Over on his blog, Keith Brooke has been considering the announcement of the annual Granta Best Young Novelists under 40 and, prompted by a Twitter conversation on the subject, asking: what’s the big deal with 40 anyway? And it’s a decent enough question. Why should all the attention be given to the kind of novelist of who springs fully formed with an Eng Lit degree and a tutor who can give a personal introduction to a Booker winner’s agent? Why not instead to the people who forge their own route, fitting their writing into the cracks around their primary career, taking the longer road, but still potentially ending up in the same place?
Keith’s put together a top-of-the-head list of writers from the UK spec fic community who are over 40. A grumpy old man, list. Or Grampa, he calls it.
A bunch of writers who are every bit as promising as them Granta kiddies.
And I’m gratified to be included there, but you know…I don’t think of myself as old. Or even middle aged. I’ve been roughly the same age mentally since I was 16. I’ve been writing now for 20 years. It’s been a long road, writing in the cracks, getting stories published, getting books published, being nominated for awards, selling a novel. There’s loads more still to come, and I’m now in a place where I can devote more of my time to it.
I’m anything but grumpy.