I didn't set out to be a Boomer Lit author. In fact, I didn't know this gestational genre even existed until I found a group of like boomer authors on Goodreads. Prior to joining this group, I struggled to categorize my novel’s genre, but was passionate about its voice. My work didn't quite fit into one neatly-defined category as required by most traditional publishers. Then it all came together when I looked at it from a generational point of view. It was like slipping a key into a lock. My writing had found a home.
Boomer Lit crosses a number of existing genres: magical realism, romance, women’s literature, book club fiction, mystery, paranormal, fantasy, and even science fiction. But at its heart, the characters are boomers doing what boomers do best— feel.
My parents presented a world of possibilities to my sisters and me in the 60s and 70s; possibilities they, themselves, didn't have when they grew up. We were given choices. And, oh boy, did we make them – good and bad! The ability to have those choices, though, solidified a philosophy we still hold today: live in the moment and grab everything life has to offer. Our most treasured possessions are experiences.
Every generation has been influenced by its defining moments. While we boomers can’t claim the prize-winning title to the fight of life, we do have our own unique perspective and feelings about going several rounds. We, too, have experienced war, peace, great music, political strife, and the shock of the new. But it is the boomer generation who has used its defining moments to change the landscape for those who follow us. Retirement only means that we will do something different—in our own way. Maybe we should eliminate the R word altogether.
“Katie bar the door” as this generation spawns a new wave of authors. We have a lot to say. And better yet, readers are responding in droves. Boomer experiences are being woven into some darn good yarns. The characters are complex and unique. They dig into their pasts to reconcile the present, and then they claw their way back out again to move forward. Nothing is easy. Everything is complicated. And the messages are always inspiring.
What an exciting time to be an author, especially a Boomer Lit author. The opportunity to control our work and rewrite those stuffy rules has never been greater. Being on the forefront of change, yet again, is a great place to be. As a writer, Boomer Lit is an open door. As a reader, it offers a whole new world of rich emotion that flies off the page.
So it comes as no surprise to me that tower-dwelling advertisers have yet to crack the code of reaching the largest group of consumers in history. They’ll never figure out us boomers through surveys, cookies, flip charts, or focus groups. But if they read our books, they just might get it.
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