There's been a lot in the media in recent times about how women become invisible in the media when they reach a certain age...some say 40, others 50. There was been quite a fuss last year about ageism at the BBC where older women seemed to be particularly targeted. Most women's magazines seem to want articles about younger women up to about 35, there are only a few magazines targeted at the members of the slightly older age group who are not quite yet ready for Saga magazine and its like.
All this made me start to think about fiction and commercial fiction in particular. After all, we always hear that there is no market for books about middle-aged women and many writers of chick lit or women's fiction seem to write about characters younger than themselves. With my first novel, I was no exception.
For a number of reasons I've actually been feeling quite invisible in life lately, so this lack of older characters was something I wanted to address in my second novel. As I'm planning the book, the two female characters aged in their 50s and 70s are proving far more interesting than those in their 20s, though I'm sure the younger ones will develop more fully in time, especially when I start to actually write.
Older women have so much life experience, so many talents, it's a shame if their voices can't be heard...