Is There a Place for Older Authors? by Michael R. French

Approaching 30, Adrian, a talented software engineer, takes stock of his wealth and accolades – and how unhappy he is. He doesn’t make friends easily, dislikes social media, and was bloodied in a divorce. He finds no common purpose in a country defined by political vitriol, distrust, and inequality. Taking a leave of absence from his company, he travels to Japan with a samurai sword that his grandfather stole from a Japanese captain in World War Two. Adrian is determined to find its rightful heir. Doing the morally correct thing, he hopes, will make him feel better about his life. Ghost with Two Hearts is now available to purchase in print and as an e-book at  Add it to your GoodReads reading listing as well.


Is There a Place for Older Authors?

I’ve been writing and publishing for almost fifty years. Through successes and disappointments, through the detours where life takes you with no exit signs in sight, perseverance pays a dividend. The best way to understand who I am and how I’m evolving as a person turns out to be through my writing. My cognitive age is somewhere in my forties.  Emotionally, I rank myself between twenty-five and seventy-eight (my chronological age), because I think my empathy gene is healthy. Curiosity and the desire to explore are ageless. In fact, they may get better with time.

Readers, of course, have different tastes, interests, focuses, and obsessions that usually reflect generational challenges. That was certainly true for me, starting in high school. But my reader friends and I back then, as now, had our favorite classics. Mine was Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. I also loved war novels written well before I was born, starting with All Quiet on the Western Front. Emotional and intellectual explorations about why humans go to war are both generational and timeless. My generation dealt with the Vietnam conflict.

Mixing one’s imagination with memory, to produce effective stories, is something that may also get better with the passage of time. I’ve learned writing techniques over the years I didn’t have when I was younger, not just about characters and plot but how and when to show emotion. When I was younger, I was terrible at controlling my own emotions—I was an instant gratification dude—but writing helped settle me down. In order not to produce something instantly forgettable, you teach yourself to write with a certain objectivity where care and precision are honored.    

We live in a judgmental, temperamental, and skeptical society. It’s not always a pretty place. Writing is a safe harbor. It’s also self-empowering. No matter how old you are, or how long you’ve been writing, no one can tell you that your career is necessarily winding down.


About the Author: Michael R. French graduated from Stanford University where he was an English major, focusing on creative writing, and studied under Wallace Stegner.  He received a Master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.   He later served in the United States Army before marrying Patricia Goodkind, an educator and entrepreneur, and starting a family. In addition to publishing over twenty titles, including award-winning young adult fiction, adult fiction, biographies and self-help books, he has written or co-written a half-dozen screenplays, including Intersection, which has won awards in over twenty film festivals.  He has also had a long business career in real estate, living in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  His passions include travel, collecting rare books, and hanging out with friends and family.   He describes his worst traits as impatience and saying “no” too quickly; his best are curiosity, taking risks, and learning from failure. French’s work, which includes several best-sellers, has been warmly reviewed in the New York Times and been honored with a number of literary prizes.

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