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Visit my Website for all the blurbs, excerpts and news!!
Visit my Website for all the blurbs, excerpts and news!!

Monday, 11 September 2017

Julia/n - a character intro

Evernight instituted this very fun thing on Thursdays called the Coffeehouse. It is on Evernight Reader's Group on Facebook, and it's a bit of a game where authors plop one (or more) of their characters in a coffehouse and see what happens. 500 words is the limit.

Last week I really had quite a lot of fun introducing Julia/n, one of the two main characters from Woman as a Foreign Language. Like the book, also this short intro has quite a few autobiographical bits!

"Julia hoisted her skinny butt to the top of the tall stool at the bar and made eye contact with Pilar, the beautiful Peruvian waitress, who smiled and promptly came over, polishing a cup as she went.
“The usual,” said Julia, and Pilar stared.
“You mean the usual-usual?” she asked. Julia was a regular, but in the evenings. Julia nodded. Sometimes the day just started like that.
Pilar fetched a tumbler, poured an inch of Lagavulin (sixteen years, no ice), and passed it over.
“Bad morning?” she asked.
“Beastly,” said Julia. She licked her lips so the blood-red lipstick would not stick to the glass and took a good-sized swig. The first sip of whisky traced a path of fire in her empty innards, which she relished in full, with her eyes closed.
“Well, that’ll clear your airways for the day ahead, all right,” said a thoroughly impressed male voice beside her.
Julia opened her eyes and turned to take in the unwelcome sight of a burly fellow, about fifty, in the rumpled suit of the travelling salesman on a two-day trip, bald as an egg on top, with a thin comb-over carefully spread over the shiny, spotted baldness. Perched high on her seat Julia had no choice but to stare in morbid fascination at the hairdo. Everything else was a blur.
The egg smirked, called for coffee, and gazed longingly into Pilar’s spectacular cleavage as she poured him a mug. Julia sniffed.
“Ar, I’d stick my face in there, all right,” muttered the egg, chuckling, and Julia nearly spit her single malt across the bar onto the mirrored wall in front of her. ‘Christ, me too,’ she thought, shooting the guy a sideways glance, ‘but jeez, man, be cool, can’t you?’
“And you?” asked the egg turning briskly towards Julia again and considering her choice of breakfast beverage. “You look like a lass who knows how to have fun! What’s your name, babe?”
“Julian,” said Julia, in her deepest, grittiest voice. “Darling,” she added, staring straight into his eyes with her most captivating smile.
Pity she was just a tenor. There are days when a rumbling basso profundo would be more satisfying, but even so, it was quite the treat to watch his eyebrows shoot up and his chin drop down. He blinked twice, stammered, then he collected his briefcase in one hand, his coffee in the other (he spilled half of it in his hurry) and scuttled to the farthest end of the bar.
“Well, that’s sorted,” said Julia cheerfully, and Pilar grinned and winked at her, wiping the coffee spill from the bar. The day was looking up already." 

*Julia/n is coming soon (ahem) in Woman as a Foreign Language. S/he doesn’t always swill 16 yo Lagavulin for breakfast.*

Now that the topic of gender variance is being more openly talked about, there is a tendency to stress the more extreme manifestations of it. But "transgender" does not necessarily mean acute dysphoria and full blown sex-reassignment medical procedures. As always the whole truth is a lot more nuanced than that...

I wrote Julia/n in honour of all those peole, and they are many,  who can be gender-fluid in their everyday life with relative ease, and with the occasional dash of humour.

The visual inspiration for Julia/n was actually several people, all capable of this wonderful gender fluidity... first of all the beautiful Russian model Daniel/Danila Kovalev, and his almost doppelganger, German model, Paul Boche. And last but by far not least, the delightful Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe in "The Danish Girl"

"...Julia felt impossibly and awkwardly tall, as she invariably did, to this day, in the vicinity of short people. It was rather embarrassing, in fact. In her youth, she had worn flat shoes and walked in a contrite, hunched way that had made her look even more gawky. In time, she had come to the conclusion that flat shoes in her size bore a sinister resemblance to canoe boats, and that however much she hunched down, she’d still be six feet tall in her socks.
“So I’m a tall lass,” she had finally decided, “well, sue me.” And she had thrown all her flats out, taught herself to walk in heels like a pro, and started strutting her stuff. Life had improved quite a bit after that. It was not perfect, but it had improved."
Woman as a Foreign Language
by Katherine Wyvern

 Stay tuned for more teasers and all the news about Woman as a Foreign Language.
What do you do, when the woman you want to be is a man?

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