I’d been looking forward to meeting Lianne Simon ever since I first heard about her intriguing and original YA novel – and today here she is, in person! We were planning to sit outside in the garden, but since April is living up to its name with the usual showers, it will have to be the kitchen instead. Luckily there’s tea and a packet of brandy snaps, so that should console us :)
That’s a gorgeous hat you’re wearing, Lianne. And a great cat! Whereabouts do you live? My husband and I live in the suburbs north of Atlanta.
Where is your favourite place in the world? Wow. There are so many beautiful places in God’s creation. I spent a year in the Philippines, away from large cities. Diamond dust sprinkles the black night skies there. The harsh desert of the Apache Trail in Arizona is deadly in its beauty. Horses run through tall Bermuda grass, under the Spanish moss-draped live oak trees in central Florida. Wind buffets you as you walk the rolling hills of Oklahoma. The ancient trees in Sequoia National Forest are a delight to the eyes. The Royal Mile of Edinburgh yields a pleasant walk through history. The Jerusalem Chamber in London, where the Westminster Confession of Faith was debated and the King James Bible translated. And yet, my favourite places remain locked within the imagination of good books.
Being a writer is a great job. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? The most stressful job I’ve ever had was that of a middle-school teacher. Some of the students had been thrown out of public school. Some were very bright, but most were so far behind that they should have been kept back a grade. I have great respect for teachers who can manage such a classroom and bring each and every student along. I couldn’t and had to quit for medical reasons.
What book do you wish you’d written? I always wanted to write something like The Boxcar Children or Pollyanna.
What’s your happiest memory? My mom holding me and telling me she was proud of me after I had struggled though a difficult time in my life.
If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you say to them? I’d like to meet Oliver Cromwell. I’ve read his speeches and letters, but I’d like to get a better idea of his thoughts and feelings about the event of the civil wars and the beheading of King Charles.
What would your superpower be, if you could choose one? To be able to heal people.
If you won twenty million in the lottery, what would you do with the money? Give half to charity. Travel.
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you? Early on I learned that I had very little control over the world around me. So I learned to adapt much better than I could plan. Later I discovered that God is in control and that I can trust Him because He loves me.
And finally, please tell us about your latest book, where we can find it, and where we can find your blog/website
Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite is an emotional journey through the heart of a teenager growing up with a sexually ambiguous body. It can be ordered from your local independent book store or purchased online at Amazon. The ebook is available from MuseItUp Publishing. My website is at www.liannesimon.com.
Here is the blurb: Jamie was born with a testis, an ovary, and a pixie face. He can be a boy after minor surgery and a few years on testosterone. That’s what his parents always say, but he sees an elfin princess in the mirror. To become the man his parents expect, Jamie must leave behind a little girl’s dreams.
At sixteen, the four-foot-eleven soprano leaves home school for a boys’ dorm at college. The elfin princess can live in the books Jameson reads and nobody has to find out he isn’t like the other boys.
When a medical student tells Jamie he should have been raised female, he discovers the life he could have as a girl. The elfin princess can thrive, but will she risk losing her family and her education for a boyfriend who may desert her, or a toddler she may never be allowed to adopt?
Thanks for visiting us today, Lianne. Hope you have a good trip back to Atlanta!
If you have any questions for Lianne, or any comments at all, please let us know. We always love to hear from you!