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Hi Everyone,

Today, I’m turning the mic over to friend of Pop Seagull Ira Nayman to talk about his latest project. Ira’s a super hardworking, funny and talented guy, and his latest novel, in pre-order now, stands to be the best yet. In a few days, we’ll be hosting an excerpt, and a peek at the brand-new cover image. Take it away, Ira!

It’s funny how so many people never really think about how deeply our bodies affect our lives, our sense of who we are and how we relate to other people in the world. Maybe it’s because we grow up in them, they are always part of us, and so it’s too easy for us to take them for granted.

I can see at least two cases where this isn’t so. The first case occurs when bodies don’t work the way they are supposed to; this forces the people who inhabit them to pay attention to them. The second is when you inhabit the body of an “other” (perhaps a black body in a predominantly white society, or a transgendered body in a predominantly cisgendered society); in that case, you are constantly reminded of the significance of your body. You can’t take it for granted. For the rest of us, I would suggest a little thought experiment.

Imagine what your life would be like if you woke up one morning and found yourself in a random body of the opposite sex. All of your memories up to the moment you went to sleep would be of your old body, and your basic personality would be the same. But now you would have to deal with a completely different set of physical characteristics, including a different set of hormones. What would this do to your sense of yourself, your idea of who you are? How would you cope?

Now, imagine what life would be like if everybody you knew had changed into a random body of the opposite sex overnight. How would you prove to your spouse that you were the person they had married? Would you believe them when they tried to convince you that they were the person you had married? What would you do if the attraction was no longer there? How would this affect your relationships with friends, acquaintances and other family members? For example: what would you do if your three month old daughter now inhabited the body of a forty year-old man?

As if that weren’t enough, imagine a world in which in which everybody’s sex had changed. Would male politicians maintain their positions on women’s issues (ie: reproductive rights) when they became women? Would the predominantly male CEOs of major corporations retain the faith of the market when they were no longer male? What would this do to the glass ceiling? How would international relations work when it was difficult to establish the true identities of world leaders?

This is the world that I have created for the novel Both Sides. NOW! My intention is to illustrate how the bodies we live in affect more aspects of our lives than most of us realize. I do this by following ten different characters in situations around the world in four time periods: the day of the change and one week, one month and one year afterwards. Some of the characters appear in multiple time periods, others only once. The result is a kaleidoscopic novel that, I hope, captures a wide swath of human experience.

Oh, and it’s a comedy. Because humour is what I write.

The novel is complete, but it has yet to find a publisher. That’s where you come in.

Crowdfunding publisher Inkshares and all things geeky Web site Nerdist are running a contest to determine which science fiction and fantasy books can get the most pre-orders by September 30. The five books that come out on top will be published by Inkshares under the Nerdist imprint; they will be placed in American bookstores and given some attention in American media, and the companies even hold out the possibility of a TV or movie deal.

What can you do to make this a reality? Go to the Inkshares Web site (https://www.inkshares.com/projects/both-sides-now-), read the 50 page excerpt from the novel, love the 50 page excerpt from the novel and pre-order a copy of the novel. (Or, be indifferent to the 50 page excerpt from the novel, but wish me well enough to pre-order a copy of it anyway. I’ll accept that. I’m not proud.) Then, share this news with people you think might read/love/pre-order Both Sides. NOW!

Both Sides. NOW! is a unique book on a subject that isn’t often explored in mainstream genre fiction. Read the excerpt and you will find that it is well worth supporting.

-Ira Nayman