Super Grandma and stylish seniors
Those over eighty-five and above are one of the fastest growing demographics but are often hampered by unfair stereotypes about their abilities and role in society. This is particularly acute among older women, said Australian author and retired psychologist Mark Biggs. I’ve written the, “Max & Olivia” series as a celebration of older people. Perhaps I was a little cavalier when choosing a grumpy old man, eighty-seven-year-old Max and his renegade wife Olivia, as the main characters, yet they provided an inspiring platform through which to challenge the accepted chronicle of aging.
None of us will experience ageing identically, yet young people often dream of the rebellious freedoms of old age. To appeal to this wider audience these liberties are lived by Max and Olivia while at the same time, embedded within the stories, is a serious narrative that explores the diversity and challenges of being seniors. The books invite the reader to experience ageing rather than fearing it.
There are three books in the Max and Olivia series: Operation Underpants, Claudia and the newly released Operation OBE (over bloody eighty). They could be read as just a humorous, action and adventure tale set against the current geo-political environment which challenges the international order we have known since World War II. But they can also stimulate thinking about ageing and longevity within our contemporary society.
The series starts with Operation Underpants, set in Australia where 87-year-old ex-spies Max and Olivia live in a nursing home forgotten and waiting to die. After finding a secret message in the newspaper they are called back into action. They must escape from Bellbird Village and return to the UK with the fate of London and much of the world hanging in the balance. The adventures continue in Claudia, when Max & Olivia face their greatest challenge, Claudia, a feared Russian Mafia assassin. Olivia escapes the watchful eyes of MI6 and tracks her beloved husband across Europe, leaving in her wake a delicious trail of chaos. The series concludes in Operation OBE. Living out their days on board the Queen Mary 2, Max and Olivia are suddenly dragged back into the world of international espionage and an undeclared war with Russia.