It’s not a great seller. It tries to make its creator happy and slip in a few sales each month, almost as if to say, “Hey Ma! Look at me. See, I can be good.” But really, they are only enough to get me thrilled and happy for a few moments, kind of like a little reminder that my favorite child was born with a few sadly genetic defects that I passed on and now it’s doing its best to have a happy life.
I gave it so many handicaps, this child of mine. It has a bad blurb. It has a homemade cover. It doesn’t fit nicely into any real niche that I can promote it in or that readers can say, “Yes! I love that type of book.”
And it has a transgender character.
OK. That’s probably the deal breaker. I’m sure some readers aren’t interested in reading what they think is a gay novel (to put it bluntly). I’ve had other writers tell me that’s a great promotion opportunity. A ready made marketing audience: LGBT. I resist that. Not because I’m afraid of being labelled a writer of gay and queer novels, but because Anomaly just isn’t that.
It has a transgender character.
That’s it. It’s not a novel about transgenderism–although, admittedly, that’s the device used to propel the character. So I don’t feel comfortable writing to a queer audience and trying to pass off my character driven novel as a LGBT genre. They would throw stones at me. Rightly so. I did my best to honor the issues and honor the humanity of the LGBT community, to make J’s journey authentic, but it isn’t a novel written for that market.
Neither is it just pure plot driven story. I write character driven fiction, So the novel is about the character. It’s about J. A person. A human being who wants something. J has flaws. J has needs. What J needs most is to find peace within.
Don’t we all want that?
I think Anomaly speaks to many issues that we live in, that our psyches process and purge a hundred times a week: the need to be loved, to be accepted, to find happiness. J is his own worst enemy, like many of us are.
Can we find love? Can we find happiness?
Above all, can we find that place within that says, “Yes, I’m going to be OK. I want to be OK.”
So every month, I have a few sales of this book that I believe is my best work so far. Robert Duperre gave it 4.7/5 stars. Big Al gave it 5 stars. These are discerning readers and honest reviewers, so I think my little handicapped child is doing OK. Its psyche, its parts, its soul, its very completeness of being is just fine, thankyou. No need for me to worry.
This little child of mine is tenacious. It’s time I told it I’m proud of it.
And I am.
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Related Posts you might find interesting:
- TransGroup Blog: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and Don’t be Trans
- Kristen Lamb Blog: Choosing Our Path: Genre Matters
- All Write Fiction Advice: Plot vs Character driven stories