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.