Please welcome my friend, author K. Lynn, who was kind enough to answer some questions about her novel for us here at Balancing Act. Of all my writer friends, she's the one my character Linda/Leonel Alvarez likes the best. I think you'll see why.
You've written a number of transgender or
gender-fluid characters over the years. What's the driving force behind that?
I have always been fascinated by both the perception of
gender and the push of society to place people into specific gender roles. What
does it mean to be a man or a woman? And what if you don't fit neatly into
either role? Or if society has assigned you as one gender when you actually
don't perceive yourself to be that gender? For my novella, Coffee Date,
Alice is dealing with how society perceives her versus how she perceives
I've always tried to maximize my communication efforts in
bringing the issue of LGBT representation into general mainstream markets, but
there is a noted lack of transgender and gender-fluid writing within the LGBT
genre compared to other explorations of sexualities. While other members of the
LGBT community have seen negative stereotypes being replaced by positive ones
in media works, the transgender and gender-fluid communities are still fighting
to be positively represented in accessible media. Through my writing, I hope to
bring more emphasis to this area.
How did this story come about?
It was actually originally supposed to be a submission for
an anthology focusing on transgender characters, but the publisher decided to
not pursue the anthology because of lagging sales on other transgender works
within their house. So, I kept it and refined it, giving myself more time to
explore all the ins and outs of Alice's psyche as she navigates her place in
society and her own perception of who she is.
I knew that I wanted to explore Alice's feelings in this
novella, and that she would have built up a wall to protect herself from the
hurt she'd experienced over the years since she began her transition. What I
didn't know, and what she soon showed me through revealing her story, was how
deep that hurt ran and how much damage it had caused. Alice is constantly
trying to match up to what she thinks she should be, what society has taught
her she should be, while making herself miserable because she hasn't reached
that constructed reality. In the end, what she had to learn and what we all
have to learn, is that you don't have to fit into anyone's constructed
categories. Be yourself, whoever that might be.
What's next up for you?
Besides going to graduate school while working full-time? It
is a very busy few months for me in publishing. My novel His Womanly Ways
released in May, my family-focused anthology story is out from Torquere Press
in June, this novella is releasing in July, and then I have a novella from
Dreamspinner Press also out in July that is about a blind artist and his
emerging romance with a veterinarian, and I have another novella coming out
later this fall that is about a noted novelist who is getting over the death of
his long-time partner and not looking for love, but love finds him anyway. You
can see all my releases on my website (WriterKLynn.com).
Alice is finally happy with her body and her life—except
for the part where revealing she's trans winds up leaving her hurt and
abandoned over and over again. She's decided she's done making herself
miserable by looking for love.
Love finds her anyway, in the form of Hank, the new guy at her local coffee
shop. He's sweet, friendly, charming... and will probably turn out like all the
rest. Determined not to shatter the fantasy and lose him before she has to,
Alice holds fast to her secrets.
But if the truth doesn't ruin everything, the lies will, and it seems no matter
which choice she makes Alice is set for just one more heartache.
About The Book: Coffee Date
Coffee Date is a 12,000 word contemporary transgender novella that explores Alice's struggle to find acceptance, and possibly love, in a world that has not been kind to her on either front.
Read an excerpt at Less Than Three Press.
Coffee Date officially releases on July 1st, but you can pre-order it now!
About The Author: K. Lynn
K. Lynn has been an avid reader and writer since childhood. While in college, K. Lynn increased her
involvement in LGBT issues and writing within the LGBT fiction genre. She has become a long-time fan of the authors that seek to explore the commonality that exists within all sexualities and genders. Most of K. Lynn's work features LGBT characters, many of whom are in established relationships and show how love perseveres through every trial and tribulation that life holds. She also has a particular interest in seeing transgender characters gain a larger foothold within the LGBT fiction genre, hoping that the market for these works will expand in the future. Contact K. Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org
or follow her on Twitter @WriterKLynn