I am a school psychologist. I work in three K-8 schools. My professional interests are in the teaching and assessment of reading comprehension, the management of aggression in children, and gender identity issues. I like writing stories about identity conflict. I enjoy doing history, cooking, hiking, comedy, theater.
How do you approach cover design?
My idea for the design for the Undercover Girl cover is I think going to be unique to this book. In the year before coming out, I spent a lot of time in Second Life, interacting with other people as Jill. The girl on the cover is my avatar in Second Life, Jill Nico. I spent a month working on her appearance. When I wanted to change her, to look more like my real, or first life self, I found I couldn't change her - she met some kind of ideal of my self. She is pictured in the yard next to the Transgender Resource Center in SL. She is wearing a cherry blossom cheongsam dress, at a time when the cherry tree was blooming. There are some Buddhist ideas in the book, and it seemed to fit. I am crazy for Asian clothes. A stream is behind her - there is a stream running through the book as well.
In 1966, on the edge of a puberty she doesn't want, a transgender girl hears a news story, and knows there are other people like her. Will she ever become her true self? A story of love, hope, friendship, growing up, and acceptance, with some comedy and terror thrown in.