At the beginning of this year, I was beset by a new book clamouring to be written, Colourful People, a fourth book in the Boy & Girl saga. This new book challenged me to go beyond the joys and tribulations of a boy who dressed as a girl, one of the threads running through the earlier books in the saga, to explore the difficulties facing a group of transgender teenagers. Despite preoccupations with COVID and pneumonia, I have completed over two thirds of the novel. Read more about Colourful People in my article, Adding a touch of colour. See also an extract from the draft first chapter.
Your thoughts on the subject are more than welcome.
All the best. Alan.
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The Boy & Girl Saga
Boy & Girl – Twelve-year-old Peter secretly dresses as a girl. Imagine his delight when he finds himself in the head of a girl. Yet, despite his wild hopes, that girl is not him. She’s Kaitling, the daughter of a mage in a beleaguered world. Peter has his own problems when a vicious new girl at school threatens to reveal his girly ways. Becoming friends, Kaitling and Peter join forces to do battle with those who oppose them.
In Search of Lost Girls – Dressed as a girl, Peter sets out in search of his soul-mate Kate, who has been ripped from his arms and kidnapped. In his quest, he is hounded by fanatics bent on eliminating those who mess with gender. Meanwhile, Kate has been dumped in a nightmarish girls’ orphanage where she emerges as a decisive figure in the rescue of her fellow orphans. Will the two ever be together again?
We Girls – Retain his androgynous ambiguity or say goodbye to his girlish self, such is the existential choice that besets Peter. Circumstances, however, force both him and Kate to take up other challenges. By straddling the line between child and adult, between carefree creativity and weighty responsibility, between play and work, they find imaginative ways to confront far-reaching problems on which adults persistently turn a blind eye.
Colourful People – What happens when a boy who dresses as a girl, but has no wish to transition, is confronted with a boisterous crowd of transgender youth in a desperate search for a safe haven? The fierce will to be themselves despite the determined opposition of society is common to both the Lost Girls and the Colourful People. Not surprising then that they join forces and advance together.
Alan McCluskey, Secret Paths Editions, author.secret-paths.com