'Grownmance' Novel Inspired by Male Survivors of Abuse

BY JASON A. MICHAEL

By day she is Dr. Staci Hirsch, residential director for the Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park. But by night, she is A.G. Davis, writer and official biographer of "The Roswell Discrepancy: A Human Romance in Three Parts."

This series of stories was inspired by the lives of males - gay, bisexual, and straight - who were survivors of childhood sexual abuse and sought therapy from Davis in hopes of becoming open to real love despite what was done to them.

"They were not only victims groomed by trusted adults but also of a society that has, until very recently, ignored them or refused to label their experiences as trauma," said Davis, who has a doctorate degree in clinical psychology and has worked in social services as a therapist and program administrator for over 30 years. She called on her three decades worth of experience to conceptualize the characters in her story.

Her first fictional book - recently released by Mirador Publishing - introduces the character, Desmond "Deetz" Mac Innes, who Davis said, "is a combination of five clients who were sexually abused as children and came to me for treatment in the distant past as well as a sprinkle of men I know now. I do not feel I did those clients justice. The only piece of him that is reflective of my father is his love of pro audio/visual equipment and the physical abuse he experienced from my grandfather."

She calls her book a "grownmance" about Deetz who returns to Wales after his father dies. In the preceding years, Deetz became a skilled martial artist, slept with everyone - every which way - from San Francisco to Thailand, all the while improving his psychic powers and insightful wit. But on his journey home, he is confronted by another problem, an old crush on his childhood best friend, Angus Reese, soon to be the 12th Earl of Glamorgan.

"It's a love story for adults who have been around the block and are ready to stop and examine the cracks in the sidewalk," said Davis. "It is full of hot sex, intelligent, snarky comments about our current cultural/political climate, and Jewish magic out of Wales. It's also about loyalty and how often times the family we make as adults is better than the one we were born into."

Reluctant to out herself as a woman, albeit a bisexual one, Davis feared that people would question whether a woman could write about gay romance.

"I hide my real name only because folks don't think a cis female can write honestly and comprehensively about male love," Davis explained. "I don't want my gender to get in the way of the story. I was raised by a straight man who made John Wayne look like a sissy. I've been around and have had men as my BFFs my whole life. Much of the sex described in the book came from what I saw and what I heard in real life and real time. Darlin', if I had a penis, you'd call me butch."

Born and raised in Chicago, Davis did her undergraduate work at DePaul University and received her doctorate in psychology from Argosy University, which was at the time called the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. She said she came to Detroit "on a romantic visa, which I overstayed." Davis has been married to a man she calls "Mr. Grumpy" for nearly 20 years and the couple have one daughter.

"We're just a couple of old bi-babies who been to enough Pride parades and prefer our tequila with Netflix," she said. "My daughter, L.G., just graduated from college and, like any good millennial, is too busy finding herself and writing her own (young adult) novel to worry much about mom."

"The Roswell Discrepancy" is actually slated to be the first book of a trilogy.

"The process is frightening as all get out," said Davis. "It's so anxiety producing. My therapist gets overtime and combat pay all at once. The stories have been generally outlined. The first book will focus on how love starts, the second is about how love is sustained after lust becomes comfort sharing, and the last will be about the loss of your partner and reflecting on the larger forces that brought you together in the first place. The anxiety comes from having these characters in my head all the time, talking to me while I work my paying job or while watching the latest installment of Sense 8."

Davis said if the books do well she'd eventually like to retire from her day job.

"My husband is 69 years old and just had quadruple by-pass surgery," she said. "I would like to earn enough from writing to leave the 9 to 5 and buy an RV where we could travel the country together. It would be nice to write the next book while watching the sunrise off the Pacific Ocean from the back of my fifth wheel."

But wherever she's at, she'll always remember the many men who have walked through her professional door.

"For so long I've helping people with wide-ranging backgrounds but who had one thing in common - they were trauma survivors looking for love," said Davis. "'The Roswell Discrepancy' is the start of a series of books focused on how longing and romance are experienced and lived differently by men. May this book and the ones forthcoming in the series offer some hope for those I tried to help and the hundreds of thousands who I was never blessed to know."

Part one of the "The Roswell Discrepancy" series is available on Amazon for around $15.
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