Hey folks! Happy Sunday morning! We have a new (to me) author with us this morning. Tye Shirelle is the author of the book The War Within.
Tye is giving away a signed paperback copy of The War Within to one lucky winner here at Women and Words. To enter the drawing, leave a comment in the space below. Heck, take the opportunity to introduce yourself to Tye. As always, I’ll do the drawing and announce the winner this upcoming Friday, 10/3.
The War Within
by Tye Shirelle
Fifteen years ago when I decided that I wanted to get married and have a family, the idea that we might not be fully accepted in the new millennium never even crossed my mind. I grew up in Northern New Jersey and went to college in the north, so I thought that since I never had a problem, that the rest of the world would be just as accepting. I can’t believe I was ever that naïve.
A few months ago I had a storyline in my mind that I felt should be shared. I am married to a woman and we have two children, 10 & 12 years-old. We live in a very cookie cutter suburban area in a very conservative state. In all the years that we have lived here we have yet to find another gay or lesbian family. I am sure that they exist, we just haven’t found any and we are very active in our community. All of our daughter’s friends either come from heterosexual, two parent households or a single parent household. Through the years our children have lost friends, endured horrible comments and remarks, even a little bit of teasing. Parents who were perfectly fine with their kids coming over to our house and sometimes attending sleepovers, begin to make up various excuses as to why their child can’t come over for play dates at our house or to a sleepover once they meet my wife and realize that we are a lesbian couple.
People who know me or my wife as their child’s teacher, tutor, or Girl Scout Troop Leader, react a little less dramatically, but we are essentially kept at an arms length. You know the “nice enough people and fun to talk to but not suitable to hang out with or invite to holiday parties syndrome.” As a result of that small mindedness, our children have experienced and suffered unnecessary hurt. As they’ve gotten older, our children have come to understand that there isn’t anything wrong with our family and that we are not different from other families. Their parents just happen to be two women and that realization has helped to take the sting out of the rejection a little for them. One of the main reasons I can think of for people to distance themselves and their children from us is due to the stereotypes floating around about the way in which we live our lives.
With that in mind, when I sat down to write my book, I sought to illustrate that gay and lesbian unions work just the same as heterosexual unions. Our families function the same way, we are committed, we go through ups and downs, we fight to support one another and to maintain our relationship. We worry about our children, if they are happy, are being kind to others, doing the right thing, or succeeding in school. I wanted to try and help those who have this misconception stuck in their mind recognize that we are people, human beings, who should be understood for who we as individuals and not by the typecast image that society has forced upon our community. We are all trying to survive and be happy in this complex world.
Additionally, I aimed to bring some awareness to a disorder that is not that well-known and rarely understood. Someone that is very close to me suffers from this disorder and for years I have watched her struggle with her symptoms, and people who didn’t comprehend or empathize, judge her and remark that she is overwhelming, or certifiable, or overall exasperating. She was my inspiration for how I developed Kira, the main character in my book “The War Within.” I brought together the two most significant aspects of the book and rolled them into Kira. She is married with children but she also suffers from the same mental disorder which makes things hit her harder and stronger than most people and cause her to spiral out of control. However, with treatment, it is a manageable disorder and people can lead very normal lives and not be defined by their illness. Kira and Avery are a lesbian couple who deal with the day to day problems that couples face. Kira discovers that Avery has betrayed her and she stops taking her medication which only causes more problems. I am currently working on (Book Two) of The War Within Series.
I live in Northern Virginia, USA with my wife and two daughters. I am an avid reader and writer. I have taught middle and high school English for ten years. I have many artistic interests and have worked as an independent photographer. I created the book cover for “The War Within” and several other products. A devoted mother, I started out writing short stories as bedtime entertainment when my children were little. The stories would continue to get longer and longer each time I would write one, so when a storyline popped into my mind, I decided to try my hand at writing a novel. I wrote “The War Within” while on leave from work. It took me four months to complete it. I couple my life experiences with my knowledge of page turning themes to bring to life amazing stories.