Synopsis of Revolutionary, to be published by Simon & Schuster January 2014
Set during the American Revolution, Revolutionary tells the story of Deborah Samson Gannett, a young woman who runs away from her home in Middleborough Massachusetts, disguises herself as a man and enlists in the Continental Army, serving as a soldier for over a year and a half. Hewing closely to the historical truth, the novel chronicles Deborah’s departure from her hometown in 1782, her service at West Point, the action she faced in skirmishes throughout Westchester, and her travel with General Paterson to quell the mutiny in Philadelphia in 1783. Amid this historical narrative, Deborah also struggles with her own transformation and her ability to live as a man, wrestling with the question of what this means for her future and how she should live once the war is done. Before she can face that future, though, she must survive not only the physical battles but also the emotional strains brought on by warfare, treason, friendship and, ultimately, love.
Alex Myers is a writer, teacher, speaker, and activist. Born and raised in Paris, Maine, Alex was raised as a girl (Alice) and left Maine to attend boarding school at Phillips Exeter Academy. At Exeter, Alex came out as transgender, returning his senior year as a man after attending for three years as a woman, and was the first transgender student in that Academy’s history. After Exeter, Alex earned his bachelor's at Harvard University, studying Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and living in the Dudley Co-op. Alex was also the first openly transgender student at Harvard and worked to change the University’s nondiscrimination clause to include gender identity. Subsequent to earning a master's degree in religion at Brown, Alex has pursued a career in teaching English at secondary schools. He completed his Master's of Fine Arts in fiction writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he began his work on Revolutionary. He currently teaches English at St. George’s School, where he lives with his wife and two cats.
Two notebooks on the left = the version I originally wrote by hand. The four typed copies above = the manuscripts that I worked on with professors at Vermont College, plus one read by my parents and one read by a friend (so many thanks to them!). The messy pile to the right = the notes and mailings from my editor at Simon and Schuster. And this doesn't count the electronic versions that were read by other friends and my wife. Whew! I'll write more about the whole process when I get to the editing section of my blog.
The question of where people write has long been an interest to me. My roommates in high school and college variously preferred silent libraries (one might have preferred a mausoleum, in fact), crowded cafes, the kitchen table... So I thought I would share a little bit of where I like to write.
Not very glamorous, I know. I like to write standing up. Rumor has it that actual standing desks exist, but for now I just put an old Ikea shelf on top of a regular desk. I also like to write by hand. In addition to being pleasantly archaic, it adds a useful extra step to my drafting process when I transfer from page to screen. For the record, I didn't choose the wall color.
And, as a teaser... here's a picture of my manuscript mound: much of the paper that went into writing Revolutionary.