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Writers who were published after the age of 40

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"May I suggest a metamucil cake for you--you're just about over the hill."


 :dr :dr :dr :ahh

"sigh--my son thinks it's hilarious to call me 'old woman' and point out gray hair."

May I suggest my haircolorist fah you...................she turns back time.
#31 - September 16, 2010, 07:35 AM
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 07:38 AM by AE »
What's for pudding, Mimmy?

Illustration website:

http://www.puddintanesbrain.com

www.puddersputter.blogspot.com

YAmom

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Mike, I love this thread. And all you people, published or not, rock:)  I was 42 when my first YA came out.
#32 - September 16, 2010, 07:36 AM

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I was 41 when my first book came out. I've done the arithmetic on some authors and also noticed how many of you are saying the same thing: Early 40s seems to be a fairly prime time for debut authors.

Karen Cushman didn't even start writing till she was 50.
#33 - September 16, 2010, 07:58 AM
Adventures of Jenna V. Series
Caroline Grade Mysteries
The Journey of Emilie
Anne Bradstreet: America's Puritan Poet
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Mike Jung

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Err, don't hit me but people are often surprised to find out I'm in my forties. I do have more white hairs coming in these days...

I'm one of those people who actually needed to have less time to write before I got serious about it - I really started writing in earnest when my daughter was born 4+ years ago, and I managed to write a finished manuscript and sign with a fabulous agent during that time. Our second child is due to arrive next month (!!!) - I hope it's not too much to ask that the same inverse relationship between time and writing productivity holds true again. :)
#34 - September 16, 2010, 08:39 AM

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I wish I could remember the author, but several years ago I picked up a gorgeous picture book, written in lovely, creative, perfect rhyme, about the water cycle. It had stunning illustrations, too--I want to say cut paper or something "different" like that. When I flipped to the back to read about the author, I read that a) this was her first book, and b) she was 90. NINETY.

SO glad she kept writing!

Mike, I think I'm a little like you--I'm most creative when I'm most pressed for time. Instead of my brain turning to sludge when I'm pregnant/dealing with small kids, I find I'm bombarded with ideas. Maybe it's my mind's way of dealing with stress?? Or maybe I just need to be fully engaged with life/other people for the whole writing thing to work.
#35 - September 16, 2010, 08:50 AM

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Another (soon to be 41 year old) writer inspired by all mentioned here!
#36 - September 16, 2010, 09:01 AM

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Oh that's good to know about Karen Cushman. This whole thread is very encouraging. I think that both I and my writing matured/mellowed/ripened from my mid 30's through the 40's ... those were the years in which my children were born, my parents passed away, and I was moving around a lot. Now, with a relatively permanent address I feel so much more settled, even though I did turn into a full-time home-school mom. But in the last year so I have had a lot of the "it's too late" angst .... so I love hearing about authors who made it when they were older ... NINETY! Wow! Because lately I've been feeling that when I finally made it to port ... my ship had already come in and left!
#37 - September 16, 2010, 09:05 AM
Making metaphors out of molehills for over thirty years.

"...several years ago I picked up a gorgeous picture book, written in lovely, creative, perfect rhyme, about the water cycle. It had stunning illustrations, too--I want to say cut paper or something "different" like that. When I flipped to the back to read about the author, I read that a) this was her first book, and b) she was 90. NINETY."

 :love :love :love :love



"I read something in Newsweek a couple weeks back that said the most successful entrepeneurs are 55-64 years old, probably because they've gained so many skills doing other things before. How could that not apply to writing?"


Well, I am not anywhere near that yet but there are lots of highly successful people who reach it later in life.



#38 - September 16, 2010, 09:06 AM
What's for pudding, Mimmy?

Illustration website:

http://www.puddintanesbrain.com

www.puddersputter.blogspot.com

No way, Lill. Our time is coming!!!
#39 - September 16, 2010, 09:08 AM
What's for pudding, Mimmy?

Illustration website:

http://www.puddintanesbrain.com

www.puddersputter.blogspot.com

My first book was published by HarperCollins/Greenwillow when I was 44.  I had dreamed of becoming an author since 4th grade so it was a very long and bumpy journey for me.  I have quite a few unpublished manuscripts in plastic storage containers shoved under my bed and lost count of rejection letters.  Persistence played a huge role.  I guess I was just too stubborn to give up!   
#40 - September 16, 2010, 09:22 AM
ME AND THE PUMPKIN QUEEN and
THE DOG DAYS OF CHARLOTTE HAYES
HarperCollins/Greenwillow

DISASTER STRIKES series
Scholastic, summer 2014

Maybelle

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Oldster here! My first book was published when I was well into my fifties. I'm now in my sixties, with three books down and counting.

Every year that you live your writing, and your life, can get better, deeper, truer. It's never too late! Well, there is death, but that's another thread.

Don't waste a minute of your youth worrying about getting old---it rocks!

I want to reach out and hug all you kids (or maybe pinch your cheeks).

Sixty three and still laughing,
Maybelle
#41 - September 16, 2010, 09:29 AM

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I was just a few months short of 40 when my first book came out. It was originally supposed to be released after my birthday but they moved the release date up a little.
#42 - September 16, 2010, 09:35 AM
Film school grad. Time traveller. Billy Bragg fan. Canadian/Irish novelist of character-driven fiction from sci-fi to slice of life.

First time I was 'offically' published was age 40 in a poetry anthology.  First time published a novel that didn't have to do with graduate school: age 46.

I'd hoped to published before 40 but well, you all know how that goes!

Way cool, Maybelle!  It's like they say, if you have a dream, don't let a little thing like age get in your way!

**It's kind of ironic but when I was 19 and trying to get a book published I was told I was 'too' young and needed to experience more of life before I could be successful.  Well, I think I've done that!
#43 - September 16, 2010, 09:46 AM
NO MORE GODDESSES:
http://www.zumayapublications.com
EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA: http://museituppublishing.com
CROSSED OUT:http://www.lachesispublishing.com

blythe

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I didn't start writing fiction until 2007--when I was 50. My first YA came out in August. I'm 53 now and it looks like I'll be pushing 55 when the next one comes is pubbed. Don't feel a day older than 1100--except my knees, my knees feel like dinosaur bones.

I'm still as stupid, insecure, and weird as I was at 15. That helps.
#44 - September 16, 2010, 09:57 AM

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James Houston, the multi-award-winning Canadian children's author and illustrator, about whom I wrote a cover story for enRoute, wrote and illustrated his first picture book when he was 44. He was the only triple winner of the CLA'S Children's Book of The Year Award--the Canadian equivalent of the Newbery.

http://boreal-owl.livejournal.com/83300.html
#45 - September 16, 2010, 10:05 AM
ANTIQUE PIANO & OTHER SOUR NOTES
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Barb  :owl

Website: https://barbaraetlin.com
Blog: https://owlsquill.blogspot.com

The contract for my novel beat my AARP card by 3 days.
'Nuff said.
 :smile
#46 - September 16, 2010, 10:13 AM

ecb

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Elise V. Aidinoff published THE GARDEN at the age of 70 in 2004.

Pat O'Shea, author of the marvelous THE HOUNDS OF THE MORRIGAN, was 54 when it was published.
#47 - September 16, 2010, 10:16 AM
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 10:18 AM by ecb »

you people are lifting my heart. And not in that gooey, zombie bating way.
#48 - September 16, 2010, 10:19 AM
Bazooka Joe says, I have the ability to become outstanding in literature.
http://samhranac.blogspot.com/

Mike, I think I'm a little like you--I'm most creative when I'm most pressed for time. Instead of my brain turning to sludge when I'm pregnant/dealing with small kids, I find I'm bombarded with ideas. Maybe it's my mind's way of dealing with stress?? Or maybe I just need to be fully engaged with life/other people for the whole writing thing to work.

That's me, too.

I'm still not close to 40 (I've got a half-dozen years left), but at the rate my submission is going, I might be 40 before it sells and hits the store shelves.   :violin  And I'm not a terribly fast writer, so it might take me until then to finish the next novel.  

Though I'm already beginning to feel "too old" (5 kids will do that to you), I'm so glad to hear that I'm still not anywhere close to being too old to write and publish.  Thanks for this inspiring thread, Mike.
#49 - September 16, 2010, 10:31 AM

I like this thread!!  Nearly everyone I know is younger than me.
#50 - September 16, 2010, 10:37 AM

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What a fun and inspirational discussion.  Yes, thanks for starting it, Mike.
I'm right there with you, Maybelle.  :confetti  (Where are our fun gray-haired smilies, Verla?)  My first puzzle book was published when I was 46.  I've had 39 since then.  This year (age 61) I had 6 new ones published, two of which received awards.

So, sure, the 40's (or any time) are a great age to get published.

I'm still working on those PBs.  Olmue, I'm glad to hear about your 90-year-old.  At the rate I'm accumulating rejections, I may well out-do her in age when I finally get one published.  (Notice I'm optimistic--I did say "when.")
#51 - September 16, 2010, 10:39 AM

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The 90YO author was Edith Newlin Chase, and WATERS was the name of the book. It looks like she may have published some things earlier than that one--but she was born in 1905 and as far as I can find, her first publication was in 1970 and then not much happened until the mid-80s. She died at age 99! in 2004 and her book THE NEW BABY CALF is in Scholastic Canada's spring 2010 catalog, saying it's "never been out of print." (copyright 1992?)

Edith Newlin Chase is my hero. :)
#52 - September 16, 2010, 11:04 AM

Wait a minute!  Are you people telling me I'm old?  I just came out of lurker status (in writing, blue board, life in general), geez I hope I'm not too late!  46 here - 2 MG MS being polished, 1 WIP, still working up the nerve for submissions.  Writing is my post elementary art teacher plan - hope it can happen sooner.

Oh, and by the way, there's a cure for grey hair.  I take it about every 8 weeks.

J.Ro
#53 - September 16, 2010, 11:42 AM
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NO PLACE TO FALL (Harper Teen, 2014)
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www.jayerobinbrown.com

teri

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Me.  I am old, too! :yup
#54 - September 16, 2010, 11:42 AM

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I dyed my gray purple. :)
#55 - September 16, 2010, 11:43 AM
Making metaphors out of molehills for over thirty years.

I am sorry but I think that sixty is the new twenty which means I must be the new ten. But I really feel like I am five. I guess you really are as old as you feel.

"I dyed my gray purple." Lill, that is double hawtness! I could never do that... I am sticking with auburn.
#56 - September 16, 2010, 11:59 AM
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 12:21 PM by AE »
What's for pudding, Mimmy?

Illustration website:

http://www.puddintanesbrain.com

www.puddersputter.blogspot.com

YAmom

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The contract for my novel beat my AARP card by 3 days.
'Nuff said.
 :smile

I love it!
#57 - September 16, 2010, 12:22 PM

 :lol2

I'm thinking of putting some funky streaks in my bright red hair.  Dh is used to my colored hair.  Too chicken for a tat though had a huge henna lizard on my ankle.  The other day at a soccer game this one mom was going on about being older and all.  When I told her I could relate,she looked at me and said, "What are you talking about?  You can't be more than 36.  38 tops."  I laughed.  When I told her how old I was, she just about flipped over in her chair.

Oh, my favorite one was going to the dermotologist office and when I told her how old I was, she had her assistants come in.  They were touching my face and kept saying, "No way."  That made my day!  Women in my family age well.
#58 - September 16, 2010, 01:03 PM
NO MORE GODDESSES:
http://www.zumayapublications.com
EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA: http://museituppublishing.com
CROSSED OUT:http://www.lachesispublishing.com

almarrone

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I want to get my second tatoo--at 44. It's sort of book related.
#59 - September 16, 2010, 01:13 PM

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I'm still as stupid, insecure, and weird as I was at 15. That helps. Me too! Me too!

I got my book deal in 2007 when I was *cough* 4 *choke* 4. When I was a kid, my goal was to be the yougest author ever. Hardy-Har.

Danette  :moose
#60 - September 16, 2010, 03:15 PM
THE TROUBLE WITH HALF A MOON
G.P. Putnam's Sons
SSYRA List 2012-2013

SAVING BABY DOE
G.P. Putnam's Sons

http://Danettevigilante.com

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