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THE REGENDER PROJECT: Treasure Island – Regendered

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island – Regendered, is my latest Regendered novel. It’s available from your favourite ebook retailers now. You can find their links at the bottom of this page. If you enjoy it and wanted to find out more about The Regendered Project be sure to signup to my newsletter. You’ll also receive another regendered novel, absolutely FREE!

Wow, it’s been a really long time since I last released a Regendered novel. Real life and other projects have conspired to keep me busy but I’ve continued chipping away at The Regender Project.

I’ve also made a major change and expanded the availability of all my regendered novels. You’ll now be able to find them all on your favourite ebook retailers, including Amazon, Apple iBooks, Nook, Kobo, and many others. So, if you’ve been putting off purchasing one because you don’t know a kindle, now’s your chance to grab them!

Treasure Island is one of the greatest adventure novels. The idea of a young child finding a map to a fabulous treasure, and embarking on an expedition to find it, is one that resonates with everyone. It perhaps presents us with an overly romantic view of piracy but one we’re all too ready to believe in.

I’ve always been particularly interested in regendering nautical novels. Even today, it’s one of the most male dominated segments, but in the 19th century, it was exclusively so. Ironically, the illegal world of piracy allowed women to partake and achieve some semblance of equality. By regendering such novels, I hope to show how perfectly normal it is for woman to inhabit such spaces.

Authors Note:

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The world of swashbuckling pirates and adventures on the high seas was particularly interesting for me to regender. While there have been many notable pirates, Anne Boony, Mary Read and Cheng Shih, to name but a few, it was still very much a male dominated world. Maritime itself was a man’s world, to the point where it was considered bad luck for a woman to even set foot on a ships. These are the sorts of worlds I feel need to be regendered the most since they directly challenge the preconceived notions and stereotypes we have of them. I hope that by showing how normal it is for woman to inhabit these places, we’ll become more accepting of them in our own world, where there are still far too many barriers holding them back.

Being such a nautical novel, there were a few more challenges than normal when regendering it. For starters, much of the terminology, as usual for the time period, defaults to a masculine version. Many of the terms don’t even have female equivalents. Even the ones that do, such as seawoman for seaman, don’t quite feel natural since we are so conditioned to thinking of sailors as being male. Despite how unfamiliar these versions feel, I decided to use them. I think by confronting these feelings we’ll becoming more accepting of them and make significant changes to how we view women in settings they’re not traditionally associated with.

Another tricky decision I had to make was in how I would regender Captain Flint. Early on in the Regender Project I decided historical figures that weren’t part of the story would be exempt from regendering. My purpose behind this was to help maintain the historical position of the novel. Having the same kings and queens meant it was easy to identify the novel as taking place in Victorian England, even while the regendering process made it a very different one to the one know. In the case of Treasure Island, Captain Flint was an infamous pirate of historical significance, and since he doesn’t appear in the novel, would normally be exempt from regendering. Yet, even though he’s not a character in the novel, he’s a major presence. His actions, even though they occur before the events depicted in the novel, cast a long shadow and influence the plot and subsequent actions of many other characters. In the end, I decided to adhere to my original dictum and keep Captain Flint as male. I also like how having such a notorious pirate heading a crew of female cutthroats becomes an unremarkable situation in the regendered version.

The other major issue I had was how to regender Squire Trelawny. While the name wasn’t any harder than most names I regender, the title proved particularly problematic. It stems from the time when a young boy would work as an apprentice to a knight and by the time of the novel had come to refer to the landed gentry. Neither of these had female equivalents that were exactly the same since, again, they were situations only men could enter into. Arguably, there was no need to regender it at all, since there’s no reason why squire couldn’t refer to a woman, yet I think we are so conditioned to thinking of squires as male that the regendering wouldn’t be as noticeable as I’d like. There was also some evidence for Lady Squire to be used, but I tend to avoid simply adding lady, or woman to an existing word in order to make its female version. I finally decided upon Lady. It’s a more generic title but is distinctly different from squire while also giving the same sense of referring to a distinguished person of an elevated social rank for 19th century England.

I hope you enjoy this regendered version of Treasure Island. It still has all the action and adventure of the original but now it’s woman doing it all!

Treasure Island – Regendered

Treasure Island – Regendered

Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel of treasure hunting on a remote island has been completely rewritten with all the characters regendered. Now follow Jill Hawkins as she’s caught up in a voyage to treasure island, while avoiding the machinations of the suspicious Long Jane Silver.
Working in her parent’s tavern, Jill Hawkins befriends an old sailor. When the sailors past confederates catch up with her, she leaves Jill with a map to a fabulous treasure. Enlisting the aid of two family friends, she puts embarks on a grand adventure to recovery the treasure.

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THE REGENDER PROJECT: THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES

My latest regendered novel, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, is now available for free from Amazon!* Yep, that’s right, Free! As an added bonus, when you sign up to my newsletter you’ll receive another regendered novel, completely free also! So grab a copy for yourself and tell all your friends about it!

The novel itself represents a departure from the other novels I’ve regendered so far because it’s the first time I’ve revisited an author I’d already tackled. It’s always been my intention to regender multiple works from the same author but initially I’ve wanted to focus on tackling different authors. This way I’d be able to experience a broader ranger of writing styles and discover which are more suitable or more effective when regendered.

While I still plan to explore new and different authors, I thought it was time to revisit one. Sherlock Holmes continues to be one of the more iconic characters in literature, and narratives in general, making him the perfect candidate for regendering. Also, being a collection of short stories, I think this is the perfect introduction to regendering, demonstrating how such a simple change can fundamentally alter the tone and style of the story.

I hope you enjoy this regendered book, and if so, please leave a review and tell all your friends about it!

* it seems not all the Amazon stores have updated to the free price. If your local one hasn’t yet, please drop me a line and I’ll see what I can do about hurrying them along.

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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes represents a change in how I normally select a novel to regender. It’s the first time I’ve returned to an author whose work I’ve already regendered, not to mention a specific character. My reasons for doing so are not too different from the reasons I chose Sherlock Holmes in the first instance: Sherlock remains one of the most iconic figures in literature, and given how regularly his exploits are adapted, narratives in general.

I was also a little unsatisfied with the story of the first Sherlock Holmes novel I regendered, A Study in Scarlet. While it’s a fine story in its own right, it’s not really what I think of when I think of a Sherlock Holmes mystery, particular when it diverges into the prolonged backstory. I believe these shorter stories are more indicative of a Sherlock Holmes story.

Being a collection of short stories, there’s also quite a divergent number of topics and themes covered. The main one I wanted to explore was to see how a woman can perform the prominent role of a leading detective investigating crimes. To some degree this might not be necessary given how many women perform such roles in narratives already. Literature is filled with examples such as Nancy Drew and Miss Marple, while in television we have Veronica Mars, Kate Beckett and Olivia Benson. Yet, despite this, I continue to read news stories and articles about the struggles women have in pursuing careers in law enforcement, which suggests we still have a long way to go.

As usual, I encountered a number of specific issues while regendering these stories but the one that stands out is a scene from The Boscombe Valley Mystery. In the original, Sherlock is able to deduce some of the circumstances of his new client based on the way he shaved his face. Usually I can adjust any references to beards or shaving by editing a word or two. In this case, it comprised the better part of a paragraph and required significant rewriting in order for the deductive reasoning to apply to a woman.

Finally, I’d like to point out how much I like the new opening to this regendered novel. It now begins with, ‘To Sherlock Holmes he will always be THE man. I have seldom heard her mention him under any other name. In her eyes he eclipses and predominates the whole of his sex.’ I think this quickly establishes the regendering that has occurred and how different this world is compared to the original.

My Patreon Campaign

Today I’d like to announce the start of my Patreon campaign and I hope you’ll all check it out. What’s Patreon you ask? It’s a new crowd funding service, which is focused on artists and content creators, with the goal of providing them with ongoing financial support. Here’s a short video to explain how it works:

Unlike other forms of crowd funding, which are generally geared towards a central product or service, Patreon is dedicated to providing the financial support artists need in order to complete their projects. This means there’s less emphasis on the cost of materials and producing the project.

patreon_logoMy purpose in setting up a Patreon campaign was to generate a little bit of income so I can focus my time on working on the The Regender Project. While everything I produce for the project is available for sale on Amazon, I’m trying to cover a broad range of genres and styles which may not appeal to everyone. I’m sure there’s plenty of people who like what the project is trying to achieve, with its goal of fostering gender equality, and would like it continue but who might not necessary like every regendered novel I produce. For these people, becoming one of my Patreon is the perfect way to support The Regendered Project and ensure it continues.

Of course, there are still perks associated with becoming one of my Patreons, depending on the level of support you choose. These range from $5 USD a month, for which I will provide you with digital copies of the two regendered novels I plan to to produce each month, to the $20 USD a month which will also allow you to nominate novels to be considered for regendering,  along with many others. I’ve tried to make each of the levels beneficial in their own right but once again, the main purpose of the Patreon campaign is to provide the support needed so The Regender Project can continue.

I should also mention one big difference you need to be aware of; the support is ongoing rather than being a one off, set amount. This means each month you’ll contribute the amount you’ve agreed to support. Don’t worry though, you’re free to cancel at any time. If you have further questions regarding pledges, or anything about how Patreon works, be sure to check out their help centre.

So, have a look at my Patreon page and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll continue to tweak the campaign over the next few weeks as receive feedback and learn more about the process. In the meantime, I hope you find it interesting enough to become one of my Patreons!