Category Archives: Regender

THE REGENDER PROJECT: Persuasion


The latest novel I’ve regendered is Jane Austen’s Persuasion, available to buy now from Amazon. Be sure to sign up to my newsletter and you’ll receive another regendered novel, absolutely free!

While Persuasion might not be one of Austen’s better known novels, it does have the distinction of being the last one she wrote, it being published posthumously. Like nearly all of her novels, it features her biting satire of the class divisions in her society and the strictly defined roles women and men had to live with.

What is interesting about Persuasion, and Jane Austen’s novels in general, is they don’t need really regendering at all. They’re already filled with women who are given as much importance and consideration within the narrative as the men . The reason I chose to regender Persuasion was because Austen’s novels are still filled with the rigid gender roles and stereotypes defining how women and men should behave. In regendering Persuasion, I wanted to explore what the narrative would be like if it was focused on the men vying for suitable matches to secure their futures, with the women holding the positions of power and influence.

I hope you enjoy this regendered novel and look forward to reading your reviews on it!

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 REGENDER PROJECT: WAR OF THE WORLDS

War of the Worlds, my latest regendered novel, is now available for purchase from Amazon. This is probably one of the more well-known novels I’ve regendered, no doubt due to the many adaptations it’s received over the years. While the latest starred Tom Cruise in 2005, the most famous would still be Orson Welles’ radio play of 1938. While the stories of it creating mass panic from people believing it was a real invasion are probably exaggerated, that just adds to the mythology of the story.

As a long time science fiction geek, I’ve been eager to regender the works of one of the pillars of the genre, H.G. Wells. In terms of the genre, his work still stands the test of time, with many of predictions and creations remaining just as interesting today as when he first wrote them over a hundred years ago.
What I’ve also discovered about his work is how gender neutral it is. While his novels, including this one, are still made up of mostly male characters, there’s not as many indications of it. As I explain a little more in the author’s note, there’s not as many gendered nouns or pronouns used, so swapping the characters was a very smooth process.

The story itself remains as interesting as always, with great descriptions of fantastical machines, mixed in with the vivid pictures of London. While the regendering ends up being subtler than others I’ve done, I actually think it’s more effective. I hope you all enjoy the novel and I look forward to hearing what you think about it!

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THE REGENDER PROJECT: THE STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL & MISS HYDE

This week’s regendered novel is The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Miss Hyde, available now for purchase on Amazon. The original novel concerned a distinguished doctor who created a concoction that unleashed his primal nature in the form of an alter ego. This is one of those stories I think everyone has some awareness of, even if they haven’t read the original novel themselves. No doubt it’s because, like The Prince and The Pauper, it’s a trope that’s been used time and again in various movies and television shows.

I was drawn to regendering this novel for two reasons; firstly, its premise has a timeless quality about it, with a board appeal, which explains why it’s been used so often. More importantly, for me, was the idea of exploring the different personalities everyone has inside them. Of course, the idea of someone having their identity and personality completely swapped is something I think is particularly relevant to The Regender Project.

Perhaps because of the innate duality within the novel, I didn’t find it as technically challenging as most of the others I’ve done so far. This was more than made up for by the challenge in designing a suitable cover for it. From the start I had a clear idea of what I wanted but I struggled to articulate it properly, much to the frustration of my cover designer. Thankfully a friend came to our aid, lending her artistic talents to the endeavour and providing a great illustration to work with. I owe her, and my designer, a debt of gratitude for pulling it off!

Author’s Note:

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THE REGENDER PROJECT: THE SCARLET LETTER

Welcome to this week’s official regendered novel release, The Scarlet Letter, available now for purchase from Amazon. The original novel, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was one of the first great American works of literature. Set in Puritanical New England, the regendered version follows a man who commits adultery, resulting in a child born out of wedlock, a grave sin in the 16th century. Refusing to name the mother of the child, he is ostracized from his community, forced to raise his son alone, on the outskirts of the town.

I’ve looked forward to working on The Scarlet Letter for some time now. I was particularly drawn to the idea of creating a story that now shows a male suffering from the same social stigma women have had to for so many centuries. This is precisely the sort of situation the project hopes to examine and explore.

The novel had its usual quirks when regendering, which I discuss further in the author’s note, but there’s one particular issue I wanted to mention. Central the original novel is the main character’s affair and subsequent pregnancy, even though it isn’t actually depicted. The regendered version requires a significant leap of faith on the part of the reader, since they need to believe it’s possible for a mother to hide her pregnancy and childbirth, particularly in a small, tight knit community in the 16th century.

To be honest, I’m still a little unsure how I want to handle these situations when regendering, so I’m using this novel to test the waters. In this case, I’ve chosen to ignore it for the most part, relying on the reader to accept such an improbable premise in order experience the rest of the story fully. It’s not an ideal solution but I hope you still find it an enlightening read.

Author’s Note:

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THE REGENDER PROJECT: THE PRINCESS AND THE PAUPER

Welcome to the official release of The Princess and the Pauper – Regendered. It’s available now for purchase on Amazon! The story follows two young girls in 16th century England, one a princess and heir to the kingdom and the other a pauper. Circumstances arise which allows them to trade places, and they each must adapt and learn how to live in the others shoes. If this plot sounds familiar, then you’ve probably encountered one of the countless adaptions of it that’s appeared in movies and television shows.

While the central plot has been used over and over again, with varying degrees of success, I think it continues to be interesting and relevant. The idea of looking at someone else’s life and imagining the grass is greener for them is something that people continue to do. By showing us what it’s actually like for someone to live in another person’s life, we gain some insight into their reality, and hopefully a little more appreciation for our own lives. It feels like this trope is even more relevant in today’s social media age where all too often we get a false sense of how other people live based on what they choose to share with the world.

As usual, the novel presented its own unique challenges when I was regendering it. I talk about these in more detail in the Author’s Note, which I’ve included below. There aren’t too many spoilers in this one, so feel free to take a peak, but I’ve hidden it just to be safe.

Author’s Note:

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THE REGENDER PROJECT: Billie Budd

First up, I want to apologise for the delay in officially releasing Billie Budd. I’d originally intended to post this blog last week, but in between gallivanting across New Zealand and unforeseen technical issues, I had to wait until today. The Book is now available for purchase from Amazon. I should also mention I’m experimenting with a new linking system, which should take you straight to the Amazon store appropriate for you region. Since I know a lot people maintain a US Amazon account, I’m not sure if this will end up being a benefit or a hindrance, so feel free to let me know which you prefer.

The original Billy Budd is a fascinating story even though it’s not as widely known as a classic these days. First published posthumously  in 1924 after its author, Herman Melville, died before completing it. It was a critical success upon its release, reaching the peak of its fame in the 1950’s and 60’s when it was adapted into a stage play, an opera, and a movie starring Peter Ustinov and Terence Stamp.

As a novel I’m particularly familiar with, Billy Budd was one of my first choices for regendering, becoming Billie Budd. Its original setting, a warship crewed exclusively by men, also made it particularly appealing for the project. But what really resonated with me, and what I think made it such a classic, was the moral dilemma central to the story. It’s not just a matter of right and wrong, but it also brings in the question of justice vs the letter of the law, particularly during times of war, along with trying best course of action in the context of a great conflict. I was pleased to see all these questions, which I feel are vital to the story, remained intact after regendering.

The Author’s Note, where I talk about the specific challenges I encountered when regendering this novel, doesn’t actually contain many spoilers. Still, I’ve hidden it just to be safe. I’m also experimenting with embedding the books, so you’ll be able to flick through a chapter or so to see if the story interests you enough to purchase.

Author’s Note:

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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!

THE REGENDER PROJECT: The Happy Princess and Other Tales

Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince(ss) and Other Tales is the third regendered novel I’m officially releasing , which is available for free for a short time. Unlike the others, it’s a collection of short stories rather than a full length novel. It’s also the first time I’ve adjusted the title, morphing the original Happy Prince into the regendered Happy Princess.I was originally against making such changes since it felt like it was disconnecting too much from the original text. In this case, I didn’t have much choice since keeping the original title would’ve negated the point of regendering. Having seen the change though, I think I quite like it, and will probably be more inclined to change the titles in the future if necessary.

Being a collection of short stories, The Happy Princess and Other Tales make a great introduction to what you can expect from a regendered novel. Each story is a bite size narrative, usually wrapped around a moral, you can read in a short period of time. My personal favourite is probably The Devoted Friend because it’s all too easy imagine the ‘friend’ in the story being real.

The reason I chose The Happy Princess and Other Tales for regendering was due more to the original author, Oscar Wilde, than the stories themselves. I explain this in a little more detail in the author’s note below. As always, it main contain spoilers, so read at your own risk!

Author’s Note:

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THE REGENDER PROJECT: Around the World in Eighty Days

Jules Verne’s “Around the World in Eighty Days” is the second regendered novel I’m officially releasing and it’ll be available for free for a short time. It wasn’t actually the second novel I worked on and has only been completed relatively recently. The reason I moved it up in the release order was because of how much I enjoyed reading the regendered version. It proved to be such an easy read, while at the same time demonstrating everything I wanted from regendering a novel.

While the feat itself is fairly easy to achieve these days, there’s still something about a race against time, particularly towards a destination or along a route, we can call relate to. Anyone who’s ever missed a train, bus, or connecting flight knows just how much of a difference it makes to their total journey. Throw in a few obstacles and mishaps and you have a classic adventure story.

Perhaps what I enjoyed most was how easy it was to read after regendering. It read just like every other adventure novel, and the fact the main protagonist, along with most of the other characters, were now female had almost no impact on the story. Perhaps there was some bending in how characters behaved in their new genders compared to what we might expect, but that’s exactly the story of impact I’m looking for by regendering novels. To explore gender stereotypes and our preconceived notions of how they should act.

As usual, Around the World in Eighty Days had its own unique challenges and quirks to address. You can read more about them in the author’s note below. Be warned, though, it may contain spoilers if you’re not familiar with the story.

Author’s Note:

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