Discovering my sexuality at 45 made me a bestselling author
"I discovered that she was the person I’d been writing about all along"
I was married to the father of my children for 21 years. I was never truly happy. I was vocal about my discontent, even to my husband. Often people would tell me that if I just remembered why I married him in the first place, that things would be okay. The problem was that I married him because he was the first man to ask, and I honestly didn’t think anyone else would. I was never comfortable around men, I never understood why, but I was comfortable with this man and so when after a week he asked me to marry him, I figured, “Why not?”
Shortly after my daughter was born, five years into my marriage, I started writing romance novels. I found myself creating men that were my ideal man, the one that would say and do the things I thought a man should. I even used to say that it was no wonder I wasn’t happy with my husband, since I could write the perfect man. I wrote all about romance, but I’d never experienced it for myself.
Years later, I finally figured out why I was never comfortable around men. Aside from abuses and incredibly poor examples of men, including my absent father, I discovered that I formed much stronger bonds with women. I’d always written about people meeting their soulmates, but I never really believed it. I thought that I was too damaged to be in love, or that love just really didn’t exist. I wrote about love, but I never knew real romantic love.
Then I met Tirzah and everything changed. When I met Tirzah, I knew almost right away that I needed to be around her. She was funny, smart, and beautiful! We connected over email, after first meeting on Craigslist, and I found myself looking forward to every email from her. We wrote each other multiple times during the day. Then she finally invited me to coffee. We met as “friends” but the minute I met her in person, I could never picture not being around her. I left my husband and within a month and a half we were living together and within another six months we were engaged. A year and a half later, we were married. I discovered that Tirzah was the person I’d been writing about all along. I told her that I thought I created her through my original books. When she started reading my books she saw exactly what I meant.
I hadn’t written in years when Tirzah and I met, but within two years of meeting her, I was inspired again. This time, however, I was writing it from the perspective I understood now, from the perspective of a lesbian. My book When Love Wins was based loosely on Tirzah’s experience in the Air Force where she’d discovered she was gay. That was my first lesbian romance and I’ve been writing them ever since. My writing now is, in my opinion, more genuine. I understand love now. I understand what it takes to find it and keep it. I also understand what it is to respect your partner and your relationship.
Being in love has changed me in so many ways, and it has changed my writing for the better. I now try to use my writing to address issues and problems that women deal with daily. I write about abuse, PTSD, rape, molestation, or other things like ADHD or depression. I also write about women who identify as straight falling for a woman. I want to show people that it’s perfectly natural to be gay.
Now I’m publishing my mainstream romance books, the ones I wrote before finding out I was gay. My ultimate, and possibly overly hopeful, goal is that people who read the straight romances, will be interested in reading the gay ones, and vice-versa. I’d love for people to learn through my novels that love is love, no matter who it is between.
About the Author:
Sherryl D. Hancock lives in Sacramento, California, with her wife Tirzah, and has been writing since she was a teenager. Sherryl’s bestselling WeHo series deals with a number of important topics, such as abuse and problems with mental health. Sherryl’s books are filled with strong, inspiring women in the hope of helping and inspiring others.
The latest book from the WeHo series Lightning Strykes (Vulpine Press) is available from 26 January. You can pre-order now on Amazon!
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