I announced this on Twitter earlier today but I want to let everyone know here as well:
I’ve released a new collection of 10 short stories.
In this collection, I examined the many potential manifestations of the word “dysmorphia.” I was inclusive of many different mental illnesses as well as disabilities and gender identity. I do not classify these all under one umbrella. But I think that dysmorphia can be used symbolically in many of these cases to describe a severance between (perceived) reality and the reality that others see. For example, body dysmorphia is a debilitating mental disorder in which a person becomes so fixated on his or her appearance that social activities become almost impossible. They perceive themselves to be unworthy of being looked at–or worse, of even existing. Others rarely find any faults in their appearance at all. In another story, I talk about a trans man who still has the body of a woman. He knows who he is inside and wants to reflect that on the outside, but it is costly for him to find treatment, and he is frightened of confronting his fears of judgement. In these two instances, dysmorphia applies to two completely different things–one is mental illness, the other is not–but it still reflects a disparity between reality and inner struggles.
These are topics that are close to my heart.
I have known and loved people who struggle with these issues across the spectrum, and I do my best to represent different races, faiths, and genders in a respectful manner. Some stories are almost directly taken from my life experiences as well. All are short, and therefore I didn’t delve in as deeply as I could have, but I think the characters come to life and let you peek into their lives, even if only briefly. I hope that you crawl into the minds of these ten people and experience the many faces of dysmorphia in all of their frightening, heartbreaking, and loving forms.This is a must read for those who seek contemporary fiction tackling the tough topics of mental illness, transgender issues and rights, gay and lesbian issues and rights, body image disorders, sexuality, and self-harm and suicide.
Warning: Stories contain sometimes graphic descriptions of violence and discuss sensitive issues. Please be advised that the stories may not be suitable for a young audience.
Also, disclaimer: This isn’t like “The Magnum Opus” or my other science fiction/fantasy work. This is a collection of contemporary, slice-of-life stories.