Guest Post: What Is Love? By Alison May

GPWhat is love?

Well that’s a very good question and not one I’m really sure how to answer, so I’m going to wimp out I’m afraid and put that very good question to some people who might know a little something about love.

Please welcome Dr Helen Hart and her friend, Alex Lyle. I don’t want to be rude but I can’t help but notice that Alex has turned up for this meeting wearing the same clothes he had on last night. And Helen is wearing the sort of cardigan that charity shop managers would want to give away to other lesser charity shops. Anyway, I decide to start with Alex: What is love?

Alex: Love is… letting them stay for breakfast.

Helen: Alex! That’s gross.

Alex is now rolling his eyes, and I decide its best to step in before a row breaks out. I put the question to Helen instead: What is love?

Helen: Well it’s a cultural construct common across a range of human cultures and societal structures, which often reinforces traditional gender norms.

Alex: Oh, for goodness sake!

Helen: What?

Alex: Why not just say that you’re in love with…

At this point we’re joined by my next two interviewees – Professor Dominic Collins and his girlfriend, Emily Midsomer. Professor Collins is one of the leading academics at the University of the South Midlands, and Emily Midsomer is the daughter of his head of department. If academic faculties had celebrity power couples, then Dominic and Emily would be ours. But obviously we don’t indulge in such fripperies, so around here they’re just a couple, albeit a couple with an unusually high level of brains and beauty to share between them.

Dominic: Sorry. What are we talking about?

Alex: Helen was just about to explain about being in love..

Helen: Shut up Alex!

Helen is going a slightly worrying shade of pink now, so, again, I think it’s best to jump in. I put the same question to Dominic: What is love?

Dominic: Oh well… erm… I guess love is about taking care of people. Looking after them, you know. When you say you love someone that gives you a duty to them. Saying you love someone is like a promise that you’ll always be there.

Helen: No matter what?

Dominic: Of course. Ok. Your turn Em?

Emily: Oh! I don’t know.

Alex: Don’t you?

Helen: Of course she does. She’s in love with Dominic, isn’t she? Aren’t you Em?

Emily: Well obviously. But I don’t know how to describe it.

Alex: Maybe that’s the thing. Maybe love just is. Maybe it’s not something you can explain.

Emily: You just love who you love.

Helen: And there’s nothing you can do to stop loving them.

Dominic: Even if you wanted to.

There’s a pause while Dominic plays back what he’s just said.

Dominic: Not that I’d want to, of course.

He takes his girlfriend’s hand. She looks as if she’s holding on to him very tightly indeed.

Dominic: I’m sure we’re all very happy just the way things are.

So that’s nice. And unfortunately at that point our interviewees all suddenly decided they had other places to be, so now it’s just me here. What do I think love is? Well it’s tricky to explain in just one sentence. I’d probably need a whole novel to really get to grips with a question like that…

Alison’s new book, Midsummer Dreams, is now available to buy in paperback from all good bookshops and suppliers. For more information and buying options click here:

MIDSUMMER_hirespackshot 150dpiBlurb:

Four people. Four messy lives. One night that changes everything …

Emily is obsessed with ending her father’s new relationship – but is blind to the fact that her own is far from perfect.

Dominic has spent so long making other people happy that he’s hardly noticed he’s not happy himself.

Helen has loved the same man, unrequitedly, for ten years. Now she may have to face up to the fact that he will never be hers.

Alex has always played the field – but when he finally meets a girl he wants to commit to, she is just out of his reach.

At a midsummer wedding party, the bonds that tie the four friends together begin to unravel and show them that, sometimes, the sensible choice is not always the right one.

A modern retelling of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and second novel in the 21st Century Bard series.


About the author:

Alison Maynard_low resAlison was born and raised in North Yorkshire, but now lives in Worcester. She is a History graduate from the University of York and has a Creative Writing degree from the University of Birmingham. Alison has worked as a waitress, a shop assistant, a learning adviser, an advice centre manager, and is now a creative writing tutor and freelance trainer for charities and voluntary organisations.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and won their Elizabeth Goudge trophy in 2012 for her short story Feel the Fear which was published in the RNA’s 2014 anthology.

Alison writes contemporary romantic comedies.

A huge thank you to Alison and to Lu at Choc Lit.





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