Tuesday, July 31, 2012

82-year-old Model Proves It's Never Too Late

After reading Dating A Cougar, my story about Alexa Ranger, a 50-year-old retired model turned business woman, one of the first questions readers often ask me is what inspired me to write a romance featuring a much older character than is typically found in romances. My first reaction is usually to laugh because they're asking me, a confessed 54-year-old. Sure I could write about 20 and 30-year-olds, but why would I do that when I can write stories closer to my current experience? I've never been a person who looks to the past much anyway.

Coming Soon
Sometimes I joke in my answer. Sometimes I try to be serious. Occasionally, I can move from answering to showing readers something that might explain my motivations much better than I ever could with words. You see, every time I feel old, someone like Carmen Dell'Orefice shows me that I'm not.

She is an 82-year-old fashion model who looks incredible and still models. In this video she talks about something pivotal in her career that happened to her in 1957 which was a year before I was born. She talks about how models today are homogenized with Photoshop and she wonders what it means that physical individuality is no longer valued.

I find people like Carmen fascinating because they just continue doing what they want to do and to find ways to make it work. She is like some exotic creature from beyond me trying to impart some genuine wisdom which is struggling to penetrate my jaded, cynical brain. She still talks so pleasantly about life which is damned inspiring all by itself.

As I do final edits this week for Dating A Silver Fox, I have been thinking of Lydia McCarthy, my 67-year-old heroine and wondering how I'm going to answer questions about her. If readers thought Alexa was controversial as a romantic heroine at 50, what will they think of Lydia?

Then today I found Carmen who is Lydia's senior by a decade and a half. Now I'm not worried at all.

There was also a Huffpost 50 article about her if you want to read more and look at some of her work.


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