SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Writers who were published after the age of 40

Discussion started on

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI RA
  • SCBWI Region houston
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. :)

Hey, me too, about the surprising people thing. But then they find out I have an 18-year-old, and I have to decide if I want them tell them how old I am or let them think I had a baby at age 12. AND I started writing about the same time you did, in '06. You're pretty much my twin. Except for the babies. Everything else sounds exactly the same.
#61 - September 16, 2010, 03:21 PM

Mike Jung

Guest
Hey, me too, about the surprising people thing. But then they find out I have an 18-year-old, and I have to decide if I want them tell them how old I am or let them think I had a baby at age 12. AND I started writing about the same time you did, in '06. You're pretty much my twin. Except for the babies. Everything else sounds exactly the same.

Well, that settles it, Lynne. My next big goal in life: JOIN THE APOCALYPSIES...
#62 - September 16, 2010, 03:23 PM

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI RA
  • SCBWI Region houston
Well, that settles it, Lynne. My next big goal in life: JOIN THE APOCALYPSIES...

Yes, Mike, we're all standing there with our faces pressed against the window, waiting for you!
#63 - September 16, 2010, 03:37 PM

Ah, Mikey....you're just a baby. I was 49 when my book got picked up, and am now the ripe old age of 50.5, and my debut has only been out a few weeks!
Let's here it for us old farts!
#64 - September 16, 2010, 03:58 PM
HANNAH & THE SPINDLE WHORL  (Ronsdale, 2010)
HANNAH & THE SALISH SEA (Ronsdale, 2013)
http://carolanneshaw.com

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region ohiocensouth
LOVE this thread!!  I didn't start writing until I was 43, and that was on a dare.  (doggone competitive streak...).   I didn't start taking it seriously until I was 45. I'm 48 now. Still not published, but getting "good" rejections on a MG novel. Maybe someday soon???  :crossedfingers
#65 - September 16, 2010, 04:02 PM

Admins and Mods Emeriti
Poster Plus
  • *
  • Member
I'm one of those who's been writing since childhood. My first book came out last year - I was 50.

Like Kay, I don't feel in my 50s. I think it's the MG/YA community that keeps me feeling young.  :hearts
#66 - September 16, 2010, 04:36 PM
Jennifer Mckissack:
SANCTUARY, Scholastic Press
 
Jenny Moss:
TAKING OFF, Bloomsbury
SHADOW, Scholastic Press
WINNIE'S WAR, Bloomsbury

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region wwa
I'll be 52 when my first book comes out.  But if you tell, I'll have to.... :bricks  (I feel 22 inside though!! until I look in the mirror.....ugh! what exactly is the purpose of wrinkles??) But my crazy and wicked plan is to have *at least* one book come out every year after to make up for lost time.  bwwwaahhaaaaaaa
#67 - September 16, 2010, 04:48 PM
Fantasy:
THE FAERIE RING series
THE MIDNIGHT SPY series - coming Sept. 22nd, 2015!

YA Contemp:
THE LAST DANCE

http://www.kikihamilton.com

I was 44 when my first deal was made and 46 when the book came out. I love this thread. Maybe now I can quit calling myself a slacker.
#68 - September 16, 2010, 04:49 PM
SHDAOW ON THETHE SUN, 2013
INVISIBLE SUN, 2012
BLACK HOLE SUN, 2010
SOUL ENCHILADA
Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins
http://www.davidmacinnisgill.com

D.Diorio

Guest
 :applause Great thread, Mike! After teaching art to literally hundreds of kids for 20 years, I'm reinventing myself as kidslit author and illustrator at 49. It's been slow mo', for sure (and I'm so not ready to quit my day job :jail ) but I chip away at this lifelong dream on an almost daily basis. Less than a year into it, I've published 7 art ed articles and 4 illustrations.

Hoping I might just be the turtle who eventually wins the race :horse
#69 - September 16, 2010, 04:55 PM

D.Didorio... we must be kindred spirits. I'm an art teacher as well, recently turned author, and I see we are both muralists as well.
ANd I must add, that while I came to this gig a little late in the game, I don't feel "over the hill" at all. I wake up excited about the day before me and less and less concerned about ridiculous and mundane things like housework. HA!  That's the great thing about aging...you stop worrying about the things that used to consume you decades ago. Love it.
(Great thread, Mike)
#70 - September 16, 2010, 05:03 PM
HANNAH & THE SPINDLE WHORL  (Ronsdale, 2010)
HANNAH & THE SALISH SEA (Ronsdale, 2013)
http://carolanneshaw.com

Well, I wrote when I was younger and got tons of rejections back then too.  Decided to not write anymore after a college professor told me I'd never be successful unless I experienced more of life.  Didn't get back into it until I was 39 by enrolling in a UCI extension writing class.  Was hooked.

In between that time I was a bilingual teacher for eight years.  I 'wrote' many books with my first graders in both English and Spanish as there wasn't much curriculum out there unless you got it from Mexico or was Santiana reading series.  **I still hear...ma...me...me...mo...mu--Mi mama me ama. 

Then taught another seven years in a sheltered English classroom.  Once more did tons of writing with my students.  Even had some eighth graders help out from nearby middle school.  So it was bound to rub off on me, right?
#71 - September 16, 2010, 05:06 PM
NO MORE GODDESSES:
http://www.zumayapublications.com
EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA: http://museituppublishing.com
CROSSED OUT:http://www.lachesispublishing.com

Reader, reader, reader...
Administrator
Poster Plus
  • ****
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region rmc
This is definitely an encouraging thread, even though I don't feel close to publication.  I've been writing novels since I was 34, and I just turned 42 this week...so I still have a few years to go, no?  ;)
#72 - September 16, 2010, 05:10 PM
Robin
Unspun: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BSR6CPJ/
Website: www.robinprehn3r.com

write4me

Guest
 :yay
I too had a career before writing and got my first book pubbed at 42. My second comes out when I'm 44.  I HOPE for lots more....
#73 - September 16, 2010, 05:13 PM

Yes!  When I was 42 I had a number of poems published in magazines and one in a poetry anthology.  You can do it!  I think the big thing is if you really want something bad enough, go for it.  Don't let age get in the way.  Wasn't there a book that came out a few years ago that took the author like twenty years to get published?  Now that was dedication!
#74 - September 16, 2010, 05:14 PM
NO MORE GODDESSES:
http://www.zumayapublications.com
EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA: http://museituppublishing.com
CROSSED OUT:http://www.lachesispublishing.com

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region ohionorth
Hey, everybody, what say we get together for a party to pluck the gray hairs from Jaina's head? That'll teach her!

A couple of people mentioned Karen Cushman, who has long been my inspiration. Not only did she start writing at 50, but she writes books I love. So imagine my utter delight when she blurbed my first novel--which came out when I was 48.

Thanks for starting this thread, Mike (whom I've always assumed was not yet 30).
#75 - September 16, 2010, 05:48 PM

Liz
Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region indiana

"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 you whippersnappers, I am in that age group, so in the next couple of years I should have a great book contract right? :woo
#76 - September 16, 2010, 06:44 PM
You must do the things you think you cannot do.  Eleanor Roosevelt

http://www.lizstrawwrites.com/

You're not going to pluck me bald, Rab!  Besides with a little trip to the salon a few weeks back, people say I look 29 . . . ish.
#77 - September 16, 2010, 07:20 PM

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region rmc
Me. That's all I'm saying. :ha
Jean
#78 - September 16, 2010, 07:39 PM
Jean Reidy
Coming soon: Pup 681, Truman, When the Snow is Deeper Than My Boots Are Tall, Group Hug , Specs and Specs II.
Others at www.jeanreidy.com

Reader, reader, reader...
Administrator
Poster Plus
  • ****
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region rmc
...people say I look 29 . . . ish.

LOL -- me too ;)
#79 - September 16, 2010, 08:39 PM
Robin
Unspun: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BSR6CPJ/
Website: www.robinprehn3r.com

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region canorthcentral
  • SCBWI PAL
I'm forty two, and started writing seriously at forty, which for me meant I stayed with it for more than a week or two, so count me in here.   :goldstar

#80 - September 16, 2010, 09:27 PM
SILVER (Flux)
GOLD (Flux)
SPIES AND PREJUDICE (Egmont USA)

http://www.YAMuses.blogspot.com

I just LOVE this thread!

I've been writing since I was a kid and even majored in creative writing in college. Of course, I was a literary snob for quite awhile  :snork and did finally manage to get some poetry published back in my late 30's. It wasn't until I had my youngest child (just shy of 41!) that I decided prose was much more fun and that prose for children was the most fun  :partytime

So, here I am at 46 with 1 YA novel, 2 MG novels and a ton of shorter works (stories, a beginner reader . . .) sitting on my "shelf" while I'm writing yet another YA novel. One of these days, though, these books will be sitting on other people's shelves! Right?
#81 - September 17, 2010, 12:09 AM
http://debifaulkner.blogspot.com/

Summoning, a YA novel
Murphy's Law, a MG novel
LilyPad Princess, for 7-9 year olds
WereWhat?, coming August 20

This is definitely an encouraging thread, even though I don't feel close to publication.  I've been writing novels since I was 34, and I just turned 42 this week...so I still have a few years to go, no?  ;)
Verla might kill me for this, but I have been writing short stories since I was eleven and I am still writing them.  It's amazing how many people find that immature.  I am still trying to figure out how writing for adults can mature you. 
Don't think I will stop any time soon, so there'll probably be a pen in one hand and a walking stick in the other. :writing3 :old
#82 - September 17, 2010, 04:08 AM

Thanks for starting this thread, Mike! Mine has been a long and twisted road to get where I am today…a full time writer. :writing3 This is probably more than you want to know but it shows that with determination you can go for your dreams. My motto is one that I took from Norman Vaughan: Dream Big and Dare to Fail.

I started writing when I was in high school and planned to have journalism as a minor in college with medicine being my major, but life interfered with those plans when it was discovered that my mother was dying of stomach cancer. I shelved going to collage to care for her, as hospice wasn’t around in this area back then. People relied on the visiting nurses for care, or family members did it themselves, as was my case.

I could have gone to college the following year but my brother, who had taken mom’s death hard, was a senior in high school so I stayed and took care of the house and worked for a kennel learning how to breed/raise/race sled dogs (Alaskan Malamutes).

Life being what it is took another turn and two years later I met my husband, married, became a mother, and writing was put on the backburner while I cared for a growing family… that is until my daughter was a senior in high school and I discovered that she would qualify for more financial aid if of two or more members of a household were in collage at the same time… so mom went to college at 44.:faint

One of the first classes I took was Children’s Literature and the writing bug bit big time. Say that fast 4 times in a row.:lol2 I designed all my course work around writing and history. I took courses in Native American Literature (which I love), Contemporary Poetry, and Using Literature to Teach English, among others which I can't think if at the moment. My plan at that time was to get my degree and then write textbooks for elementary school.

My daughter quit college with 3 semesters to go but I kept right on going. Got my BA and decided to check out the graduate program at VC. I kept right on studying, going for a 60 credit Masters. This time it was in Environmental Psychology, with Native American Literature/Children’s Literature as a minor.

I could kick myself for not signing up to become one of the first students in their brand spanking new MFA Writing for Children and Young Adults Program, but Roger Cranse, head of the Liberal Studies Division, discouraged me as he wasn't sure the program would fly, so I opted to go the regular route. :gaah Little did he know!! Just look at it now!!

After my husband died of cancer seven years ago, I did some PR work for an organization that a college buddy had formed in Fairbanks, Alaska, which rescued sled dogs (Second Chance League) and decided to write full time and give my dream of becoming a writer the good old college try.

I have now been writing seriously for the past 6 years, with 32 manuscripts in various stages of completion... 16 of which will be sent out into the world before the end of the year. I said when I started that I wanted to become the Grandma Moses :paint of Children's Literature. I figured it would take me 10 years to hone my craft and become published, and seeing she started painting when she was 76, I had almost 19 years to go. Yup, I am now 63, but feel and act like a kid.

The bottom line is as long as you can tap into your inner child, who cares how old you are?


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams
~Henry David Thoreau~

#83 - September 17, 2010, 06:25 AM
« Last Edit: October 14, 2010, 08:58 AM by saputnam »
"Dream Big and Dare to Fail" ~ Norman Vaughan

Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region dakotas
I'm glad there are so many of us 'late bloomers!' I love this thread.

 :hearts to all of you!
#84 - September 17, 2010, 06:30 AM

This thread is the perfect place to post up JK Rowlings inspirational speech to Harvard grads of a year or so ago...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pucdJHjZaqs&feature=related   

#85 - September 17, 2010, 07:07 AM
HANNAH & THE SPINDLE WHORL  (Ronsdale, 2010)
HANNAH & THE SALISH SEA (Ronsdale, 2013)
http://carolanneshaw.com

I love this thread, too! I'm four years shy of forty, and your stories of triumph and success have given me something I haven't felt in a while concerning my chances of ever getting a book published a little later in life...HOPE!!! Thanks to you all, the 40s don't look that bad, or the 50s, or the 60s...  :smile So many of you have shown it's just the beginning. Thanks, everyone, for sharing! 
#86 - September 17, 2010, 07:36 AM
www.amycobbwrites.wordpress.com

Twitter: @AmyCobbWrites

write4me

Guest
I know i'm getting older, because 40 sounds so YOUNG!!  :lol2
#87 - September 17, 2010, 08:26 AM

 :lol2

Isn't that the truth, Janet?

Oh, by the way, gorgeous cover on your upcoming book!
#88 - September 17, 2010, 01:11 PM
NO MORE GODDESSES:
http://www.zumayapublications.com
EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA: http://museituppublishing.com
CROSSED OUT:http://www.lachesispublishing.com

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region northtexas
I was 13 when my poem was published in a high school anthology. Forty years later I had several articles published in children's magazines. In between I was a mother and a teacher. When my first book was published I was umm, oh well, 66. I haven't stopped since.
#89 - September 17, 2010, 07:25 PM
Weird Noises in the Night
I Live in a Doghouse
Star of the Team
And other stories for children and teens.

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region florida
  • SCBWI PAL
I read that Laura Ingalls Wilder sold the first book at 65 and finished the series at 67!
#90 - September 17, 2010, 09:06 PM
A WHOLE LOT OF LUCKY, Sept. 2012
Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning
The Summer of Moonlight Secrets
Me & Jack

http://www.danettehaworth.com

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.