Did you know that the average age for a NY Times bestselling author is 50? At age 85, Agatha Christie had a best selling mystery, and recently deceased Belva Plain didn’t top the list until she was 59. It takes a bit of ‘living’ in the raw cauldron of life to sit down at the computer and compose a novel.
It could be similar to this analogy: When I was in my twenties I knew everything there was to know about God. I knew what God would do in all circumstances and in every situation. My world view - like the world perspective of many young people - was black and white. As I have grown, my world includes many more shades of gray. God has become more of a mystery. Choices are not so black and white. I continually teeter on that knife edge of faith and doubt. And, that ‘knife edge’ is where I set my novels. I’ve lived some. 'Been there, done that. I’ve been in that cauldron.
“Grey listing” has been in the news recently - job discrimination against older people.We are told it occurs in the movies, the music industry and news anchor people, unless you're a man. (Lloyd Robertson comes to mind.)
But is this same bias there in fiction where novelists are not so 'out there'?
When author Randy Ingermanson of AdvancedFictionWriting.com was asked about this he responded by saying: “In the world of novel writing, there may possibly be an age bias, but it’s really the least of your worries. Your main worry with fiction writing is “craft bias.” Agents and editors are massively biased against poor craft. They are massively biased in favor of excellent craft.”
And, Ron Benrey in the excellent website/community, Fictionafter50.com writes: "We think a better response is to make gray listing 'unprofitable.' This means that authors of a certain age must write better manuscripts than their younger colleagues. Simply put, late-blooming novelists need to produce novels that scream to be published — novels that make the ages of their author irrelevant."
I don't know about you, but I find that advice gratifying.
If you wish to pursue this, here are a few links you might enjoy reading, or do a Google search on the subject.