FOR A SNEAK PEEK, here is the very first draft I wrote in a minivan driving to Indianapolis from Chicago in January 2014. Thank you forever Ilona for the text message challenge of "You should write a children's book."
MY DEBUT NOVEL. COMING OUT WITH DIAL BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS ON MAY 26, 2020. PRE-ORDER HERE.
"A GROUNDBREAKING MIDDLE-GRADE TRANS NARRATIVE TO JOIN MODERN CLASSICS LIKE ALEX BY GINO GEORGE AND AMY POLONSKY'S GRACEFULLY GRAYSON."
-PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE
"Sometimes I have trouble filling out tests when the name part feels like a test too... When I write mail, I love that you have to read all of my thoughts and stories before I say any name at all. You have to make it to the very end to know."
Rowan has so many secrets that he doesn't want to keep a diary for others to find. He knows who he is, what he likes, but sometimes it's not always safe for others to know. His dad hurts him at night. His mom ignores him during the day. The girls at school say that he's too different to spend time with.
Instead, Rowan attaches letters to the ends of balloons to find someone new, someone to listen, but instead he finds a dear friendship, the kind so dear there isn't a word for it. Together they try to imagine a world the can be together without the limits of words, empty homes, and school bullies. But sometimes it feels impossible.
Have you ever tried to build something new? Did you find yourself along the way?
A Lambda Literary Nominated anthology full of letters that fellow trans and non-binary survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault wrote to their body parts.
"written on the body shows us how beautiful becoming yourself can be in the 21st century and reminds us that the business of becoming your authentic self is never finished."
-james jecesne, co-founder of the trevor project
This is my third book full of letters that people have written to their body parts. It has led to university panels and workshops to universities around the country to speak on trans inclusion in the #MeToo movement and all movements. Some of those schools include Hampshire College, University of Pennsylvania, Middle Tennessee State University, University of Wisconsin in River Falls, and UCLA. In February 2020, we will be featured at The Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Asexual College Conference in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Written on the Body has also been featured on Lambda Literary, Bust Magazine, Them, Logo’s NewNowNext, Bitch Magazine, DomesticShelters.org, Ms. Magazine, Teen Vogue, The Establishment, Huffington Post, Toi Magazine, Luna Luna Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, FTM Magazine, The Heart Podcast, The Story Corps in collaboration with The Library of Congress, and Autostraddle's list of best LGBTQIA+ books of 2018. & A performance curated by anthology contributors and I took place at Gibney Dance's annual "Cracks of Light" domestic violence showcase and a fundraiser collaboration with Black & Pink NYC.
My first two anthologies, Attention: People With Body Parts (2012) and Portable Homes (2013), included international tours of multi-media performances and storytelling workshops in the US, Canada, England, and Hungary, as well as a Survivor Support workshop series at colleges around the Midwest as a part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. My first Teen Vogue article, "Valentine’s Day Letter To My Body Parts," goes into the origins of this project as a whole. The essay was recently re-published by Writer Digest Books' The Byline Bible by Susan Shapiro.