28 September 2010
Reactions to f2m - the boy within’
What Happens When You Don’t Write What Your Regular Readers Expect?
by Hazel Edwards
Earlier this year, I wrote an article What Happens When You Don’t Write What Your Regular Readers Expect? http://www.australianwomenonline.com/from-hippos-to-transitioning-gender/ about the challenges of a children’s author who also writes in other fields.
Several do. But I made the mistake of not using a pseudonym.
The article was mainly about diverse media and personal reactions to my being a co-author of a YA novel on transitioning gender. Ryan, my co-author is an f2m (female to male) and this means our YA novel is first internationally, by a transitioned f2m co-author.
Despite being YA fiction, f2m;the boy within novel has been shelved as biography, autobiography, psychology, self help, health and even put in the adult category in bookshops and some libraries.
Readers appear disconcerted by writers who cannot be catalogued in one genre or categorised. I had always considered this a strength for a writer.
Educators, librarians and booksellers are especially wary of this gender subject.
This wariness is compounded when there are periodic TV current affair specials which sensationalise the more bizarre aspects of transitioning gender.
Our book is not sensationalised. We hope it humanises. Even if schools and librarians are wary, many youth support groups see this fiction as vital vicarious experience, and maybe saving lives. Social media response via blogs especially has been significant and fast. And the youth blogs are a way of enticing readers to libraries and books. Our e-book version is a significant attraction. Amazon http://tinyurl.com/28xys5o
Ironically science fiction/fantasy readers are interested in credible, transgender characters and with the Aussiecon 4 in September this is timely.
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing
Category: Young Adult Fiction