I’m happy to host this wonderful guest post by Jonna Holston, author of the book Toggle (one). Thank you Jonna for taking the time to write about such a fascinating topic as part of my A to Z of Romance Writing Series. Read more about Jonna at the end of the article.
Baby Boomer Love
If you are writing romance then chances are that a large percentage of your readership will be of the baby boomer age. Infrequently is a romance novel written specifically for this generation, so in rarity we find value. If written well the rewards are great.
This is the population who met the Beatles, the Woodstock women who eased the way toward sexual freedom. They lived through the sixty’s and now they’re in their sixties. If you are interested in writing about and for the boomers then, author, know thy sub-genre.
Writing an older woman protagonist has undeniable appeal. In her you discover a character of complexity and depth. She has confidence, wisdom… experience. Imagine the possibilities for characters, setting and plot.
- Feel the energy between a silver cougar and her prey. Is her motivation lust for his hard body or is she damaged and hiding her need? Is he drawn to her mystique, living MILF fantasies or does he plan to steal her money? What do they talk about? Where is the conflict? Who gets hurt and who is healed?
- A similarly aged couple finds a second chance love. Can two households merge? Do their adult children worry about the wills or cringe in disgust with each kiss. Which is worse? Which is real? Can their love survive their offspring?
- An older woman is polyamorous. Is she honest or deceitful? What will the neighbors say about multiple partners? Would she care? Will her lovers meet in conflict then end in a threesome?
What about writing physical limitations and the body image issues that millennials have yet to discover? Tread lightly here lest you break the spell. Use softer images, shimmering fabric catching candlelight or try something risky like a shared vape under moonlight and they end up naked in the lake.
Her body is no longer perfect. You might describe the grace of her movement, the curve of a shoulder or the shape of his arms but consider what point when physical description must yield to expressions of feeling. The softness of her breast, the warmth of his skin, the magic of losing self-awareness in the moment, the urgency in knowing that this could be the last time either one experiences this feeling of love in their lifetime.
Age creeps on, choices lessen. Lovers sicken and die. When you write a character that a boomer identifies with she escapes more readily in your work.
Once again she’s made beautiful, desirable and loved.
They value this feeling for its rarity. They are greatly mindful of the moments ahead and appreciate each one all the more.
If you wish to write such a romance, understand that She is not your grandmother’s grandmother. She is Women’s Liberation in the Age of Aquarius. She’s the bra burner, the Great Mother and the flower child of love.
Do her justice. Write her truth. Write her well.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
So that’s who I am, an old lady from tough places who lives in the gentile south and I’m not altogether sure that this hasn’t been one big joke on me… but a good one. How do I spend my spare time? I walk in the woods with my dog. It’s where I ground. It’s where I worship. And I write… it’s in the blood… I have stories, some real, some imagined and some embellished. What I’ve learned from observing the darker side of life is that nothing matters more than kindness and love.
Mine has been an incredible life in the best possible time and place. Sure I’m getting older, but I love life more than ever and as Sinatra sang, “The best is yet to come…” So I write about the magic of love and touch. What’s the best part about writing of love? I assure you, is the research and I don’t mind direct questions related to this subject, something like, “Jonna, is it true that at your age you still have an active love life?”
“Why, yes. Thank you so much for asking.” Because nothing in the world is dearer than affection, a simple touch from another, holding someone’s hand, a lovely kiss, these are the ways we connect. And making love with another human is the greatest pleasure of all.
Buy Jonna’s book Toggle (One) on Amazon and Smashwords.