’t look fifty. Which explained the string of younger men I’d dated over those last few years. The May/December thing always seems so romantic and exciting at the movies or in books. Unfortunately, after I learned the two-step, the thirty-year-old cowboy in tight Wranglers didn’t have much more to offer. The Arizona State University student, whose daddy owned a radio station, had been fun, but I was old enough to be his mother, which made the relationship a little creepy. Sean, the Irishman, had wanted children. The whole younger man phase came to an abrupt end with Greg the Greek God as he fumbled with the condoms and blurted out his virginity status. What was I thinking?


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Sleeping with the Lights On

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Anonymous said...

Hmmm, that's a good question. I must admit I never really thought about that. But I think I like both young and old heroines. Both can bring something to a story.
Young heroines still have a bit of.. hope I guess. They mostly haven't faced the bad side of the world yet. They are just at the start of the search of ,,the one''. You get to experience the whole journey with her.
I agree that heroine’s that have experience behind them bring a sense of humor to the search for “the one”. It is very nice to read about the previous men, and why they weren't IT.
Lucia (luciatea01 (at)

Brenda Whiteside said...

Good points, Luciatea. Age makes for a good variety of stories in the romance tales.

Viviane Brentanos said...

Interesting post. In my novels, I tend to go for heroines younger than the guys but in Fragile Dreams, Ellie is a good ten years older than Michael. Does age bring maturity? Not necesserily. A lot of women reach a certain age only having known one partner. On a personal level, I have formed attachments with men younger than I and sometimes it is they keeping me grounded. Maturity is not a question of age. ane, on a footnote, no matter how old you may be, whether or not you are a mother, seasoned wife, hearts can still be broken. Angst is no respector of age.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Age definitely does not necessarily lead to maturity. And in our stories we reach for that maturity development no matter the age. Coming at it from different perspectives and with different life experiences is what makes each tale interesting. And yes, love can hurt no matter the age.

Shauna said...

I loved your excerpt. I think age is just a part of the character. Yet another part of me knows I moved away from historical romance because I'm tired of 18 to 23 year old virgins.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Ha! You make a funny point Shauna and I hear you. Thanks.

LoRee Peery said...

An older heroine brings some wisdom as well as the ability to laugh at herself into her relationships.

Kasey said...

Interesting points. I'm glad someone is writing about women with some experience, as I don't really think the market necessarily encourages this all the time. But I like older heroines. Like you said, they tend to have more experience, so the stories tend to be a bit more realistic than the wham-bam-thank you ma'am stuff that's usually out there. Though I like reading that stuff occasionally, too!

Jean P said...

I like reading about older heroines especially now that I am older, I find reading stories with younger heroines in them, they start to annoy me.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks, LoRee, Kasey, and Jean P. I like writing about them, too. Thanks for stopping by.

Emly Forrest said...

My understanding is that in other countries, age difference is not really an issue. As a woman of a certain age, I find that immensely comforting.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Oh comforting indeed. We are so youth oriented in the US.

heavy hedonist said...

Funny excerpt.
I'd certainly like to see women past their mid-thirties and up in more romantic literary situations-- Why on earth does Jane Austen not the mother of those girls in Sense & Sensibility have some fun atfer her year of mourning?