If not, you were probably born after 1970. Nothing wrong with that, of course, or with YA or NA literature, for that matter. Any well written book is usually worth reading.
But for those who used to say "Never trust anyone over 30," and are now approximately twice that age, a new restlessness is emerging. Through their sheer numbers, Baby Boomers (technically defined as people born between 1946 and 1964, although those who came forth close to either end of the scale often fit the demographic) have been driving trends since the post-WW II baby boom gave birth to their name.
Now this formidable group wants to experience characters like themselves in the books they read and movies they watch. They want media (literature, broadcast, and film) that addresses their challenges, chronicles their triumphs, and heralds their transition (or coming of age at the other end of the timeline) to what is often referred to as "The Third Age" in Europe. And, they don't want to be characterized as senior citizens waiting out the end of their lives in retirement homes.
Once again, Boomers get what they want. Screenwriters, novelists, and nonfiction authors are (wisely) creating material to sate the Boomers' desires.
|Meryl Streep & Tommy Lee Jones in Hope Springs|
In publishing, this growing trend has produced a new literary genre— Boomer Lit. And if you write for or about boomers, you want to be very aware of how to hop on and ride this growing trend now, before everyone jumps on the bandwagon and you're just another contributor.
It's time to take the lead! Right now there is no JK Rowling, Stephanie Meyer, nor EL James of Boomer Lit. That means it could be you! This is the time to identify with the genre, join the movement, and get your name associated with the trend.
Where do you start? Good question! Begin by becoming familiar with definition of Boomer Lit. Although not written in stone, the general agreement is that it's writing that points to, examines, or attempts to offer solutions for circumstances that Boomers presently face, including but not limited to: divorce, retirement, death of a partner or spouse, empty nesting, being sandwiched between elder and child care, romance at age 50+, starting over in a new business or career, and more. Subgenres, like in YA lit, span the gamut and include romance, contemporary, fantasy, mystery, and the rest.
Boomer Lit is not nostalgia, although Boomers are fond of remembering the 1950s and 60s. Literature that deals with those times chronicles what it was like when Boomers were children or transitioning to young adults, not their coming of age as mature adults moving into the latter years of life.
Part 2 of this article series will provide some resources and possible markets where you can submit your work. But for now, whether you write for and about Baby Boomers or just want to read samples of this new genre, head on over to Boomer Lit Friday, a new blog I started that showcases short excerpts from Boomer Lit authors.
This site features a weekly blog hop event, and you can sign up to participate if you want to post a snippet from a published book or work in progress that fits the Boomer Lit genre definition. Be sure to read the Author FAQ before signing up!
If this topic interests you or you consider yourself a Boomer Lit author, join the Goodreads Boomer Lit group and "like" the group's page on Facebook. Lots of opportunity to get and share information at these links.
Hope to see you riding the Boomer Lit wave with me!