S is for Seventy


My protagonist in A Killer Past is a seventy-four-year-old woman. Mary Harrington is a widow and a grandmother, but she’s not someone who sits on the sidelines, knitting and letting others take action. She’s typical of a vast number of women (and men) in their seventies, myself included, I hope. She’s active, both mentally and physically. She works out, is in relatively good health, and isn’t afraid to take on a challenge.

I picked a seventy-four-year-old woman for this story because I’ve always enjoyed action movies where the women use martial art or shooting skills or some ability to conquer the bad guys. (Laura Croft. Nikita.) These women are generally in their twenties or thirties (or, as in the Hunger Games, a teenager).  As I entered my seventies, and discovered I couldn’t do some of the things I used to do when I was younger, I wondered what Lara Croft or Nikita would be like in their seventies.

Our population is aging. I’m aging. Every winter now I head south to the warmth and sunshine of Florida. Once there, I’m surrounded by men and women in their sixties, seventies, eighties, and nineties (yes nineties) who are out playing tennis, walking or riding their bikes four miles or more, dancing, attending yoga and exercise classes, swimming… I could go on and on. What I’m saying is I’m surrounded by people who no longer fit the image of someone barely able to move, who’s forgetful, and simply waiting for the grave. I like what I see, and I wanted to write about a heroine who is in this age group, who is still full of surprises.

I’m not the only one, evidently, who sees this type of older hero/heroine as interesting, a main character that readers or movie goers might want to follow. The same time I started writing A Killer Past, the movie Red came out, followed a few years later by Red 2. Even James Bond, in Skyfall, is shown as an aging 007, not quite the man he was in his younger years, but still one to be taken seriously.

I hope those of you who read A Killer Past will agree: being in your seventies isn’t the end. Now I’m off to check out a few other blogs. A-to-Z Blogging Challenge

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4 Responses to S is for Seventy

  1. Hey, Maris, my detective in Sally Bianco Mystery Series is 69.

    • Maris Soule says:

      I think/hope more and more writers are giving us older men and women as protagonists. I haven’t read your Sally Bianco mysteries, so I don’t know how active Sally is. In my case, I was tired of the image of the woman who sits in a rocking chair and mentally solves the mystery. I wanted my protagist physically participating.

  2. ann bennett says:

    A little reality never hurt anyone. I’m ordering “The Crow”.
    I have always been a big reader.
    The age of the people have never been a factor in whether I liked a book. I would hope many readers still feel the same way.
    I like reality books. Once you’ve met a dragon, you pretty much have met ten or twenty more clones. lol

    • Maris Soule says:

      Thank you for ordering The Crows. The main character in that book, however, is a mere 29. Mary Harrington, my 74-year-old protagonist, is in A KILLER PAST, which won’t be available until June.

      As for the age of the protagonists, it really doesn’t matter to me as long as the story is realistic.