This week sees the official publication of my debut novel ‘DifferentGenes'. It tells the story of how sixty- two year old, Louise, discovers she is adopted and embarks on a journey to unlock her past. Intertwined within the mystery, is a love story. The publisher describes the book as ‘a moving tale of love in later life’.
It has come as no surprise to me that the book appeals to older readers. One reviewer said, “As a recently turned 63-year old, it was satisfying to read a novel about a woman ‘of a certain age’, a woman who discovers that her life is not over AND still holds some surprises, albeit some she didn’t expect.”
These days most people in their sixties say how young they still feel. Many, like me, have reinvented themselves in retirement through new interests and energetic social lives. So how do you begin to market a book towards an older audience without implying that the novel is aimed at readers who are a bit ‘past it', which blatantly they are not? The problem is with the terminology. There is a whole generation of 50 + readers who most definitely cannot be described as ‘old’.
I approached friends and asked for advice about whether I should try and create a new genre. Suggestions followed, but, as yet, no vocabulary which has really caught the ‘feel young’ essence of an older generation. Indeed, some people I consulted were quite affronted that I dared to suggest any books were more suited to an older age group. Nevertheless, the majority of readers and authors, who I asked, expressed a wish for some sort of resource where books which might appeal to an older age group could be found.
So, at risk of offending my contemporaries, I have created a website. It is rather unimaginatively called ‘Books for Older Readers'. The publications are nominated by their authors, and the number of titles is growing daily. Unlike me, the website is truly young and in its early stages of development, but I hope that some readers will find it useful. This is the link. www.booksforolderreaders.co.uk