Monday, July 18

...a thunderous roar...

Congratulations to all 2016 RITA and Golden Heart winners!

And to me, while we're at it, because I finally, finally typed "The End" on my WIP. I'm happy with it. It's with readers now and we'll see what they think. And now I'm in a kind of limbo.

Usually, when I don't have anything to write, I sew while people appear and stories percolate in my cluttered little mind. But this time a song title came to me (actually only part of the title came--I had to look it up) and made me think, Hmm..., and then, What if.... These are favorite thoughts of writers, both the ones in business and the ones for whom it's just a way of life. The song title was "The Anaheim, Azusa, and Cucamonga Sewing Circle, Book Review, and Timing Association." Yes, it's real. Jan and Dean released it in 19-sometime-while-I-was-in-high-school.
Jan and Dean 

I started a new story about just such a group. I'm having a really good time with Mary Grace, Sarah, Lucy, Darcy, and a few others who haven't introduced themselves to me yet. I hope, when the time comes, that you like them, too.

Nan and I have talked at length--and possibly complained...a little--about the near-absence of Baby Boomers and even Gen Xers in both romance and women's fiction. I mean, there are a gazillion of us out here, we have more money for books than we had in our child-raising 30s. Strides have been made in diversification. You can now read sweet romance that is neither inspirational nor "light." The doors are open to erotica and same-sex romances. All I'm asking...and asking...and asking, is why those same doors don't open on Seasoned Romance.


Cristina Ferrare
Now, in a bumpy little segue, have you ever watched Home and Family, a talk-crafts-cooking show on Hallmark? When I'm sewing, I watch it, or I used to. Cast members were fun, guests were interesting, crafts and recipes were good. The hosts, Cristina Ferrare and Mark Steines were--for me--cool to watch. She's pretty and smart. She's also 66, and she's no longer with the show for that reason. And that's why I "used to" watch it, because I won't anymore. 

It's also part of why I'm writing a story about a book review and sewing group in which a good many of the characters are over 40, some even as old as Cristina Ferrare and I are.

Because ignoring the viewing and reading wants and needs of a good-size demographic is ageism, folks. And I really don't get why it's okay.

Have a great week.

Liz Flaherty

25 comments:

  1. I agree. Boomers (myself included) are a huge market. I'm surprised HQN and others don't have a special imprint or at least marketing for them.

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    1. Me, too. It's not as if they're not aware--they are. I don't know why they don't cash in.

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  2. Great post, Liz! Can't wait for the AACSBRATA story! I love stories about groups of women friends sharing their lives. And yes, a million times, yes! Where are the imprints for Baby Boomers? We're out here, we're still falling in love, dealing with love, making love...and we've definitely got money to spend on books. Hollywood is starting to figure it out...maybe publishers will too.

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    1. I have to find a title--even a working one--to get the song title out of my head. :-)

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  3. I had no idea she wasn't with the show any more! I didn't watch it often, but if bebe was home sick or something, it would be on in the background often enough. :( I'm going to miss her!

    And I agree - I'd love to read 'older' heroines and heroes...lets start a new trend!

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    1. What was bad was they pretty much sneaked her out the back door w/o telling anyone. I love Hallmark--I watch their movies all year long--but this definitely made me feel differently toward not just the show, but the company as a whole.

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  4. Personally, I'd love to read more baby-boomer romances. What I really don't care for though - cougar stories. Sorry if I offend anyone, but there are plenty of hot guys our age out there. They deserve to be recognized too.
    BTW, my sister recently complained about not finding boomer romances and I gave her your and Nan's names.

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    1. Bless you, Sandy! And I agree--I don't like cougar stories much, either, although I admit I've read a few really well-done ones. They remind me too much of the early romances when the hero was 35 and the heroine was 18.

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  5. I know what you mean. My Iris Rainbow started in the sixties with a young couple, but they didn't find each other again until thirty years later. It's really a boomer story.

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    1. Cheryl Reavis's THE FIRST BOY I LOVED is a Boomer story, too. I love them when I find them--they are just too few and far between. I'll seek yours out, Ilona.

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  6. I just read Ilona's Iris Rainbow story, and loved it! The Wild Rose Press has a Vintage Rose imprint featuring older protagonists. And my book Deja Vu All Over Again features an old hippie and an older rock star. Spoiler - they make love because, yes, old folks can still do that. Or so I've heard.

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    1. I have Deja Vu All Over Again. I have several and have written a few. But I know how difficult they are to sell to publishers, too. I ordered Ilona's!

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  7. I like and read most types of romance novels. But I do enjoy reading about protagonists who have experienced some of the things I have experienced. When will the publishers listen to those of us who are more mature readers?

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    1. I wonder, too, Carolyn. Like Ashantay pointed out, there are some out there, but not many.

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  8. Another publisher that has been more open has been Kensington's Lyrical Press. I have a series of erotic romances (Worth the Wait Romance series) featuring characters around the mid-century mark with them. They don't seem to be as gun shy on the age thing. :)

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    1. That's good to know, Maggie. Thank you--and thanks for stopping by.

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  9. Of course, ageism isn't okay! I'm working on a Silver Fox romance series to begin releasing this fall and my concern is how readers can find romances with older characters. They're out there. What key words do readers search for when they are looking for those books? If authors know, we can use them when we publish.

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    1. Definitely a good point. Instead of my complaining about them not being there, maybe I need to find out how to find them. Even then, I want the "big" publishers to come to the table, too, and I don't think they have overall.

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    2. I agree. I think there is an untapped market out there. Authors and readers just have to find each other. It's too bad the traditional publishers aren't jumping on board (for the most part, I'm glad Maggie Wells found a place at Lyrical) because some big name publicity would help us all.

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  10. I saw a lot of editors and agents at RWA nationals who looked like they just finished high school. I'm guessing that's part of the problem, but I have no fear that the Boomers will prevail if enough readers hound the publishers for books that feature mature characters. There are millions of women over forty. We just need to speak up!

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    1. Yeah, and I think we need to get loud, don't we? :-) I know editors have always been young. Mine has to be getting older, but I'm not sure he can drink yet. And I'm not sure how much "say" they have about what's actually published. I do think marketing departments have a lot to answer for.

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  11. Excellent post, Liz! I read and write boomer lit, with reinvention as the theme. With millions of boomers out there, I know there is a market for older protagonists. As Cheryl said, "We just need to speak up!"

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    1. Absolutely. Nan's Willow Bay series is wonderful, too. She's made some inroads, as have you and the others here. Now, if we can just get'em to listen... Thanks, Joanne.

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  12. Great post and insightful comments.

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