Sunday, August 7, 2016

Spanning the Generations

One of the questions writers are frequently asked is: What is the audience for your book/s? Recently, when I was interviewed on another author’s blog, I was asked that question. I have to admit it was a tough one for me to answer because I’ve had both male and female readers from age ten on up.

That’s right. A ten year old. A couple of years ago, I was selling my first three books at a local festival when a little girl came running up to my booth. Her whole face lit up when she saw my Malone mysteries. I felt kind of bad because I figured she thought the books were for kids. But, when her mother arrived a few minutes later and I explained they weren’t, I got a surprising response. “My daughter has been reading novels since she was five years old. She knows what parts to skip over.” And she bought all three!

But my books are primarily intended to appeal to adult women. The main character is a female in her thirties and, although I keep the language clean, the subjects in my books are more suitable for adults. A serial killer, a child abduction, a murder and (spoiler alert) a stalker.

So, although most of my readers are adult women, my books include both male and female characters and they span the generations. The youngest is six-year-old, Davey, and the oldest is seventy-nine year old, Olivia. But that’s just in the first three books. In Mistaken Identity, I have another senior, Clara, and in my WIP (work in progress), Marnie Malone, yet another, Tallulah (Lu) Grover.

So why the wide age range in my characters? I think the best explanation is the fact that, in real life, I’ve learned (and continued to learn) so much from people of all ages. They say the elderly possess wisdom, which is often true, but everyone we meet can give us a new perspective, some helpful hints and/or story ideas - no matter how old or young they are. If we listen.

14 comments:

  1. I like books that include characters from a wide age span, Patricia. I think it represents real life more accurately, and as you've experienced, has the added benefit of attracting a wider range of readers.

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    1. Allan,
      Seeing the expression on that little girl's face when she saw my books was the most rewarding moment (to date) in my writing career. Heart-warming!

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  2. Your books have an audience with anyone who enjoys a well-told story (which should be the goal of any writer). I also believe the wider age span is more representative of real life.

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    1. Thank you, J.R. That's quite a compliment coming from a writer of your caliber. I appreciate it.

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  3. Excellent post! In my Tiger sister stories (by my alter ego Vv Tiger), I have gone from teenagers in love to marriage to children and grandchildren. Those stories are my favorites of all I've written although they are rather dated and old-fashioned (1950s to 1990--so far).

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    1. Thanks, Pat.
      It's fun to write from the perspective of characters in all age groups, isn't it?

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  4. Wonderful post! I don't care what age a character is as long as they can hold my interest. You made a good point about listening, too. So many people talk, but they don't listen. They miss a lot.

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    1. Thanks, Marja.
      I completely agree. I grew up in the generation where children were "to be seen but not heard." Sounds like a bad thing but, for me, it wasn't. I learned a lot listening to my parents and other adult relatives talk.

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  5. Good stories are appreciated by all ages, I think. Great post, enjoyed, and made me think.

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    1. Thank you, Madeline. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  6. I think your novels are for everyone to enjoy. Ageless and timeless. Looking forward to reading your next release.

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    1. Thanks, Evelyn! I keep saying it but I really am getting close to finishing my fifth Malone mystery. :)

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  7. I do think you appeal to a wide audience of readers and that is important.

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