Picture this, if you will. Cardiff, 2018, and my husband and I are getting ready for a night out. The first trauma, what the hell to wear? Our wardrobes are full of outfits from a by-gone era…our youth lol. Once upon a time, I had a trim twenty-eight-inch waist and a pert little bum. One has spread while the other headed south. Go figure! Oh what to wear? Both of us hunt through our collection in an attempt to find something that does not resemble a tent!
Then there is the face. Now this may take some time, as we both have to apply a selection of creams and age defying lotions. As I look in the mirror, I see myself gazing back at me, but not the middle-aged face that I know is there, but a younger me.
“Doesn’t matter what you do, you know, you are still going to look the same.”
“Hey!” I cry disgruntled. “It’s worth a try!”
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, you are no longer young after all.”
Damn cheek. But the younger me is right. Next year I will turn fifty, and my husband has already passed that particular milestone.
After almost thirty years of being together, we are contented with the way we have grown into each other. Despite our bodies changing from the young things we used to know. We have been on more diets and tried more face creams than you can imagine. In a world dominated by six-packs and beautiful bodies, we are lucky that we have each other, because neither of us has ever conformed to such an ideal, even in our youth. And that is why I wrote ‘The Man Inside Me’, a book dominated by two older men.
In a world ruled by gorgeous hunks with bodies that could crack nuts, I thought it was time to tell the story of an older generation, a story about two old friends who loved each other once, and who try to love each other again in a society that despises them. The older gay man is a man of deep passions, and great experience. The older gay man will have had to fight for the right to hold his lover’s hand and be with him openly. The older gay man will have been beaten and made fun of most of his life. An older gay man will have lost family and friends because they do not like what he is. That is the history and the experience of an older gay man, and that is reflected in the pages of this book with a Victorian society that would see them imprisoned for loving each other.
While this book may be a good old-fashioned love story, albeit with a twist, there is also a deeper meaning in there that I hope comes through. These men deserve to find love again. Just because they are older, wider, greyer, that does not exclude them from re-kindling their desires. As such, during the course of the book, we learn about their youth, and the passions that drive them. We see how life gets in the way. We feel the pain of looking at someone and loving them, but not being able to tell them or touch them. This book is about their journey to find a love that once burned so fiercely in their hearts and was lost due to the conventions of society and circumstance.
If you know my other works, specifically my Dead Camp series, you know how I love to write complex interweaving stories. ‘The Man Inside Me’ is a book of complex emotions. Sometimes shit happens, and it can stop us in our tracks. The person we thought would be by our side forever is gone, and there are not always straight forward reasons for that. By the time you sort out your mess of a life, your youth has slipped away, and you are perhaps not as vital as you once were. Age is something we all have to face, and we may not stay slim and pretty forever. But what if you could somehow recapture your youth? What if somehow, you could be sexy again? Would you do it? Would you turn back time to a younger, more attractive you? My husband and I have often had this conversation, but we know that we have to grow old as gracefully as we can, albeit with the help of face creams! But if someone out there has a magic wand…
‘The Man Inside Me’ is a different kind of MM Romance. Set in the 1800’s, it uses old fashioned language to reflect its age. And while I say it is more of a straight forward love story than my Dead Camp series…well, please…you do know me, don’t you? The format of this story is unusual and complex, and certainly not linear. There is also a twist that takes place which may result in you swearing rather loudly, and possibly even cursing me. If so, then my job is done, because I wrote this book to show that age really is just a number, and love has to be nurtured and never taken for granted, whether you are twenty or fifty. I may be growing older on the outside, but the man inside me is as young and vibrant as ever!
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