(FF#4) Interview; Lianne Simon


Feature Friday is something new we have that features books we get sent by authors, but can't review them.
This is Feature Friday four.

Today we have an interview with the author of Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite, Lianne Simon!

What gave you the idea to write Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite? 
A number of years ago I met a family whose daughter was born with one testis, one ovary, and ambiguous genitals. It's a condition called Mixed Gonadal Dysgenesis. Doctors had bullied the parents until they allowed surgeons to remove the child's gonads, remove the phallus, and create a vaginal canal. The doctors assured them that the infant would grow up to be a normal girl. Unfortunately, surgery doesn't guarantee gender. The child seemed okay with being a tomboy, but her options were limited due to the surgeries.
Later I met a couple of adults with MGD who were raised as boys, but who changed their legal status to female. Their stories of growing up between the sexes floored me, especially considering how some people had treated them. Although quite a few intersex activists have related incidents from their lives, I couldn't find any novels that communicated what it was like to grow up outside the normal boundaries of male and female.

Who is your favourite character in Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite? 
I like Sean. He's a bit unusual for a guy, I think. He's secure enough with his own sexuality that he can befriend someone whose sex isn't clear and seems to change over time. He also knows when it's time to just let go and give the protagonist enough space to do what s/he needs to do, even though it's foolish.

Can you explain your book in less than 10 words?
Hermaphrodite--elfin princess or the boy her family expects?

Can you tell us why people should read your book? 
One in every thousand babies is born with a disorder of sex development. Some must eventually choose between being a boy or a girl. You may never have the chance to befriend a hermaphrodite, but you can know what it's like to grow up between the sexes. Confessions presents an authentic portrait of what some intersex teens face growing up. The novel is enthusiastically endorsed by one of the leading researchers of disorders of sex development.

What type of books do you usually read/enjoy reading? 
I read mostly fantasy. I enjoy Brandon Sanderson and Neal Stephenson. My favorites, though, are books like The Secret Garden.

What is your favourite book? 
Other than the Bible, I assume. A Little Princess, perhaps Cryptonomicon.

Which book are you currently reading? 
I just finished re-reading Sex Errors of the Body by Dr. John Money. I'm looking forward to A Memory of Light by Brandon Sanderson/Robert Jordan.

Favourite movie? 
The Illusionist, the one with Jessica Biel.

Thoughts on marmite?? Love it? Or hate it? 
Ewwww! I prefer Hob Nobs or oatmeal or scones instead of toast. And white chocolate, hot, with a shot of Bailey's.

Thank you for answering our questions Lianne, is there anything else you’d like to add? 
One of my reading side trips was to learn about the English Civil Wars. I found reading about the struggles between Charles I, Parliament, the Covenanters, and Oliver Cromwell fascinating. Much of what we in the US take for granted we owe to events that took place in the UK in the 1600s.

Lianne Simon 7904268521335637979

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