by | Feb 7, 2024 | Karna Small Bodman, The Writer's Life | 5 comments

By Karna Small Bodman

Satchel Page once said, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” That’s an intriguing question. I recently discovered one clever way to find out. I read an article in The Wall Street Journal about three companies/laboratories who use a DNA sample to estimate your “Biological Age.” I thought, “Why not try it?” So, I went to this website: and scrolled through their offers of vitamins and selected just their biological age kit. (Full disclosure – it costs $299). I sent for it, noting that they only ask your actual age and your email. I got the kit, returned it with my DNA sample, and waited a few weeks. Lo and behold, I received an email saying, “Your Results are ready.” And there it was – my “biological age” estimated to be 17 years younger than my actual age! I was astounded and energized to keep writing more novels!

When it comes to writing, age certainly didn’t make a difference for mega-bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark, who was dubbed “The Queen of Suspense,” and wrote until she passed away here in my home-town of Naples. She was 93. The last story she wrote, Where are the Children Now?, has been reprinted 77 times. All in all, her novels have sold 100 million copies.

Another author who never let age get in his way was Herman Wouk who finished his book, The Lawgiver, at the age of 97! For more than 50 years, he said he had dreamed of writing a novel about the life of Moses. This story is a romantic and suspenseful take on a group of people trying to make a movie about Moses in the present day. Of course, his better-known blockbuster books include Caine Mutiny and Winds of War.

Herman Wouk wrote his last novel, The Lawgiver, at age 97

As you can see here, age can be no impediment if you’re determined to succeed! 

By the way we are dog lovers, and we hope to see our two loveable Labradoodles live longer than their “normal” life span.  I read a book that gave me a lot of ideas about keeping our pups healthy. In The Forever Dog, the authors write about how certain chronic diseases affecting humans (cancer, obesity, diabetes) also affect canines, and this book gives practical advice to protect and extend their lives. 

Finally, our dogs inspired me to write a children’s picture book, Wrigley at the White House, which is the first in a series about a puppy living in the White House. After all, what child doesn’t love puppies?

Karna Small Bodman
Based in several states, including Florida

Karna Small Bodman is the author of five international thrillers that have hit #1 in Thrillers on Amazon and won several awards, as well as a series of children’s picture books. Her books were inspired by the six years she served in the Reagan White House, first as Deputy Press Secretary, later as Senior Director of the National Security Council where she was the highest-ranking woman on the White House staff. On book tours she has given over 400 speeches and interviews nation-wide.  When not writing or traveling, she is serving on several boards and swimming laps at their homes in Naples, FL, Washington, DC and Rancho Santa Fe, CA. 

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  1. Tosca Lee

    Love this Karna! I think travel, exercise, finding joy and curiosity each day, and filling your time with things you’re passionate about are the best anti-agers. Along with good food and hydration of course!

  2. Chris Goff

    We posed the question, how old do you think you are? as a mental exercise at a class reunion recently. We got back a variety of answers. Most (all of us around 60 years-old at the time) said we felt late-20s/early 30s, even though our bodies were beginning to defy that logic. My dad, age 75 at the time, told me he stayed 21. Then there was this one classmate who came back “12.” The funny thing was, we could all see it! The idea that biologically you could be younger than your years is interesting. Can you also we rated older than your years? Not sure I want to know.

  3. Lisa Black

    My brain says 30 but my body is definitely feeling all 60 years.

    When my mother had a TIA, a transient ischemic attack, she walked to my sister’s house next door, down the stone steps set into the slope of the hill. She had avoided walking these alone for years since they had no railing. She also thought she was 65 instead of 85, that I still lived in Ohio (instead of Florida), and so on. This condition only lasted a few hours and later she commented that she found it hard to believe she’d gotten down those steps without falling. My young nephew pointed out, but Grandma, you were only 65 years old, so it didn’t bother you!

    I don’t have a handy author example, as my favorite Alastair MacLean died too young, at only 64.

    • Lisa Black

      PS Mom was also a big Satchel Paige fan!

  4. Isabella Maldonado

    Great post, Karna. I, too, have a perceived age that’s younger than my bio age. There may be some denial involved, but I think it’s a mindset. I was raised by a woman who defied her age at every turn. She celebrated her 75th birthday by riding on a camel’s back by the pyramids in Egypt. A few years later, she took a cruise down the Danube. She took college courses well into her 80’s, and lived to be 97. With that kind of example, I don’t plan to slow down any time soon.