What Is “Boomer Fiction”?

What Is “Boomer Fiction”?

There’s a growing trend in the indie author field of writing for mature adults, or ‘Boomers,’ as they are sometimes called. There may be a number of reasons for this. It’s probably true that a greater percentage of older folks read than younger folks. And mature adults might have more discretionary income than younger folks.

Of course, that doesn’t explain the explosion in the Young Adult category. Books for young adults are taking the publishing world by storm. They are often being made into movies. Could Boomer fiction be the next big trend? I think it could.

Sadly, most booksellers don’t even have a category for mature adult fiction. My novel “Renaissance” had to be put in the Contemporary Women’s Fiction and Contemporary Romance categories, even though it didn’t really fit either. That makes it hard to find my market. I’m interested in connecting with readers who are 50+ and spend time thinking about how to make sense of their lives, how to find happiness and how to grow, even though they are no longer ‘young.’ I believe we can rewrite the endings of our lives at any time. Life isn’t over just because you reach a certain age. I want to inspire people to go after their dreams and make positive changes knowing that each day is the beginning of a new life.

On Goodreads, there are some groups and discussions about Boomer fiction. What I’ve learned is that even among authors, there is no agreed definition of this category. Many authors feel that if they are writing about the 60s and 70s, that is Boomer fiction. To me, it’s more like coming-of-age fiction, and it doesn’t require a new category. I think Boomer fiction should include stories like “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” The stories should be about retired or nearly-retired people and the challenges they face and how they overcome them. But that’s just my opinion. 🙂

I see my market as people who are 50 or older, both men and women, though I’ve found women tend to be more involved in thinking about personal growth and making changes in their lives. I tell people my “Autumn In The Desert” series is comfort reading for women and a few smart men.

Are you in my market? What do you like to read that you would consider ‘Boomer fiction’? Do you think there is a market for that type of story? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Inspiration Or Intuition?

Inspiration Or Intuition?

A common question people ask authors is “How did you decide to write about that?” The answer isn’t always easy.

Some years ago, Nigel and I started writing nonfiction books about dowsing, a subject we are passionate about; a topic on which we are authorities. The mild success of those books led to the inevitable glimmer of hope that maybe we could successfully write fiction, too. But how do you decide what to write about?

I started a novel a few years ago on a science fiction/fantasy type subject, one that I am really interested in and believe could be a great story, but it got stalled as life took over. It is now sitting in a Scrivener file of 80,000 words, awaiting my attention.

When I renewed my commitment to writing in late 2014, I asked the Universe what I should be writing about that would be of interest to readers, rather than just what I really wanted to write about. The point being, if you want to be successful as a writer, you need to write what readers want to read.

The answer came into my head one morning as if by injection. I saw myself writing about a retirement community, and how life doesn’t end at retirement. It could be an uplifting story of the potential for happiness at any age, if you are just willing to be courageous and take action. Perhaps I was inspired to write the Autumn In The Desert series by looking at my own choices and experiences as someone over 55. I certainly changed my life dramatically as I neared my 50th birthday.

On the other hand, intuition seems to have played a part because of the way the answer came to me, not through my mental processes, but like a bolt from the blue. That’s how I can tell intuition from rational thinking; it isn’t stepwise and logical. It appears fully formed in my head, as if someone else gave it to me.

Regardless of how the idea came to me, I feel good about writing a story that hopefully will encourage readers to believe in love, to choose what will make them happy, and to be willing to make big changes to create a great life in their golden years. Life’s challenges don’t go away as we age; they intensify, giving us chances to rewrite our story. Autumn In The Desert is a series about people who rewrite their life stories; people who don’t; and it gives the reader a chance to decide which camp she’s in.

What Makes Me Stop Reading

What Makes Me Stop Reading

When I was young, I was taught to always finish reading a book, even if I didn’t like it. In school, that was obviously necessary. But that rule carried over into my recreational reading, and about the time I reached High School, I was finding myself fighting it. Especially if the book was way long, and I had determined I didn’t like it, I saw no reason to keep reading. But some tiny voice kept telling me it was bad to quit a book before I finished it. I would actually feel guilty for not finishing the book.

Fast forward decades later, and I find it much easier to put a book down part way through. I’ve also had plenty of time to think why I sometimes want to quit a book, even a bestselling or award-winning book, before I finish it. And the reason is surprisingly simple. I love to read, and I value the time I have for reading, and I want to use it to fill my life with joy.

I like many different genres of books. I read science fiction and fantasy, thrillers, crime, romance, drama, nonfiction of various types. There are so many books I could read. I can’t hope to read them all. It isn’t a particular genre that captures my loyalty. It’s a point of view.

Life can be such a struggle at times. We all experience tragedy and pain. When I read for fun, I want to read about characters who are overcoming their problems. Of course that is heroic, but that’s why it appeals. I have no interest in spending days reading about some loser who is stuck in a meaningless existence and never manages to change anything. Maybe that’s too much like real life.

I don’t need to read about someone who is worse off than me to feel better about my life. I want to read about inspiring people. People I would like to get to know, or people whom I wish I were more like. I love being inspired to make positive changes in my life, and I think a story with that viewpoint has the power to fire your imagination and fuel your desires.

I know this isn’t true for everyone. There are tons of highly acclaimed books about totally depressing situations that never find resolution and characters who have nothing going for them. And yet those books are regarded as great literature. That’s ok. Whatever you want to read is fine with me, but there has to be at least one character in a book that I can like if you want me to keep reading it. How about you? Are you a “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”  person like me? I loved the movie, and I thought the book was even better.

Coming Soon! Book 1 Of “Autumn In The Desert”

Coming Soon! Book 1 Of “Autumn In The Desert”

I’m so excited! Just before Christmas, I finished the first rough draft of “Autumn In The Desert: Book 1”. It ran to nearly 140,000 words. Nigel is currently editing it for me, and within a week I will be doing revisions. The plan is to launch the book this spring. It’s my first novel, and like many people, I’ve had a lifelong dream of writing a novel, so this will be a real milestone to celebrate. I’m so grateful for Amazon and all the tools I have for publishing these books. Twenty years ago I couldn’t have done it. Now it’s relatively easy by comparison. (“Relatively” being the key word).

Writing is the only activity I’ve ever done that gives me an endorphin high. Running and exercising don’t. But writing a story does. “Autumn In The Desert” started writing itself at some point, and I really enjoyed watching how things turned out differently than I had expected when I wrote the outline of the story. It’s like the characters just had to be themselves and refused to conform to my original ideas.

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