by Casea Major
I recently submitted a story to a quality small press and was offered a contract. The story is part of a series with two additionally completed manuscripts. When the publisher read the additional stories, they conditionally offered a contract with several revisions, one of which was that the hero in the second story was almost twice as old as the heroine and needed to be made younger.
As an across the board standard policy, that's fine. However, in this particular instance the age gap between the H/h in the second book (which is the one at issue) was significantly less than the age gap between the H/h in the first book (in which there was no issue). **Scratches head**
Why the difference?
Maybe it will help to take a little deeper look -- In the first book the heroine is a contemporary college student who is transported to a medieval fantasy world where she meets a man she assumes is late twenties. She is a worldly girl and has experience with men, albeit limited. As it turns out, aging in this fantasy world is different and while he looks younger he is really more than twice her age.
In the second book, the heroine is part of the fantasy world and the hero has known her all her life. He's watched her grow up. During her 19th Birthday Celebration he realizes he loves her and sets out to win her hand in marriage.
The heroines are the exact same age, but the older hero is perceived as ok while the younger isn't.
What are the differences that cause the ick factor in the one but not the other? Can they be defined?
Take for example recent news reports -- Why is it that the 41 year old man who left his wife for the 18 year old is considered a deviant predator while Hugh Hefner at 80 years old is on his umpteenth relationship with a twenty-year old and he's considered a legend?
Now don’t write me ugly letters - I'm not advocating either scenario as right or wrong. I'm saying that public perception is very different between the two. And I want to ask you gals – Why do you think that is? And should there be differences?
Food for thought – Edward Cullen is 105 when he marries Bella who is 18 years old. Is it because he looks young that makes it okay? If so, what does that say about our society?
By the way – in my current release with Decadent Publishing, Night with a Dom, the hero is older than the heroine. And you may ask yourself – why are all of Casea's stories older hero/younger heroine? That, my friends, is a post for a different day. LOL Maybe next time on Four Smart Women.
Thanks for having me.
Night with a Dom
Melody Manning’s workaholic ambition, coupled with a slave-driving former boss, has made her the youngest market analyst in her firm. It’s also killed her personal life, including losing her fiancé. When she receives a message from him on New Year’s Eve announcing his engagement to another woman, Mel loses it. Her new, more compassionate boss has the perfect solution for her—get laid. Good and laid.
At his suggestion, she signs up with the 1Night Stand service, listing her deepest sexual desires on the application. A speedy response from Madame Eve has Melody on her way to Sonoma Valley wine country and a one-night stand with a mysterious Dom.
The sexy, masked Master promises to get to the bottom of her guilt and provide ultimate satisfaction under the safety of his stern hand. After an emotional night of submission and uninhibited passion, will her lover’s unmasking lead to the end of their encounter or give Mel another chance at love?
Prior to becoming a writer of romantic fiction, Casea Major worked in the legal field for a non-profit dispute resolution company for ten years. She is now a full-time mom to three preschool children with whom she and her husband live happily...most of the time. When she isn't chained to her laptop, she enjoys Cary Grant movies and crocheting.