The heroine in most romance novels is in her mid-20s and often younger if it’s historical romance. Yet readers of romance cover a wide age range with over 40 percent in the 31-49 years age group.
It’s clear that the more mature heroine is under-represented in romance novels…but is it a problem?
The strong readership in more mature age groups suggests readers of this age are finding a lot to enjoy in the current offerings.
We know mature women are interested in romance, enjoying romances or seeking a romance if they’re not in one but as readers we seem happy not to read about those journeys.
As writers of romance are we writing heroines younger than we are and if so why?
Is the issue with the publishers? Some imprints have focused on the romantic journey of the older women and not enjoyed the market success that the demographics might have suggested. So we’re back with readers of romance.
I don’t especially look for books where the heroine is a particular age for my reading. It’s the story that’s important for me.
The heroines I’ve created are mainly somewhere in their 30s but I’ve never felt the need to specify an age. I don’t set out to write a heroine younger than me it just seems that 30s is sort of an ‘every age’, neither too old nor too young and so the story seems more accessible.