Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Older & Bolder: Why Mature Women Matter

I know the irrepressible Lynne Marshall through RWA's Medical Chapter Heartbeat. Her writing is thought-provoking and poignant as you will see from the following article. Please welcome the ageless Lynne Marshall to The Five Scribes.

Recently I was with a gorgeous redhead at a writer’s conference (my roommate for the event) and we came upon one of the workshop presenters (who happened to be a man closer to my age - probably older - than hers) who graciously responded to my roommate’s question and proceeded to invite himself along for another function. That was all well and good, and fine with me. Here’s where it got sticky, I tried to insert myself into the conversation a couple of times, but quickly discovered the silver-haired man did not know I existed. He only had eyes for youth and beauty.

I don’t blame him, my friend is gorgeous, but whatever happened to common courtesy? “Hello, other person who I am not the slightest bit interested in. Nice to meet you, now, let me ogle your friend, if you don’t mind.”

My solution?

I don’t put up with stuff like that anymore. I wish I could say I grabbed him by the lapels and forced him to look at me. “I exist, jerkhead! Therefore I am.” But, unlike him, I enforce that common courtesy I was pining over in the prior paragraph. So I disappeared, (how can you disappear when you don’t exist, you ask?) and went off where I knew I would be welcomed. Who has time for that stuff at this age? My gorgeous friend is perfectly capable of handling social situations, and, as it turned out, karma was afoot.


A fact of life’s stages

There comes a time in each woman’s life when she slips from the radar in some areas, but comes into her own in so many other aspects of life. I didn’t seriously pursue writing until I was fifty years old (I’m being honest and vulnerable here, so be gentle!) Sold my first book three days before my fifty-sixth birthday, and continue to write stories about falling in love for Harlequin, Mills & Boon, and The Wild Rose Press.

My favorite quote:

"To all, I would say how mistaken they are when they think that they stop falling in love when they grow old, without knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love..." Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Life applications

That quote can be applied to so many things in life! I worry about people who become overly cautious, or stop doing things because they feel past their prime. I ziplined for the first time in 2010 in Kauai, got on the back of a motorcycle for the first time last year, too. I took a class on gun safety and spent time at a shooting range a couple years back. In 2005 on my own, I picked up and went to the UK because my daughter was spending a semester in Oxford. Did I worry about traveling alone? A little, but not enough to hold me back. I welcomed the adventure of staying in B&Bs, learning the local transportation, and discovering pubs unlike anything I’ve found in the U.S.

As a writer, I get to hang out with wonderful women of all ages at writer’s conferences. Instead of feeling intimidated, it invigorates me. We have a common thread – we all write some form of romance. And though, after twenty-nine years of marriage, the first spark of falling in love may be a distant memory, it has never been forgotten. I love rekindling that spark with each book I write.

In our hearts we’re eternally twenty-five

One quick look in the mirror re-enforces our true age, but soul-age is eternally young. Ask anyone with white hair. When a person gets swept away by music, do they feel any specific age? Or when they’re engrossed in the wonder of a Monet painting, is age an issue? When I close my eyes and ride amusement park rides, I’m a kid again. Snorkeling in refreshing azure seas, I am ageless and timeless. Tasting the subtly infused herbs and spices of a new chef, my palate knows no age requirement. And love, yes, if you’re lucky, falling in love happens several times a day. With who and what, is completely up to you.

These days, older and bolder heroines are the kind I want to read about! What is your favorite kind of heroine?

There you have it, Readers. Answer Lynne's question or comment about her post and you will be entered to win an e-book version of One for the Road. Be sure to leave your e-mail address. We'll draw a name on Friday morning, July 22nd. Thanks & Happy Writing!

ONE FOR THE ROAD a Wild Rose Press Contemporary Romance tells the tale of a 46 year old D’Anne Palmer, stranded and broke, a 40 foot RV her only possession, and Tyler White an ex-country star on his comeback tour. As they journey from Nashville to Las Vegas, via Texas, with the band and Tyler’s dog, can close quarters help a has-been singer and a widow with California style find love?

For an excerpt of One for the Road go here. http://lynnemarshall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Exerpt_One_for_the_Road.pdf

Lynne Marshall loves to write older heroines with a few lines on their faces to prove they’ve stared down that enemy who tries to tell them, “You’re too old. It’s too late.” And if her daunting stare doesn’t scare the negativity away, she has recently mastered a mean sidekick that will leave doubt and insecurity on their respective keesters.

One for the Road – The Wild Rose Press http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=175_140&products_id=4556

Amazon Kindle – http://www.amazon.com/One-Road-Lynne-Marshall/dp/1601549431/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310574401&sr=8-1



Vonnie Davis said...

I fell in love at 55 and now at 63 am holding my first published book. I may feel my age, but never think it or own it--I just rent it. I love that you're writing older heroines. Aren't we grand??? Love, sex and true intimacy does not stop with menopause--thank God!

The premise of your book is intriguing. Much success to you!

Jannine Gallant said...

Hi Lynne,

I love older heroines, and I think we were separated at birth. I wrote a road trip book about an ex-rock star named Tyler and a dog. Sound familiar? LOL!! Mine is West to East so we're okay.

Sue Palmer Fineman said...

I started writing in my mid-fifties and have written over two dozen novels written. The first book I wrote was about people in their late 40's. The Mitchell Money came out in April. I LOVE older characters, people who have lived a little. People with baggage.

Donnell said...

Although I wrote nonfiction in my thirties, I qualify for Older and Bolder for fiction because I started when my kids were in high school. I'm proud that I got them raised for the most part, and then there was "me" time. Bad form to that man who showed no class, Lynne, I've never been ziplining, and that looks intriguing...but... maybe I'll try bungee jumping instead.

Go you! And best wishes on ONE FOR THE ROAD!

Lu/Grace said...

Your book sounds great - a road trip with a crooner. Love a man who can make music.

You didn't tell us how karma took care of that silver-haired Lothario, hehe.

Wendy S Marcus said...

Hi Lynne!
You are one classy lady! (And so much fun!) It was great meeting up at national. You're always welcome wherever I am!!

Loved your post - especially the quote.

Can't wait to read your new book!

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Vonnie - Yep, you've got the right idea. There may not be a big market for older heroines, but I'm always hearing ladies say, "thank you! I've been waiting to read about someone closer to my age."

thanks for commenting!

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Jannine! I think that phenomenon is called synchronicity. It happens a lot with story ideas. Each story always turns out different as the individual author, though, right?

Is your book with TWRP?

Thank for commenting.

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Sue - yes, baggage! We got it. Good for you for pursuing your dream and for your success. I've seen the beautiful cover for The Mitchell Money. I'll have to check it out!

Thanks for commenting.

AJ Nuest said...

You know what? I just love you ladies. Seriously. Y'all are incredible...and totally awesome. Although I started writing in my forties, now I wish I would have started so much earlier - just so I could have had the opportunity to know you all that much soomer. Lynne, I LOVE the concept of One for the Road. Pick me! Pick me! I want to read this soooo bad. If you don't pick me, I'm stalking every single blog you visit until I win. So there! Hugs to you all and here's to discovering life after 40...50...60...whatever!

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Donnell - that's the beauty of life, there really is time have second careers. I think your children are grateful you gave them your undivided attention until they were in high school, too.
Bungee jumping? Now, see, that scares me more than ziplining.

Thanks for hosting me, Donnell!

Lynne Marshall said...

Lu/Grace - thanks for commenting. he he - yeah, Karma - good stuff.
Sometimes life just doesn't work out the way we plan...

I love road trips. I hope you do too!

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Wendy! I had lots of fun seeing you recently, too! Thanks for making me feel welcome.

I look forward to your thoughts about One for the Road. It was fun to write, that's for sure.

Donnell said...

LOL. Bungee Jumping tongue in cheek, Lynne, my false teeth would fall out (kidding -- took that from a Southern lady comedian ;) Seriously, though, YA has a great place and fills a niche market, categories fill another market for the young and fearless heroine. But do you really only want to read about that age group? Why do you think Murder She Wrote was so popular. I'm grateful for books, networks and mediums that are showing the value of older women.

They have a lot of experience behind their words. I vote we expand the market!

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi AJ! Thanks for making me giggle this morning. Yeah, there seems to be a lot of us late bloomers out here. I honestly don't think I would have been capable of what writing demands had I started sooner than when I was ready. does that make sense? ha ha.
I think the key is passion - to be passionate about whatever we do, and that does not die at any given age. It's part of that soul-age bit - some people burn out, some never stop growing.
thanks for you enthusiastic comment!

Lynne Marshall said...

Donnell - you have my vote on expanding the market. The big six weren't interested in this book, but I was thrilled to see a specific line for heroines over forty at The Wild Rose Press.

And YES! Murder She Wrote - love that character.

I still think that young people think "ewww" about people of a certain age (their parents!) getting romantic. Wait till they get older and figure that one out. ;)

Jannine Gallant said...

Yep, Lynne, mine is for the Class of '85 series. We'll have to swap books and see how different they are! I think this is an example of great minds...

Mona Risk said...

Lynne, I love your post and I love your excerpt. Your heroine is so realistic I can see her and hear her. Women give their full potential after the children leave home. They finally are able to do what they want and do it well.

Lynne Marshall said...

Jannine said: I think this is an example of great minds...

Agreed! Ah, and Class of '85 series is great. Have read a couple of them. Now, I must read yours! I'm guessing our stories are nothing alike. : )

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Mona - great to see you here. Thanks for reading the excerpt. I'm glad you liked it.

Your comments are very true. Our children are a great gift, and I loved every day of parenting (still do, as we never stop being parents) and when they got older, I discovered more time for myself...and those dang voices in my head! LOL. No, no need for meds, folks, that's how writers meet their characters.

Calisa Rhose said...

Oh and I'm at cmselfridge @ gmail (dot) com

Penny Rader said...

LOL'ing, Lynne. Loved the "I exist...therefore I am!" Sadly, I can really identify with that. I'm edging up to another milestone bday, but in my head I'm only 33. Imagine my shock every time I look in the mirror!

Vince said...

Hi Lynne:

To answer your question: I like the heroine to be 38 to 41. I like her to be old enough to know who she really is. The hero should be 43 to 45 but if the hero is very intelligent, I can enjoy a hero who is up to 10 years younger than the heroine.

BTW: “One for the Road” is just the kind of book I most like. However, I have one worry: how long has the heroine’s husband been dead? The blub makes it sound that the husband dies and the widow immediately starts an affair with the singer. As a husband, that theme is a little ‘iffy’.


I’d love to win an e-Copy of “One for the Road” vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Calisa! Did I miss the original comment? LOL. I've got the e-mail just in case. Thanks for stopping by!

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Penny! Sounds like we're kindred spirits, :). Yeah, head age and mirror age, let's just say that mirror stinks doesn't it?

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Vincent! Great to see you here. You have very specific parameters, but I like your explanations.

Yes, the deceased husband part was very tricky. I specify that they are on a cross country mend-it-don't-end it marriage, that they've drifted far from each other, then this catastrophe happens, and the book begins six weeks later. The time frame is tight, and I had to handle it with a fine tooth comb. Believe me, she doesn't go looking for love - it shows up, and she resists like crazy. Hopefully, I've walked her through the process slowly enough for you. I hope you'll read the book and let me know!
thanks for your always-thoughtful comments.

Lynne Marshall said...

I meant to say - mend-it-don't-end-it cross country tour (alluding to their marriage is on the rocks)

selenafulton said...

I loved your blog! The reason mature women matter? Because we all grow older.

I love the premise of your story.

Selena Fulton

Leslie Ann said...

Hi Lynne,
Welcome to Five Scribes.

I used to worry that I had missed my chance at being published and being taken seriously once I passed 40. NOT TRUE, but
that light bulb didn't come on until I was long past my 40th B'day. Maybe I'm a slow-to-grasp kinda girl. Now watch me shine :)

Experience is so much more fun to read about. I don't have an age group I most love to read, it's experience. So if you all are going to write a 20-something character put that experience in...and if you're a 20-something and don't think you have experience...well you do, it's just different, dig deep and USE IT.

Vanilla books are boring and usually trite.

Awesome post, can't wait to read the book.

~LA of the Scribes.

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Selena,
Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting. I'm glad you like the premise of the story. So far, I've gotten some really kind reviews, so I guess a few other people like it too.
and I'm glad you enjoyed the blog, too!

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Leslie Ann - thanks for hosting me today. I'm so glad you enjoyed the blog. I think as long as we write about universal truths, things every person feels in some form or another, it will touch the reader. Though I'm quite sure when I was 21 I didn't know my you-know-what from my elbow. However, I've already stated I was a late bloomer. :)
I hope you enjoy One for the Road.

Leslie Ann said...

Lynn, when I was 21, I KNEW everything!


Vince said...

Hi Lynne:

I will definitely read, “One for the Road”. I want to see how you make it work. I love the southwest landscape. I’d live in Santa Fe if I could. I just love the ‘big empty’. I was on a plane going to SF once when the pilot told the passengers that we were passing over the Grand Canyon. I was looking out the window, loving the view, wishing I could live in the desert, when the man next to me said out loud, “how could anyone possibly live in this big empty nothingness?”. I felt sad for him.


Lynne Marshall said...

Leslie Ann - oh, yeah, I thought I knew everything too, but I was speaking the truth in retrospect. LOL.

Vince - flying over the Grand Canyon is incredible. Being in the Grand Canyon is incredible. There's nothing like it. I guess, in regards to the other guy on the plane - to each his own.

Audra Harders said...

Hi Lynne,

Great statement in defense of you're as old as you feel. Funny how youth is wasted on the young (oh how cliched, but true!). But then, when you really think about it, what's stopping you from doing what you want to do?

Self perception.

Bravo to you and all your adventures. What kind of heroines do I like?

Ones like you!

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Audra! Wow, thank you so much for the compliment. How very kind. I would never in a million years think of myself as a heroine, but I sure enjoy writing women with spunk.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Lynne Marshall said...

I wanted to announce that the winner of the drawing for a copy of my e-book is Vince!

I believe you left your e-mail, so I will contact you directly.

Thanks so much everyone for a fun and lively discussionabout OLDER, BOLDER heroines!