The War Within by Tye Shirelle (plus a free book!)

nicwar3 correct coverpix Congratulations to jay. She won The War Within by Tye Shirelle! Woo!

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.

Good Luck!

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.


profilepic3I 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.



  1. Oohh wow!! I would love to read that book, and quite possibly share it. I’m Kenyan and in kenya and Africa as a whole, gay couples are seen as a taboo. Its illegal in most countries here so we have to hide most of the time for fear of imprisonment or worse. My wifes biggest fear has been to bring children into this world who will suffer because of the choose we made to have them in a country that gay relationships are unnatural and foreign. I want kids so badly but I have to worry about their future. I’m simply for answers, should I? Or shouldn’t I? I want people to accept us so we can live and love with nothing to worry about. I’m left with a lot of what if’s.
    Thank you for this post though, it definitely put me back my thinking cap.


  2. Thank you all for your enthusiasm and supportive comments. I wish you all luck. Jay, I am so very sorry that you are essentially being deprived of the joy of being a parent by fear of your society and that you are living in such hateful conditions. I pray everyday that acceptance spreads around the world. Until it reaches where you are, I wish you love, happiness and some semblance of peace.


  3. Much success to you on your novel 🙂 It is my hope that in the near future we will just be referred to as a family; not as a lesbian family…stay strong and let the small minded people in your community stay as just that: small!


  4. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Bless you, your wife and children. I look forward to reading The War Within.


  5. Tye, I bought and downloaded your book already. I so believe stories like these need to be shared–just look at Jay’s words above. I suffer from depression that’s controlled by medication, and although I’ve never experienced what Kira and her mom have, I’ve had friends and relatives who have, and have watched them shift from one extreme to the other, sometimes violently. I know that mental illness has been a taboo topic for a long time, and is a topic ripe for exploration within the lesbian realm. Tying into the story of what a lesbian family is (a family like any other) makes the tale all the more poignant. Thank you for writing this story.


  6. Ditto what Jessie Chandler said. I have Bi-polar Depression and even without a family, it is a struggle. I can’t imagine trying to live with it and have children of my own, which has it’s own issues. Thank you for bringing this into the light and I will try to Vulcan Mind Meld Jove so I can win the copy of the autographed Print version!


  7. As one who lives in a very rural area of North Carolina, all I can say is, “bless you!” I totally get what you’re saying.


  8. I am delighted to hear that so many of you were able to relate to the characters in the story. Mental illness not only affects those who suffer from it but also those around them. Having love and support can make a world of difference. Hopefully, in the future mental illness won’t carry such a negative stigma and will be looked at as a trait and not a disability. Please tell anyone who will listen about the book and/or write a review if you have read. I too believe that stories like these should be shared. Thank you.


  9. Welcome Tye! It is so nice to meet you. Your book looks intriguing and I hope to read it soon.
    Thank you for being here and for giving away a copy of your book. I look forward to getting to know you better.


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