I don’t generally specify the age of my characters, unless it’s necessary (such as a college character needing to be of drinking age). But so far, they’ve all been at the younger end of the range.
I’m not entirely sure why I do that. Part of it has been because they were campus stories, but otherwise it’s just how I see them in my head. I’ve heard from other writers that older heroines, in particular, are outlawed by a lot of publishers – that young heroes and heroines are more attractive, in the romance field at least. Maybe they are. I admit I tend to associate older heroines more with dramas, sagas and historicals than with romance, erotic or otherwise.
Or maybe it’s because there are expectations attached to certain stages of life. Marriage. Children. Divorces. If you don’t want to tackle them in a romance, it’s easier to just put the character in their mid-twenties, when they could reasonably still be living free with all that to come.
I think at some point I will tackle an older heroine. How much older, I don’t know. But since I’m now in my thirties, I don’t think I can make any more excuses.
And they do say women reach their sexual peak in their thirties, don’t they? Roll on the erotica!