I have a 103000 word finished novel. It has been through 2 rounds of beta reading, and I’ve had 2 critique partners. I’ve been querying it for over a year with no interest. At this point I am strongly considering indie publishing. I hadn’t bothered with sensitivity reads because an agent told me the publisher would do this. As I am without a publisher, it is something I am looking to get.
The novel is a parody satire. It is set in a world similar to the Discworld and the book is full of puns and jokes. It has been described as “really funny” and “very funny” by readers. The story is about Zoey, a white transgender princess who goes for a magical gender transition, but discovers her father has cut off her credit. In return for a transition, she agrees to feature in the new series of magic mirror reality show Heroic Quest.
Her companions in the show are Chad, a white asexual farm boy who was immediately arrested for vagrancy upon reaching the city (the guards have quotas, and he looked poor) and is in the show because it was that or prison and possible execution; Gabrielle, a Black slightly-passed-middle-aged straight warrior woman who really wants to retire; Hank, a Black pansexual hedonistic thief who always seeks the finest things in life; Curstaidh, a white female Dwarf with a large beard and a love of reading; Torta de la Taza del bárbaro™, a heavily tattooed Latino barbarian warrior who speaks a different language and is basically eye candy; Siôn, a fat blue-skinned lesbian elven bard woman who wants to be immortalised through her music; and an old straight white female wizard called Lily, who never seems to do any magic, but swears by the restorative powers of crystals.
Over the course of their fake reality show adventure, they discover the economancer funding the show is bankrolling them because he needs their assistance to access a magic power source which would make him even more incredibly rich… but will also probably destroy the world. Despite none of them actually being heroes, they decide to stop him.
Oh, and whilst dodging the thugs her father sent to bring her home, Princess Zoey realises she’s a lesbian. There’s also a dragon, a labyrinth, a minotaur, a small war, gryphons, Amazonians, thugs, and a goblin village.
Transphobia, allusion to sexual assault, violence
Sensitivity Reads Required
- Little person
I am trans myself, so potentially I can skip that one.
BIPOC – I have Black characters, Asian characters (well, not really Asian, but kinda) and a sort of Latin American character (I say not really Asian, and not really Latin American, because this is a second world fantasy with no Asia or America in it).
LGBT – I have an asexual character, some lesbians (one trans, one cis, plus a whole lesbian culture), a person with an undefined sexuality but probably pan. Some non-binary people, and there’s even one straight character.
Little person – for Curstaidh.
What I Need & Why I Need It
I’d be happy in some instances for some people to just read certain scenes – for instance, the asexual character isn’t in every scene, and the scenes he is in mostly aren’t about asexuality. The Asian characters aren’t main characters – there’s two, and they are only in a handful of scenes. My biggest concern is that this novel is both satire and parody. It satirises our world and parodies other fiction, and it draws attention to these as well. It breaks the 4th wall to point out the tropes its subverting. But I have concerns that it might not be taken in the obviously joking way it is intended and people might not react well to some of it. Hopefully this won’t be the case.
What I’m Offering
I’ll be straight with you: there is currently no money here.
Option 1: I can in return beta read for you or sensitivity read for you. I am a trans woman, a lesbian, I have a physical disability, and I’m Scottish.
Option 2: we can discuss how much it would potentially cost for this, I can save up the money over the next few months, hopefully, and I’ll come back to you when I have it.
Option 3: you do it for free cos you love the sound of the book, you’re trying to get started in sensitivity reading and want testimonials, you’re my friend and give me mates rates, you want to support a trans creator making a trans novel, or some other reason.