We’re thrilled to have here today Allen Bridgeway from Barb Caffrey’s new transgender fantasy-romance, CHANGING FACES. Allen Bridgeway is a thirty-year-old clarinetist living in Lincoln, Nebraska.
It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!
Thank you so for this interview, Allen. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?
AB: I think I was fairly portrayed, yes. Though I don’t know if anyone else has ever been in my position, mind you—here I was, a straight male living in Nebraska, engaged to Elaine Foster, who I knew to be bisexual…then I found out she was transgender, there was a car accident, and voila! Into Elaine’s body I went!
But I’m still male, I’m still human, and more importantly—I’m still in love with Elaine. (Does this make sense?) Even though she’s now in my body, as I’m in hers…
Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality? If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?
AB: I think Barb described me quite fairly. I was always a quiet, bookish man; that hasn’t changed much despite the body-switch, but I have found out that it’s better understood now that I’m in a woman’s body. (How strange is that?)
What do you believe is your strongest trait?
AB: Empathy. Though that’s given short shrift by many men, I wish it weren’t. I have always been able to understand others better than most; it has made me a better musician, a better person, and a far better boyfriend. (I hope it’ll make me a better husband, too. Even if the rest of the world insists on seeing me as a wife, now.)
AB: I haven’t always stuck up for myself. This is one reason I was drawn to Elaine; she is so strong, and demands to be taken for who she is today—not who she was yesterday, or might be tomorrow.
Elaine has taught me how to better stand up for myself and what I want, and to not care what other people think of me. She always felt odd, considering she knew from an early age she was transgender (and later figured out she was also gender-fluid to a certain degree as well); still, she came to terms with herself, and I think that coma she was in had a great deal to do with that (even if she refuses to talk about it much).
If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?
AB: Hm. Most of the young actors out there are too good-looking to play me, I fear. But of the transgender or gender fluid actors/actresses, I think I’d most like someone like Ruby Rose to play me despite her extreme attractiveness. She definitely gets it. (But she might want to play Elaine, instead…what a conundrum!)
Do you have a love interest in the book?
AB: Oh, yes. My fiancée, Elaine Foster, is a writer, English teacher (graduate teaching assistant), and clarinetist. She’s a phenomenal person, witty and sarcastic by turns, and she keeps me on my toes! (And even though she is transgender—as we both are, now, due to the body-switch—she still prefers the pronoun “she.” And is a feminist. What’s wrong with that?)
At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?
AB: I didn’t know how Elaine would ever wake up in my (old) body. And I didn’t know how we’d ever get married, either…which I’d wanted for the longest time.
If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?
AB: Lexy, who is a transgender woman from Omaha—a veterinarian—is the one person I would not want to be. Lexy lost her love to a car accident, and has been bitter ever since. I can easily see myself going down that road, and want no part of it!
How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?
AB: I’m satisfied that Elaine and I are making progress dealing with our new circumstances. And I believe that now, we may finally get the happily-ever-after that we deserve, too…why not?
What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?
AB: Barb, if you write another book with me in it, I hope you’ll show Elaine and I as happy and contented people—as hard as that is to write. We have gone through more than enough drama in CHANGING FACES to last through five separate lifetimes, truly…can’t we have some peace for a change?
Thank you for this interview, Allen. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?
AB: I hope so. Because while I hope Elaine and I will be happy down the road, who knows what will happen in the future? (I certainly don’t, not after going through all this stuff I could’ve never imagined in a million years.)
About the Book:
Title: CHANGING FACES
Genre: transgender fantasy-romance (contemporary)
Author: Barb Caffrey
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Purchase links: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3CQKWJ/
Allen and Elaine are graduate students in Nebraska, and love each other very much. 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 gets it.
Now, he’s in Elaine’s body. And she’s in his. They’ll get a second chance at love.
Why? Because once you find your soulmate, the universe will do almost anything to keep you together—even change your faces.