Have you noticed that the main characters in some series novels never seem to age? I don’t know how many Alex Cross novels James Patterson has written over the years, but Dr. Cross seems to be forever a vaguely middle-aged man, probably in his late forties. Patterson is not alone – several of my favorite authors ignore the aging question entirely or pay it little attention. Doc Ford, Anna Pigeon, and the great Travis McGee come immediately to mind.

I like to see characters in a series age because I want to see their lives develop. I realize that makes things harder for the author. Certain plot points and action sequences that work for a thirty year old character won’t work when that character turns sixty. I love Alex Cross, Doc Ford, Anna Pigeon, and Travis McGee, but I would love them more if we could just grow old together.