Book: Transformed - San Francisco - A Quirky Queer Spy Novel, #1categories: Book, Thriller, Mystery, Bomb Plot, San Francisco, Extremist, LGBT, Transgender, Fundamentalist, Spy Novel
Suzanne Falterabout this book: Transformed: San Francisco is a mystery thriller focused on a Christian fundamentalist's quest to destroy the "hedonists" of San Francisco. And yet at heart, is a story about self-acceptance and living the life you dream and deserve.
Once you hit a certain age or stage of your life, you no longer give a damn what other people think. All that ‘model behavior’ we are taught just has to disappear at a certain point. I’m talking about those culturally-approved cues we learn as young girls in our pre-teen years. In my case, it also required I be straight instead of gay — something I knew about myself at age 20 but managed to successfully hide, even from myself, for the next 30 years.
Which is why in my novel Transformed; San Francisco, I purposely wrote a female protagonist who comes to terms with her a long suppressed desire....in her case to become a professional dominatrix. She’s given up her position in New York society; her marriage was tattered to shreds after her husband found our she’d been domming around with six of his friends. And why? Because poor Electra had to sneak around in order to be who she really was. Yet, transformed when she changes her name from Pamela to Electra and moves to San Francisco to finally BE that dominatrix … she stumbles.
Can Electra really have what she wants? Like … really? It’s almost hard to believe you can have what you want when you’ve been culturally programmed to defer to others again and again. Especially if what you want is way outside of the box. So it becomes a question of giving up on ourselves. Will we? Or won’t we?
Charley, the other protaganist of our story, is a transman (female to male.) A spy who happens to have transitioned at age ten. In the deep south. In the late 80’s. Why did my co-author and I make the choice to include this character? Because it’s a story of deep self acceptance that must be told again and again.
In Transformed: San Francisco, the fact that Charley is a transman becomes irrelevant; his transition is not even discussed. More important is that Charley is brave, strong, grounded, and a little hopeless in love. That he is gifted with being both vulnerable and tough, sensitive and bold and embraces all of this, even through the toughest of moments.
Charley is us and we are Charley – even when he blows off paying his taxes and gets suspended by the CIA, his employer. We all must be ourselves just as we are … no matter what. If this requires special bravery, then special things are likely to happen. Even if the results are immediately disastrous, they make sense over time.
Life moves towards wholeness for my characters as they take risk after risk fighting a Christian extremist who believes such people are ‘sinners’. As I know we can, as well. Emerging from writing this book, I know that a good story can open hearts and minds. At the very least, it has opened mine just a little bit more.
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