Two of my friends have new books out, and both these books are about trans women, both set in the wild west! Well, Victor’s book isn’t new new, but it’s newly reissued.
Little Terry Murphy, pretty and effeminate, dreams of becoming a dancer. Raped by a drunken profligate and threatened with prison, Terry flees the Bowery to disappear into the wilderness of the West. In the rugged settlement of Alder Gulch, he stands out like a sore thumb among the camp’s macho inhabitants – until the day he puts on a dress and dances for the unsuspecting miners. As beautiful Lola Valdez, fame and fortune are within reach, and so, ultimately, is love.
I haven’t read the whole book, but I’ve read extended excerpts, and I can tell you it’s beautifully written. It does just what good fiction is supposed to do: puts you inside someone else’s experience.
Actress Ida Stillwell may have been born her father’s son, but she rejected the role society cast her in. With the North American Republics on the brink of war, Ida flees her home and joins a carnival to pursue her dreams.
There she meets tomboy steam engine mechanic Duffy Hollowood. Though they become fast friends, Duffy has her own secrets. As their troubled pasts catch up with them, will Ida and Duffy make an escape together, or will they take their chances alone?
Again, I haven’t read all of the book yet. It’s quite different in tone from Lola: more action-adventure and light-hearted. It has in common with it, though, the virtue of putting the reader in someone else’s place, fearing what they fear, hoping what they hope.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Here’s one of my favorite exercises — Write the same scene from the points of view of two very different characters.