Have you always wanted to write but never seriously pursued it? Well, it’s never too late. Seriously!
Children’s author Mary Alice Fontenot was 51 when she wrote the first book in her popular children’s book series, “Clovis Crawfish”. She added 17 more books, writing until she died at age 93.
Laura Ingalls Wilder penned the first of her “Little House” books when she was in her mid-60s. Wilder’s first attempt at writing about her life came in her 50’s when her autobiography, “Pioneer Girl” was rejected by publishers. She kept reworking her idea and finally decided to tell the story in the third rather than first person. From those years of editing and rewriting came Little House in the Big Woods. Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote the last of the nine “Little House” books when she was 76-years old.
Lilian Jackson Braun found success at age 73 with her best-selling “The Cat Who” cozy-mystery series which centers around the life of former newspaper reporter, James Qwilleran, and his two Siamese cats, Koko and Yum Yum. Braun published 29 Cat Who books before her death at age 97.
And it’s not just book series that older writers have had success with. Some aging authors hit the mark with their debut novels.
Frank McCourt was 66-years old, and a retired teacher, when he published his best-selling memoir, Angela’s Ashes. It won a Pulitzer Prize, and he went on to write two more memoirs, ‘Tis and Teacher Man, before he died at age 78.
Richard Adams was 52 when he wrote Watership Down, a novel based on stories he told his daughters during a car trip. The book became a modern-day classic, and then Adams, who worked for the British Civil Service, quit his job to write full time. His new-found career led him to serve as Writer in Residence at the University of Florida and Hollins University in Virginia. He is currently 94-years old.
Late-bloomers are often successful and some find fame on the New York Times Bestseller List. It might surprise you that the average age of those who reached the top of the hardback fiction section of the list (1955-2004) was 50.5 years.
So, if you have always wanted to write but haven’t pursued it seriously, then get going! Right now. It’s never too late.
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