I write Contemporary Romance and Urban Fantasy. I read Contemporary Romance and a lot of Urban Fantasy (and many, many other genres, including poetry and non-fiction).
‘Older’, more ‘seasoned’ heroines are not well-represented in either genre. Writers and readers, please do not take this as a put-down or shaming or complaint. It’s not. I’ve fallen hard for single books and series filled with main characters in their twenties and I would be bereft if I could no longer immerse myself in their trials and tribulations and victories (and HFNs and HEAs). BEREFT!
I want to see more representation of my age group; therefore, I’m writing those characters. Luna, from Opening Nights, is 34. Elaine, from Summer Rules, is 47. Anna, from Invisible Anna, is 50. And Calliope Jones, from Magic Remembered, is 41.
Fictional older/seasoned characters have challenges and obstacles on their way to HFNs and HEAs (Fictional older/seasoned characters in their twenties share many of those same challenges and obstacles).
One way I differentiate the volume of challenges and obstacles is to imagine characters arriving at a luxury hotel, the kind with bellhops and brass luggage racks. Younger characters might have one full-sized suitcase, a carry-on, and maybe an oversized purse or backpack. Okay, we’ll give them a small pet in its carrier, too.
My older characters will have at least two full-sized suitcases, a carry-on, a hat box, a garment bag for the dress-that-cannot-be-crushed, one pet in a carrier, another on a leash. Chances are good they’re accompanied by a travel companion–either a bestie or a child in need of one-on-one time–so we’ll add that luggage to the carrier as well. Let’s give this character their own hashtag: #MoreYearsMoreBaggage
Luna O’Rourke is a professional costume designer who’s devoted to her job and friends and the cities (Boston and Cambridge, MA) she’s lived in her entire life. The possibility of falling in love challenges the bedrock of the life she has built.
Elaine Atkins is a lifelong entrepreneur and single mother to a 30-year-old daughter. Her motto is: I’ll Do It Myself. When sexy times explode into the very real possibility of a deeper emotional investment, she falls apart.
Anna Granger has been widowed for five years. She faces something we don’t much talk about: as we age, we become invisible. Yes, I know this doesn’t happen to everyone, but it happens to Anna, and her invisibility has become a crutch. When sex and romance show up for her, she’s got one heckuva chasm to cross is she wants to pursue a second chance at romance and the career she left behind.
Calliope Jones is a divorced mother of two teenaged sons. She is also a witch, and her magic has faded from disuse. Life gets infinitely more interesting when a slew of magical characters enter her life (and the proverbial shit hits the fan, because hey, it’s Urban Fantasy).
Who are *your* favorite over-thirty characters?