Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Feedback Request


A new version of the query just below this one.


Dear Agent,

In 2009, after 28 years of marriage, I lost my 15-year-old son under allegations a transgender woman was unfit to be a mother. The male disguise that had weaved the uncommon path to becoming a mother, now threatened to destroy the dream I’d had since childhood.

Accused of abusing my son, I lost everything. I became the defendant in a legal drama dedicated to protecting mother and child, dispossessed of any notion that I was the mom. Every appearance came with new threats from the court, felony charges, loss of parenting time, more legal fees, contempt of court, even jail time. Even therapists I had once sought for help were making accusations against me.

The consensus was overwhelming; no judge would ever grant me custody but I was unwilling to abandon my son. I dismissed two attorneys unwilling to defend my custody position, finally representing myself in a custody battle lasting four years.

Isolation and the economic and emotional stress, combined with the threats from the court, drove me into a near-suicidal depression but the love of my son prevailed. I regained custody while becoming the woman I had always known I was.

Whipping Girl took transgender women from the genre of Lesbian non-fiction into the realm of feminism. My book, The Transgender Myth, broadens that scope, challenging our perceptions of gender, invoking the complementary notion of gender put forth by The Feminine Mystique and asserting that men and women do in fact come from the same planet.

The book is not a story about transition. It is a journey from blissful innocence, through fear and isolation, past denial and defeat into acceptance and triumph, examining the best and the worst of living in both genders.

The Transgender Myth is complete at 93,000 words. I trust this story will appeal to your interest in LGBTQ narratives. Thanks for your time and consideration.


Notes

Here's how I would condense the first three paragraphs (into two):


In 2009, after 28 years of marriage, I lost my 15-year-old son under allegations a transgender woman was unfit to be a mother. Wrongly accused of abusing my son, I became the defendant in a legal drama dedicated to protecting the birth mother and child, dispossessed of any notion that I was the mom. 

Every court appearance came with new threats: felony charges, loss of parenting time, more legal fees, contempt of court, even jail time. Therapists I had once looked to for help made accusations against me. The consensus was overwhelming; no judge would ever grant me custody. But I was unwilling to abandon my son. I dismissed two attorneys unwilling to defend my position, finally representing myself in a custody battle lasting four years.

6 comments:

khazarkhum said...

Much better. You've found the real essence of your story. Now it's time to fix that title. 'The Transgender Myth' sounds like something a crusader would write about how evil it is to be transgender. You need a more positive title.

paula overby said...

How about? Just Add an "a"

St0n3h3ng3 said...

Yeah, I was gonna say that about the title. People will get confused and believe you're saying transgenderism is a myth, or something like that. It also sounds too academic.

Alaina said...

This is significantly better than your previous attempts: it's something I'd want to check out of the library and browse through. I agree with previous posters that the title has to be changed somehow, and this can still be tightened.

Queries are difficult. Mine go through about twenty drafts and beta-readers before I can even call them 'decent', so you're already ahead of me. Just keep at it and you'll get there.

Anonymous said...

I think Notes put it best but I would cut out that ever evil "even" in there. I wanted to poke my eye out and replace it with a lightning rod in the first version, now I'm just bleeding. Very interesting story but the first version of hey wanna read this! is far too wordy. Sorry if I just bounced in from some other world but I forgot where I was even.

khazarkhum said...

So, Author, have you given any thought to a new title?

Also, if I'm doing the math correctly, your son would be in his 20s while this trial was ongoing. At 15 his opinion of his living situation would be taken into account by the court. Does he ever talk about your relationship?