Most sexy romance novels feature a young and attractive woman on the cover, which is totally outside the reality of how one looks. But today, a storyteller and light chaser presents a brand new genre: senior romance. Joining Juliet Clark is Eme McAnam, a trailblazer with a ground-breaking idea she presents through her novel, Freefalling. She argues that senior romance ends happily, even though it may look different from reality. Tune in to this episode as Eme inspires everyone to look at themselves as sexy seniors who have every right to enjoy that identity.
Watch the episode here
Listen to the podcast here
Sexy Senior Romance With Eme McAnam
In this episode, we have a guest that’s a little bit different than normal. We have a budding fiction writer. I’m pretty excited about it because she’s trailblazing an entirely new genre. That’s exciting. Before we get started, don’t forget to go over and get your free subscription to Breakthrough Author Magazine. You can find that at www.BreakthroughAuthorMagazine.com. On the Thank You Page, notice there is a quiz. Find out how much you know about writing, publishing and promoting.
As most people answer on the quiz, they don’t know what they don’t know and they’ve got a lot to learn. Don’t forget to go over there. Our guest is Eme McAnam and she is a first-time novelist coming from a background as a singer-songwriter. She’s been blessed with time and perspective. She’s enjoyed a successful business career resurfacing into her life as an artist.
She’s a storyteller and a light chaser. Sunsets are the sweet spot of her photography. People with years of experience and emotional depth inspire the characters in her novels, romance, love and reality based on life’s messy parts transforming into beautiful stories of lives fully lived and enjoyed throughout their senior years. The genre that she is trailblazing is senior romance. We’re going to talk a little bit about why there’s a need for this and why it is an up-and-coming genre. Keep reading.
Welcome, Eme. How are you?
I am great. Thank you, and you?
I’m fabulous. I’m excited about a new genre of books, the senior romance that’s going on. Were you a romance novel reader before? What prompted you to do this?
There were a couple of things. I’ve always loved romance. I’m a lady who enjoys a little excitement in life but I had started to notice that all the heroines in the book seem to be young and beautiful. I was not relating to the stories in the ways that I wanted to as much as spectators or it had value. I thought there is a story that we were not reading. I wanted to bring that so that people like myself would have stories where they could see themselves.
Going back, you were working on your cover design. One of the problems you were having was getting them to make the woman on the cover look a little older.
All the clip was curvy young people who are probably thirteen years old if you know anything about modeling. They use very young people to project even somebody in their 30s. It was challenging. I worked with the artists to find bodies that could be reflective of beauty but not the same curves as you have in your twenties.
As you like to say, they’re a little softer.
They’re a lot softer. That’s right. You can cuddle better with somebody as they get older.
In Free Falling, you have a character who is very chic but she’s going through some of the things that happen when you’re older. That’s what I liked about when we first talked. There’s not always a happy ending in senior romance. It’s because there’s so much going on in a senior person’s life. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?
I would argue that there is a version of a happy ending but happy endings look different. When you’re coming to the end of the stories that seniors are living, sometimes they don’t live forever but their spirit lives forever. They find more of who they are in that chapter if they’re well-loved. It’s different but I would argue that the happy ending is still happy. It’s just a senior version of happy.
Talk about some of those things when you go into a romance at an older age. You and I initially talked about when we are dating. People still date like they’re eighteen so let’s get into all the reasons why when you’re a senior, a lot is going on.
The truth is when our partners show up and pretend to be young, not only do they cheat us but they cheat themselves because there’s no way they’re going to be able to follow through in the same way they did in their twenties. If you focus on what you bring to the table, I would argue that men could maybe market their sensuality. They’re not going to be showing up with the same vibrancy in other respects without getting gross. The truth is the vibrancy is changed and yet the sensuality is unique and special. I would argue it’s a gift that many women welcome.
I feel like we should cut to the little blue pill commercial after you so tactfully did that.
The two tubs that are sitting in the tub next to one are ridiculous what we’re told we’re supposed to expect. If a man comes with that vibrancy, you got to assume he doesn’t have heart issues because many men can’t use the blue pill. The other part of that is there’s a scene in the book where the man is using a blue pill that’s not quite working. It’s like watching somebody pull the string on a long mower. It’s not as dependable as some men would like to believe it would be.
The last time I was in Mexico, my ex-husband asked me to buy the generic. Everybody’s like, “You’re buying that for your ex-husband?” I said, “As long as he’s not using it on me, I don’t care.” There are other things with senior romance. By this time in your life, there are usually children, grown children and grandchildren. I remember dating a while back when a guy told me he didn’t need a woman because he had eleven grandchildren.
Women do the same thing. They get lost in other kinds of relationships and they lose their ability to be in a romance because they have compartmentalized differently. I would argue that’s a mistake because having a relationship with somebody equal is very different from being in a position in a family system. Families become one of the factors but health becomes a factor too. Learning to be good and loving one another with the changes that are happening is important.
I read a story about Patrick Duffy and Linda Purl, how many seniors will lose a spouse and say, “I’ll never find love again.” I thought their story was so sweet that they have known each other for years. It’s not the same as your first love but it doesn’t mean that you can’t love again, either.
I have an interesting story. I have a friend who has been pursued by a man who’s turning 80 and she’s turning 75. At first, she looked at him with all his limitations and then she noticed how nice he was. She started to relate to the fact that he was more thoughtful in ways that her ex-husband had never been. Though she’d been out of the market for a long time, being the good girlfriend that I am, I was helping her shop for lingerie and things that will be the accouterments of making a good match in the sensual areas because he’d already said he’s interested in that. He appears to have some vitality that many men don’t have in their younger years.
You don’t have Fabio on your cover. There are other considerations here. We talked a little bit about family, kids and finances as you get older are much more complicated than when you first get married maybe in your 20s or 30s as well.
Both people are bringing something to the table and that does get complicated because the old-fashioned way of dealing in relationships is that your suitor pursues you and picks up the expense of all dates and things of that type. The truth of it is people are contributing in different ways and also have different resources to draw from. If one partner has significantly less money, it’s not fair to expect that person to carry the financial load.
On the other hand, maybe one partner is doing all the cooking. Maybe one partner is handling all the driving. There are different ways that people contribute to relationships but you’re right. It will come down at some point to the question of money. That circles back to family because sometimes families are opposed to their seniors being in relationships because they think their inheritance will be gone if they get involved with somebody.
One of my golf buddies talks about frequently how she would like to buy the family home that her father and stepmother are in because that’s where her mother was at. Things are going on there that make it very difficult. In your book, you also deal with one of the things that seniors probably deal with more than other age groups and that’s illness.
Yes, more seniors are dealing with illness than younger people. It’s a difficult chapter in that respect. That doesn’t make them less lovable however but when you’re dealing with that and the book deals with a specific illness, you have to accommodate for whatever those challenges might be. My friend said, “This guy has some heart problems and I don’t even know if I should bother with him because he has heart problems.” I said, “Let’s be realistic and look at what challenges you might be brewing and how that fit.”
The truth is everybody has something brewing whether we know it or not and that starts when we’re young. The truth of showing up in a relationship is being able to somehow get past the superficial and get down to what helps you feel connected to a human being. One of the potential challenges though is that, for instance, my friend says he has heart problems. He may die before she does. As a good friend, I said, “I will help you with that because if you get to be loved better now than you’ve ever been loved before, that is a gift that the universe is bringing to you now.”
Hopefully, by the time you get to be a senior, you’ve figured out what’s important in life. We go through those stages and it becomes clearer, especially for women. I see women get in their 40s and 50s and it’s like, “This is how it is. If you don’t want to hear it, go away.” They’re not as silenced as they used to be. They’re very direct that the BS goes away.
That’s very true. From about 50 to 65, there’s this bold awareness that we hit. It’s like, “This is the line. This is the qualification. This is what I’m looking for.” When we’ve come out of relationships that don’t work in the way we had hoped they would, then we have a clearer view. However, as time continues, people start looking at some of the rules they had.
For instance, at 50, I needed a man to be physically active. I had been very physically active myself and expected that from my partner or I’d be deeply disappointed. Maybe it’s not running when you’re 70. Maybe it’s somebody who can go for a walk in the woods. Maybe by the time you’re 80, it’s somebody willing to go for a drive. You’ll go for a walk in the woods and they read their book in the car as you’re getting a little hike. It means that over time, what makes our heart sing doesn’t change but the way we achieve that has to alter over time.
I face that at 61. I do want somebody who’s physically fit because I still do all of those things. That is important to me. I find a lot of people are not in shape at this age anymore.
That’s true at 50. It’s shocking.
This book is called Free Falling. You’re already writing a second book.
Yes, I am. I’m working on Reconfigured Dreams.
Do you want to tell us a little bit about that one?
Reconfigured Dreams is a story of a woman who, after a particularly disturbing challenge in her life, discovers that there’s another child. This is not as uncommon as we would wish. At that point, she starts to second-guess everything she felt about her primary relationship. More importantly, she second-guesses herself and she pursues former relationships to try to figure out why was it that she wasn’t able to attract what she needed. She is defining this particular relationship that she’s ending as being similar to the early one. What we learn is they are not similar. They are both men but the truth of the story has much more to tell us.
Free Falling will be out on Amazon and Barnes & Noble on February 14th, 2023. You have time to go buy it in pre-sale. I encourage you to go over and do it.
I love it. Senior romance day is Valentine’s Day 2023.
All you seniors, run out and get it. If you’re not a senior, go get it for your parents or if your mom or your dad is older and they’re readers. Probably more women than men, I would say. I don’t know if a lot of men read romance novels.
I’d been surprised at the reviews I’ve gotten from men though. Don’t be afraid because men who’ve lost hope in the fact that they’re still sexy get an opportunity to see themselves as sexy senior. Don’t limit yourself. It doesn’t hurt for somebody younger to see that their seniors have a right to that identity so take a peek.Senior men must never limit themselves when it comes to their sexiness. On the other hand, it doesn’t hurt for younger men to see their seniors have a right to that identity. Click To Tweet
When you say identity, I do have to share with you one little story. After my father passed away, my mother was dating someone who lived in our neighborhood whom I’d known forever. She didn’t know how to book a hotel. She had me book a hotel and I was like, “1 bed or 2? Mom, you got to learn to do this yourself because this is none of my business.” I used to book everything for her and then I was like, “This is uncomfortable.”
You don’t want to know.
Older people, please learn how to use Expedia and your credit card. Thank you so much for being on and good luck with your book. It’s going to be a big hit.
Thank you so much. I appreciate your time.
About Eme McAnam
Eme McAnam is a first-time novelist coming from a background as a singer/songwriter. Blessed with time and perspective, she’s enjoyed a successful business career resurfacing into her life as an artist. Currently, she’s a storyteller and a light chaser. Sunsets are the sweet spot of her photography. People with years of experience and emotional depth inspire the characters in her novels. Romance, love, and reality blend with life’s messy parts transforming into beautiful stories of lives fully lived and enjoyed through the senior years.
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!