I love the title, The Girls with the Grandmother Faces by Frances Weaver published in 1987. I feel it summarizes so much of women’s lives. We are in a hurry to grow up and change but when the wrinkles appear how do we “be” in this world which seems youth obsessed?
I recall many instances in my twenties and early thirties, when being “carded” at a drinking establishment was a boost of confidence. It seemed to signify that as a woman I still “had it.” I appeared younger than the age stated on the identification card.
I recall stories from my youth where grandmothers received a bad rap. They were old, hump-backed, and dressed in black, and smelled badly. She was an old woman, she might be kind, she may have had a soft lap for cuddling when you were a toddler. But when you were a preteen and had to share a room with Granny, she was the old crone who took out her teeth, combed out her long, stringy gray hair and had whiskers poking out of her chin.
But confession time, I am a Granny. I don’t smell. I have most of my teeth. I have a cute, short, blond streaked hair style. I wear jeans and runners or dresses which show off my décolletage and heels. But recently I was “carded” in Sears Department store where the age to receive the seniors’ benefits is fifty-five. I was thrilled.
I wondered, can a granny write contemporary romance stories with vibrant young women and men characters? I believe that they can but I wondered what readers thought when they learned the age of the author. Do they want to read authors who are closer to their own chronological age?
An internet search led me to two articles. Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent’s blog post, “Does Age Matter for Writers?” She answers questions from a writer who starts writing during her retirement as well as a sixteen year old writer. Rachelle’s final answer is: “You can’t do anything about your age anyway, so don’t let it worry you. Good writers will find a way to get published.”
My next article is from http://olivecollins.com/ Books and Broths when Olive Collins decided to tackle her concerns about aging by researching “Women Writers Who Found Success Over The Age of 40.” Olive’s list is impressive. She concludes by stating: “So Girlies, us female writers are blessed to belong to an elite category where aging, baggage and life experience are a necessity.”
Therefore I conclude that writers of all ages with vast and varied experiences write good stories.
As the granny author of Woman of Substance who enjoys being carded for seniors’ benefits, a reader emailed me on June 14 about her and her friends’ reaction to Woman of Substance:
“So, “the girls” got together last evening and we all had finished reading your book. Annette, we all thoroughly enjoyed it!!! The story was so vivid to me….made me think about Regina, my parents, the years I spent doing research, so many things. Another one of my friends identified with the story as she has recently had a notable weight loss, and another of my friends just enjoyed the escape as she is currently is dealing with a sister who is very ill and simply enjoyed giving her brain relief from worry. Your book was a hit, Annette, and I wanted you to know how much the read was enjoyed.
And I am back to where I began. Authors are made up of experiences which they share on the page to entertain. Ultimately it is the writer who decides if they have waited too long to begin a writing career.
So write whatever your age and keep writing.