Friday, August 22, 2014

The Good, The Bad and The Droopy

Today Amanda Ward tells us about her ‘older’ heroes and heroines.

I am an author of romance novels specifically with the hero and heroine in their 40s and above. I would like to point out I do not write ‘mum, chick, nan or granny’ lit. Mine are romance, pure and simple with a quirky sense of humour woven throughout, and I admit that I have great fun in writing them.

In my early teens, twenties and thirties I was an avid reader of romance novels. Travelling to work each day with a Temptation book in my handbag and immersing myself completely. During those years raising my family they were my one indulgence, a means of escaping from the nappy changes, whining and moaning (and not just from the kids) in the evenings. Now I’m in my early forties and a grandmother I am looking for something a little more ‘my age’. A couple of years ago, I couldn’t find anything, so I started writing and here I am now a fully-fledged member of the RNA as of January 1st 2014 and attended my first conference in July.

 I wrote my first novel Without Saying a Word during Nanowrimo and submitted it to Books to Go Now which they accepted within a few days. I am currently working on a Christmas novella for them. As for the MisAdventures of Pann Haggerty, well they started out as a series of short stories. I put them together and sent them to Secret Cravings Publishing, with whom I am contracted for the next two books in the Pann series.

Both Secret Cravings and Books to Go Now offer a wide range of romance novels, and I have been supported and encouraged by them to write more for them, and in this age range.

I have seen in the past five years especially a major shift in what categorizes a romance novel. From the mainstream tropes, we have Christian/inspiration/Amish romances and at the other end of the scale the erotica side. In between, the list is extensive. So if there are readers who are buying these, who is to say there isn’t a call for writing which raises the age of the hero and heroine.

It is a fact that women are living longer than men. I will happily put my hand up here and say that I have been married 3 times. In my 20s and twice in my 30s. My current (and last ever one) was himself in his 40s when we married, and how we met, well it’s a story in itself. So what fun can there be with the older couple? Well, let’s see. They’ve passed the turmoil of their youth. While the younger couple are setting out on the road to house buying, nappy changes, school runs and teenager hood, my couple have done it and better than that… survived. Ted and Shirley are either divorced/widowed/never married. Meet at the park or been set up by one of their kids on a dating website. They have a fair bit in common like remembering the 70s and the power cuts and telling each other about how their children/grandkids are doing.  I’m getting ideas for a future book here. This is a couple who can talk to each other and spend time together without rushing off here there and everywhere. As for the physical side of the relationship, a sense of humour is the way I usually write them. Let’s face it nothing is perky anymore, there are going to be a few awkward moments, but writing it with compassion and sensitivity (especially if there is a medical problem) is tantamount. What I really do love when I write about this couple is that they work out any issues together, because they truly love each other.
Older hero and heroine romance…BRING IT ON!
Links:

Thank you, Amanda, for showing us that romance is out there for everyone – no matter what their age.

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4 comments:

Anne L Harvey said...

Sounds like my kinda book, Manda! And I have to say you don't look old enough to be a grandmother. Like you, I've been married three times and with this one, we've been married 23 years tomorrow!

Manda Ward said...

Just to give an update. Since writing this blog post, my novella entitled the Bed & Breakfast Man has been accepted by Books To Go Now and will be published later on this year!

Hugs Manda x

June Kearns said...

Lovely post, Manda. It seems to me that your own romance history would make a really good read!
Romance is surely ageless as well as timeless. I'm looking forward to reading your books.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Excellent post, Manda. Thank you for highlighting romances that feature older men and women. PANN is on my Kindle, patiently waiting for me to read it. I'm looking forward to the story.