Celebrating Seasoned Romance – Why?
Note: This post originally appeared here.
I’m bugged. It seems that romance novels are the bailiwick of characters who are younger than 40. If 40 is the new 30 and 50 is the new 40, then how come romance after 50 isn’t sexy anymore? Well, folks, I’ve got big news–sexy is timeless. Excuse me, but two words, Pierce Brosnan. Sean Connery? Jeff Bridges? Denzel Washington, anyone? Richard Gere? My husband? And as far as sexy women are concerned–want to talk about Susan Sarandon? Sophia Loren? Goldie Hawn? Helen Mirren? Tina Turner? Me? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)
Hollywood is beginning to get it. I thoroughly enjoyed the film Something”s Gotta Give—a love story between two people well over age 50. Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson totally rocked that delightful movie. It’s Complicated showed us Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin as grown-ups in a love story that was fun and sexy. Streep and Stanley Tucci recreated the romance between Julia and Paul Child—an older couple madly in love—in Julie and Julia.
So what’s up with the world of romance novels? Why is it that if you’re a woman of a certain age, then nobody wants to read about your love life? All of us Boomers are still falling in love, rediscovering love, renewing love, and by God, we’re still having sex and probably doing it with way more panache. So why are most romance novels about young women and men in their twenties and thirties?
A few years ago, Harlequin nailed it with their NEXT imprint, but it didn’t make it, and I’m not sure why. Maybe we weren’t ready then, but I believe we’re ready now. I’m ready for romance with a dash of maturity, two people involved in a relationship without all the nonsense of youth. I want conversations between grown-ups who are over the drama of coming-of-age and meet on the level playing field of self-knowledge. I’m looking for sensual sexy love scenes written with that irresistible combination of humor, passion, and life experience.
Baby Boomers, as writers and readers, let’s put the romance world on notice—we’re here, we’re in love, we’re making love, and our stories are worth telling. Who’s in?
We’re doing better these six years later, more authors are writing stories with seasoned characters and more readers are clamoring for them. I’m thrilled because seriously, ya think these two old folks aren’t still having the time of their lives together?
Nan Reinhardt is a USA Today-bestselling writer of romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after 45! Imagine! She is also a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. She’s been an antiques dealer, a bank teller, a stay-at-home mom, a secretary, and for the last 17 years, she’s earned her living as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader.
But writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. She can’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t writing–she wrote her first romance novel at the age of ten, a love story between the most sophisticated person she knew at the time, her older sister (who was in high school and had a driver’s license!) and a member of Herman’s Hermits. If you remember who they are, you are Nan’s audience! She’s still writing romance, but now from the viewpoint of a wiser, slightly rumpled, menopausal woman who believes that love never ages, women only grow more interesting, and everybody needs a little sexy romance.