The wisdom of maturity is a rather unfashionable concept these days. When I was young I wanted to be a writer – but quite honestly I didn’t feel I knew enough about any subject to write about it credibly. That, I thought, takes experience, so off I went to acquire a bit of wisdom.
By the time I got down to some serious writing, then, I was well past the dreaded 50+ mark, and had sailed happily into the over-60s bracket by the time my first book was published. You might feel this is taking it a little too far – but the backward view down the years brought all kinds of insights to my writing that I couldn’t possibly have imagined as a young person. Getting older has its practical disadvantages, for sure – but it brings the gifts of experience and a wider viewpoint toiling in its wake.
If you’d like an example of fine, thoughtful, insightful, mature writing, may I suggest you consider the wonderful stories of my friend and contemporary Jim Bates in his blog The View from Long Lake? There are plenty of other examples, published or not, of people who in their later years have found themselves with both the leisure and, yes, the maturity (there’s that word again) to write well. Let’s not neglect them.
And what of the mature reader, you ask? What indeed. Young adults are well catered-for; they have their own genre – and it’s read by everyone, not just the young. So where is the Mature Adults genre?
This train of thought has been triggered by the efforts of a lady called Claire Baldry. She is in the process of setting up a website called Books for Older Readers. It’s a work in progress, but do go and investigate. I elbowed my way into the queue to have my own books featured on this site, not because I wrote them with older readers in mind, but because I think my contemporaries will enjoy them.
Claire has also set up a Facebook group Books for Older Readers, where those of us who admit to being over 50 can, readers and authors both, discuss this (hopefully) emerging genre. I reckon it can be just as exciting, varied and vital as the Young Adult genre.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Can there be a Mature Adult genre? How would we define it? What would we include in it? Over to you!
Ready soon for discerning readers of all ages…
Whales and Strange Stars
A stunning mystery in the tradition of Jamaica Inn. When a sea captain passes through the forgotten port of Wych Ferry and whiles away an hour at the Tradewinds Inn relating his traveller’s tales to young Rosamund Euden, he has no idea of the dramatic events he has set in action. Adventure, secrets and betrayal in the marshlands of 18th century Kent.
To be published by Crooked Cat Books, 16 January, 2018