When a boy who dresses as a girl, but has no wish to transition, is confronted with a boisterous crowd of transgender youth in search of a safe haven.
From a boy lost in a book to…
At the beginning of October last year I started writing The Boy in the Book, fascinated by the way we move in an out of stories of our own and others’ making. What would happen, I wondered, if someone could control the passage from story to story both for themselves and for others? Inevitably, power-hungry adults latched on to the ability and sought to control the person using it…
…an insistent gaggle of colourful people
At the end of January this year, I’d reached the halfway mark of The Boy in the Book, when a new book clamoured to be written, Colourful People, a fourth book in the Boy & Girl saga. I couldn’t resist the temptation. Despite being visited by COVID in March and pneumonia two months later, I have completed over two thirds of the new novel with more than 80’000 words written to date.
The first three books of the Boy & Girl saga focused on the empowerment of young people, girls in particular, in a story about a boy, Peter, who lived dressed as a girl and the adventures he had with Kate, the enterprising daughter of a magician from another world. It was an occasion to explore, amongst many other things, what it means to dress as a young girl without wanting to transition to a ‘full-time’ girl. Not that such a possibility existed back then in the sixties.
In Colourful People, I wanted to confront Peter and Kate and their community of Lost Girls with a boisterous crowd of young transgender people in search of a haven to become themselves. What would this disruption lead to? Many aspects link these Colourful People to the Lost Girls, not least the fierce will to be themselves despite the determined opposition of society. Despite this inherent kinship, both Kate and Peter, for different reasons, are initially hesitant about extending a helping hand, but then challenging circumstances decided them otherwise.
More about 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, Kaitlin 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. (Currently being written)