Imagine telling Nobel & Pulitzer Prize winner Toni Morrison that, at age 40, it was too late to publish The Bluest Eye. Or, telling Bram Stoker that at age 50 Dracula would never see print. How about Laura Ingalls Wilder who, in her mid-60s when she published Little House in the Big Woods, was (get ready for this language) too old. Then there's Raymond Chandler, who published The Big Sleep at 51. I can only imagine his reaction had he been told that it was too late to get published. Actually, simply imagining his reaction to such an absurd remark is rather enjoyable. And finally, can anyone who knows me imagine telling me that at age 61, I was too old to seek publication of Honeysuckle Holiday, much less a year later with Marble Town and Collected Curiosities? My reaction would have been the same as Morrison's and Wilder's, Stoker's and Chandler's. As a matter of fact, I am certain that each one of us, had we even heard the ridiculous comment would have chosen to not even dignify the assertion that our numeric age had anything whatsoever to do with the publication of our respective work. And I like that acknowledgement. I like that I'm keeping company with those literary giants -- at least in my certainty that age is irrelevant. And yet, it does -- unfortunately -- creep into all great undertakings. And, quite simply, that's wrong -- on every level. But to discover that it is alive and well in the publishing industry was something that I hadn't known until publication of my debut YA-novel, Honeysuckle Holiday. It's unnerving, at best. It's completely insulting, at worst. And yet it exists. And, like each of these so-called late bloomers, we shelve it -- and that's where it needs to stay put. Inactive, unimportant, and completely irrelevant.
In my research of published authors whose work was not published in their 20s or 30s, I happened upon www.bloom-site.com, a website dedicated to so-called late bloomers in the world of publishing. Check it out -- everyone. At the top of their page is this wording: "Late" according to whom? Precisely.