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Jul. 2nd, 2005

So the other day my dad made me a little paranoid by talking about how he'd seen an interview with some major author, and that author had been commenting on how the vast majority of great authors peaked in their mid-30s (that is, wrote their best work then). Supposedly this dude had done lots of research to back this up. I argued a bit that I found that hard to believe, 'cause I knew I'd read plenty about people who didn't get published until their forties or whatever, but I could remember specifics. My dad was convinced (and he's not a stupid guy by any means). So I was a little worried that it was true. Unless I'm an anomoly, I only have ten years left to produce my best stuff! Ack! *commence lots of running around a la chicken with head cut off*

However, being the logical person that I am, I decided to do a little of my own research before I totally freaked over it. :D I think some of you might feel as relieved as I did, seeing what I found:

Richard Adams: Watership Down at 52.

Lloyd Alexander: the Prydain books, from 40 to 44, Westmark at 57.

Natalie Babbitt: Tuck Everlasting at 43.

Arthur C. Clarke: A Fall of Moondust at 44, 2001: A Space Odyssey at 51.

Beverly Cleary: the Ramona books starting at 39, The Mouse and the Motorcycle at 49, Dear Mr. Henshaw at 67.


Roald Dahl: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at 48, The BFG at 66, The Witches at 67, Matilda at 72.

Peter Dickinson: Eva at 61, The Kin at 72.

Edward Eager: the Magic books (all he wrote) from 43 to 51.

Michael Ende: The Neverending Story at 47.

William Golding: Lord of the Flies at 43, Darkness Visible at 68.

Robert Heinlein: Starship Troopers at 52, Stranger in a Strange Land at 54, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress at 59.

Hemingway: published a couple of his major works in his twenties, but then there's For Whom The Bell Tolls (at 41) and The Old Man and the Sea (at 51).

Eva Ibbotson: Which Witch at 54, The Secret of Platform 13 at 69.

Diana Wynne Jones: the Chrestomanci series from 43 to 54, Fire and Hemlock at 50, Howl's Moving Castle at 52.

Ursula LeGuin: Earthsea Trilogy from 39 to 43, The Left Hand of Darkness at 40, The Lathe of Heaven at 42, Tehanu at 61

Madeleine L'Engle: A Wrinkle in Time at 44, A Wind in the Door at 55, A Swiftly Tilting Planet at 60.

Elmore Leonard: La Brava at 58, Get Shorty at 65, Out of Sight at 71.

C.S. Lewis: Screwtape Letters at 43, the Narnia books from 52 to 58.

Anne McCaffrey: the Pern series from 42 to 70 or so.

Vladimir Nabokov: Lolita at 56, Pale Fire at 63.

George Orwell: Animal Farm at 42, 1984 at 46.

Terry Pratchet: started Discworld series at 35 (still continuing; he's currently 59), Good Omens at 44, The Wee Free Men at 57.

Philip Pullman: the His Dark Materials series from 49 to 53.

Shel Silverstein: Where the Sidewalk Ends at 42.

Zilpha Keatley Snyder: The Egypt Game at 40, The Changeling at 43, The Headless Cupid at 45, The Truth About Stone Hollow at 47, A Fabulous Creature at 55.

Tolkien: The Hobbit at 45, The Lord of the Rings, written over the course of 16 years (age 46-62, approx.).

Vivian Vande Velde: Dragon's Bait at 41, Heir Apparent at 51.

Cynthia Voight: Dicey's Song at 40, On Fortune's Wheel at 48.

Kurt Vonnegut: Mother Night at 40, Cat's Cradle at 41, Slaughterhouse-Five at 49, Breakfast of Champions at 53.

E. B. White: Stuart Little at 46, Charlotte's Web at 53, The Trumpet of the Swan at 71.

Connie Willis: Domesday Book at 47, To Say Nothing Of The Dog at 52.

John Wyndham: The Chrysalids at 52, The Midwich Cuckoos at 54.

Jane Yolen: Dragon's Blood at 43, The Devil's Arithmetic at 49, Briar Rose at 53.


Maybe it's just me, but somehow it's a relief to know that even if I'm 60 by the time my first book is coming out, it could still be damn good.

And because I did promise kitty pics...



"Can we pleeeease go out on the balcony, Mom?"


Kitty chair kung-fu.


Everyone's favourite chair.


Enjoy!

mlc

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
skutir
Jul. 2nd, 2005 09:42 am (UTC)
My peak is passed.
somedaysawriter
Jul. 3rd, 2005 07:12 am (UTC)
Thank you for this post...and the kitty pics.

-She who will be 30 in 6 days.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

My Books


Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014


The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015


A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015


The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012


The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013


The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014


Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014


Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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