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About the Author
My novel, Sonny Preyer, comes from a place of personal healing. I want readers to know this because some criticize that Sonny misrepresents intersexed or transgendered individuals. I say to this, Sonny does not represent anyone but the character in my heart and mind. He is to be seen as a person, not a label. His circumstances, and fate, arise from my own inner crisis and my imagination translates those into his conflicts, his world. This is how I cope, and I owe no one an apology for writing about my innerlife. Some people think I do.
In a fantasy setting, Sonny faces pain (and beauty) which stem from my real life issues. He cleanses my emotions, and if someone else out there "gets it" then I'm very pleased with that. Nothing thrills me more than when a reader tells me that they got something good out of it.
The novel began as a playful tribute to my favorite fairy tales, but with a slashy twist, and contains elements of many famous fairy tales that readers may recognize. I've always wanted the roles to be reversed. I wanted to see the male as the one desired, distressed, and pursued, while retaining his strength of character and determination. I soon realized that I had my own original tale to tell that was far more affecting than any from my childhood.
For one thing, the story has a dark, mature theme, but is not pornographic (for those who've expressed concern). Have you ever read a pornographic novel? Nope, this ain't it. Nothing against those novels, but I wanted to handle things differently. Sonny was sexually violated in a past life. In his current life, that surviving trauma takes the form of his fear of sex. His fear is justified because it saves his life. So the story is really about him not having sex in a society where that seems to be sooooooo important (Sound familiar? ). Matters are further complicated because he is an Illumenae, a person of two genders, biologically designed to mate and produce an offspring, which Sonny fights with everything he's got.
I can see how I might offend someone if I have another character tell him that he is transgendered and over-sexed (which he is absolutely not), but that is not a statement about transgendered people, it is a statement born out of plot, to an end that is very dignified and respectful to the character's plight.
It's my hope that those who can receive enjoyment from this, sometimes harsh story, will receive it. Those who can't, won't. Life goes on. That's the way with everything. I'm just glad that I got to express and structure a universe that had no other way of becoming known, and actually connect with readers from all over the world. Because that's what happened as people found the story.
I hope all of this doesn't sound egotistical, but if it does, that's a flaw I can manage because when I consider the social anxiety that has been a source of so much pain for me (I'm practically a recluse.), I must recognize the human warmth, connection, and rapport, that writing Sonny has allowed me to have with people, as nothing else has. So being the imperfect human being that I am, but perfectly so, I'm gonna let myself have this little slice of ego-cake. Lord knows, the reality of my day job will be served right along with it.