I Want to Know What Love Is

by James Matthews


Foreword by the Author

A Puppy was Born.

As I've mentioned before in various forums when people ask me about Puppy for Sale, it was a story I wanted to write for a long time. I had this young lad in mind. I knew where I wanted him to start his life, and where I wanted to begin his story, but that was about it. The task of putting what was in my mind to then publishing it on a website just seemed impossible. But then came another idea that seemed to take over, which would instead be my first foray into writing which was 'For Everything You Are.'

Puppy for Sale was always going to be a complex story because while writing about him I had to face some of my own experiences as I was growing up. But I was a novice, not putting one key of wording down. I didn't know the first thing about writing, but I got help, and Although I was itching to jump straight in, 'For Everything You Are' seemed a simpler story to write - so that was born. But you're here for Puppy 2, I know.

Although I never suffered from Bipolar I have battled Depression and Anxiety since a young age. I researched some of the battles Puppy would face by interviewing my Sister's partner who does suffer from this strange affliction. We talked things through. I took notes while he would give me a typical day. Through that research and my own experiences, the attributes of Puppy were born. I felt I owed Puppy his full story from Children's home to a Loving family and watching him find his feet. At 52 chapters it was my longest novel and it had to be that long to really tell this guy's story.Its been a mixed bag, Some have commented that it was a bit rough around the edges, and one person even emailed me saying it was a masterpiece - which floored me, as you can imagine. I'm not a professional Author, obviously. But whatever your take on it's quality and depth, it's a story I am proud of, and I hope most who read it got some enjoyment from Puppy's journey.

And it was quite some journey!

We watched him learn and grow. We watched him make mistakes, have his first crush, his first sexual experience and his first foray into outside life. I wanted Puppy to be intelligent but have a sweet naivety that would be endearing. But most of all I wanted him to have a real storyline and a voice!

For the reader, no matter your background, I wanted people to connect to this boy and make him someone everyone could relate to at various stages in his journey. To be frank, few of us are born with silver spoons. Some have a loving family but face mental demons. Some people come from nothing and climb that greasy pole to a comfortable life. Some are adopted, some homeless, some abandoned. Some are addicts. For all of those people, for all of you people, Puppy represents the best we can be when thrown a bad hand.

So, a Puppy sequel, really? Well actually there never was one. It was not even on my radar until recently. You see after I wrote The Boy from Castlebay Down I tried starting a few stories that I had in my mind for a while, but the motivation was gone. I'd told all my stories and everything else I tried to write felt forced and a chore. I was no longer writing for me. I was writing because I felt "weirdly" that I owed a community of readers to keep going. In the end I gave in. I sent one last e-mail - Coldly in a way saying I'd stopped. I shut down my website, Deleted all my hard copies of everything I'd ever written and moved on.

5 years passed!

Fast forward to 2021 I was just surfing IOMFATS and started reading some excellent stories. Some left me yearning, some left me impressed, and some left me strangely motivated to start writing again. 5 years can do a lot for your attitude and motivation. So I decided to read back Puppy for Sale… in fact I read all my stories back. As I like to maintain, these were not acts of vanity, rather just a way to compare what I had written to the quality of what others had. As I read the last chapter of Puppy for Sale, I thought to myself, hang on, there is something more here. And so I write on the forum - I had an itch. I felt recharged. I had ideas for this boy. But where to continue? Do I fast forward a couple years? Would that work, or is there stuff between that might be interesting. So I thought actually why not kick off from where we finished?

Or almost where we finished!

So I'd like to present to you 'I Want to Know What Love Is - The Puppy for Sale sequel. Set 4 months after the Drag event Puppy had with Hunter and his brother. And Puppy now? Well you be the judge, but all i'll say is, 4 months in the real world for Puppy has left its mark. And Puppy being Puppy, it's bound to be cute, raw, innocent but with a little bit more confidence seeping through.

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