Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that the protagonists in a lot of the fiction I read (excluding YA literature) are always in the age range of mid- 20s-30s. Why is that? Is it because those middle-aged and over characters have pretty much lived their lives and have nothing worthwhile left to discover, so they are best suited as supporting characters?
Well, I wholeheartedly disagree; older main characters still have plenty of opportunities for growth and change. Their stories can offer us readers insight into the second half of our lives, which come with its own set of challenges. Older characters aren’t flat and static; they do rock…and I don’t mean sitting in a front porch rocking chair.
(Now may be the time to disclose that I am in this more mature age group, yet I refuse to label myself as “old.”)
Two recently written novels that have made my list of favorites are Anna Quindlen’s Still Life with Breadcrumbs and Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. The protagonists in both books have advanced to the second stage in their lives, and they are similar because, at the beginning of their stories, both characters are in the midst of a downslide, thinking their best years are behind them, and the future no longer looks all that appealing. When both find themselves in new, unfamiliar terrain that force them out of their comfort zones, each discovers these unprompted changes can lead the way to a fulfilling and satisfying life.
Like a lot of readers out there, I enjoy a good mystery with lots of action and suspense. Ruth Bainbridge has recently released the first book in her new Curt Savage mystery series. Based on the book’s description, the author has created an atypical private investigator as the protagonist, which is what really caught my interest. I hope you’ll take a moment to check out the book and read an excerpt, which is followed by an informative guest post from Bainbridge explaining the importance of authentic dialogue in writing.
Savage Summer by Ruth Bainbridge
Publication Date: February 28, 2014
“When life gives you lemons … be sure to spit the pits out of that lemonade you’re making. Otherwise you’ll choke.” – Curt Savage
The past year has not been a good one for Curt Savage. Depressed over the death of a loved one, he’s gone into hiding, becoming entirely too comfortable with saying that he’s in the Witness Protection Program. But the urge to find that elusive killer puts his MIA status on hold. With the help of his new buddy Mike, he delves into the murky world of tracking down a killer — and uncovering who poisoned a neighbor’s dog.
SAVAGE SUMMER is the first in the Curt Savage mystery series. Going from former cop to private dick, he represents a new kind of detective—the reluctant kind. As his best bud Mike puts it, “Private investigation just got Savage.”