On Saturday, Issue 3 of The Yellow Room arrived, and being too beleagured by seasonal franticness to engage with the writing there and then, I settled for skimming through the ‘bios’ – helpfully picked out in bold at the end of each story. To a certain extent this is dangerous – these people sound so interesting compared to dull old me – and is there anyone who doesn’t have an M.Litt from somewhere theses days?
But one in particular cheered me up. Suzie Lockhart Smith author of Running Dreams, states up front that she ‘is sixty and lives in Bristol.’ Now some of my closest friends are 60 + and if the government hadn’t changed the rules I would be looking forward to the bus pass moment myself. But there is a common assumption that to make it in any commercial writing you have to either be young, look young, or sound young. This is no carried story. One feature-writer friend even puts on a ‘girly voice’ when ringing the bright young things to whom she has submitted copy.
The Yellow Room is more literary than commercial, but it’s still good that Suzie Lockhart-Smith is happy to own up to her years and the benefits they have no doubt brought her. With the weekend over (and my Christmas shopping cracked!) hers was the first story I read – and it’s fabulous.