James Kane could be summed up in one word: loser. He silently lived as a ghost amongst his parents and he had zero friends at school…unless you count his cousin who had to defend him against the abusive Matt Tracker. When his parents divorce, James moves to Montana and stays with his grandmother, where he makes an extreme adjustment to his life-becoming a different someone named Jennifer. The transition comes with frightening issues Jennifer never thought of. After two years of recovery, she returns to her old high school to start over but she meets up with her past tormenter and gets caught in a web of secrets as she finds herself falling in love. Her conscience gets the best of her as she tries to be truthful to Matt about who she once was, but will he accept her as his girlfriend when she tells him about their past?
The story continues in three seepage books:
“It Can Only Go Up From Here”-the continuation of the narrative that deals with Jennifer and her estranged father who is now a member of the Senate in Olympia, Washington.
“I’m On the Outside”—The original story from the vantage point of Matt Tracker, allowing us to see what happened between James and Matt in the years before and what occurred during the two year gap.
“You Can Call Me Queen Bee”—a side story about a teenager named Monica Preston and her “coming out” during a murder trial—her brother’s. Monica’s bother, Michael, was Jennifer’s first boyfriend and things didn’t turn out right.
Guest Post: How did To Be a Different Someone come to be?
I started writing it in 2004 as a screenplay with the title “Man! I Feel Like A Woman”, but I shortened it to FLAW. The screenplay used songs by Shania Twain to move the narrative along. I didn’t do anything with the script as I didn’t think there was a market for it and that it was missing something…twelve years later, after learning a former co-worker had one of his books published, I decided to rewrite the screenplay to focus it on Jennifer by writing it in first-person narrative, and to complete the missing two year gap in screenplay when “James Fitzgerald Kane” vanishes and “Jennifer Aylesea Monroe” appears in town.
I started to try and market the book and found a publisher in Torquere Press who rejected it at first, but the next day, they accepted it. They were taking a gamble on me as they were a primarily adult gay romance fiction house and here I was bringing a YA transgender story where the story is not entirely about Jennifer but the others around her.
I had suspicions that Torquere compared my synopsis to a book that recently been published by another house: Merideth Russo’s “If I was Your Girl” (a book I had not heard of until two weeks after my editor was working with me). I refused to read that book until after the galleries for my book, now re-titled “To Be a Different Someone (as Torquere was afraid of the negative connotation of the original title…apparently, they never heard of the song).
The book had to undergo a review by a psychologist who deals with LGTB youth. She had no issues with the book but she asked how I knew what her patients talked about.
Unfortunately. Torquere Press fell onto some dark times right after the book was published and I never received any payments for the initial publishing but I was able to recover my rights and the rights to the cover artwork. Next, I restored the chapter titles to the Shania Twain references (I kept the new title) and self-published it.
About the Author:
Sean McKissack’s ability to view the world around him and find a story and truth enables him to prepare the stage in a reader’s mind for a heart-felt life cinema. Inspired by God, music and his experiences, he captures teaching and growing moments commonly found during adolescence. His writings epitomize the good and the bad in life, the joys and the pain, culminating in the coming of age and wisdom.
Sean hails from Southaven, Mississippi and he’s always thinking of new stories to write