Nancy Roman

What It Looks Like

In my last post, I described a fictitious (but totally plausible) conversation of younger women’s view of older women. Their view: Old women are OLD.

But it’s perfectly natural.

When I was ten, someone twenty was old. And then forty seemed really old when I was twenty. And although I abhor those women I wrote about (even though I made them up) who thought sixty was old – but I confess, I certainly thought that sixty was OLD when I was forty. And now that I am over sixty, I know for sure that over eighty is OLD.

And I learned the painful truth of this reality a few month ago.

I was working on the finishing touches for my book. Most important to me was the cover. Because you CAN judge a book by the cover. We do it all the time. Just ask Amazon.

Some very loyal readers have actually suggested that I should have illustrated the cover myself. But I had no wish to represent my book by some silly little illustration. I wanted something really PRETTY.  And I just don’t have the patience to draw something pretty. If I spend more than forty-five minutes on a drawing, I am guaranteed to screw it up, just because I get bored on minute forty-six and rush to finish.

So I sought out a cover designer. She came well-recommended and I checked her portfolio and her other cover designs were truly lovely.

So I hired her. I told her about my book. That the main character was fifty years old, and that much of the book was humorous, and I wanted the cover to represent this fifty-year-old with a great sense of humor.

And I found out something crucial when she sent me back her design.

She is obviously young.

Because her idea of a funny fifty-year-old was:


really old



I won’t show you her design because I don’t have the rights to the photo, but I’ve drawn a version:


You may think that I am exaggerating, but truly, NO.

Her cover was WORSE!


I emailed her back immediately, and said, “No, No, No!  Fifty isn’t old!  Fifty is YOUNG! Fifty is PRETTY!”

And I found a stock photo that I loved and sent it to her, and she loved it too, and made me a lovely, beautiful cover:

book cover small

Beautiful. Probably despite the likelihood that she thought a fifty-year-old could not possibly look like this. But fifty looks like this TO ME – at sixty-three.

So what does fifty look like to you?

Who do you think of when you think ‘Fifty’?  Who would play Cynthia in the movie version?

Tell me, please.

There are prizes attached.

My book, of course!

I will ask for votes in my next post and give away copies of my book, Just What I Always Wanted,  to the top three vote-getters.


  1. Julia Roberts.


    • Oooh, nice! And she’s like 46, which is my perfect idea of 50!


  2. divaforaday

    Fifty is the together age. You work out what suits you. You work out what makes you happy. Best of all, if you’re lucky, you don’t give a rats what anyone else thinks. So, that brings confidence, and more than half of pretty is confidence!!


  3. Sandra Bullock? I Loved your book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh that’s good! She’s just fifty and very sexy in a wholesome kind of way… I’m thrilled you liked the book. If you haven’t reviewed it yet on Amazon or Goodreads, I would be so grateful if you would.


  4. Laurie

    Me! I’m fifty! And I deal quite a bit with older Shannon’s, who often have younger Shannons in tow (if they haven’t lost them to the system)


    • Good choice. Can you get away from your job while the movie shoots?


  5. Cyndi L

    Susan Sarandon


    • Susan Sarandon looks great! But she is 67, so I’m not sure that’s what I would want to play Cynthia. Maybe to play ME!


  6. Julia Roberts came to my mind as I was reading this book but then Diane Lane would be awesome as well. She was great in the Tuscany Sun movie!


    • Diane Lane is a wonderful choice. I LOVE the way she has aged… she looks REAL – AND BEAUTIFUL!


  7. Meg Ryan — but I must admit I haven’t read your book yet. I will soon, though, I promise!


    • Meg is cool – and I think a much better actress than she gets credit for. I’d give her a long advance notice though – time to let all the botox and collagen settle.
      And BTW, you don’t have to have read my book to comment – I’m really just looking to see what FIFTY means to everyone.


  8. Diane Lane ~ with that sexy hair and hot body? Heck yeah! 🙂


  9. Diane Lane is a clear winner and I chose her as well. Love your cover and that face can stand in for 50 as easy as butter, even 55. 😀


    • I agree-of course the woman on my cover could be 55 – 55year olds are gorgeous! And Diane Lane would be perfect!


  10. Courteney Cox with curly hair!


    • Interesting choice.. and she has great comic timing, which would work well for my character.


  11. I haven’t read the book yet but Michelle Pfeiffer is fabulous as is Nicole Kidman and Emma Thompson. All are age appropriate!


    • All great choices. I am liking the idea of Emma Thompson. And Nicole Kidman is tall – like Cynthia. And Michelle – well, wow!


  12. I’m 67 and that cover photo could be me. In my own mind, anyway. Or maybe in my dreams….


    • Someone asked me if it were me… and they were looking right at me at the time! I was delighted!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Every time I write anything about a woman over 50 and under 70 and I’m casting it in my head, I think of Meryl Streep. Because, of course, she’s Meryl Streep.


    • Meryl is a little old for Cynthia… but she could probably play young – she can play anything.


  14. Ray G

    Please excuse me for not wanting to compete in your contest, but I have a side-note. No matter how old one gets, one tends to think like a 20-30 year-old, when one reaches full adult maturity. The mind doesn’t age, though the body surely does. This is somewhat scary, and hopeful, at the same time. Scary if we think about fellow people who are definitely older, and hopeful if we think that we will still have a “young” mind regardless of our age.
    Now, for your contest, “Pegoleg” surely has the right lady in mind: Meryl !


    • Exactly. Mom at 90 says that although her body is failing, she doesn’t feel one bit different than she did at 30.


  15. i still remember the day i took my youngsters to an indoor water park full of nubile teenagers and realized i was chcking out their moms. that auto-adjust haws continued. 50? i’m in love.


  16. Me, or Sandra, or Julia…but me and I will be 57 this month. I think your cover is perfect.


    • Who wouldn’t choose you over Sandra or Julia?


  17. I would like to throw Kyra Sedgwick’s name into the hat. She’s only 49, but by the time filming starts, she’ll be 50. 🙂 She’s funny, and smart, and would look right at home in Maya Maria clothes! I really liked the book, by the way. How about Ellen Burstyn for her mom?


    • That is PERFECT casting for BOTH! I love this idea! And I am delighted that you like the book. I am asking readers to post a review for me on Amazon if you are comfortable doing that… (marketing is very difficult for me and I could use all the help I can get….)


  18. My vote is Julianne Moore.


  19. I so hear you, sister! Over at Humoring the Goddess, I talk about getting older but denying the thought that its any different than any other age. I, too, remember 60 being ancient…I am 61 and have yet to slow down. The only difference is I might ache a little bit more when I call it a night.


    • My mother is 90. She tells me that although her body won’t cooperate, she feels EXACTLY like the same person she was at 30.


  20. I like Dianne Lane as well but I would like to put forth a Canadian option Kim Cattrall. She is beautiful, sexy and very funny. Just picture if they had given her a kid to interact with on “Sex in the City”.


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