Today I am super excited to welcome Mary Ashe to the blog. Her debut title, Celestial Velocity, is a fantastic sci-fi adventure romance, and the second title in the series, Volatile Conjunction, released this week! Mary is here to talk about her “more mature” main characters…
Even the oldsters can be main characters
While some of my characters are younger (sub-35, that is), I’ve found I really enjoy writing older characters. Sure, this is in part because I am older (GenX, ftw) and want to see more main characters around my age within the pages of the books I read. But as an author, developing a character’s history, entrenched worldviews and biases, and long backstories gives me so much to play within my stories.
An older main character has a depth of knowledge and breadth of experience to draw from. They’ve been through a lot, seen some sh*t. They can run circles around the younger generations with their advanced level of expertise, gained over decades of practice and failure. What they can’t do is match the strength and energy level, so they have to find work-arounds and ways to conserve energy and stamina. It’s like a puzzle, figuring out how to have them work smarter, not harder.
With age comes practicality and self-knowledge (one hopes). They have more mistakes behind them, more loss, more tragedy, more disappointments… in essence, more juicy backstory to tinker with. Many times, they have more connections — family, career, community, residence — that can deepen plot and character development. Those connections give them a firmer sense of self and a strong set of priorities, and it’s so much more fun when I get to rip some or all of that safety, security, and sense of self away from them. *rubs hands together and lets out witchy cackles*
Writing someone older also means including the unexpected and unwelcome parts of aging. Being an older main character has its downsides. Their bodies let them down as they age. They sneeze and throw out their back. They drink a little too much and pay for it the entire next week. They get into a sword fight with a cocky youngun, teach the kid a solid lesson about defensive techniques, then have to go soak in an ice bath so their muscles don’t seize up on them. Those obstacles require some fancy writing footwork, especially if you write in adventure-filled genres like me.
Mentally, they also still feel thirty, no matter if they’re forty, sixty, or older, and that needs to be written into the story, too. That bodily betrayal, reminding them of their physical age and completely ignoring their mental age, can suck in reality, but it’s great for character development.
Still, if given the choice, they wouldn’t relive those younger years for anything. They’ve already paid their dues, learned some hard lessons, dealt with the acne and out-of-control hormones (unless they’re women. Then they get to do that hormone sh*it all over again. A thrill a minute). But those struggles, those mistakes? That’s why they have the experience, connections, and the expertise they do, and that’s why it’s so fun to write older characters.
About the Book:
Author: Mary Ashe
Series: Rogue Justice Book 2
Genre: SciFi Adventure Romance
Publication Date: October 31, 2023
They’ve loathed each other for years, but now they must work together to protect their people in this spicy scifi adventure romance, the second novel in the Rogue Justice series.
When a mistake lands mercenary Ivan Halonen squarely in enemy territory, there’s only one way out: teaming up with his beautiful and deadly nemesis to rectify it.
Space pirate captain Amaryllis Vertè could have gone the rest of her life without running into Ivan again, but when the job she’s on falls apart, putting her crew’s future in jeopardy, she must put her faith in a man she’s been at odds with for years.
“Complicated” doesn’t begin to define their relationship, but now they’ll have to resolve their differences and work together long enough to pull off a daring heist and protect their chosen families. If they can’t, it’s not just the future of their crews that’s in danger, it’s the future of space travel.
This series is perfect for readers who enjoy snarky humor, enemies evolving into lovers, and a hero who growls, “Who hurt you?”
Purchase: Ebook on Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
About the Author:
Mary Ashe is the author of spicy scifi adventures and cozy fantasy romances featuring protective cinnamon roll heroes and smart, capable heroines.
Stories have always been an integral part of her life, starting with bedtime read alouds and story times at the local library. At the tender age of 13, a friend (a deliciously bad influence) introduced her to the world of romance, and Mary was hooked. Her bookworm tendencies led her to teaching English and Journalism, where she delighted in encouraging young readers and writers.
After over 20 years on the front lines of education and with her mental and physical health on the line, Mary packed up her classroom and took an adult gap year, determined to bring creativity and joy back into her life. And boy, did she find it.
When not writing or creating, Mary can be found living her best cozy spinster life, puttering in her garden, attempting to improve her drawing skills, and snuggling her geriatric pup, a cup of tea close at hand. And, as always, she lives surrounded by her favorite books and an ever-expanding to-be-read pile.