It's a true account of raising a troubled teen in the late nineties. It's been one of the most emotional things I've ever done editing the book and getting it right to go live and publish online. I really thought I had dealt with that time in my life and world have no problems with it. But I was wrong. I guess some things you never truly leave behind.
It also brought up memories of the relationship I once had - a truly great relationship and I'm afraid to say one that has left me single because I know what a good relationship is meant to be and feel like.
But within the book there are also many moments of pure joy that uplifted my spirits. Things that are so silly and small, but in context, monumental!
If you're wondering about the book cover - it was inspired by a moment I will never forget. One of the things that every gay parent of a teenage boy should be aware could easily lead to a death in the family. Here is an excerpt to explain further:
'Brett’s a hair and makeup artist and the opportunities for Joel to take, empty and recycle all manner of containers for his ‘bong conversion company’ is very high. But he took his life in his hands when he found and emptied bottles of Isi Myaki and a Jean-Paul Gaultier cologne to make a bong.
When we confront him with each new find, he claims he hasn’t used them to smoke. He just likes the challenge of making a bong out of such odd shaped bottles - I tried to calm Brett down when he heard this, it was an impossible task. I tried to express to Joel the dangers of pouring out a gay man’s designer cologne, but he didn’t seem to understand how very lucky he was to still be alive.'
I changed the names of everyone but me - simply because I feel I have the right to write this story because it's mine. But the young man we raised and my ex-partner would have a different version to tell, or may not want to own it like I do and have other people know about the triumphs and tragedies we three alone lived.
If you're a Neighbours fan from '96 through '98, you'll be able to work out the boy's real name, but for everyone else he is Joel. My partner is Brett.... and I am still and will always be Scott.
If the book is read by as many people as those who have downloaded INNER CITY I will be thrilled. But I also hope it's found by the audience who will connect with it most. The nature of modern families is changing! The more we get out about that fact - both the successes and failures - the sooner it becomes part of the landscape and an alternative that no longer carries any excess baggage.
I hope everyone who finds it enjoys - It's a Boy!