Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Is Your Hero Over the Hill?

Over the Hill.
How can I be over the hill without ever getting to the top? That's a good question. But at what point do you actually get "over" the hill and start down the other side? Is it a gradual tapering off or a completely downhill slide? I've often wondered about that.

Today over on KZ Snow's blog, she's tackling the question of aging as it relates to MM (Gay) Romance. She has a group of authors taking part, including
Brita Addams
Victor J. Banis
Jeanne Barrack
P.G. Forte
Michael Halfhill
Lynn Lorenz
Belinda McBride
Neil Plakcy
Michael Rupured
Tali Spencer
Lex Valentine
and me!
The young Alitus - with a
graying heroine

I talked about Luc Saint-Cyr, and how the immortal had reverse age prejudices. In Surrender Love he had concerns that his younger hero couldn't know his own mind because of his youth. That's ageism. So, at what point is a character too old? Are certain ages considered "too old" for heroes? Is being a silver fox a myth? Do you read romances where the heroes are over forty? Over fifty? Over sixty? Do you know of any books that have older heroes or is this topic new to you?

We could certainly tackle the topic of aging heroines as well. My book Alitus, Tales of the Chosen has a heroine on the cover with gray hair. It's one of two books I wrote with a heroine who's older than her hero. At the Mercy of Her Pleasure is the other. What about the authors themselves? I've disguised my age to avoid being seen as too old. If you're a writer, have you done that? When I first started writing, I was a grandmother already. I don't think the stereotypical grandmother is anything like the grandmother of today. I know I'm nothing like mine.

So what about you? Are you "over the hill?" Do you read about characters who are older than forty, fifty, or sixty? Would you?


  1. I fell in love with my wife in my 40's, so the kids who think passion vanishes with the first grey hair just make me laugh. I'd read any story with a strong plot and characters who caught my interest. I like a bit more complexity and that often--not always--comes with age and experience.

    And, I confess, I thought Wulf was awfully immature and wasn't surprised that Luc moved on--immortals would, of course.

    1. Thanks Lee. I think the older I get the less age matters to me.
      Yeah, Luc always knew it would be a fading thing with Wulf. He could not move on when Luc did -- a mortal and an immortal are naturally incompatible. When he meets Izzorah (Surrender Love) and discovers that not only is this passionate younger hero in love with him, but can also remain with him forever -- he's hooked. No one wants to grow old and die alone, do they? And Luc has done it for thousands of years. I think being immortal would suck, at least after the first couple of lifetimes.

  2. I am over 50 and write contemporary romances featuring older characters. Most are romantic comedies, especially the Never Too Late series, which begins with a 50 yr old. I have to say they've had a surprisingly good reception from readers of all ages, as well as those who have written to say "thanks for creating characters my age that I can relate to in a story". Book 5 of that series features a 67 yr old heroine and that is selling well too (which surprises me even though I wrote it at the demands of my readers).

    At my age, older characters just make sense to me too. They tend to be more settled in some ways, more disruptive in others. They are looking to do those things they have been putting off. And if they have to make a change, it has to count. I find myself debating what it means to be "older" or "mature. But I also strive to make it appealing. I think you are definitely right. I am not the grandmother my grandmother was.

    I also have a space opera/scifi romance series where ages of the characters vary between 2000 years old to 35 years old. Age on the ship does not equal seniority on the ship, but age does come up in terms of life experience. Life experience counts when couples try to form relationships. Time does affect people and it's fascinating to explore.

    1. Donna, very well said. I'd like to read your material! It sounds fun and intriguing. Will definitely Google you!

  3. I'm retired. But that doesn't stop me from writing about people younger than me. Mind you, I don't write about youngsters in their twenties. I'll leave that to the multitude. Like Donna, I prefer characters with life experience under their belts. One of my heroines is a widow with a teenaged daughter and all my heroes are older men with senior rank. It just makes them more interesting, IMO.

    I'm not a grandmother because I don't have children. But my great (and great-great) nieces and nephews reckon I'm pretty cool.

    1. I agree on the coolness factor, Greta. ^_^ Thanks for weighing in.