11 March 2010

Do you have to be old to write?

So what did I hope this poll would show, or more importantly what does it actually show?

Some commenters on this poll told me that they hadn't realised how old their favourite author was.

Nearly 20% of participants couldn't find out how old their author was, another 20% of the authors were deceased, and, most notably, only 3 of the remaining authors were under 40.

Jose commented It seems that you have to be older than 40 for people to read your books, no matter when you wrote them.

One of the things I have noticed recently is a tendency by female authors in particular to use impossibly young photos. I recently worked out an author was over 40 and the photo looked much younger than that. Why do they do that?


Bernadette in Australia said...

LOL Kerrie - I actually wondered if the photo of Sydney Bauer was a model and the author was actually a curmudgeonly old man or something - it just seemed like such an unrealistic picture when you think of her bio and experience.

I wonder if author age varies between genres. I have a friend who is a 30 year old published sci-fi author and lots of the sci-fi and speculative fiction authors he knows are on the young side.

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - I had to laugh, too! I *do* wonder about those 'photos! It's good to know about that "over 40" thing, too. As an author, I may have a chance at being read ; ).

Bernadette has a point, too, about genres. Perhaps that does affect age. I'm not a very big fan of sci fi, but those authors I have read are younger than a lot of crime fiction authors I know of...

Deb said...

I've noticed a recent tendency for young, photogenic British females to be writing historical/ biographical non-fiction. Perhaps because I'm neither young nor photogenic (but I am a female and I was British before I was American), I find it hard to believe these women with their gleaming smiles and model-type cheekbones have much to tell me about, say, the plague years.


Dorte H said...

As I am over forty, I seem well-qualified according to this poll, and in order to sell books I´ll put a photo of my youngest daughter on the cover. ;)

Maxine said...

I put "dont know" not because I couldn't find out, but because I didn't know....

I have a photo of myself on these bloggy forums that is from the days when I dyed my hair. I don't do that any more so I don't look much like my photo. On the other hand, I don't have any other photos of myself as people don't take them...so I am a bit stuck, really.

I've noticed that lots of people on facebook, twitter and so on use photos of themselves (or someone!) as a child. I do find this rather unnerving.


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