When I was growing up I always loved books with feisty female characters. More and more I think we realise that we need to have characters who reflect a myriad of different genders (yes I believe there are more than two, get over it), ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs, sexualities and abilities, to reflect the world in which we live. We aren’t all white, we aren’t all male, we aren’t all middle class and we aren’t all straight. We are diverse and in my opinion literature should reflect this if it is to touch our souls. I’ve written many kinds of female characters, but I wanted to explore a character who felt neither male nor female and felt trapped in a body that didn’t reflect what they were on the inside.
The Ballerina and the Revolutionary is Crow’s story and Crow is a gender-queer anarchist with mother issues. However, I never wanted to write a story about Crow’s gender. Gender is only one of the facets of who Crow is, just like all of us. We are not our gender, we are so much more. Crow is an amazingly strong, intelligent and loyal person who returns to a family home full of ghosts and violent memories. It is a ghost story. It is a story about dealing with schizophrenia and it is a story about self-acceptance.