Meet the Exquisite Quill Authors

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Genesis of a Book - Coming out of Hiding by E. Ayers #equills

I’m going to start by saying if you’re a teen, you don’t need to read this because maybe by the time you’re old enough to actually worry about such things, we’ll have a cure for it. Besides there’s nothing sexy or fun about any of it, so enjoy your youth.  


Most everything I write comes from a kernel rooted in real life. Coming Out of Hiding is not from a single kernel but more like a mosaic of events and people that swirled in my brain for ages. But it started with a handful of friends who begged for me to write a non-fiction book on erectile dysfunction. And as much as I was poked and prodded to do it, I lack the medical degrees behind my name, so who would take me seriously? To say I was a wife, who lived with it, was not enough. To say I was a member of a support group for men with prostate cancer who experienced erectile dysfunction, still was not enough. But for almost a decade, I was pretty much the only female member of that group. I’ve heard every story, and had my shoulder cried on more than you can imagine. I’ve poured over medical journals and talked to some of the top specialists in the United States.

Erectile Dysfunction, or ED for short, affects over 30,000,000 men in the USA alone. And most men experience at least one episode before they reach age forty. Most of the time it can easily be explained and just because it has happened doesn’t mean it’s going happen again. But men are mentally tied to this body function that for them is as natural as breathing. Women have nothing with which to compare. So if men fail to have an erection, they panic, they worry and they expect it to fail again and again. That sets them up for a pattern of failure.

Prostate cancer treatment is probably the number one reason for erectile dysfunction. Second and third to that is medications and diabetes. And way-y-y at the bottom of the pile is actual physical damage. There are also degrees of ED. Fortunately we now have several options for men who experience it, and for most men, the options do help.

Let’s look at a quick scenario that happens often and can send a man into panic. It’s par-tee time! Fire up the grill, have some friends over, a few hot dogs, and hamburgers, a pile of chips with plenty of dip, oh that delicious macaroni salad, grilled corn on the cob, a few beers, mom’s apple pie, a slice of birthday cake… guess what he just did? He loaded his system in carbohydrates. Carbs quickly turn to sugar, and he’s got more sugar in his blood stream than he’s had in months. He’s a little frisky from all that beer (or soda) and…“it” fails. His masculinity just got stabbed and it’s not pretty. This could be his first warning sign of something serious such as facing Type II diabetes in a few years if he doesn’t change his eating habits. Or it might mean nothing.

Then there’s stress. The job situation is precarious, the mortgage is late, Billy needs braces for that cross-bite, the battery is acting up on the car, and well, life just isn’t all peaches and cream. Plus the last few times you thought you had time to yourselves, the baby woke up. 

I could spend pages discussing this. Truthfully men don’t want to talk about it. And the real shocker is most male doctors don’t want to discuss it! So it’s all pushed under the carpet. The male ego is very primitive and at the base of that ego is a man’s ability to have an erection. It’s what makes him a man. To not have one, can destroy the way a man defines himself.

The second kernel came from a young man who had busy serving his country until he woke up in a hospital in Germany. He found out much later what had happened. It was an IED, and he was the lone survivor.

I didn’t set out to write a wounded warrior story or to even write a how-to manual for erectile dysfunction. But bits and pieces began to form in my brain like a colorful puzzle, and I realized I had to write this story. Coming Out of Hiding is a contemporary romance. It’s about two people who are far from perfect yet find friendship, trust, and true love all while facing lives that keep moving forward. It’s about finding lost confidence, being the good son, sharing values, caring enough to look beyond the physical to the person inside, but mostly it’s about loving and letting nothing stop the expression of that love. 

Tae Harris didn't fit the stereotypical image of a pretty girl. She also figured out that most men only wanted one thing from her. On her own since she graduated from high school, she'd worked hard for the little bit she had. Life had handed her lemons until she meets Max.

A fall from a ladder sends the reclusive Maxwell Hutton to Tae’s side, and thus began a camaraderie unlike anything either one had ever experienced. Friendship turns to love, but Max doesn't feel as if he can be a real man to her. The physical pain of loving her is too much, and he seeks treatment. She might have gotten her wish, but did he?

Coming Out of Hiding is available at Amazon
And at other fine ebook stores.



Rose Anderson said...

Coming Out of Hiding is a strong story, E. I wish you all the best with it.

E. Ayers said...

Thanks, Rose.

Linda Andrews said...

When my father was diagnosed with prostrate cancer he didn't want to have the surgery because of what you described. He actually thought my mom would leave him after nearly 40 years of marriage. It's wonderful that romance writers can tackle such issues and I know you'll do a wonderful job.

Anonymous said...

As you know, I have been ED for 22 years. Strangely the last erection I had happened on my 50th birthday. We tried oral and manual stimulation, but wife missed having me inside. It was only one of a few dozen reasons for our divorce. I have substituted writing erotica for the physical experience. It works because I am so wedded to the written word. COOH was a very sympathetic story about an ED man and one of my favorite heroines. This book is an absolute read for both men and women and not only for the ED involved. The characters and whole story line is a "can't put it down" story.
Lots of luck

Maggie Le Page said...

Wow. This sounds like a fantastic book. I'll be sure to put it on my TBR list, E. Your knowledge of the topic is clearly deep, and already I can feel the tenderness and strength you'll bring to the story. Thanks for this post. Loved it.

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

This is a deep and tender book as Maggie said. Love is the operative word. If there's love, anything can be handled.

E. Ayers said...

So many men are afraid when it comes to prostate cancer but there are wonderful new treatments such as brachytherapy that work and won't leave a man impotent.

I'd like to think I wrote a love story and not a book about ED, but it's there as an obstacle to overcome both physically and mentally for both of them.

E. Ayers said...

Tae was also my husband's favorite heroine because she intelligent and had common sense.

Your personal story is quite common. Most of the treatments have hit the market in the last 20 years starting with Viagra. It was the breakthrough medication and has been a lifesaver for many men, but not every man can take it.

Thanks for your kind words about the book.

E. Ayers said...

Thanks, Maggie. When it comes to the men we love, we'll do anything for them. A simple blood test, taken in their 30's, will give a baseline for future testing. We willingly get squashed once a year but most men don't know there's a simple blood test (just a few drops) called a PSA that will protect them the same way a mammogram protects us! Since we have bumper stickers that say SAVE THE TA-TAS, I want one that says SAVE THE FLAGPOLES.

E. Ayers said...

Thanks, Jane. It's all about the love and the deep bond that this couple form.

Susan R. Hughes said...

I enjoyed this book. Keep up the good work.

E. Ayers said...

Thanks, Susan, and thanks for stopping by.

Melissa Keir said...

Sounds like an interesting story. It is true that many men experience it and it blends into their relationships. The wives begin to feel that it's their fault or that they have done something wrong and it adds to the stress. It's a vicious cycle!

Kaye Spencer said...

This is a tough subject that you've addressed with compassion. Kudos to you.

E. Ayers said...

So true and so much is available to help the situation but men don't want to openly admit. So often the feeling is - it's all in the head and it's not. There are physical reasons for it happening. But the biggest sex organ is between the ears! So it takes some planning, then relax and go with it, enjoy what is enjoyable. It's the expression of the love not the actual act. We aren't alley cats, we have deeper feelings towards our partners. But it does take two to make it pleasurable for both.

E. Ayers said...

Thanks, Kaye. I loved writing this book not because of the ED but because it was such a wonderful story of two very "damaged" people who found each other and really couldn't understand why. He couldn't understand how accepting she was and she couldn't understand what he saw in her. She saw him for who he was on the inside and he thought she was beautiful. It was that strong friendship that bound them and the best HEA is when your lover is your best friend.

Morganne MacDonald said...

This is something most men and women will experience in their lives. If it's chronic, it could be a medical issue and should be looked into. This is difficult to deal with from every perspective…how wonderful that you address it in such an approachable and meaningful way.

E. Ayers said...

Thanks, Morganne. We females, as wives and lovers, are the ones who are dragging the problem out of the closet. There is help available. But as people begin to recognize it for what it is and start to realize the relationship is not over, then we'll see real change.

You don't have to live on a ranch to love a good cowboy story and the same applies to this story.