I have been reading a lot online about younger women having daddy issues when falling in love with an older man and I wanted to set the record straight. As a writer that tends to pair a younger woman with an older man in their late forties or fifties in my romance novels, I thought this would be an excellent topic to bring up in this blog.
Let's start from the beginning, where I will be as blunt as ever. I like older men. They could easily be twenty years older me and I will still be lusting after them. It's been this way since I was sixteen years old, and over a decade later it still hasn't changed. God, there is something about them. No, this isn't some illusive fantasy. There is something about the way they carry themselves. Their confidence and protective nature. The way they walk and dress themselves. They lived long enough to feel comfortable in their own skin, and don't give two shits what anyone else thinks about them. They have a secure job, somewhat established, and when it is time to look for a woman they have a good idea of what they want.
The thing about older men is they age like wine. Their body fills out, and they no longer have those thin, lanky looking body that they tend to sport in their teenage years. Facial hair starts to become thicker, their face begin to have lines and more defined features. The baby face is gone, and lo and behold they have this sexy looking face that is too hard to resist. I haven't even mentioned the greys yet, though I have found that is either a hit or miss for some women. Perhaps it is a preference, but the touch of grey in their facial hair and heaven forbid a streak of silver decorating their temples will always be a weakness.
Now as you can imagine school was a bore, it was more interesting to look at the teachers or professor than it was my own classmates. Boys my age did nothing but chase after girls their age for sex, and don't get me wrong for I know the older ones will do that too. The difference is the older men take their time doing it. They like to do the things the old-fashioned way, maybe because they have so much experience dating over the years that it is almost second-nature now.
Over the years I have thankfully discovered that I am not the only one sexually attracted to older men. Unfortunately, we are type cast as women that have "Daddy issues." The women I have met that prefer older men do not have issues with their fathers. Many of them, including myself have a relatively good relationship with them, and believe it or not we do not have the "Lolitia" complex either. This issue can be easily be resolved when you look at it from a new perspective, and that is maturity level. It is well know that men mature a lot slower than women. This is fairly evident for anyone that has ever went to school. While the girl is busy learning the alphabet and spelling out her name. it is the boy that is using lego to build a structure. Fast-forward a few years later while a student is learning about geometry with her classmates, it is usually the boy that is busy playing with their toy action figure that they brought from home. Girls have a longer attention span for the most part and extraordinary patience. For men these things come with time, and that means later in their adolescence. Therefore, when it comes time for a young teenage girl to develop a crush on someone it might not always be a boy, but a man that is ten or maybe even twenty years their senior. This is a common issue, something I have discovered when discussing the prevalent term of "Daddy issues" online. Fortunately, we women have learned to claimed this term as our own. We accept it, love it, and will gladly call our man "Daddy" if you'd let us. For some of us it is a kink, and for others it is just their thing. We like older men. We want to feel protected, loved, and cherished by them. If they happened to be older, it will undoubtedly cause some problems in our relationship, but one thing is certain- love is love, and whoever you are attracted to should not be an issue. As long as it's a healthy relationship where both partners respect each other, age should not matter.
For those women that have been perceived differently because they have a thing for older men, I would encourage you to pay the "haters" no mind. Society would like us to ideally be with a man two to three years older than us, but the thing is we cannot let society determine the perfect age for us to be matched too. At some point we have to make a decision that is best for us. We have to follow our heart (and our head) and decide whether this person is best for us. It won't be all rainbows and sunshine when dating an older man, but if they make you feel happy, worshipped, and loved then I say go for it! Go pursue that man of your dreams! People will talk, but if your friends and family truly love you, they will understand your decision to date a man that is significantly older then you. Remember, it has nothing to do with "Daddy issues," it is about following your own heart.
Over three years ago I published story online on a website called fanfiction.net. It was nerve-wracking, scary and I felt like I was walking into the unknown. I recall starting this process when I did not know a lot about fan-fiction writing, only that I was fascinated by two characters and thought I could retell their story better. I remember my writing style was different, mimicking those of a lost time period, vainly echoing those of Keats, Austen and the Brontë sisters purely because I read their works almost religiously. I suppose I had not found my "voice" quite yet, but I did notice I had a special knack for describing details of settings, nature and the clothing apparels of the character. I was naturally gifted at descriptive writing, perhaps, it is because of my years of exposure of poetry that I could describe a scenery almost like a painting. Still, I had not quite developed my voice quite yet.
Three years ago I decided to publish a story on fanfiction.net purely because it was where I first discovered this genre. There were few readers that were interested in my pairing however, so about six months later I switched over to Archive of Our Own (Ao3). I simply uploaded my completed work and waited to see if the readers response were still the same. It was the exact opposite, it was like an explosion of fireworks where I was flooded with readers comments and kudos like there was no tomorrow. Apparently, there was a huge fandom for that pairing, and they were all too eager to have some new material.
Three years later I have published almost thirty different stories online. The genres span from fantasy, sci-fi, horror to modern settings. I've experimented with different fandoms as well, not wanting to tie myself down to writing stories for the same two main characters. It was a good decision in hindsight, because it allowed me to meet new writers and ultimately friends online. Today I have a secure, tight-knitted group online where we can bounce off ideas and share our opinions on each other's works. To enter the fan-fiction world was ultimately one of the best decisions I have made in my life so far. I have made good friends from across the world from it. I've had the chance to read amazing stories, and help them with their writing when they get the dreaded writers block. I have developed a strong fan base that are in love with my work, and they were the ones that ultimately encouraged me to publish Cursed as an ebook.
Fan-fiction is something to be taken seriously. It can be a stepping stone for a writer. I have been writing stories since I was thirteen years old, but it has been websites such as fanfiction.com, Wattpad and Ao3 that have allowed me to publish my stories online to reach a wider audience. Therefore, I am thankful for being an avid fan-fiction writer because it has provided me with so many wonderful ideas. At the same time, I am excited to enter the publishing world and learn how to climb the ladder so that Cursed can eventually reach a world wide audience.
I want to talk about the five day challenge.
Cursed was written within a span of five days, where the final chapter "A Full Moon" was posted online for my friends on Halloween night. So, how did I manage to write a publishable story in such a short time period? I will share you some of my techniques and insights in the hope that you may do the same. Here's to all the aspiring writers. A fair warning there may be some spoilers revealed down below for Cursed, so tread lightly.
1. Have a vision
Being a visual learner and somewhat of an artist, I have the ability of envisioning scenes through moving pictures. For instance, I could imagine the layout of Blackthorn Campground quite vividly, including the old cottage that Damian resided in on the very edges of a dense pinewood forest. If you can see the layout of your story in your mind's eye, it will be easier to depict that same scenery through words. If I experience any difficulty imagining an appearance of a character or a landscape I tend to go on Pinterest to gather some inspiration. Fortunately, most of the background scenery was based on the uncharted wilderness where I live, so most of the layout was taken from areas that are close to my home.
2. Find your optimal time for writing
My greatest writings tend to occur in the early hours of the morning, so I am talking about the break of dawn. In the month of October I had an extremely busy schedule since I was working part-time while finishing up my last year in University. My time was demanded between these two social spheres, but I was determined to get this story out to the public before Halloween night. It meant sacrificing any time to sleep in, so that I could write a short chapter every day. Admittedly, it was hard to wake up and immediately start writing, but once I had a good cup of tea and some music (mainly soundtracks) it helped to put my thoughts down onto paper. I once heard that the best-selling writers tend to write a chapter everyday. It is a good routine, because after a while your body adopts to it, and quickly types up the next segment of your story without much mental requirement on your part.
4. A hard deadline
My last advice if you want to write a story in a short time period is to come up with a hard deadline. I decided to write this story very last minute, admittedly. I mentioned it online to a few of my friends that I wanted to write a Halloween story, and they got immediately excited at the prospect of it. When I posted the first few chapters I never told anyone that it was a werewolf story, I wanted them to figure it out for themselves. My plan was for them to become a detective like Sara, and slowly put the dots together. As each day passed by, I put in a few more red-flags, hoping they could catch onto the mysterious problem with Damian, and the reason he is so determined to not have anyone outside after dark. It wasn't until the last chapter that everything is revealed to the main characters. I specifically recall staying up until three in the morning typing away at the last chapter because it was the longest one I had ever written thus far, but also because it had the big reveal of Damian's truly sinister identity. The deadline gave me no choice, but to finish the story the night before Halloween.
I hope this gave you some encouragement to write a story of your own. Remember to get inspired by the world around you! It is never to late to finish that work in progress or to start a new one. If you need any advice or wish to comment, there is a section box down below for you to leave your thoughts. Happy writing!
- Peter Gray
Peter Gray is my pen name.
Why would a woman choose to write under a man's name? It is quite simple really, I was inspired by the journeys of the writers Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters.
A masculine pseudonym was the only means of publishing novels in the nineteenth century. Growing up, I used to read of the struggles of women publishing their work anonymously or using a masculine pseudonym. When it came time to publishing Cursed, it felt almost natural for me to go under a man's name.
Unfortunately, due to my involvement in the educational system, it would have been quite impossible for me to publish it under my real name. Do I regret it? No, not really. I enjoy my privacy, and in this day and age it is something to truly treasure. I hope you understand my reasoning of publishing stories under a male's name. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment below. I would be delighted to respond to them.