Can a romantic heroine be too old? #helenmirren #sexy #olderwomen #age #romance #amwriting #writing #book #inspiration #breakthemold

November 21, 2005: The press room at the 33rd Annual International Emmy Awards Gala held at the Hilton Hotel in New York City. Among those attending, Dame Helen Mirren. Credit: Dara Kushner/INFGoff.com     Ref: infusny-05

I say ‘no’! I don’t think a woman is ever too old to be attractive or worthy of love – it just depends on who’s looking and what they’re looking for. Couples who’ve been married for 40 plus years love the whole person, not some superficial picture of an ideal physical appearance. They love the way their beloved grows and changes, because they are changing with them. They can feel comfortable in their skin, fulfilled.

I want to help debunk the myth that only young women are sexy and worthy of romance. It is rubbish! A lot of this crap is peddled by the beauty industry, but the reality is that many women and men become more attractive as they get older (eg, Sean Connery – he might be a lot older than me, but the older Sean makes my toes curl in a way the younger actor never did).

Sean Connery media

And of course being interested in people is about so much more than just outward appearance, and what often attracts us goes well beyond smooth skin, a full head of hair and nubile bodies.

What do you find attractive? I like wisdom, humour, strength and kindness. I love to see people who feel sure of who they are and are interested in more than just themselves. Which means I often gravitate towards older people and find them interesting and attractive.

Cerebral matters aside, then there are the people who are just hot, no matter what their age. Take Helen Mirren – WOW! Nearly seventy in the picture below, and just gorgeous.

Helen Mirren has inspired my latest book ‘The Tangled Web’, which is about a 59 year old woman (yes, 59!) who is a romantic heroine with a difference. She’s not young and naive, youthful and nubile. But she is attractive, especially to Marcus Webster. So why shouldn’t she star in her own romance?

I have never read a romance before with a heroine older than 45, so I’ll be putting ‘The Tangled Web’ out there soon (probably for free). Hope you enjoy it! I’ll be fascinated to see the reaction. (And yes, older women can also enjoy sex – sometimes more than when they’re younger. Why the hell not?)

November 21, 2005: The press room at the 33rd Annual International Emmy Awards Gala held at the Hilton Hotel in New York City. Among those attending, Dame Helen Mirren. Credit: Dara Kushner/INFGoff.com     Ref: infusny-05

November 21, 2005: The press room at the 33rd Annual International Emmy Awards Gala held at the Hilton Hotel in New York City. Among those attending, Dame Helen Mirren.
Credit: Dara Kushner/INFGoff.com Ref: infusny-05

50145483 02-25-07 Hollywood, CA Helen Mirren at the 79th Annual Academy Awards Red Carpet, Kodak Theatre, Hollywood, CA... Non-Exclusive Pix by Flynet Pictures ©2007 818-307-4813  Nicolas 323-833-7042  Nicolas 323-974-6007  Jay 310-466-8617  Scott FameFlynet, Inc - Beverly Hills, CA, USA - +1 (818) 307-4813

50145483 02-25-07 Hollywood, CA
Helen Mirren at the 79th Annual Academy Awards Red Carpet, Kodak Theatre, Hollywood, CA…
Non-Exclusive Pix by Flynet Pictures ©2007
818-307-4813 Nicolas
323-833-7042 Nicolas
323-974-6007 Jay
310-466-8617 Scott FameFlynet, Inc – Beverly Hills, CA, USA – +1 (818) 307-4813

18+, 15+ – should we use age-limit ratings on sexy books? #ratings #books #sex #amwriting #hotromance #agerestrictions #adultsonly

2012-06-18-teaserabd

Call me old fashioned, but when I write a hot sex scene in one of my erotic romances, I don’t want my mid-teen girls reading it. Or anyone’s mid-teen kids.

It is written for adults.

So I am surprised that very few romances seem to have any kind of age warning on them. I have read some that have pretty explicit sex scenes in them and no warnings. And I wonder whether something should be done about that.

So I have included an age rating on all of my books. It is probably a bit conservative by today’s standards, but that’s fine. If my book says 18+, I think it helps people to know what to expect. And if people prefer to avoid books with lots of sex scenes/adult themes/erotica, then they can avoid the 18+ books. Some of mine are 15+ (sex scenes, but less strong adult themes) – so again people know what to expect. I am also currently working on a few books that I will rate “G”. They are what would be described as ‘sweet’ romance. (eg. ‘Lady Sophie’s Dilemma’)

I have been discussing this issue with some of my network, and many say things like “Why would you put a rating on your books when you don’t have to?” Or “No one else is doing it.”

My answer is – I may not have to do it, but I feel I should. And just because few other people do it, is no reason for me to just follow the pack.

I figure that if films and TV shows all have ratings and warnings, there is no reason why I can’t base my own ratings on those. This will give my readers a clear idea of what to expect. After all, I don’t want people to read my books if they are not going to enjoy them, and I appreciate that some readers don’t like sex and erotica. So my books will have ratings, and I am also including ‘warnings’ on the copyright page where appropriate, such as “This book contains sex scenes and adult themes”.

Some of my books in particular will need to be read with caution (even if I do say it myself). ‘The Secret Life of Eloise’ is about a woman who loves sex and uses it for her own ends. In some ways it is an anti-romance, and some of the scenes are quite extreme. So that will be 18+, and I hope those who read it will feel prepared and not get too shocked by Eloise’s antics. I could not publish something like that without some sort of warning… (I am not saying everyone else should feel the same, I just believe it is something I need to do).

So there it is – I would be interested to know what you think of this.