This will be my introductory post: Lynn Schneider, baby boomer, author, and soon-to-be-retired, former-computer-programmer-now-paper-pusher. Thanks outsourcing!
Thank you to Nell, for suggesting this site. I recently met Nell at Goodreads, in the Women’s Fiction group. Goodreads doesn’t have a group for baby boomers, so this was very interesting to me, since I’m tagging my genre as “baby boomer fiction”, or “matron lit”. I’ve even heard it called “geezer lit”. That’s not too good.
On my webpage I have a bio, but it’s not much of one. In it I say all that I’m not: i.e. not published by a traditional publishing house, no awards, no reviews to speak of, unless you count the five on Amazon.com. But I like good literature, serious women’s fiction, books that both men and women would like, good stories, deep characters, and if it has a touch of humor, that’s even better. For thirty years I’ve wanted to write a novel, and now I have done that. As a matter of fact, I’ve written two.
I’ve blogged since the beginning of the year, and tweeted some (though not too often), and Facebooked. I thought I’d put up a “fan” page, but my fans are mostly the same friends and family that I’ve always counted on to give me support and encouragement, so I’m not too sure how well that’s going. For all I know, they might be getting a little bored with it. Oh no. Not another status update about the delivery of her latest book.
Marketing has been my resolution for 2011. The books are out there, I need to figure out how to sell some, and let my next idea take hold for book #3, if there is one.
It’s strange how you can get an idea for a book sometimes. I got my third idea while sitting in the dermatologist’s office having one of those things cut off my nose. We boomers know all about that. How we didn’t use sunscreen until recently, after the damage had been done, and now we get those basal bumps popping up on noses, and upper lips, and cheeks, and foreheads.
Anyway, there was a young guy in the waiting room, and he had a child with him, a toddler, and the little person toddled back and forth between the chairs, and an older woman who sat across from the younger man, said “They grow up so fast, don’t they?”
How many times have we heard that clichéd expression, and I was kind of crabby anyway, that I had to be there and thought to myself, “Yeah. They do. They grow up so fast, and before you know it they’re sitting here just like I am, having crap cut off their faces.” And the idea came to me, that I might write a book about a disillusioned, cranky baby boomer who can’t find much to get excited about, and his life hasn’t turned out too well, since he’s divorced and his kids are a bit dysfunctional, and he goes back to his high school reunion and meets someone he used to know. It’s been done before, I know, but there are some additional twists, which I won’t go into here.
Back to marketing, the baby boomer generation is on the verge of retirement. Those of us born in 1946 are turning 65 this year. Medicare, baby! No more worrying about health insurance! Getting pretty close to that full retirement age of 66 too. That’s sweet. Once we all retire, there will be a lot of people out there with time on their hands. And since we always were a generation of readers, seems natural to assume, we might be doing a lot of reading. So why not write books about that generation?
I can only speak for myself, but I believe our generation was a lot more romantic than people today. Remember last year, when the Duke University student rated her lovers and it went viral and everyone found out about it? That would NEVER have happened back when we were growing up, not only because, obviously, there was no such thing as the internet, but because no woman would have ever done it. We were very hung up on our “reputations”, and would never have admitted to such activities.
Things were different in the sixties and seventies. On my website, I compare it to our parents, and what they thought of us. They watched The Ed Sullivan Show, the Jack Benny Show, the Red Skelton Show, The Honeymooners and of course, no Saturday evening would be complete without The Lawrence Welk Show. I remember rolling my eyes at that one. We were different from them, they couldn’t understand us, and we can’t understand the Gen X-ers, let alone the Gen Y-ers (aka Millenials) in a lot of areas.
Doesn’t it stand to reason, then, that baby boomers would want to read stories about and for them? I sure hope so, because that’s what I’ve done. Stories from the sixties to the present. Misunderstandings that could have happened back then, but could hardly happen now. Back then we didn’t have answering machines let alone voicemail, or cell phones, or Google, or Mapquest, or Facebook. It’s pretty hard to have a decent misunderstanding with all that technology. And we didn’t talk about certain subjects sometimes, and we were a LOT more romantic about sex, IMHO.
Whatever Happened to Lily? is the story of one couple who met in the sixties, and their relationship, which didn’t come to a proper ending, or in today’s terminology, needed “closure”. He was in the service, she stopped writing. He didn’t understand, didn’t know what had happened, searched for her with no luck. Decades later (in 2007) she contacts him through a social networking site. All the old feelings surface, but there’s a problem. He’s married to someone else.
Second Stories, my new book, is the story of a friendship among four men. They started work on the same day, back in 1968, at Bethlehem Steel, near Buffalo, New York. The union problems, the office politics, the trouble with the women in their lives, from the sixties to the present are chronicled in the novel. The steel plant closed in 1983, but the friendship survived. Of the four, three of them have troubled relationships. The last half of the book takes place in the near present (2008) and as the title suggests, sometimes there is a second time around. But not always.
I’m really glad to be a part of this site. I’m looking forward to doing reviews, and possibly, being reviewed, here. And much more.