Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Robin Schone GuestBlog: Why A 'Mature' Heroine? Why Not!

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Please read my Feature of Robin's "Scandalous Lovers,"
and her AuthorView, at Romance: B(u)y the Book!

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Contest!!! Robin is giving one LCB a hard-back edition of “Scandalous Lovers,” and another LCB a mass paperback of “The Lady's Tutor,” the 1999 version printed w/ the holographic heart!
I knew Robin Schone was somthin special when I read "The Lover," and was immediately compelled to buy every other RS title available. I was looking for hot, and ended up with some of the most searing, raw emotion and sensuality I've read. And for the true fan of historicals, it doesn't get more authentic than Schone. A warm buongiorno for Robin's second, much anticipated visit...

Hello Michelle and Bellas! Thank you for inviting me into your net home. And thank you, Michelle, for posting my brand new author photo! Isn’t Manne (pronounced Mannie) pretty? I walked into a furniture store seeking year-end bargains, took one look at her, and fell in love. My mother wants to stuff her into a corner between my hutch-desk and the wall, and my husband keeps shaking his head and asking, "Why a mannequin, Robin?"

Which leads into my topic: Why a 49 year old heroine?

My answer: Why not?

Is art restricted to porcelain figurines and canvas paintings?

Is love and sexual fulfillment restricted to the young and beautiful?

Waaaaay back in the 80s, Jude Deveraux's The Velvet Promise featured the heroine's mother as a secondary love interest. Even then, in my 20s, I found the mother intriguing. She had endured more, sacrificed more. With all that capacity to love, why wouldn't she feel passion more deeply than the young daughter she'd protected? And having lived through so much more, why wouldn't her happy ending be that much more sweeter?

Why, when the largest generation of Americans are Baby Boomers - the youngest who is 43, and the oldest who is 61, all of whom comprise the "fastest-growing population of singles"* - are romance publishers falling over backwards catering to teens, while ignoring this huge segment of readers?

Or does this "growing population of singles" want to be reached through romance and erotica?

Yesterday I received a lovely letter from a 53 year old woman. She purchased Scandalous Lovers for hot sex, but upon learning that the heroine was near her own age, she didn't expect to like the sex scenes. I'm happy to report that she enjoyed the book very much . . . sex included! . . . and wrote that it helped confirm her belief that a "woman's sexual peak is at whatever age she understands her own desires and has the confidence to seek fulfillment."

What age do you prefer your heroines? Do you think that romance novels featuring "mature" heroines - while perhaps appealing to older readers (or perhaps not), automatically excludes younger readers?
Or does age not matter to you, it's all in the story and writing?
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Encore! *"Dating is not just for the under-40 set," http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/berman/282861,CST-FTR-berman05.article
Encore due! Grazie mille Amanda Brice for bringing us the news about some of the great things women do and the Freya's Bower "Dreams and Desires" anthology. Special thanks to all the D&D authors who stopped in to keep the convo lively, and make the day special.
Encore tre! Amanda randomly selected yesterday's winners, who are: playground monitor/e-copy of D&D; amy s./bound copy. Email me, Bellas!
Encore quattro!
Please buy the anthology: 100% of proceeds go to a shelter for battered women. And look for another Freya's Bower anthology to support battered women in 2008.

79 comments:

Rachelle Chase said...

Hi Robin (waving madly!). As you know, I loved SCANDALOUS LOVERS. Not only because the heroine was older, but also because of the way you unfolded the discovery of love between two people who, that late in life, had never experienced it. You expertly blended experience with inexperience. Though GABRIEL'S WOMAN will forever hold a special place in my heart, I have made room for SCANDALOUS LOVERS. :-)

Your reader's comment was quite interesting. I want to see sex between older heroes and heroines. In fact, I would love to see a romance between the elderly. Love and sex is not just for the young - in fact, I think we're better able to appreciate great love and great sex when we're older. So hopefully, once again, you have trailblazed a path for the older heroine's love and sex story. :-)

Laurie said...

I'm relatively new to your writing but coincidentally, I purchased "Gabriel's Woman" and "The Lover" just this past week on a friend's recommendation. I am also in my 50's so it's nice to be included as an acceptible age for a heroine/love interest. I know that Jane Porter recently had a book "Flirting with Forty" so maybe the trend will include some of us older woman! Late 20's -30's is probably the norm but with so many peolple living longer and all of us baby boomers out there... I really think there is room for older woman as the love interest. I don't think younger readers will be turned off by 40-60 year olds having sex/relationships, older than that would not be something I would seek out...but I could easily accept as a secondary part of a story.

Stacy~ said...

I really enjoyed "The Lady's Tutor". And I do like the idea of romances about older women - eventually we all get there, so it's wonderful to see women in their 50's and 60's having healthy, active sexual relationships with their partners. It also shows an older woman can take care of herself, stay fit, be attractive and not come across that life, and romance, are over. I don't believe it should be that way, and I love that there are books out there that are positive, fun and sexy! WTG Robin for writing one :)

Theresa N. said...

I'm past the 30's so it's a real treat for me to find a book were the heroine is older. I started a few books were the heroine is in their early 20's (20-23) and didn't finish them. The storys were so unbelieveable. The story's would have been more believable with older heroines. No matter how great the heroine is, she can't have lived a whole life time and have all the answers by the time she's 20. Now 49 does have all that knowledge and a lot to say.

Nina said...

Robin,

As I'm 47 and still luuuuv sex and hot romances, I'm all for seeing my contemporaries in a novel! Thanks for supplying us with those hot stories with multi-layered and interesting women. That's why I also like Kathryn Shay. Many of her stories feature two story lines: one with a younger woman and one with a more "mature" woman. And like Teresa N. said, I just can't buy a young 20 something woman with a wealth of experience & self confidence.

Angelina said...

I'm 33 years old and find myself reading and writing about women in their young thirties -- women who still have a lot to learn but are no longer looking at life through rose-colored glasses. However, I have to say that some of my FAVORITE sex scenes belong to Susan Elizabeth Phillip's over-50 women. In "Happy, Texas", she puts a lovely widow mourning her husband into a jacuzzi tub with the town's former bad boy. Both of these people are over 50 and nothing is hotter than when he carries her naked into a deep, dark walk-in closet. And in "It Had to be You," (I think), she has TWO explosive sex scenes between an overweight former actress and a internationally-acclaimed artist. I'd love to see two 20-year-olds do what those two can do with a tube of paint!

I believe as long as the writer feels passion for her characters, then so will the readers.

Robin Schone said...

:::waving::: Hi, Rachelle! So nice to see you here! I'm so sorry I missed your last radio blog talk show. Hope it went well!

So James now sits beside Gabriel? Woohoo! I know that James would respect Gabriel; I wonder how Gabriel would feel about James, though? Hmmmm. . . . Things to ponder.

I, too, think we are better able to appreciate love and sex when we're older. We don't take things for granted as much, and are generally more tolerant of life's imperfections.

My best friend ever (aside from Don) died from an aneurysm when she was 66 (1994). I miss her still. She was the most "alive" person I've ever known. I'll never forget an incident in the swimming pool one summer. She had her 8 year old grandson with her. He was showing off by diving down and swimming in-between her legs, only to come up too soon, right between her thighs. She winked and said, "I'm training him early." It was just so funny, watching her toggle the roles of grandmother and woman.

Robin Schone said...

Hi Laurie! Thank you for giving The Lover and Gabriel's Woman a try. Hope you liked them!

Oh! I love the title, Flirting with Forty.

I remember reading . . . I think it was in Romantic Times BOOKreviews? . . . that a publisher was going to do a line for the baby boomers, BUT . . . They were including 30+ year old heroines, which seemed to me to be self-defeating.

There was a book a few years back, titled Romero and Juliet (I think that was the title) which featured a hero and heroine in their 60s, but it was marketed as mainstream, rather than genre fiction. It will be interesting to see if romance readers will embrace older heroines.

MaryKate said...

Hi Robin - Welcome! What a great topic! Personally any more, 19YO virginal heroines are more likely to irritate me, than shall we say, more seasoned heroines. Probably has something to do with getting older.

One of my favorite sweet romances is by Lavyrle Spenser (the title escapes me), but it's about a woman whose son is killed in a motorcycle accident. And in the course of recovering from the horror of that, she falls in love with his best friend, who is her son's age. Geez, what's it called? Anyway, at no time did I have any squick factor about it. In fact, I got a kick out of the daughter being ticked at her mom, because she had a crush on him.

Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome, Robin!!

While I enjoy a virgin's story, I also like a more mature version. I don't think I have a preference which is better, that has to do with the story. However there are times when I like to read about mature adults instead of barely legals. Ya know what I mean?
Having said that, I don't think I could handle reading about grandma getting it on. That would be a bit too extreme for me. :p

Robin- You are a new to me author and your books sound terrific. I see a shopping trip to Amazon in my near future. Is there a specific book I should start with?

dd03 said...

I love all types of heroines! If they're my age or older, normal--ish, and in a great story....*sigh*

gives me hope...and less likely to get hives from allergic reaction to the young & dumb, in need of rescuing, syndrome...
O.O

dd03 said...

lol...i think i just contradicted myself...

*g* I need coffee

kerri1973 said...

Robin Schone is in the house! Wow! Thanks for joining us today. I discovered your lovely work via the old "word of mouth" and tracked down a copy of Awaken, My Love. From that moment on I was hooked! Regarding the age thing...I got married very young and was married for all of my twenties and then went through a tough divorce. I became suddenly single again in my thirties and even though that's considered very young by today's standards...I certainly feared that I'd missed out on all the great single years. I was so wrong. Being single in my thirties was completely empowering to me and against all fears I had about finding true love again...I've found THE ONE! My mother is in her 50's and we've always shared our love of reading. After the last few years of being single and dating as a single mother, I've shared more with her about my romantic life than I ever dreamed I would. Surprisingly, she has shared her thoughts and dreams with me as well. We both love romance books and we both agree that age really doesn't matter. It is truly the compelling relationships and storylines that hook you into the story. There is no reason that a 40 or 50 year old woman cannot be just as hot and sexy as a younger woman. After all, men are known for getting hotter during that age range...why can't women be the same? Chow!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas and Robin! Picture me doing my happy dance in my lucky BoSox writing cap, cause I'm so happy one of my favorite writers is here! And may I just begin my comment by saying I have a massive crush on James Whitcox? sigh.

So here's the deal. Ehhhhvryone knows I love me a virgin/warlord scenario. And I do enjoy reading about younger heroines, imagining their beautiful, though not always perfect bodies are my own.

But here's the thing: I'm reading "Scandalous Lovers," and suddenly I'm wishing I had Frances' body, because James is so fascinated by it, by what he's discovering about women and himself by making love to it.

I identify, too, with Frances' feeling that he'll reject her body because it's not young, and rejoice for her when he's clear that he'd rather have her as she is than what she was when she was smaller and firmer.

And Robin makes me believe that, not by having James say stuff like, "Oh, every line on your face tells me how you've laughed at life, every stretch mark on your abdomen speaks to me of the love you've given your family." Blech. I find that patronizing in the extreme.

But we see Frances through the eyes of a guy falling in love who can't believe his good luck, can't believe it's actually happening, and is pretty bemused by his reaction to the whole thing.

But more than that, it's not a novel about sex between middle-aged people, although if it were just that it'd still be great. It's about people meeting, trying to figure out whether they want to try to live life, carve out happiness.

Not for nothing, but I think I have residual crushes on just about all of Robin's heroes...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Kerri! Thanks for sharing that story about you and your mom. I love how romance brings women of all generations together. You're right, it's time women are seen as getting better with age, not just men! :)

dd, maybe the acronym should be TYASTL (too young and stupid to live)?

LOL, jules. I was kinda thinkin the same thing, and Robin kinda addresses that in the book. I'm guessing the older I get, the more attractive Senior sex will become. :)

Robin Schone said...

Sorry to be gone so long, Bellas. Took a call from my delightful agent. And now my mom has dropped by with hot chocolate and donuts. I'll be back in a few! So please do keep talking!

Carol said...

Sometimes I get tired of all the heroines being so young! I'm sixty and now I don't consider women in their forties and fifties as old! lol I would like to see some love stories about women that are more mature .

azteclady said...

Morning, Bellas!

For me (turning 41 in a week), it's not the age as much as how the characters are written.

Some characters are written young--in the best sense of the word--when they are well their fifties or older, while others in their mid-thirties make my 14yo daughter seem wise and mature by comparison.

Well written characters, plot, etc--that's what matters most to me.

That said, older characters allow for more life experiences, for a deeper understanding of what life is all about.

Cherie said...

Age does not matter as long as the book is well written. If the plot is weak it won't matter to me what age the heroine is, I won't enjoy the story. I do prefer the hero be older than the heroine however. That's the only time the age matters to me.

Cherie Japp

Vivi Anna said...

Welcome Robin.

I don't care what age the characters are in the books I'm reading. They could be 19 or they could be 59. It's all good to me as long as I get a good action-packed story.

Sue A. said...

Ten years ago I would have said, "I like a younger heroine," because that was what I was use to, but I'm finding as more and more authors present us with older and more mature characters with an ideal of who they are and what they want that I'm learning to appreciate that age and experience can give a character more depth, thereby making her more interesting.

Playground Monitor said...

Howdy Bellas!

And hey Robin!

I play over on her message boards and that's a hopping spot too. Plenty of photos of scantily-clad men if you get my drift.

An author friend of mine told me about Robin a few years back. She told me Robin wrote erotic romance that maintained a very high level of sensuality -- not just a series of WBTYM's. I've read "The Lover" and have "Gabriel's Woman" in my TBR pile and hope to add "Scandalous Lovers" soon.

Older heroines? LOVE 'EM! I'm one of those Baby Boomers and it's exciting to read about women my age having an active sex life. We don't get older; we just get better and better. ;-) I still enjoy reading about the virginal twenty-something, but the experienced fifty-something strikes a chord deep inside me.

Marilyn

Robin Schone said...

Stacy, I'm so glad you enjoyed The Lady's Tutor. I, too, like older heroines. Always have. I remember reading Gothic romances when I was 14-16 - which often included some older heroines - and thinking I can be young and not have to worry about finding THE ONE, that there's all kinds of time for that when I'm older.

Robin Schone said...

Theresa, I'm so glad I'm not alone. LOL I simply can't identify with a teenaged heroine, or one who is in her early twenties. However, I was very pleasantly surprised when reading Karen Marie Moning's Darkfever. The young heroine worked, I thought, because KMM is allowing us to experience her disillusionment and confusion upon finding out that life and family aren't the perfect harbor we often think they are as young adults. We get to grow up with the heroine, which is fun!

Robin Schone said...

Hi Nina! As I said earlier, I, too, like older heroines. It sort of surprised me when I got a couple letters from contemporaries who wrote they didn’t expect to enjoy a sexy romance with an older heroine, even though they knew on an intellectual level that mature women are quite capable of passionate love.

Robin Schone said...

Michelle! HELP!!!!!! I think I killed Angelina's post. I don't know how, but it doesn't look the same. I accidentally clicked onto her name, and poof! Her post was replaced with an earlier post of mine. Sorry! Can you make it better?

Robin Schone said...

Hi Angelina! I was going to say . . . before I killed your post . . . that I've read Susan Elizabeth Phillips, but wasn't aware she had books out with 50+ heroines. Thanks for sharing!

Robin Schone said...

Hi MaryKate! Didn't Lavyrle Spenser write some great stories? I remember her story where the older heroine came back to town, and did not find the "older" bad boy - who still thought of himself as a bad boy - appealing because he'd really let himself go. As a result, he started exercising and laying off the alcholol. It was different. But "different" was her trademark, I think, she she made it work soooo well.

Robin Schone said...

Hi Julie in Ohio! Yeah, I do indeed know what you mean about sometimes wanting to read something other than “barely legals.” LOL As for not wanting to read about your grandmother getting it on. . . . *smile* The other day, while waiting in the doctor’s office with my mom, we were both flipping through different issues of Oprah’s magazine, and all of a sudden my mom let out a OMG! She had come across a feature in which a photographer travels all over the world photographing nude women. Her OMG came from seeing a 90+ year old woman posing naked. Beside her was a 66 year old naked woman leaning against a vintage car. Both women were smiling and looked perfectly comfortable with their nudity. But my mom certainly wasn’t! However, she had no problems with the 20+ and 30+ nudes.

I’m glad my books sound interesting to you. As for which one I would recommend you start out with . . . Hmmmm. . . . I don’t know. What would you Bellas suggest she start out with?

Robin Schone said...

dd03, I’m still chuckling over your comment about getting hives. . . . *smile*

Hi Kerri1973! I’m so glad you enjoyed Awaken, My Love. That is not a favorite among my readers. Although, I must confess, it is certainly a nice fantasy. Imagine waking up after orgasm, to find oneself in the body of a 21 year old, with one’s 39/49/59 etc. year old life experiences. :::sigh::: But I digress. I think it would be tough, in any era, to marry and have children when one is little more than a child oneself. I’m glad you found your soul mate. And that your mom and you are closer now, and are able to share fictional . . . and real life! . . . romance. My mom and I are close, too, and share a love of romance. Sometimes, I confess, she’s more frank about certain things than I am, which sort of puts me to blush. Go figure! LOL

Playground Monitor said...

A major skin and body care company has an national ad campaign that features older women posing nude yet with all the parts covered up. Their slogan is "Too old to be in an anti-aging ad. But this isn't anti-age. This is pro-age." The reaction has been mixed but almost all the older women they interviewed thought the ads were tasteful and that it was about time older women were proud of their bodies.

To show the power of advertising, I'll probably switch to their lotion.

Playground Monitor said...

ACCCKKKK! I got the URL wrong. It's here.

Sorry for the oops.

azteclady said...

I've read and greatly enjoyed both Gabriel's Woman, and The Lady's Tutor--and it's the latter I recommend to get friends started on Robin's books.

Robin Schone said...

Buongiorno, Michelle! Aww, thanks for the compliments. I was really surprised when James got a K.I.S.S. award from Romantic Times. It seemed to me that he was totally opposite of a knight in shining . . . what does the last “S” in K.I.S.S. stand for, I wonder? Anyway, he just isn’t your typical hero material, which is why I loved him. And I think there are more guys out there than let on, who would love to love a woman like James loved Frances.

Hi Carol! I received a letter from a reader saying the same thing, that they’re sixty plus and don’t consider a 49 year old woman old at all. And that she’d like a heroine her age! :::methinking maybe I’m going to have to do the Countess’s story (Ramiel’s mother from TLT) someday:::

Morning Azteclady and Cherie! I agree, I think well-written characters, plot, etc. is what counts most. As I said above, I loved Karen Marie Moning’s Darkfever, even though the heroine was only . . . what? 22? But the heroine was growing - learning to leave childhood behind - which was great.

Hi Vivi Anna! I’ve heard very good things about your novels. I wonder if an “action-packed story” fits a 59 year old heroine? Or if mature heroines call for more character-driven themes, as opposed to action-packed ones? Any thoughts, Bellas?

Mona said...

Hi Robin,

I think what you're doing is great in writing that book, that we shouldn't classify people in ages for dating or ages for falling in love. It just would be so unfair.. I know this lady who's 64 and she's so optimistic and full of life more than me and I'm not even half her age.

Maureen said...

When I was younger I wasn't too interested in an older heroine but as I get older I appreciate them much more. I still like a younger heroine too but I am more understanding when she's emotional and does stupid things.

Robin Schone said...

Hi Sue A.! I think one of the things that publishers are afraid of - by marketing to a more mature reader - is that they’ll alienate younger readers. But it seems strange that they almost completely exclude them! So . . . You think some readers may prefer younger heroines because that’s what they’re used to?

:::waving::: Hiya, Playground Monitor! Ummm . . . I’m displaying my ignorance here, but . . . What’s a series of “WBTYM’s”? BTW, we’re not getting older, we’re getting “sexier!” LOL And yes, that ad was in the Oprah magazine, too. I thought it was amazing, and I, too, thought about switching skin care products.

Azteclady, thanks for the recommendation. The Lady’s Tutor is currently out of print; hopefully it will be reissued later this year.

LizeeS said...

Hi Bellas and what a treat to read about your older heroines, Robin. I, too, am WELL past the blushing 20-something heroine age. As much as I love reading and writing about those younger fantasies, I do so appreciate a story where we can celebrate the advantages of a little "experience" in life!

I'm also one who loves an older hero (even lots of years older) but I come by it honestly -- I had a grandfather who was 30 years older than my grandmother. And it was a love story for the ages.

As for the opposite age difference - that's OK too. LaVyrle's book was called "Family Blessings" and she handled the situation well.

Thanks for this cool topic. Keep on writing for us, Robin!

Robin Schone said...

Hi Mona! Thank you, I know exactly what you mean! My friend was so much more lively than me. I think she would have liked Scandalous Lovers.

Hi Maureen! Do you think publishers will catch on that there's a market for mature heroines?

Robin Schone said...

Thanks, Lizees! I think it would be so cool to have a real-life romance in one's family archives. You're so fortunate! Have you thought about basing a romance on that of your grandparents?

LISA WILLIAMS said...

Well, I like that there is a sex life after the age of 40, lol.

Shuck Ying said...

I like the storyline of Scandalous lovers. We all have to mature sometime.

Maria, Lover of All Things Romance said...

Hi Robin, For me it doesn't matter what age the heroine is (well 80 might be pushing it) as long as the writing is good, the characters are engrossing and the sex is hot, I;m in

azteclady said...

I am blessed in the man I love, who finds me attractive (sexually and otherwise) with complete disregard for all the things time, pregnancy, and heredity have wrought, but until him, I did believe my chances of finding sexual fulfillment were nada to zilch.

I don't imagine I was alone in that belief either.

Michelle's comment made me wonder how much of the appeal of young heroines in romances comes from the whole ideal (or idealized) youthful beauty thing--firm bodies, flawless skin, perky... everything, you know?

(I'm hoping this doesn't get posted seven hundred times--blogger is driving me insane!)

Robin Schone said...

:::lol with Lisa Williams::: Being over 40, Lisa, I like that there is a sex life over 40, too.

Shuck Ying, thank you! I'm glad you like the storyline of Scandalous Lovers. It was really a treat to write, because I got to delve more deeply into the laws of that era. I think what shocked me the most was that women - while not only unable to vote - could not serve as jurors. Imagine being one woman, judged by twelve men. . . .

Hi, Maria! I, too, am a lover of all things romance. And ya know, I actually do have in mind a story/novella featuring an 82 year old woman. I'm not certain if the publishing world is ready for it, though.

Has any one here seen the movie, "Harold and Muade?" (I think that was the title.) That was very strange, but interesting. It's a cult classic, and is one of Don's favs.

Robin Schone said...

Hi again, Azteclady! I've been having trouble getting my posts to post, too. Fortunately, none have yet multiplied.

You know, I, too am fortunate in my mate. Don loves women - all women - no matter their shapes, sizes or ages. He's taught me a lot in the long years we've been together.

I've often read that romance is about fantasy, and things like hairy legs/pits, menstruation, etc., is not romantic, therefore they don't belong in a romance. I'm thinking many people think the same way of age. Age is not traditionally thought of as sexy, ergo, they don't want to read about it. I know my mom sort of feels that way. . . . But I'm working on her! LOL

Cathy said...

Your stories were some of my first erotic romances, and I still have them on my keeper shelf. Since I am an over 40 reader too, I like the age to be a non-issue, and while I appreciate stories about us seasoned women, I would just as soon not have the age even come up.

Teresa said...

Hello Robin, as a woman in her mid 40's I love reading stories about older heroines. I can relate to them better. Your a new author to me so I think I have to try someof your books. Your new book sounds wonderful, glad you could be here today!

Robin Schone said...

Hi Cathy! I'm glad my books are on your keeper shelf. Just out of curiosity, what do you mean, "I would just as soon not have the age even come up?" Do you mean, you would rather a heroine's age not be mentioned?

Robin Schone said...

Thank you, Teresa! It's a pleasure being here. I'm glad you're intrigued at the thought of my books. I confess, James, my 47 year old barrister, stole my heart away from Michael (The Lover) and Gabriel (Gabriel's Woman). As Michelle commented, James was just so . . . fascinated . . . by Frances's body and her passion, that he quite stole my heart. Yeah, I know, we authors are schizoid. LOL

azteclady said...

Hi again, Robin!

Reading Cathy's "I would just as soon not have the age thing even come up," my reaction was, why does age get to be such an issue?

It's not that it shouldn't be mentioned but more that it should not be *the* defining feature for any character, you know?

Except, of course, in cases where age, or age difference, is pivotal to the plot.

Ack, now I'm confusing myself.

Robin Schone said...

Oh, I agree, Azteclady, it shouldn't be a defining feature, unless, as you say, the story revolves around age. LOL It does sound confusing, doesn't it?

Please don't be shy, Cathy! I would love to hear your comments regarding the age non-issue. *smile*

Robin Schone said...

Oh!!! With all this conversation about a heroine's age, I forgot to add that if anyone wants to discuss Scandalous Lovers, or has any questions about it whatsoever, please do ask away.

LizeeS said...

Such a good discussion - I was talking with an Alaskan mystery writer about age in books one day. She said she tries not to give her characters ages at all so that any age group can read and identify.

Would that even work in a romance? I'm not sure ... but I agree that unless age is the subject, it doesn't have to be a big deal.

As for my grandparents' love story - it certainly would make a unique book. Grandpa was a pentacostal minister, but his love letters were pretty insistent and persuasive -- he even claimed he'd gotten the Lord on his side!

Robin Schone said...

Oh, my, Lizees, do share! :-)

But back to age. . . . It wouldn't even work for me in a mystery, if I didn't know the age of the protagonists. I'm funny like that, I guess. Or nosy. Or maybe I'm just greedy. I want to know everything I can glean about the heroine or hero in a book. LOL

Vivi Anna said...

Hi Robin.....squeeeee, I'm thrilled that you've heard of me....LOL

Yeah, maybe a 69 yr old woman can't be running around kicking villains asses, on the other hand my mom is 63 and I bet she could kick my ass! LOL

Playground Monitor said...

WBTYM = Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am. It's part of the Bellas' Lexicon of Love.

Marilyn

Cathy said...

Hi Robin, with the age thing, a vague reference is fine, but isn't that important. It's all about a great story and my imagination.

LizeeS said...

Robin-
I agree with you about knowing the age - it annoys me not to know everything. Then it's up to great writing to make me care no matter what the age!

Let's see - my grandparents' story is probably more interesting than the letters themselves. Grandpa just kept writing while he was on his mission trips that the Lord was pointing him so strongly to her. And he used the answers he said he got to his prayers to convince Grandam - but it took him almost two years!

He was 57 and she was 27 when they finally married. His first family was grown and his wife had died of cancer. He was sixty when my dad was born. He and Grandma were married only 25 years and she lived many years without him - but she always talked about him with true stars in her eyes.

I somehow knew I wanted to be married that happily.

Anyhow - maybe someday I will write it!

Thanks for the memories!

Robin Schone said...

LOL Vivi Anna, I know what you mean: my mom's 73, but I bet she could wipe the floor with my a$$, if she had a mind to.

WBTYM . . . That is indeed a lexicon of love. LOL Thanks, Playground Monitor! I probably should have figured that out. . . .

Hi Cathy! Yes, an author's writing is very important indeed. Although, as I said earlier, while a heroine's age doesn't matter to me (well, ooookay, really young doesn't do it for me), I don't think I would read a book if it didn't give me a clue as to how old the characters were.

Wow, Lizees. What an incredible story. Thank you for sharing! And yes, ma'am, you absolutely should write their story. :-)

Anonymous said...

I don't think the age of the heroine matters at all. If the story and the characters are believable then the rest just fits. I think most people even have their own mental image of what the hero and heroine look like. :)

Anonymous said...

Ack!! I forgot to sign my name to my post again.

Kelly F.

Joye said...

I am an avid reader and the age of the characters does not matter because it is the story line that does. There is love at all ages.

Robin Schone said...

How true, Annonymous! I know I have my own image of how a character looks like when I read a book. Based upon general descriptions given by the author, I should add, such as hair color and eye color. Truthfully, though, I don't picture actors when I think of heroes, either when reading or writing. Maybe I should watch more movies? . . .

Robin Schone said...

Joye, it does my heart good to read that so many Bellas share your opinion. :-)

Robin Schone said...

I have a question for all you Bellas!

Do you think the cover of a book should reflect that the protagonists inbetween the pages are mature? How would you expect the art to reflect this? Would you like to see 40 something men and women used as models? Or does it matter, as long as the book cover is attractive?

Oops! That's three questions. . . .

catslady said...

Ahh we're only as old as we feel lol. I don't care what age as long as it's a good story but then I'm one of the older readers (56). I'm thinking it's more a problem for younger readers to read about older women than vice versa.

Did I hear hot chocolate and donuts?????? What a Mom lol.

Adriana said...

I love this blog because I keep adding new authors to my TBR pile and I can tell I'm going to hang with this one for a while!

Yes, absolutely, celebrate love at any age! Baby boomers grew up on romance and it's a gift to demonstrate that romance (and passion and even way hot sex) are not a thing of the past but are still present and even future.

So we (hubby and I co-write erotic romance under this pen name) have written a forty year old heroine who just got e-pubbed, another one who's contracted, and have an even older couple finished and waiting in the wings to pitch. Guess we'll have to keep on writing as long as we can keep on loving...

Adriana Kraft

Julie in Ohio said...

Robin-- Covers with models on them tick me off when they don't represent the hero and heroine accurately. If the hero is described as tall with dark hair and the cover shows a male standing a step to be taller than the female with blonde hair that irritates me. So, yes, I would prefer the cover models to be middle aged if that is who the story is about and no it would not turn me off from the book. Actually that would help tremendously if I am looking for that kind of book.

Rachelle Chase said...

Didn't mean to "post and run" today but the day job left no time for checking in today. :-(

Boy, I see I missed a lot of great conversation! ... Oh, be still my heart! The appearance of James and Gabriel in the same sentence made me think for a moment you [Robin] were entertaining the thought of putting them in a book together. LOL Oh well ... a girl can dream ... Thanks for the well wishes regarding my talk show ... your friend sounds like a fun woman. I love seem mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers remember their 'woman' side.

Michelle, you've reminded me that it's been quite awhile since I've read a good virgin/warlord story. LOL

Rachelle Chase said...

Uh ... I meant to say above that I love SEEING (NOT "seem") mothers, grandmothers, etc.

robynl said...

age doesn't really matter; it is nice to see older heroines b/c I am older-middle 50's.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Ciao, Bellas! Hi, Robin! Here I am, peeping in so late after this day of great discussion. Can't say I'm surprised that you are all cool about the idea of "mature" heroines. Youz are always an open-minded lot.

Well, it seems I may have to go at a little smack-down with Robin, because she wrote me earlier saying -- can you believe it? -- that James is her crush. NO. There is not enough James to go around. He's mine. All mine. But I might be placated with a little Ramiel. Or a lot, as it were.

I've always found the fact that Robins h/hns are around 40 to be interesting and heartening, especially because that was way long in the tooth in Victorian times. I was sweet on the idea of really damaged guys like Michael and Gabriel getting their chances at love, but especially that women who would have really little opportunity for affection, let alone love, found these incredible men. And, yes, Bellas, Robin's heroes pretty much define BiMBaW (that's Big Men, Big in All Ways, Robin).

Now, some a youz've been asking where to start with Robin, and I say start with "Scandalous Lovers," then "The Lady's Tutor," if you can find it. Make sure to mix in "Awaken, My Love" at some point, because it's really exotic and creative. Emma Holly once told me how she really admired Robin's use of "masturbation as a paranormal device in AML," which sounds like something our Vivi Anna would say, no?

Bellas, I so wish I could comment on everything tonight, but Robin's been not only a great GuestBlogger today, she's been a rather fine hostess, don't you think? So I'm for bed, and wish you all happy dreams and buonanotte!

Robin Schone said...

seeing if I can now post here.

Robin Schone said...

Woohoo! I made it! So sorry to abruptly leave you last night, Bellas: either my computer or the blog wouldn't let me post. But yay!!!! I'm back live to respond to what I couldn't respond to last night.

Robin Schone said...

Catslady, isn't that strange? That younger women would mind reading about older women more than older women mind reading about younger women? I wonder if that's the mindset of publishers? And yes, you heard correctly, hot chocolate and donuts. I have a VERY good mom. :-)

Good for you and hubby, Adriana! I'm glad that the two of you also celebrate love rather than youth. *smile* I put together a press release with the banner: "Romance Author Woos Sexy Seniors." But do we think of mature women as seniors? And what is senior anymore? Does it allude to age, or lack of mobility/independence/health?

Oh, Julie, I know exactly what you mean about book covers! The "purple passion" cover that was slapped on the reissue of Gabriel's Woman still makes me cringe. My beautiful, fair-haired angel grew black hair. Aaarrrggghhh! :::that's me biting my fingers so I don't type anymore::: But on a more positive note, Germany did a beautiful, beautiful cover for The Lover that depicted a woman who looked like she was 36 years old (the age of my heroine), and Michael had black hair, as he does in the book. The cover is on my website at www.robinschone.com. Click onto The Lover's Excerpt Page then mouse over the German country to see the gorgeous cover. Or go to my International Page!

Rachelle! Aren't day jobs a pain? What do you think Gabriel would thing about James? And I'm glad that James won you over to at least be sitting in the same row as Gabriel. LOL And yes, Greta was a very fun woman.

Robin Schone said...

Michelle, thank you so much for inviting me to play with your Bellas. Bellas, thank you so much for coming out and playing with me. I appreciate your candor, and am so glad to see how many of you embrace the idea of a mature heroine. Thank you!

Robin Schone said...

Robynl, I'm glad that you, too, enjoy reading about mature heroines. Thank you for taking the time to comment!

Anonymous said...

First of all, it's got to be a good story, young or old. But being over 50, I definitely like the idea of life and love after menopause.
Rainy