I Am The Champion

BurritoTHERE are two things I’m particularly passionate about. First, I’m a breakfast pusher. I believe in the value of breakfast. I believe in the power of breakfast. I believe in the phenomenal potency of the Breakfast Burrito. Eat breakfast, kids!

Second, I believe in love — love at any and every age. I believe in the value of women. I believe in the power of women. I believe in the phenomenal potency of women over 40. I value the power and potency of mature-aged women. I believe in the value, the power and potency of older women in love. Love may be presented as a ‘young woman’s story,’ yet women (and men) of all ages fall in love. However, these tales of more mature love are are seldom shown. Rather than as a protagonist, women of a certain age are relegated to the sidelines as minor characters, as stereotyped roles. Or older women are simply invisible. Romance purports to have ‘something for everyone,’ and is typically at the forefront of innovation and quick to reflect social change. This is the reason why I chose to focus my PhD research on the roles and representations of women and age in romance fiction. This is also the reason why I write romance novels that place older-than-40 women front and centre, as the love interest, as the heroine in the love story. I want to push the boundary I know to be flexible. I want to be innovative and shift the stereotypes of middle-aged and older women, to place them as . And I’m kind of chuffed (stoked for you in the USA) that the local news paper wanted to talk about my work.

See, Kids? I AM the CHAMPION!

19 Sep 2013 City North News by Marnie Ludgate 

Scribe defies a novel norm


SANDRA Antonelli is a paperback hero for readers tired of seeing older women relegated to the shadows in romance literature.

The local author, who is a manager at a Grange psychology practice, has set out to oust the stereotypes of cougars and evil stepmothers and return older women to positive lead roles.

Antonelli’s book, For Your Eyes Only, was released last week by digital publisher Escape Publishing and aims to counter the bias of young women in lead roles.

“I noticed everyone in romance fiction remained in an age range. When (women) hit 40 that was it, they kind of disappeared,’’ she said.

“Some of the reason you don’t see a lot of mature age women (in lead romantic roles) are based around cultural norms. There is an idea grandmas don’t have sex or older women aren’t interested in falling in love … clearly that’s not the case.’’

Outside fictional writing, Antonelli has further explored the roles and representations of older women in her PhD studies, Cougars, Grannies, Evil Stepmothers, and Menopausal Hot Flashers: Roles, Representations of Age, and the Non-traditional Romance Heroine.

“If you’re an older woman you can you be a super sleuth but you can’t be a romantic lead. Sure, go ahead and solve a crime but no one will love you,’’ she joked.

It took four years to get a publisher to accept her first novel, A Basic Renovation, released earlier this year.

“They always say the same thing – ‘I’m not sure how to market this or if there is a market for this.’’’  But since overcoming the publishing hurdle, the feedback has been great.

“I’ve had very positive feedback from readers and social media to embrace the idea of greater representation of women,’’ she said.


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