Today we’re excited to welcome author Barb Caffrey and her intriguing story of transgender love, currently on sale for $.99!
Once you have found your soulmate, the universe will do almost anything to keep you together—even change your faces.
When I first started the story that became my new contemporary LGBT-friendly novel, CHANGING FACES, I had no idea what I was getting into. All I knew was one scene: my couple, Allen and Elaine, were in a crisis. She wanted to leave him. And that would’ve been a fatal mistake. So two aliens—or angels, as I wasn’t quite clear yet what they were—decided to help them…the next thing Allen and Elaine knew, they’d been in a car accident, and Allen had woken up in Elaine’s body in the hospital.
Where was Elaine, you ask? That wasn’t so simple. She was…elsewhere, talking with one of the angels. (Yes, I decided they were angels, after a while.) And it was up to Elaine whether or not they were going to be able to go forward, albeit in different bodies than before.
This scene still exists in the current, final, version of CHANGING FACES. But the reason for that scene is not exactly what I thought it was, many years ago when I first started fiddling around with this story. You see, while Allen is a straight man in love with a beautiful woman, Elaine is gender-fluid, bisexual, and would rather be in a male body even though she will always think of herself as female.
Clear as mud, no?
So, how did I come up with this? I really don’t know. Sometimes I think the stories pick me rather than the other way around. And Elaine being the way she is threw me for quite some time, because I’d never met anyone quite like her.
Mind, both Elaine and Allen are clarinetists and graduate students, and I’ve met many musicians. (I play the clarinet, saxophone, and oboe myself, and have two degrees in music.) So that part of Elaine—the part that loves music, and that derives satisfaction from playing it well—was completely comprehensible to me. Which did help me figure her out, after a while…but I digress.
How did I find Elaine’s character? Oddly enough, it was through her love, Allen. Seeing how much he valued Elaine, and seeing how he viewed her, made an enormous difference to me as I wrote CHANGING FACES.
Granted, it was much easier for me to understand Allen. He’s a guy who deeply loves a woman. Allen is different in that he loves Elaine’s soul, not just her body. (More men should be this way. And more women. But again, I digress.) And he’ll do anything for her—demonstrably, anything. So long as he can be with her, he’s fine.
And if he has to be put in her body so she can heal in his, while he’ll definitely not like it, he’ll deal with it. Because that’s just how much he loves Elaine.
And Elaine knows this. Because she loves him just as much. She wants to be with him and to live and grow and get married to him, be only with him, and love him until the end of time. But she was hurt badly, years ago (a gang-rape), and she never felt right in her own body anyway. This makes it hard for her to be open with Allen about who she is and what she wants and how to go about it…and it’s why she was about to leave him at all, despite the fact she is desperately in love with him.
CHANGING FACES is a romance, so of course I wanted to find a way for them to be happy together. My solution—changing their faces—is not one I’d ever seen before. And getting two quirky, shapeshifting angels into the mix while I did it had enormous appeal because love is an incredibly important thing. Without love, we’d not be stirred to the heights of our creativity, and our passion would not be engaged, and we’d not be able to live and grow and get to know others as well as we know ourselves. Gender expression and sexuality matter a whole lot less than the soul does to love; if one soul calls to another, and is answered, that’s what matters.
As I see it, true love matters to the universe. That’s why I’m glad to tell Allen and Elaine’s story in CHANGING FACES, and I hope you will enjoy it, too.
Allen and Elaine are graduate students in Nebraska, have been together for seven years, and are engaged. They love each other very much, and have many things in common. Both play the clarinet, are teaching assistants, are well-respected and seem to have their lives firmly on track. In fact, their life should be idyllic, but Elaine’s past includes rape, neglect, and abuse from those who should’ve loved her—but didn’t, because from childhood, Elaine identified as transgender.
When Elaine tells Allen right before Christmas, he doesn’t know what to do. He loves Elaine, loves her soul, has heard about transgender people before, but didn’t think Elaine was one of them—she looks and acts like anyone else. Now, she wants to become a man and is going to leave.
He prays for divine intervention, and says he’ll do anything, just please don’t separate him from Elaine. And in the form of a car accident, he gets his wish.
Now, he’s in Elaine’s body. And she’s in his. But both were injured, and Allen’s old body (with Elaine inside) is in a coma.
Allen can’t tell anyone who he is. But one thing’s certain: if Elaine can wake up, he wants to be with her. He doesn’t care what body he’s in, or that he, too, is now transgender.
True love matters so much to the universe, once you have found your soulmate, the universe will do anything to keep you together—even change your faces.
Note that CHANGING FACES is on sale for 99 cents/99 pence for a limited time as an e-book…
Amazon (US): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3CQKWJ
Amazon (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Changing-Faces-Barb-Caffrey-ebook/dp/B01N3CQKWJ
Amazon (CA): https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01N3CQKWJ
Amazon (AUS): https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01N3CQKWJ
Amazon (IN): https://www.amazon.in/dp/B01N3CQKWJ
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/changing-faces-barb-caffrey/1125707044?ean=2940157587512
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, musician, and composer. She holds two degrees, is an inveterate and omnivorous reader, and is the writer of the comic urban fantasy romance AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE (book one of the ELFY duology), available now from Twilight Times Books. (Book two, A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE, is now out.)
Her stories and poems have appeared in many places, including GIFTS OF DARKOVER, STARS OF DARKOVER, FIRST CONTACT CAFE, HOW BEER SAVED THE WORLD, BEDLAM’S EDGE, BEARING NORTH, independently at Amazon (“To Survive the Maelstrom,” co-written with Michael B. Caffrey) at the Written Word online magazine, at Joyful! Online, at Midwest Literary Magazine, at e-Quill Publishing, and at Vision online magazine (a publication of the Forward Motion Writers Group). She reviews books for Shiny Book Review and, more occasionally, at Amazon.com for their Vine program. And once upon a time, she was an opinion columnist and arts and entertainment reporter for both the Daily Nebraskan and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Ranger News; additional op-eds were published by the Racine Labor Paper and by the Racine Journal-Times (under the previous married name).
Blog: Barb Caffrey’s Elfyverse https://elfyverse.wordpress.com
Facebook: Barb Caffrey