Does Age Matter?
I noticed something as I was reading a romantic suspense novel. The main character—the heroine—was fifteen years old. And I just couldn’t get into the story. This was not a YA novel; it was definitely meant for an adult audience. But the main character was not only young; she was completely immature. Her reactions were that of a girl, not a woman, and I couldn’t put myself in her shoes.
I think it’s important that the reader can identify with someone in the book—either the male or female lead. They have to be able to place themselves in their shoes, to feel what they’re feeling.
In The Tempest Murders, Rian Kelly begins the story in Ireland at the age of 29. Flash forward to Ryan O’Clery nearly two hundred years later, and he also is 29 years old.
Twenty-nine is the perfect age. It is young enough for both the male and female to be fit, sportive and energetic. Yet they are old enough to have been around the block, to think clearly and with maturity, and to know the consequences of their actions.
In the Black Swamp Mysteries series, the main characters—Dylan Maguire, Vicki Boyd, Brenda Carnegie and Christopher Sandige—are all in their twenties. They have their entire lives ahead of them, yet they are still young enough to be in peak performance.
What age do you prefer the main characters in the books you read?