True Colorz is your web source for all things YA in the LGBTQ community! Our blog features new releases, featured authors, interviews, and reviews/recommended reading.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Featured Author & Giveaway: Elise Himes

Elise Himes
Elise Himes graduated with a BA in Asian History and a TESOL certification. She had spent the last three years teaching in South Korea. In her spare time, she enjoys playing video games, talks to her pet finches as if they were people, and reading tons of books. She also happens to be a transwoman and her novel was inspired by her life.

Q&A with Author Elise Himes:

  1. In what way is your story unique compared to other books in this genre?

    During my transition, I couldn’t find many books that I identified with. They were either about an older generation or from a non-trans character’s perspective. I want those who are transgender to have a character they can relate with and give cisgender readers an understanding of what being trans is like. Also it covers a fair bit of the transition process from the challenges to the triumphs.

  2. What other interests do you have outside of writing?

    I’m a huge history dork. I also love playing video games and used to be really into anime. For past few years, I’ve been learning piano and can finally play the theme from Howl’s Moving Castle. Watching a friend play a terrible game is much funnier than any Hollywood comedy. Oh, I can’t go a day without listening to music, but I’d come off sounding like a hipster if I list the bands I like .

  3. What part of the story was the most fun to write? The most challenging?

    Surprisingly, I loved writing the scenes with Sissy, the conniving gossiper. Growing up, my favorite parts of Disney movies were those starring the villains. They were so fun to hate. The most challenging scenes were those with Rachael’s family as they hit too close to home at times.

  4. If you could travel back in time and tell the teenage you one thing, what would it be?

    Transition is possible. Thirteen, bathroom door locked, standing in front of the mirror in my sisters’ dress, I cherished those hours after midnight. The sound of my parents’ alarm would send me scrambling for my room. I feared that if I actually tried to transition, I’d end up becoming a joke like those on the Jerry Springer Show and hunted by villagers with pitchforks. I didn’t know that not only was it possible to be a cute girl, but I’d now be a cute nerdy chick with my very own dresses.

  5. Tell us about your cover design. Is there any symbolism from the story reflected in the cover?

    The yellow bird by my name is from the one mentioned in Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’. That play plays a huge part in the book.

  6. What would you like young readers to take away from your novels?

    Growing up, I felt as if something was wrong with me. I didn’t fit in with other boys, school felt like a cruel joke… life too, and I secretly coveted my sisters’ dresses. I want readers to realize that you aren’t alone and that nothing is wrong with you. Being yourself seems impossible at times, society can suck like that, but the greatest joys are to be found when you stay true to yourself.

Now Available from Elise Himes:

The Trans-fer Student Rachael is just like any other girl… except she was born a boy.

When her family is forced to move due to bullying, she is accepted into a privileged girls’ school. Her fantasy quickly becomes a nightmare as rumors spread that one of the new students being transgender. Paranoia, deceit, and backstabbing rule the day as their “witch” will be found, no matter who suffers.

The Trans-fer Student Giveaway!

Elise Himes has generously donated a free copy of The Trans-fer Student for one lucky winner. To enter the drawing, please leave a comment below along with your email address. A winner will be chosen on 3/17/14.


  1. Sounds like a great book!
    rochella (DOT) duijs (AT) hotmail (DOT) com

  2. Rochella,
    Congratulations, you've won the giveaway. We will contact you by email.