Friday, June 14, 2013

I Have An Idea



I think it’s time for a new genre. Now that New Adult has hit the big time, hence acknowledging the existence of a group of people known as out-of-their-teens, and there is Boomer Lit, acknowledging people born from 1946 -1964 still have a life… I want to propose a new group.

Now, I am an advocate of Boomer Lit. Well, I’m advocate of Boomer fiction. I’m not sure about the ‘lit’ part of the new genre. Sounds a bit too highfalutin for me. So…since we have New Adult, and Young Adult…how about Old Adult.

Young Adult celebrates the changes from childhood to teenage angst. The era of puberty.

New Adult celebrates the social acceptance of teenagers and twenty somethings being adult enough to have sex, which puberty made fun. (Hopefully.) And romance, of course.

Old Adult would be a celebration of the second round of puberty, known as menopause. (And men have it, you know they do. They just don’t have it to the extent women have it. Men get to call theirs a Mid-Life Crisis and buy fast cars. While women are pouring pitchers of ice water down the front of their shirts.) (Life isn’t fair.)

So OA could deal with the challenges presented by this special time of growth and appreciation. A real hero who is courting in an OA novel, would need to be strong, with a sense of humor, a truck load of patience and a heart the size of Alaska. (Texas isn’t big enough.) (Ha!)
 

The heroine would have more emotional upheaval than an entire high school, body issues that would look at the average teenage girl’s insecurity and laugh until hysterical, and with a need for real romance and massive orgasms.

Honestly, a field ripe for writers!

Am I right?

Okay, I admit the name sucks donkey balls. But I’m floundering a bit on what to call this genre. Used Adult? Experienced Adult? Adult Adult? Active Adult? (That sorta sounds like a Depends commercial.)

Put on your Friday drinking hats and do some thinking…what would you call it?

26 comments:

quantum said...

I remember a sitcom about this topic. It was called 'Last of the Summer Wine'. I think there was another called 'Second Time Around' LOL

Maureen, you are a master at 'Writing out of the box'

On the EJ/JQ-BB I once told a story of a plant in my garden that after years of modest flowering suddenly produced the most beautiful blooms I have ever seen and then died. I asked a biologist friend what might have caused it and he smiled knowingly. Nature is like that he said. Living things sense that the end is nye and make one last all out effort to reproduce.

With that in mind I reckon this new genre will have to be under the counter triple-X

I would put it in the Philosophy section to make sure that only mature adults read it! LOL

Janga said...

Since the first tier of Boomers has now passed 65, doesn't Boomer lit serve the purpose? It's also not unusual in women's fiction to have heroines with adult children and grandchildren and a romantic interest. Then there are all the dozens of small-town romances that feature romances for teens and grandparents and the generation in between. Patricia Sprinkle has a mystery series with an older sleuth and her lively relationship with her husband is very much a part of her characterization. I'm sure there are others.

Maybe what we need is a sticker like those "Signed by the author" stickers that can be used across genres to identify such books.

Terri Osburn said...

Afraid I'm with Janga. Boomer Lit covers this completely. My parents are Boomers, but they're well past menopause. But I don't see my mother having any trouble reading regular romance.

Old Adult is a truly awful term. And there's nothing wrong with adding Lit on the end of something. We're all writing literature, whether the snooties want to admit it or not.

Sin said...

I do love the word highfalutin'. And I also love that you said, "sucks donkey balls". This made my day.

My mama is a boomer. If I called my mama old she'd beat me within an inch of my life. I prefer to call people older. As in you're older than me; but that doesn't make you old or incapable of relating to me.

I can barely figure out what genre I write, let alone name a new genre. I'll let you guys hash that out.

MsHellion said...

I agree "Old Adult" is NOT the term you want to make it. "Mature Adult" maybe. Or "Second Childhood Adult" but never, ever, ever "Old."

I don't have a lot of trouble reading YA or "regular" fiction indiscriminately. It's not like I feel I have to work really hard to project myself into the characters because they're 17 year old goofballs whose biggest problem is that some boy won't give the time of day.

Characters basically all have the same problems--no matter how old they are. They want to fit in, they want to stand out, they want to be normal, they want to extraordinary, they want to fall in love, they want to stay single and not be bothered--in shorter words, they're human, no matter the age, the circumstances are just different. A teenager might want an iPod...and the Boomer might want a record player. Whatever.

I think--perhaps--you're making yourself crazy with the thought that your preferred kind of lit is non-existent, when it does exist--you just need to leap in and start writing how mature adults aren't that different from the immature ones, just different circumstances. There are still insecurities, wild plans and goals, heartbreaks and new loves...

JulieJustJulie said...

I agree with Janga, Terri too.

"We're all writing literature, whether the snooties want to admit it or not." This is Absolutely true. The focus of "where" a book belongs should be based upon the quality of the writing, the craftsmanship of the storytelling. IMO , over the years the lines between Genres has been blurred. As has the significance of those boundaries that the names of those genres imply. In other words ... a reader is not restricted to their choice of reading material based upon their chronological age. What one chooses to read is based upon ones emotional age and their personal taste.
That being said, I'm having trouble understanding why a writer would intentionally use a label like Old Age that is so restrictive? Why not use words that encompass everyone and anyone who would be interesting in the type of story you tell? You're so passionate about your work, M. Why not pick a label that embraces that passion? Or better yet ... Quit WORRYING about labels altogether?

Maureen said...

OMG - You're all taking me seriously. I did not expect this.

Ah.... Q! Yeah, hot stuff!

Janga - you're not saying it right. Lit-tah-urch-ar... If you say it wit a highfalutin accent, then it doesn't fit what I'm talking about. (Sin, glad you liked my using the word.)

Terri - I know Old Adult doesn't work, but falling in line with the new genres...

wink, wink!

I'm doomed, I can't even write something tongue in cheek and carry it off....

Maureen said...

I do belong to a Goodreads group on Boomer Lit, what I'm finding is most wrote these memoir type books featuring all the angst, trials and tribulations of being an older boomer.

My point being all the same angst is there that one reads in YA...

I don't know, when one has to explain the irony and joke, one obviously failed. Maybe I'll go back to bed...

JulieJustJulie said...

"My mama is a boomer. If I called my mama old she'd beat me within an inch of my life. I prefer to call people older... "

Well. Umm ... Since I am a bonafide representative of aforementioned Baby Boomer Generation I suppose I should say a little bit about my BBG experiences ...
First of all...
Sorry to those older and Yes younger-than-i-things who have hot flashes and spend their days with bags of ice down their shirts ...
Yes, I'm in my fifties.But no, I have not gone through menopause. Nor have I experienced any hot flashes, roller coaster emotions, or have a problem with my body image. Other People might have a problem with my figure, but That's their problem, not mine thank you very much. And if they don't like It They can talk to God. Yes I'm hot. But not the "turn down the air conditioning till icicles form on the ceiling fan" kind of hot.
So ...
Not all getting older experiences are the same. Nor are they necessarily negative. Truth is like my age. I'm comfortable with who I am. What I'm not comfortable with is anyone ... Not a publishing house, not a marketing firm, not anyone trying to fit me into a label because it makes them comfortable.
Market to The Mind, the soul, the personality quirks and tastes of a reader. In my opinion any other strategy is ... Well ... Old. As in outdated, past retirement , antiquated ...
And ...
For those younger something's who are skeptical ...
Maureen is right.
The sex IS Great.

Maureen said...

JulieJustJulie - I hear the sex is great. I'm doing the menopause rollercoaster, so I'm not going to say it's great for me right now...

I'm really sorry, guys...I thought it was obvious I was being mischievous with this blog.

Total failure...

I mean, of course it can't be called Old Adult!

Excuse me, I need to go beat my head against a wall...

JulieJustJulie said...

No. i don't think that this blog was a Total failure...
You made people think, and you started a real discussion. Imagine how much better the a world would be if people did more thinking and then actual talked about it.

Maureen said...

Yeah, but I was hoping for some drunken chatter and laughter...thinking is hard work!

Where's the rum!?

JulieJustJulie said...

Cookies, you probably need some cookies too. Cuz lets face it , it's Hard work being taken seriously. Not that I'd know ...

Tell me you didn't laugh. Seriously. I don't think it's bad to talk about how writers are pressured to write to genre, or market to a specific age group.

Terri Osburn said...

Jules is right, genres stuff is all crazy these days. Even in music. I'm taking kiddo to Warped tour in less than a month and a coworker asked what kind of music that would be. Um... Metal core, pop punk, rock, rap, folk, acoustic, hip hop. Take your pick. And it's all the same tour.

At the rate we're going, there won't be brick & mortar book stores left and everything will just be bulked together on the internet. (Not that I WANT this to happen, but it's looking plausible.)

Maureen said...

That is how the internet does thing. It pieces information into the smallest possible byte, where it can stay...so if you're interested in books about left handed Lithuanians born under the full moon in February, on a Tuesday, you can find them.

It can also take the mini bits of info and combine it into something impossible to categorize.

Instead of trying to fit art into a particular school of art, tradition of art...it becomes "I like it!" art.

I don't know if this is bad or not.

P. Kirby said...

"(And men have it, you know they do. They just don’t have it to the extent women have it. Men get to call theirs a Mid-Life Crisis and buy fast cars. While women are pouring pitchers of ice water down the front of their shirts.) (Life isn’t fair.)"

Menopause aside, in my observations, in the long run, it's men who actually have the hardest time with aging, growing increasing embittered and prone to whining about aches and pains. I think it's a function of seeing themselves as physically powerful beings. When they start growing weaker, they take it really badly. (Also, when it comes to sex, they're the ones with "dysfunction.") Hence, grumpy old men.

Older/mature adult fiction probably isn't for me, because I can't relate to the issues therein (and/or I'd rather not acknowledge the realities of growing older), but I'm sure it's a smart demographic to tap for readers.

Write what you love.

Maureen said...

Yeah, but the reason mother nature doesn't torture men with hot flashes and body issues, other than the eventual disfunction of the MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THEIR BODIES...is that men wouldn't handle it well.

Do they ever handle anything well? Maybe we need grumpy old man literature....

Terri Osburn said...

"Maybe we need grumpy old man literature...."

We've had that for centuries.

MsHellion said...

What Terri said. *LOL*

Maureen said...

Well, yeah. I suppose so. It was called everything written...

JulieJustJulie said...

Maybe if your pen name was Maurice ... I could see it now ... "OMG! He knows women and blah blah blah So WELL! He's brilliant. Absolutely Brilliant. "

JulieJustJulie said...

Not that your not brilliant already.

quantum said...

I'm doomed, I can't even write something tongue in cheek and carry it off....

Mo, I got that you were intending a light hearted frolic.
Try again on April 1st! LOL

'Boomer lit' seems pretty limiting to me, given that boomers were born shortly after the war. In twenty years they will all be gone, but the books last for ever!?

Yeah, but the reason mother nature doesn't torture men with hot flashes and body issues, other than the eventual dysfunction of the MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THEIR BODIES...is that men wouldn't handle it well.

Cum cum. Most men don't moan about dysfunction and other ailments, that would be wimpy. They are proactive and discovered Viagra ... women should be grateful. LOL

Terri Osburn said...

Did Q really just put "cum cum" and Viagra in the same paragraph? That's gotta win some kind of Friday comment of the day award.

quantum said...

I get a bit Freudian at the end of a hard day! LOL

Maureen said...

Hard day... Bwah ha ha!