Thursday, May 16, 2013

What age group/genre do you read/write? Why? Join in! Guest post by @Author_Carmen.

My very special guest today is Carmen DeSousa. Carmen is a bestselling author of romantic suspense novels, which you just can't put down. Today she brings up a discussion on which age group and genres of books we like to read and write. Please join in the discussion!

What age group/genre do you read/write? Why? Join in! Guest post by @Author_Carmen.

When I started writing, I didn’t think about an age group, nor did I really think about a genre. I just wanted to write. As an avid reader, I knew what I liked to read, but again, I never really categorized my preferences. If it had a great cover that grabbed my attention and an awesome hook on the back cover—that’s that thing we now call a book description online, but we used to have to actually pick up a book and flip open the flap or turn the book over in our hands. :)

The thing is I never really cared about the age group or the genre. Since I read so many books, I rarely made it off the ‘new release’ rack.

So what makes you want to read? Personally, I need to know going in there will be suspense of some sort, something that will keep me turning the pages, whether it’s the whodunit aspect or a newfound romance on the rocks. It doesn’t matter what “genre” it is; all books have to meet that minimal criteria to keep me interested. I need to identify with the characters immediately, feel their pain, and want to know how it’ll work out. Again, it doesn’t matter their age. This is what I find via the book description, not the genre or age group.

Funny thing is, all of my stories ended up with heroines who are between the ages of 22 and 25 and the heroes between the ages of 25 and 28. And oddly enough, my beta readers ended up being 17, 35, 45, and 55. I interact with almost all readers who contact me, and there seems to be no specific age in my readers either.

So I wondered, Did I just stumble on the correct age?

Well, here’s what I think: Women who are 22-25 years old have lived long enough that something bad has probably happened to them; they’ve experienced at least a couple bad relationships, they are usually at the age where they’ve just graduated  college and are now searching for a lifelong relationship and/or career.

So mature women can look back at that age and can find something good, whether it was their looks and figure, a new job, or a fun time with their girlfriends planning weddings, vacations, and new adventures. Younger women are looking forward to that age when they are on their way in life with school under their belt and an exciting life in the future.

When querying my books, I also heard, “This is a mystery”, then another agent states, “This is a romance”. Exactly! That’s what I wanted. Isn’t that what makes a great story, a little mixture of mystery and romance, with a thread of suspense running through both. Even in sci-fi, horror, and fantasy novels there always seems to be those key ingredients. Isn’t that what life is—romance and mystery?

So, readers, writers, how do you decide?

Do you care what ages the characters are?
Do you care what the genre is?
What are you looking for in your next read?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you would like to read a little more about what I write, follow the links below. My stories are available in print and eBook formats at your favorite retailer. You can download my mini-mysteries with a paranormal edge absolutely FREE or start with my romantic-suspense bestseller She Belongs to Me for only .99 cents. From there, all my stories are priced 'less than a latte', so READ UP and enjoy!


  1. Thank you,
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  2. Thank you for having me here today, Bernadette. I look forward to our readers thoughts on what they like to read and why. :)

  3. Great post. I agree with everything you said and think you did just stumble into the appropriate age range. Good for you! As a 30 yr old woman, with a husband and kid, I like to go back to that 20-25 year old age range and re-live that excitement. In the same regard, it's also hard for me to relate to older more mature characters who've lost a great love or are getting a second chance at love.

    I think you are perfectly balance; age, mystery, romance.


    1. Thank you, Amanda. It helps to hear feedback, and I was hoping that was the case. My new story does have a thirty-nine-year-old heroine, but I'm hoping since it's a spin off of the first book where she was twenty-two that readers will still be able to relate. AND..based on the content, I believe EVERY woman who has children and a husband who they pour their life into will get it. At least I hope. :)

      Thank you for stopping be, have a wonderful weekend, hopefully with lots of reading in your schedule. :)