WRITING OUR LIVES
Every Thursday I'm going to feature a memoir writer. Today it's Alexandra Bogdanovic, author of Truth Be Told: Adam Becomes Audrey
Describe your book for us.
"Truth Be Told: Adam Becomes Audrey" is my first book. It is also a memoir. In it, I share how I met, fell in love with and married the man of my dreams only to find out that he self-identified as and planned on having gender reassignment to become a woman. I also share what happened after I learned the truth.
This must have been a difficult story to tell. What inspired you to write this very personal account of your husband’s decision?
That's an interesting question. Yes, it was extremely difficult. Although my journalism career put me in the public eye to a certain extent, I'm a very private person. Now my entire life -- including the most painful parts of it -- are subject to tremendous public scrutiny.
To answer the second part of the question, I think it's important to point out that the book isn't as much about my ex-husband's decision as it is about how that decision impacted my life.
In order to understand why I wrote it, I also think it's important to explain why I didn't write it. I didn't write it to "out" anyone. I didn't write it to hurt or exploit my ex-husband's life in any way. I certainly didn't write it to exploit my own life. Instead I wrote it in order to achieve some measure of catharsis and to share another perspective on an oft-told story.
While many members of the LGBT community write books about their experiences, we seldom hear about the impact those experiences have on the authors' families and friends. I want to give those people a voice, to let them know they are not alone, and to let them know that no matter how hard things seem or how lonely they feel, everything will be alright.
What has been the response to your book? From readers? From your family? From your former husband?
Until fairly recently, a demanding day job kept me from marketing the book aggressively, so I"m just starting to get some feedback from readers. The initial response has been fairly positive. Some readers have said they enjoy the writing style and that the story has resonated with them. Others have said -- and perhaps rightly so -- that the detailed account of my courtship with and marriage to my ex-husband takes away from the story. In would point out, however, that I am writing about the real lives of ordinary people. And we all know that real life is sometimes tedious, sometimes boring and always filled with minutia.
My immediate family -- namely my mother -- has been extremely supportive. In fact, I never would have had the courage to write the book much less have it published without her unconditional love and encouragement. She is my hero.
My ex-husband knew I planned to write the book but refused to participate in it at all. We are no longer in touch.
My experience with transgender stories is that they aren’t so much about the impact on the family. That seems to make your book unique. Have you heard from others who have been in your situation?
No, I haven't heard from anyone who has been in my situation yet, but I hope that I will as word spreads about the book.
What is your favorite part of the book?
My favorite part of the book is definitely the end. I had such a sense of peace and closure when I finally finished writing the book. I hope that resonates with the readers.
Tell us about your writing background.
I pretty much knew I wanted to be a reporter when I was 12 and started covering high school sports for a local daily paper as a high school freshman. I began by writing short blurbs that basically summarized the results, but the sports writers at the Greenwich Time took me under their wing and taught me how to write real game stories and feature stories. By the time I graduated from high school I'd been writing for a daily newspaper for four years.
I interned for the same paper in college, and officially began my journalism career as an editorial assistant at its sister paper, The (Stamford) Advocate in 1991. Since then I've worked at hyper-local community newspapers in three different states. I am the recipient of 10 Virginia Press Association awards and one New York Press Association award.
What are you working on now?
I am just starting to research material for my next book, which will be based on my father's life as a staunch anti-Communist and political refugee in post-World War II Europe.
Most important, of course. Where can readers buy your book?
"Truth Be Told: Adam Becomes Audrey" is currently available on amazon.com; barnesandnoble.com; and through my official author website, which can be accessed at: http://sbpra.com/alexandrabogdanovic/.
And for people in your local area, are you available to speaking engagements or book signings?
Yes, I am definitely available for both types of events. The best way to contact me is through my author profile page on goodreads.com. It can be accessed at: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6828275.Alexandra_Bogdanovic.