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Writers who were published after the age of 40

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dwrites

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Karen Cushman. One of my heroes. She said, and I'm paraphrasing, but something like this: "Writing is like exercise. I always meant to do it but never got around to it." She was in her late forties, I believe, when her first book came out.

41 is a tot. Psssht.


No gray hair here. My colorist won't allow it.
#121 - December 18, 2010, 11:35 AM

How about reaching for publication before age 60? Still in my forties, but since I'm an aspiring PB writer/illustrator it could be a while. I had a poem or two published when I was a teen and a few more in my twenties and thirties.

If it happens, it happens. But, I've met some rockin' folks while trying. (Rockin' as in rockin' good . . . not rockin' chairs, but they're cool too, got a couple on my front porch). :partytime :old
Definitely agree with this. Had to get my hair highlighted today.  I feel so old!
#122 - December 18, 2010, 11:48 AM

"No gray hair here. My colorist won't allow it."


Plus you often meet other published writers while your head is being stained. And you can compare hair-raising stories... "He did what?" "She said that?" "Oh, really?"

#123 - December 18, 2010, 12:15 PM
What's for pudding, Mimmy?

Illustration website:

http://www.puddintanesbrain.com

www.puddersputter.blogspot.com

Wow! Looks like I'm write on time (ha ha)! I'll be 40 in a few mos, just as my ms is going out on sub. Now I won't dread the day so much. I'll be in good company!
#124 - December 18, 2010, 02:42 PM

"No gray hair here. My colorist won't allow it."


Plus you often meet other published writers while your head is being stained. And you can compare hair-raising stories... "He did what?" "She said that?" "Oh, really?"


Yip.  Got my hair dyed yesterday for the first time.  If only getting published was that easy...
#125 - December 19, 2010, 05:11 AM

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Did I already post on this thread?  :eh2  Huh. Can't remember. :old

I'm 41. I think? Yeah, 41. My first book was published at 39 1/2.

Where's that tapioca?
#126 - December 19, 2010, 05:56 AM
www.heleneboudreau.com

Author of the REAL MERMAIDS tween series, RED DUNE ADVENTURES chapter book series, I DARE YOU NOT TO YAWN (2013) and more.

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My big 4-0 is Monday. Let the publication begin! (Please!!)
#127 - December 19, 2010, 06:31 AM

df

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How is it that I only just now discovered this thread? I love it, Mike.

#128 - December 19, 2010, 07:35 AM

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My big 4-0 is Monday. Let the publication begin! (Please!!)

Happy almost birthday, Rose! Here's wishing you one of these this year ------>  :contract3

I was 37 when I started writing for children, 39 when I signed with my agent. I'm 43 now and just received my first publishing contract. I'll be 45 when my book comes out.
#129 - December 19, 2010, 07:57 AM
FLYING THE DRAGON (Charlesbridge, 2012)
A LONG PITCH HOME (Charlesbridge, 2016)

www.nataliediaslorenzi.com
http://bibliolinks.wordpress.com/

Mike Jung

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Oh hey, I can add myself to this now!  :snoopy
I was 37 when I started writing my novel, 41 when I signed with my agent, and also 41 when I received my publishing contract. (I don't have a release date for my book yet.)
#130 - December 19, 2010, 08:31 AM

Reader, reader, reader...
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I was 37 when I started writing for teens seriously.  I'm 42 now, and I just began querying my latest novel...we'll see what 2011 brings, no?  :)
#131 - December 19, 2010, 10:03 AM
Robin
Unspun: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BSR6CPJ/
Website: www.robinprehn3r.com

I am suddenly beginning to like this thread!  There seems to be a lot of 37 year olds! :grouphug2
#132 - December 19, 2010, 01:18 PM

LoisP

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I wrote my first children's book at 55, it was published when I was 56, with two more published since and 2 to come in 2011 when I will be 59.
#133 - December 19, 2010, 03:48 PM

Can I just say how much I LOVE this thread! I started seriously writing YA novels when I was 36 (after finally giving up on a book I revised from ages 27-35) - now I'm 42 and still in the waiting room. A little behind the curve - but, man, what a great ride it's been! Plus all the awesome company here on Verlas has made the time fly. Thanks for the great thread, Mike!
#134 - December 23, 2010, 05:26 AM
BLAZE, REAL PROM QUEENS OF WESTFIELD HIGH, GRAFFITI GIRL / Sourcebooks 2013, 2014, 2017
ADRENALINE CRUSH / FSG 2014, SqFish 2016
lboylecrompton.com

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I didn't even catch the writing bug until I was about to turn 40. Had some magazine success, but first book wasn't published until I was 47.

It was worth the wait.  :)
#135 - December 23, 2010, 06:11 AM
Coming soon:
Elwood Bigfoot - Wanted:  Birdie Friends (Sterling)
Teeny Tiny Toady (Sterling)
If a T Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party

Hey, I was 37 when I started writing too! That is SO weird so many started at that age... I was looking at 40 and felt stupid never having used my English degree... Set a (very naive, in hindsight) goal of being published by 40. My first book did come out 3 months before my 40th birthday.

(Sorry, Mike, for crashing your After-40 board :))

Boni
#136 - December 23, 2010, 05:21 PM
Hush Little Dragon (Abrams)
I Had A Favorite Dress (Abrams)
The Class (Beach Lane)
and others
http://www.boniashburn.com

Hey, I was 37 when I started writing too! That is SO weird so many started at that age... I was looking at 40 and felt stupid never having used my English degree... Set a (very naive, in hindsight) goal of being published by 40. My first book did come out 3 months before my 40th birthday.

(Sorry, Mike, for crashing your After-40 board :))

Boni

(Shaking curmudgeonly fist)  Consarn young whippersnappers!
#137 - December 23, 2010, 06:04 PM
http://www.bryanwfields.com
LUNCHBOX AND THE ALIENS, 2006 Holt; 2009 Square Fish
FROONGA PLANET, 2008 Holt
http://froongafiles.blogspot.com

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Oh hey, I can add myself to this now!  :snoopy
I was 37 when I started writing my novel, 41 when I signed with my agent, and also 41 when I received my publishing contract. (I don't have a release date for my book yet.)

Hmmm . . . Did I miss something or is this your way of quietly spilling good news? 
I don't post much.   But I lurk.  A lot.
And I'm probably not the only one wanting to wish you a hearty CONGRATS!  Good for you!  :snoopy
#138 - December 24, 2010, 01:50 PM
GRAVE IMAGES, Scholastic Press 2013
FOREMAN FARLEY, Grosset & Dunlap 2014

www.jennygoebel.com

Mike Jung

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(Sorry, Mike, for crashing your After-40 board :))

Geez, all these young punks trying to horn in on the geezer joy parade. YOU HAVE SOME NERVE, BONI ASHBURN! ;)

Hmmm . . . Did I miss something or is this your way of quietly spilling good news? 
I don't post much.   But I lurk.  A lot.
And I'm probably not the only one wanting to wish you a hearty CONGRATS!  Good for you!  :snoopy

Thanks ellm! I just announced my deal last week...
#139 - December 24, 2010, 02:05 PM

JanAnn

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Great thread. I was afraid I was too old at 36 :) I keep forgetting how old I am and have to calculate my birth year because I still feel 17 :)

Perhaps many debut YA/MG authors are around the 40ish mark because they all have life experience but are still young at heart?
#140 - January 10, 2011, 07:19 AM

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Especially happy to hear about the over 45-ers. I started writing before 45, but didn't become interested in writing books before then.

And yeah you can be young at heart at any age.
#141 - January 10, 2011, 08:43 AM
Making metaphors out of molehills for over thirty years.

Been writing as long as I can remember, about to turn 45. Still no contract, but I'm never giving up! My 10 year old has joined the boards as Lil Indigo. She is my inspiration!  Can't think of a better place to hang out while I wait.

 :hangloose
Larry
#142 - January 11, 2011, 06:17 PM

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Forty is almost a joke from my perspective.  There is absolutely zero chance that I'll be published by the age of 60.  (If ever ...)
#143 - January 11, 2011, 06:34 PM

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I was 40 when I started seriously writing full-time - 41 when I got an agent - 43 when I got my second agent and now I'm 47 and still trying "very" hard to be optimistic.    :sigh
#144 - January 11, 2011, 06:50 PM
http://www.wendylynndeckerauthor.com
https://twitter.com/WendyDecker19
Sweet Tea (Vox Dei Publishing, October 20, 2015)
The Bedazzling Bowl (2006)

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Sam Savage published Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife when he was 66 years young.   :ha

Frank McCourt published Angela's Ashes at age 66.   :applause

Since I sold my first novel at 40 and saw it published at 42, that makes me a spring chicken, right?   :chickendance
#145 - January 12, 2011, 12:38 PM
OLIVIA BEAN, TRIVIA QUEEN (Delacorte Press, 2012)
www.donnagephart.com
www.donnagephart.blogspot.com

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I don't really think writers have a shelf life as to when their first book can be published.

It's not the same as trying to be a rock star!  :guitar:
#146 - January 12, 2011, 08:15 PM


The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler, age 51

Don Quixote, Cervantes, age 57
#147 - January 14, 2011, 11:33 AM
SurfYourOwnMind.com, children's creativity blog currently in development.

Especially happy to hear about the over 45-ers. I started writing before 45, but didn't become interested in writing books before then.

And yeah you can be young at heart at any age.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ddw_TUO7z0E&playnext=1&list=PL7D6A2987F77799B2&index=13

As if to prove the point.  I remember this song...and the video
#148 - January 15, 2011, 05:35 AM

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I worry that someday my claim to fame won't be the amazing book I wrote, but the fact that I wrote it when I was 80 because at this rate, that's how old I will be.

Ah, well, the bright side is that it'll be something for me to look forward to in the next thirty something years.

 :wheelchair: <--- me, and yes, I'll probably have a beard and a bald head. I've already turned round and yellow.
#149 - January 15, 2011, 11:58 AM
THE SECRET OF FERRELL SAVAGE
Atheneum (Simon & Schuster) February, 2014

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You and me, Jennifer -- except I'll probably be closer to 90 ;)
#150 - January 15, 2011, 12:47 PM
Robin
Unspun: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BSR6CPJ/
Website: www.robinprehn3r.com

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