Thank you so much for having me on your blog today to talk about my latest release, Woman as a Foreign Language. WaaFL came out last September, and has had some really wonderful reviews since then.
This is a short novel about two complementary gender-queer characters, Nina and Julian, a man and a woman, both of whom have to learn to be female from scratch, like a foreign language.
There is a lot of transgender romance being (self)published by now, but lots of it is made up by rather fetish-y MM books (nothing wrong with that) or full blown sex reassignment stories (nothing wrong with that either!), and much of it is really written by transgender authors for transgender readers, and has a tendency to leave mainstream readers rather baffled. I wanted to write a book about the more subtle nuances of gender-queerness, and I wanted to write in a way that would be appealing and relatable to a cisgender audience. I wanted this story to be a bridge between mainstream readers and the transgender topic.
There is a very beautiful quote by Eddie Redmayne (who played Lili Elbe, the first widely recognized transwoman, in “The Danish Girl”), “If gender is on a spectrum, where one finds oneself is completely unique”. I like this quote because it describes very well the “transgender issue”. So often people mistake transgender for transsexual, but in fact transgender covers a lot more ground than that.
I didn’t set out to write a documentary on the topic, and there is absolutely nothing pedantic about the book. I steered well clear of all jargon and labels, because the terminology in this field has gone crazy in recent years. But I did want to write a story about those people who, despite not being transsexuals, do not identify so easily as just man or woman, but are somewhere in-between, often in unlabeled places of the in-between, and, I think, the more beautiful for that. There are many, very many of them, and they are not often talked about.
It took quite a bit of research to put this story together, and also I was so attached to these characters, that once I was done with the book I realized I still had a lot to say on the topic. All this spill-over turned into Spice and Vanilla, WaaFL darker, naughtier, whip-and-leather sister, which will be published in May. It’s not WaaFL’s sequel, but it treats similar themes, and Julia/n and Nina both make a brief appearance. Stay tuned!
Woman as a Foreign Language was Runner-Up for Best Contemporary story in the Evernight Readers’ Choice Awards, and is available on the Evernight site at a 25% discount with the coupon code WINNER2017
From the Reviews:
“…erotic and romantic; and painful and funny…”
“…the great reading surprise of the year…”
“…a true, master story teller…”
“…beautifully written and heart wrenching…”
“…It's literary fiction in the play of words while being a sensual romance with spark.”
“…I absolutely loved this book. The writing is beautiful, the language perfectly suited to each point-of-view, and the characters wonderfully damaged. At its core, Wyvern twists the usual gender/genre expectations…”
“…Nina is a young woman whose abusive childhood has made her afraid to fully own her femininity. And Julia and Julian are two souls in one body—or perhaps they are the same soul, just reflected in different ways. At first Nina’s attraction to Julia—Julian dressed en femme—seems like a adolescent girl-crush. But then it deepens into love, with some of the most gracefully written and heartfelt erotic scenes I have ever read.”
What do you do when the woman you want to be … is a man?
Nina’s abusive childhood left her feeling so vulnerable when wearing anything flimsier than combat boots that she has spent her whole adult life dressed like a gang boy. But when she meets the tall, glamourous, charismatic Julia (actually her cross-dressing neighbor, Julian, going out en femme), Nina is seized by an overwhelming and terrifying urge to finally express her own femininity.
Julia/n has not only a slightly split personality but also a thoroughly broken heart. What s/he wants most is a partner who will love both Julia and Julian. While Nina learns from Julia how to be a woman, Julian discovers that they might well be made for each other, but it will take a struggle against prejudice and a whole conservative mind-set before they can follow their hearts, and express their true, unique, and beautiful selves.
Buy links, excerpts and samples:
Woman as a Foreign Language at Evernight (with excerpt):
Woman as a Foreign Language on Amazon.com (download free sample):
See what Katherine is up to on:
Katherine’s Blog: https://katherinewyvern.blogspot.fr/
Katherine’s Website: http://meetingivory.wixsite.com/katherinewyvern
Katherine’s Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Katherine-Wyvern-Author-122569301260917/
Or follow her on Instagram @katherinewyvern
You can also find an exclusive excerpt on my website, here: