Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Guest Blogger Joann Ainsworth - Romance Changes as We Age

When mature protagonists find love, there is a different "tone" to the experience from when young heroines and heroes discover love for the first time. My historical western romance, POLITE ENEMIES, released this month from Whiskey Creek Press. Its theme is “love strikes when you least expect it.” The novel was conceived from my desire to write about “mature” love.

I don't know about you, but I find that relationships change as I age. By acquiring more experience about people and the world, there’s an interplay between my inner needs and my outer experiences that causes a different reaction to - or outcome for - relationships than when I was young. I wanted my novel to explore the sense of "knowing" and "practicality" that comes from living and gaining knowledge about the world and its peoples. The novel’s protagonists are approaching middle age for that era. The heroine is late 30’s and the hero early 40’s.

The setting is Buffalo, Wyoming, in 1895. This territory had recently gone through range wars and there was an unsettled feeling between ranchers and farmers. My heroine, Ida Osterbach, is a farmer. The hero, Jared Buell, is a rancher. An added complication is that both Ida and Jared had happy first marriages with spouses now deceased. Neither wants nor needs a new relationship. In the novel, I try to express the practical considerations that inch them toward a relationship until chemistry can take hold and take over.

As I wrote their story, I had to remember that the exciting, “first discovery of true love” was over for both of them. They needed a different foundation on which to build a relationship and a marriage. I added a tone of earthiness that I do not add to my novels with younger protagonists.

From their first marriages, Ida and Jared were both comfortable with sharing their bodies and found no embarrassment in revealing them (despite the remnants of Queen Victoria’s prudish dictums for those times). The thrill that comes with the first experience of physical love is over for them. Their lovemaking is a means to exact the full measure of pleasure for themselves and for their partner. The "discovery" in POLITE ENEMIES is that even people who are at odds with one another over their properties and their social standings are not immune when love comes knocking.

We are constantly changing and evolving, whether for the better or for the worse. Life doesn’t stand still. As we evolve, our approach to this world -- including love -- changes. To have a novel mirror life, change must transform the lovers. Ida and Jared transition from polite enemy neighbors into lovers committed to marriage and a future together.

Have you noticed that your attitude toward relationships changes over time? It is this changed attitude I tried to capture in POLITE ENEMIES.

Let us know your experiences. What changed for you as you matured?

When JoAnn Smith Ainsworth carried wood as a pre-teen so her Great Aunt Martha could stoke up the iron stove to prepare dinner, she wasn’t thinking, “I could use this in a novel someday.” Yet, the skills she learned from her horse-and-buggy ancestors translate into backdrops for her historical romance and paranormal suspense novels.

MATILDA'S SONG (ISBN: 978-1-60504-195-7)

OUT OF THE DARK (ISBN: 978-1-60504-277-0)

POLITE ENEMIES (ebook ISBN: 978-1-61160-636-2; trade paperback: 978-1-61160-590-7)

THE FARMER AND THE WOOD NYMPH (ebook ISBN: 978-1-61160-660-7) release Dec. 2013

EXPECT TROUBLE (print ISBN: 978-1-61009-074-2) release 2014

Her debut medieval romantic suspense novels published by Samhain received 4 stars from RT Book Reviews.

To learn more, visit http://www.joannsmithainsworth.com, Twitter @JoAnnAinsworth or Facebook’s JoAnn Smith Ainsworth Fan Page.

Contact her at joannparanormal@gmail.com.

Visit @JoAnnAinsworth on Twitter and Facebook’s JoAnn Smith Ainsworth Fan Page.


Fiona McGier said...

I'm really happy to see more romances with older heroines and heroes! I despise the "virgin-billionaire" trope. I don't care how rich he is, any man that hits me will be singing soprano afterwards. And the idea of having to be "forced" to enjoy sex takes all of the voluntary thrill out of it for me, and makes it more like rape, which is definitely NOT sexy.

Give me a couple of seasoned, mature folks who both know how to give and receive the pleasure we can have with our bodies, and I'm much happier. Good luck with sales of this great-sounding book.

Unknown said...

"Give me a couple of seasoned, mature folks who both know how to give and receive the pleasure..." I'm with you on this, Fiona. You'll enjoy Ida and Jared. Thanks for the well wishes.

kelly said...

I'm a day late, but welcome back to the Naughty Nine, JoAnn. This is a very interesting post and I definitely think you're right, that relationships change as you grow older and (hopefully!) more mature. It's interesting to think about falling in love at an older age and how that's different. Good luck with your new release!