I recently had the honor and privilege of having a Conversation with William E. Berry, Jr., Publisher & CEO, of aaduna literary magazine. The journal published my novel excerpt “The Mother” and nominated it for a Pushcart Prize.
Below is an excerpt from the Conversation and a link to the full piece in aaduna:
First off, thanks bill for your compliments about my work in aaduna. I feel honored that you described it as having an “intriguing intensity,” “subtle edginess,” and a “provocative premise.” The inspiration for my novel She And He, which “The Mother” came from, reflects several sources. I review books for The Huffington Post and the radio syndicate “This Way Out” based in Los Angeles, and three of the books I reviewed that influenced me were on transgender topics. The other major influence was reading the Bible pretty much for the first time which gave me a fresh take on it.
I wanted to write something fun and upbeat based on this landscape — and come to think of it, I did put a fair amount of myself into it. I am tall and because of my height and angularity, I am frequently called “Sir.” And though I identify as female, I have always identified with male and female interests. When I was a child, I had an imaginary friend who was a boy my age who lived in my mind. I actually didn’t think of this until now, but this must have influenced my thinking of having a line of intersex characters that are born in “The Mother” and the intersexed twins Tamar and Yeshua. Tamar, the narrator of the story, indentifies primarily as female but is born intersexed. And her brother, Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus) identifies as male but was born intersexed.
I think my life is pretty normal — normal for me! I spent a lot of time alone writing and I also garden (this summer I planted and harvested a lot of pumpkins and carnival squash). My partner, who I live in an old farmhouse with, is retired from the postal system, and is a fabulous cook. I take long walks everyday and do yoga and a Buddhist meditation practice almost daily, so my day to day is pretty tame but it suits me.
to read the rest of the Conversation, click here
“The Mother” is an excerpt from my novel in process, She And He. It is loosely based on a character (Tamar) from the Hebrew Bible, and is told from the spin of how independent women and gender-variant characters not only survived but thrived in ancient times.
You can see a skit from She And He on YouTube . The skit was done at the Unitarian Universal Church of the Restoration in Philadelphia.
You can also read another excerpt, written as standalone short fiction, in the online literary journal BlazeVOX15