My 88 year old grandfather has read everything from Jackie Collins to Terry Pratchett to Judy Nunn to David Baldacci to autobiographies of sports stars and politicians, and he’s even read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. He’s also read the first three of my books in the Ruthless Beings series, in ebook format, and he thoroughly enjoyed them. He said he couldn’t put them down. That was a real compliment, because he has put books down and not wanted to read any more of them.
I asked if he had any questions. He checked he had the story straight. He did. He asked about polyamory. He found that a bit hard, it wasn’t something in his generation, not that people knew of anyway. I read him my blog post ‘Being Polyamorous’. He understood. Then he said “Why is there so much love in these books?” I said ‘what do you mean?’ He said “I don’t know, they’re always kissing and cuddling.” I couldn’t help but laugh. He did too. He understood perfectly. He knew where the characters had come from and what they’d been through. It stands out for him because he misses kissing and cuddling.
My grandparents were always a demonstrative couple, but Nanna has been in a nursing home for eight years now with dementia. She’s at the end stages. She needs to be fed, she doesn’t talk and she doesn’t really give eye contact. Granddad still goes there every day. He’s there holding her hand, kissing her lips and singing to her. He tells her he loves her and he brings her chocolate, and he looks at her with love in his eyes, and still tells her she’s beautiful.
Yes, my books have sex, violence, crime, abuse and psychology, but the kind of love that I demonstrate between the main character and the men she loves, is inspired by that kind of love. The way my grandfather loves my grandmother. The unfailing, gentle love that brings tears to your eyes to witness. That’s not to say there isn’t passion or there isn’t excitement amongst the characters, but I also found inspiration in pure, unconditional love.