I found a great press and wanted to share the link with everyone here on CS. It's http://thepermanentpress.com.
The reason I'm recommending the link is that, in prepping to pitch at Killer Nashville, I learned that Marty Shepard, editor and publisher, pressed a cool novel called Head Shot by Mike Befeler.
It seems that the main character is . . . well, a surly "geezer," who is a former boxer turned handyman running from the law. I find this conceptually interesting, but I wonder if this particular hard-boiled sub-genre is limited to readers in specific age groups, like Boomers and such.
This is the first time I've heard of geezer-lit, but I recall a couple of CS authors whose work might be classified as such. I've also written a novel that might qualify as "geezer lit," so I'm trying to learn about the genre and its potential audience.
All help is appreciated.
So what gives?
It IS a "look." It's a "concept." Somebody somewhere (a marketing type, perhaps) thought it was kinda sexy. The way staying up all night is sexy, up to a certain age. Then it seemed to catch on; all these young guys were sporting stubble. It's also, whether the marketers who thought it up realized it, "jejeune." You are either clean shaven or you are growing a beard, in which case the stubble stage is over fairly quickly. In between is either like a teenager trying very hard to grow a beard before he's ready or somebody whose hair has basically stopped growing.
And how do you maintain that look?
Ah, that's the trick! I think that's what gives it away as the fakery it is. The beard either grows or you shave it off. If all you ever have is stubble, you're staying home on alternate nights! :)
Stubble was for movies and TV. I don't think you find it much amongst detectives in books. :) I seem to recall the TV Wallander often went out sporting stubble. But he was kind of a mess, anyway.
, I translated that into character trait (wounded soldier in the fight for justice)
With the Wallander TV character, it worked. In the books, he was a bit ragged around the edges too. Meticulous attention to personal appearance wasn't high on his list of Things To Do Today.
I have always loved older people so I love older characters. Anyway, I'm nowhere near being a senior but I would enjoy a book with older characters very much. I think that as long as the story is interesting and intriguing it shouldn't matter. By the way I was a child when Murder She Wrote was on the air and I still loved it. I loved Angela Lansbury and her age had nothing to do with anything. I also loved watching Raymond Burr in the Perry Mason miniseries from the 80's and 90's and once again, his age never mattered. The same with Columbo and Matlock. I loved the shows and how they played their characters and I wasn't the least turned off by them being older.
I think most crime and mystery fans would read a great mystery novel no matter the age of the person. But if they are hung up on the age of the people in your books don't worry about it. You cannot please everybody no matter what you write. Just write the stories that are inside you and that you enjoy to write. There are audiences out there for anything. We must remember that older people probably read more books than young ones so they would probably love to read books with characters that are the same age as they are.
One thing I'll say, don't make the older characters cliche. Don't make them old, crusty, cranky and mean. LOL! Don't have them playing bingo or sitting in the rocking chair on the porch. (Not that you'd do that, but you know what I mean.) Just write them as people and not just as an age. Age is just a number. It's just like writing books with characters of different races. A person's race does not define them it's just a part of who they are. The same with age. I know some older people who act like they just stepped out of high school and definitely wouldn't fit a lot of people's ideas about how older people should act. LOL!
Good luck! I'd definitely read your book. I'm interested already. We need more books with older characters.
I think most crime and mystery fans would read a great mystery novel no matter the age of the person.
Just write them as people and not just as an age. Age is just a number.
That's it. Just the way I look at it too, Stacy. If the story is a good one, and intriguing--read on!
. We must remember that older people probably read more books than young ones so they would probably love to read books with characters that are the same age as they are.
\And of course one day, those younger readers will be seniors too.... Maybe by then they'll appreciate a legacy of old geezer mysteries. :)
I am so thrilled by the response to my question about "geezer lit." When I started writing my sixty-nine year old character, I didn't even stop and think about his age as being an obstacle or an impediment to my story's market potential. I'm sure that's because I personally do not hold any bias about a charcter's age, as long as the novel's well written, as you point out, Caroline.
I like Stacy's comment about avoiding stereotypes, e.g., the crusty curmudgeon types, so I feel confident I've done that. But this discussion about a character's age and geezer lit, if there is--in fact--such a subgenre, has opened up a tremendous area of interest for me.
Stacy, how right you are. There are so many wonderful "older" characters. I will always love Angela Lansbury, and I'm crazy about Raymond Burr and Columbo.
I just came across this posting. I'm Mike Befeler but did not write Head Shot. I have a geezer-lit mystery series featuring Paul Jacobson, an octogenarian with short-term memory loss. He can't remember the day before but becomes an amateur sleuth and even has a romance with a young chick in her seventies (geezer romance). Geezer-lit features older characters but is not limited to older characters.
Mike Befeler, author of the Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery Series and Death of a Scam Artist
Well, I have not visited this forum for ages---don't even read many murder mysteries these days, especially now that the great Ruth Rendell has passed on. I can't even remember this discussion, but Mikes' response turned up in my gmail, so I thought I'd look in. Speaking of geezers, if anyone watched "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul, " there was nobody savvier and cooler----cool-headed--- than crusty old Mike! By far my favorite character. Maybe I would see it differently were I still a ditzy teeny bopper---but even then I got "crushes" on "older" men. Of course this isn't about crushes---just about recognizing the worth, the "wisdom" of older people. Empowerment---to use everybody's favorite catch word.