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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"The Cross Dresser's Wife: Our Secret Lives" Written and Edited by Dee A. Levy and B. Sheffield Hunt

Published by:  Creative Space
Genre:  Women's Non-fiction

The Dame's Highlight of This Book:

This is an important collection of women's personal stories having to do with their struggles to understand husbands who are or who did affect ther lives as cross dressers. 

This book is an attempt to give help and hope to those women who have experienced the heartbreak of this horrific experience, and to give solace and hope to those who find or ever found themselves in a marriage such as described in these pages and still want to understand it. The sufferings of these brave women cannot be discounted, and the courage they show in sharing their stories for the benefit of others cannot be lauded enough...it's a lonely and unimaginable torture to be in a marriage that is fraught with sexual addiction and unspeakable secrets. 

Unflinching it its truth, bravely written, and edited, this book will be a lifeline for women in abusive relationships with men who keep secrets about their sexual addictions; men who torture their wives and families with hidden lives.  I don't think this book is for cross dressers only. It will shock and surprise you.

Additionally, I'm privileged to bring you this interview:

I’m so delighted you’ve agreed to allow us to get to know you and your book better through an interview.

Thank you very much. My esteemed book partner Dee A. Levy and I are thrilled to have The Cross Dresser’s Wife * Our Secret Lives reviewed by The Bookish Dame!

First of all, please tell us a special something about what makes you "tick."

As an educated human being and a writer, I am consistently flabbergasted by and love exploring the intricacies of human behavior. Truth IS stranger than fiction because if life appears simple, scratch any surface and discover the unexpected. I first truly recognized how bizarre people can be at my first job in high school, the local Baskin Robbins ice cream parlor. Nine or ten high-schoolers scooping ice cream for senior citizens commenting on how a banana split used to cost a nickel… where is the potential for drama? Yet, there were firings, hirings, secret promotions, illegitimacy, domestic turbulence, gossipy virgins who thought they might be pregnant, a boss named Major McNally barking "Portion control!" every ten seconds, and even a ghost named Keith! In what appeared to be a barren and humdrum setting, there was much gold to be mined.

Those workplace dramas are always the best! LOL

You chose a specific topic to write about, what made you choose it? Has writing your book given you a sense that you did what you were meant to do?

I was approached by my force-of-nature book partner, Dee A. Levy, to help craft her harrowing story into an article. This expanded into a book, which expanded into a collection of memoirs told from the POV of the cross dresser’s wife.

If the initial reviews are anything to speak of, we have touched upon a hot topical issue. Readers of every ilk, not just cross dressers’ wives, are expanding their base of thought and responding to these courageous stories in a way that we never expected… yet we did. Who can’t relate to a survival story? You care about these women. You can’t help it. The emotional tunnels they dig in order to survive will blow any misconceptions about cross dressing to smithereens and draw the basic similarities evident in all relationships into clearer focus, thus bringing society and cross dressers’ wives everywhere closer together.

Please share with your readers where you like to write. Do you have a particular space or desk? What can you see from your desk? Do you have props you use to write from? What about special "charms?"

I love this question! Surrounded by books in a library is a thrilling space to write if you feel the urge to get out and absorb stimuli, yet writing at home is usually best for me. Per Feng Shui guidelines, my slightly-scratched old Chinese writing desk, a gift from an internationally renown interior decorator who is a friend and former boss, sits before our home office’s bright north-facing window. A small potted asparagus fern, a cutting from a larger plant belonging to my grandparents, lives right outside the window in my direct eyeline. He reminds me who I am. The grass cloth swathed walls of my home office serve as giant bulletin boards, bursting with postcards, photographs, art, cocktail napkins with jotted ideas, Henry Miller’s 11 Writing Commandments, and other cherished memorabilia. My "charm" would be the antique nautical-looking brass hourglass that dominates the tray on my desk. She is my encouraging timekeeper; no matter how mined, frustrated, or tired I might be feeling, I can always turn her over one more time and get in another 45 minutes or so of writing. Mine works so well for me, I recommend a trusty hourglass for every writer’s desk in America.

In your opinion what makes a book a greak one?

A great book has a beating heart that you sense from page one, if not the title or cover. Yes, you can sometimes judge a book by its cover.

I agree with you, even though I was always taught you couldn't!

What are your Top 5 all time favorite books?

This list evolves, but today my all time favorite books are Queen Zixie Of Ix by L. Frank Baum, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham, and any of the Mapp and Lucia novels by E. F. Benson.

I’m sure there were tears of sadness and joy in the writing of "...Crossdressers.." 
Can you share a memorable moment for you with us?

Holding our first hard copy of the book from the publisher was a big deal. Imagine realizing you’re floating in a hot air balloon together on a beautiful day with a splendid view of wineries below. Dee and I looked at each other, raised our martinis, and uttered something deep and meaningful like, "Aaahhh." We are grateful and enjoyed that moment.

Please tell us the underlying message of your book. What would you like your readers to take away after having read the book?

Cross dressing is a highly complex and often highly misunderstood issue. Living in the closet and all the machinations involved in keeping a thorny secret can have devastating consequences on women, men, relationships, and families. It is time for the issue of cross dressing to be pulled from the shadows into the light of understanding and acceptance.

Were you able to keep your original title? What was it, if not?

Originally titled My Secret Life as a Cross Dresser’s Wife, after other wives and partners from the Forum on www.crossdresserswives.com bravely stepped up to share their powerful stories, the book evolved into The Cross Dresser’s Wife * Our Secret Lives.

Is there a song that you "heard" or might best represent your book as a theme song?

I don’t know if it classifies as the book’s official theme song, but in Mr. Wonderful, page 147, the last page of the last story in the book, our protagonist wife is realizing she won’t be married to her soul mate/husband for the rest of her life. The song ‘Birds’ by Neil Young is playing, "It’s over, it’s over.." as she sits parked in her driveway in the pouring rain, sobbing recklessly, too devastated to go inside and face the cross dressing husband waiting for her in bed.

 If your book were made into a movie; tell me who would play some of your characters! :]

Madeleine Stowe and Stanley Tucci can ignite and bring the marriage of Mr. Wonderful to blazing fruition. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling will infuse their explosive talents into the horrors of Gaslighting. Dianne Wiest would absolutely flee into the interior labyrinth of The Queen Of Denial. Jessica Chastain from ‘The Help’ would instill authentic grace into the dark journey of The Golden Nugget.

I can completely see Dianne Wiest in The Queen of Denial.  Let's go to the movies!  It would be amazing.

Please tell~Guilty pleasures: Most recently read book? Favorite guilty pleasure tv show?
What’s your guilty pleasure coffee/tea? What sweet snack do you sneak?

I am reading The Edinburgh and Dore Lectures On Mental Science by Thomas Troward and the 1955 personal journal of producer Ross Hunter. I love The Simpsons, even after all these years, and can watch favorite episodes endlessly. I like to eat almonds, a banana opened from the bottom like monkeys do, or yummy cheese, apple, and whole grain crackers.

Thank you for bending to these busybody questions! It’s been a pleasure from my end of things!

Thank you so much!

Before you go, is there anything you’d still like to "confess?" LOL

Working on The Cross Dresser’s Wife * Our Secret Lives and becoming part of something positive that helps people understand what is happening all around them is truly a rewarding experience. I tip my proverbial cap to Dee A. Levy and all of the inspiring women from www.crossdresserswives.com. Their stories are powerful, gripping, and eye-opening. Curious readers won’t put the book down until they have reached the last page.

And, I have to say that I thought "The Cross Dresser's Wife: Our Secret Lives" is one of the most significant books I've read in all my life.  There hasn't been a book so helpful in this area of male human behavior and its affects on the women who love them and have children with them that I've ever been aware of. I think its also significant for the men involved who've felt locked up emotionally in their secret lives.

Please see more on this subject and go to the following site for further support and information: http://www.crossdresserswives.com/




Thank you so much for the wonderful review and hosting The Cross Dresser's Wife authors, Deb!!!

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