The blog tour for my novella, Over Your Dead Body, is kicking off today and I was doing up some promotional material over the weekend. This involved me trawling through a number of stock image sites looking for appropriate photos.
Over Your Dead Body is the story of Ryan Kennedy and how he came to realise he was gay and the challenges he faced and the choices he made in relation to that realisation. So, naturally enough I was searching for images that involved some male on male action. It was the weekend so of course the kids were in and out of the office, wondering what I was doing and when I was going to be available to play with them. My seven year old son had wandered in a few times, not particularly paying attention to what I was doing but then he came right up beside me and looked at the images on the screen.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
I explained about the blog tour and that I needed to make up a few promotional images in relation to the story.
“But why do you have photos of a man kissing a man?” he asked.
I explained how the story is about a man who is attracted to men. (He understands the concept. When homosexuality is referred to in our house it is in the same context as heterosexuality, it’s just a matter of who you want to be with – whether that’s a man who wants to be with a woman or man who wants to be with a man or woman who wants to be with a woman. It doesn’t matter. However, he hasn’t yet seen a man kissing a man.)
“What happens to the man in the story?” he asked.
I explained how some people don’t accept homosexuality and that this man’s mum and dad didn’t love him any more after they found out he was gay and this had a huge effect on his life.
My son’s face fell and his eyes became sad.
“They didn’t love him any more? he whispered, like that was the worst thing that could ever possibly happen.
“No,” I replied.
My son turned to me, his little face blighted with confusion and sadness for this man in the story.
“And what happens if I love a man when I grow up” he asked, “will you and Daddy still love me?”
I pulled him to me and kissed his little cheek.
“My beautiful boy,” I said, “whether you love a man or you love a woman, me and Daddy will always love you.”
He smiled, threw his arms around me in a monster hug and walked happily out the door.
Over Your Dead Body encompasses all the pain and suffering I have witnessed over the years of friends and acquaintances who have had to face rejection and even abuse by those closest to them, just because they were gay. Ryan eventually comes through it all and finds his happy ending, sadly this is not the case for all.