THE course of true love, as Shakespeare warns, never did run smooth – but one couple who overcame prejudice and convention for 25 years have now written a book to celebrate their relationship.

Mixed Feelings: A True Love Story, written by Lis McDermott, with help from her husband Conrad, will be launched on Friday at the Nexus Business Centre in Swindon from 4.15pm. Lis who lives in Wootton Bassett, described the book as a love story and an autobiography.

“We hit several boxes in many ways!” she said. “I am white, 66, born in 1952, and my husband, is of Jamaican descent, 53, born in 1964.

“We have been together for 25 years and have lived in Royal Wootton Bassett for the last 16. On paper, we should have nothing in common - I went to college, and he left school at sixteen with no qualifications. Despite this we are soul-mates.

“The reason we have written the book, is because even now we get ‘looks’ sometimes from people, who obviously worry about the age or colour difference. People have expectations about who you should be with. We want people to understand that when you fall in love with someone, it doesn’t matter about age, colour or social background. It’s the link between you that matters.”

Lis says she was the only child of older, middle class parents, born in Leicestershire, while Conrad was born in Birmingham, the son of parents who came from Jamaica.

“He grew up in a big family surrounded by a lot of people,” Lis said. “That was very different to me. Conrad has a brother and sister – he’s the middle child. He is dyslexic and struggled all through school, but he’s always had a strong sense of self, even as a young child.

“I went to music college in Manchester, then to London for teacher training.”

Lis worked as a secondary school music teacher and married her first husband when she was 22. The couple remained together for 18 years. Lis went on to be a schools’ advisor and trained teachers. Conrad left school at 16 and went straight to work.

“He’s always had work – as a car mechanic, in Asda and McDonald’s. He was working with a car rental company when we met,” she said. “He’s always had a job – he has a strong work ethic.”

Lis was 40 when she and her first husband divorced. One day she was out socialising with a girlfriend in Cheltenham, at a club called Gas.

“It doesn’t exist anymore, but it was an amazing soul club. People would travel from all over the place. There was a really good vibe in the place. It was 25 years ago this August, and I saw this man across the dance floor and he was dancing. I thought he was really cute.”

In true schooldays style, Lis’s friend told Conrad that her mate liked him.

“It was really childish,” Lis smiled. “But he came over the asked me to dance. At the end of the evening we talked, and he asked for my name and said he would ring me the next day – and he did.”

That was the beginning of a relationship that has endured for a quarter of a century. The couple married in 2002, on Lis’s fiftieth birthday. Their relationship faced a tide of disapproval and racism, from loved ones as well as strangers, but their love has flourished. Lis says they have had a very happy marriage, but they still get strange looks from people when they are together in public.

“We still get people doing a double-take,” she said. “Even today, there is still a perception that we should be with people of the same colour, the same age, the same social class.

“Conrad is such a lovely, kind person, a very generous and caring person, and always very happy. I think he would say he’s never experienced any negative reaction, but there are times I think he is unaware that occasionally we get a long stare.”

They lived together in Cheltenham, but when Lis got a job as a music advisor in Wiltshire, the couple decided to move to Wootton Bassett. After 34 years working in education, Lis changed her career and set up a business as a photographer and writer. As well as Mixed Feelings, she has written a book called Headshot Diva: Why Your Business Profile Affects Your Bottom Line, and a collection of short stories called Changing Lives. She is also working on a book of poetry called A Tilted View.

The book has taken about three years to write, the idea beginning as Conrad turned 50.

“Conrad wanted his story told, and I just thought, let’s do it,” she said. “I wrote a timeline for each of us. It took quite a while to get it all together.”

Lis did the writing, with lots of input from Conrad about his life, leading up to the time he met Lis. She has also included some references to what was going on in the wider world at various points in their lives.

“I am hoping people will read it who are interested in other people’s lives. Maybe someone will read it who been asked out by someone younger or from another culture, and they will see it is not about the differences."

She said friends were looking forward to reading the book, published by Wordcatcher, which will be for sale on Amazon, published by Word. The Kindle version will be available on October 19, and the print book on October 26.

“Difference did not keep us apart. We are soul mates. We are there for each other in everything we do. We are very comfortable around each other," she said.

“We like talking about the things we have done together, and the friends we’ve made. We’ve done a lot of travelling. We love listening to music together and watching films and making each other laugh.”