Last Updated on: March 20th, 2017
I have met many awesome bloggers and authors online, but what is really cool is when I meet someone who falls out of the “norm” and piques my interest, like Connie Anne McEntee did.
Connie is also the author of Waking For Hours, a book about a teenage boy discovering his sexual identity.
My Review of Waking for Hours (which I posted to both Amazon and Goodreads):
Teenager William – Billy – Miller finds himself in a situation he never dreamt possible: in a love triangle with both a female and a male. As he discovers he is bisexual, he finds himself being polyamorous – having a girlfriend and a boyfriend at the same time.
Initially, Billy seems like an average teenage virgin, until he meets Jools, whom he gets to know during hiking trips and school study dates. As the two boys forge a special friendship, Billy and his girlfriend, Shelly, engage in intercourse for the first time.
Facing teenage struggles, like having to take a bus all the time because he doesn’t have a car, Billy sometimes gets rides from his friends who have vehicles, including his girlfriend, as well as his parents and grandpa, too.
Throughout the book, the main character faces both inner and outer struggles, as well as discrimination from peers. His journey takes him to new and exciting places, and a variety of support systems emerge. The fact that Jools’ mom is a lesbian and Billy’s grandpa is bisexual adds another dimension to the book, too, demonstrating that LGBT people are everywhere!
Confusion about sexual orientation is the main issue in Waking for Hours. The moral? Self-discovery is a journey best left unrushed.
Because I had some interaction with the author – Connie Anne McEntee – prior to reading this book, I was able to notice some parallels between one the author’s characters – Donnie – and the author’s actual life. It’s no secret that fiction is based on reality, and the parallels added to the authenticity of the characters in the book. Some parallels:
- similar names (Connie/Donnie)
- the main character is a teen and has a sister (the author has two children)
- the author has struggled with the very same issues as Billy
The simplistic writing was engaging, light and airy, the storylines had teachings behind them coupled with positive influences, including a gay pastor and a family who is loving and supportive of their children. Billy’s parents try very hard to be great role models, and the fact that his grandfather is bisexual adds an interesting twist to the story. It’s clear that the grandfather was born in a day and age where sexuality was not openly discussed, but the grandfather is portrayed as someone who is not only a mentor to Billy and his friends, and seems to be someone who is a lot of fun to be around.
I deem it an excellent book for teens, and would recommend this book easily!
Waking for Hours: Book Blurb
Here is what waking for hours is about, according to the author’s website (where you can visit to read a brief excerpt):
Seventeen-year-old Bill Miller is a creative, sensitive, and talented teenager who thinks of himself as just a regular guy with ordinary problems. His girlfriend, Shelly, is confused about her feelings for him. His ex-girlfriend, Melody, likes him as just a friend. Truth be told, Bill just wants to find peace. As the summer before his junior year of high school comes to a close, Bill attends a fine arts program at a community college and begins to perceive himself in a new light.
After a rather unsuccessful day at camp, Bill meets Julian “Jools” Garden, who immediately makes him feel better about himself. Jools and Bill find ways to spend time together, starting with a hike in the middle of suburbia that causes Bill to question everything he has ever known about himself. As his friendship with Jools progresses, Bill realizes he is not a straight guy with a girlfriend, but instead a bisexual youth who has fallen in love with Jools, even as Shelly seduces him for the first time.
Waking for Hours shares a teenager’s unique coming-of-age journey as he relies on the help of his grandfather and a new friend and unlocks the courage to face the reality about himself, love, and labels.
You can get your copy of Waking for Hours from:
Get to know the author on a personal level
The other day, when I wrote about sexual identity, I promised to introduce you to an interesting person.
I’m fascinated with interesting people, and Connie Anne McEntee is such a person.
Designated male at birth, Connie is undergoing medical transition from male to female. She’s also a witch, and is quite open about answering questions – even questions that “cross the line.” She was kind enough to share a few things with me and answer some of the questions I had in a mini-interview:
What does MTF mean?
Male to female.
What does genderqueer mean?
Genderqueer refers to a gender identity that is somewhere between masculine and feminine on the gender spectrum, sometimes a combination of both (androgynous or androgyne) and sometimes neither (agender). It’s an identity that “queers” the concept of gender identity by demanding the recognition of more than two options. A subset of genderqueer is genderfluid, in which a person might have a gender identity that shifts for various reasons.
I had thought for a time that I might be genderqueer, and I think it was an attempt to retain some masculinity to keep my wife from needing to divorce me. At this point, it’s safe to say that I have a feminine gender identity but I do queer gender roles to an extent. I still identify very much as my kids’ father, and they call me Dad. Additionally, I refer to myself as an ex-husband. Should I marry again, however, I will be a wife.
What is your sexual orientation? (Forgive me for being so blunt)
My sexual orientation is pansexual, that is I am capable of experiencing sexual attraction to persons across the gender spectrum. That said, I usually find feminine presentations to be most attractive, followed by androgynous, then masculine. My romantic orientation could be described as panromantic, as I am capable of falling in love with a person whose gender identity is anywhere on the spectrum. Unlike with my sexual orientation, I don’t seem to have a hierarchy of desire with regards to romance.
Here’s where it gets complicated. I can experience sexual attraction in different ways. The example I described above is based on how I perceive a person visually. There have been persons I’ve met who might not have found visually attractive, yet I became sexually attracted to them after I got to know them and began to fall in love with them. Typically, sexual attraction after a close emotional bond is formed is described as demisexual. But since I can experience sexual attraction also by appearances, it would be inaccurate for me to describe myself as demisexual. Wildly inaccurate, in fact. *blush*
Can you tell me more about your personal issues with respect to sexual attraction and interactions?
I’m very out regarding my sexual and romantic orientations, as I am with my gender identity. And while I will readily admit that my birth name was David William, I generally don’t discuss details of my sex life.
You’re into witchcraft, and you are a witch. Can you share what this means? Witchcraft a the method by which (no pun intended) various religions, generally Pagan religions, are practiced. Often, a reverence for nature and natural things is at the core of these practices. We hold sacred the cycle of the seasons (the Wheel of the Year), seeing them not only as the natural order of things but also as metaphors for the cycles of life as well.
Kitchen witchcraft is about finding the sacred in the mundane and bringing it into play. I once wrote a blog post equating cooking to alchemy. And a sermon preached at my home church showed how it could be argued that Jesus was a kitchen witch, too. I’m a Christo-Pagan: a second degree Wiccan priestess and I will be attending a Christian seminary this fall. So, I bring my witchcraft to both my Christianity and my Wicca. Being a second degree priestess means that I’m an intermediate member of my coven (a Pagan faith community). While I’m primarily a student in this community, some of the questions I have brought have led to teaching my coven leaders to an extent.
My duties as a priestess are mostly to assist the priestes with our rituals. This could be casting the circle (establishing the sacred space) or inviting a particular spirit or deity into the space. When one of the third degree priestesses was ordained a Christian minister, it was I who invited Mother Mary into the space, asking her blessings on my priestess and all gathered.
As I continue my growth with this coven, I will most likely get my second and third degree initiations. At the third degree, I will be permitted to take the title Reverend, as it’s an ordination. Then, I would be expected to start teaching and perhaps start a coven of my own.
Can you tell me a bit about your writing journey?
I’ve always wanted to write, even as a child. I had started with trying science-fiction and fantasy, but usually found myself writing about the relationships more than the tech or magic. As my understanding of my sexual and romantic orientations, as well as my gender identity evolved, I began to ask myself some “what if” questions about my past. Some of those questions led to my first young adult novel, Waking for Hours.
I opted to self-publish as I didn’t think there would be much of a market for the book. Queer YA doesn’t seem to be the most visible genre even though there seems to be a great thirst for such stories. I decided that if I self-publish I could simply get the story out there. I try to promote it without being too annoying through my blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
What inspires me are questions and, since I primarily read and write queer YA, the sheer joy I experience in observing the generations behind mine. The “me” generation? Hardly. The generation of my kids are some of the most awesome and kind persons I’ve ever encountered. I guess this is where I would add that my daughter just graduated college. Yes, I’m 44 and have a 22-year-old daughter. I was 22 when she was born and 19 when her brother was born.
Thanks for answering my questions, Connie. I appreciate it!
If you have any questions for Connie (that don’t cross the line!), please ask her in the comment section.
Connie Anne McEntee has always been fascinated by stories of self-discovery and coming of age, particularly those of LGBTQIA+ persons. She began work on her first young adult novel, Waking for Hours, about the same time she began her gender transition process. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and began her gender transition in her early forties. Her first novel, Waking for Hours, was published in November 2012 and is available through Amazon,Barnes & Noble, and iUniverse. She is also a Christian kitchen witch. She blogs about her own self-discoveries at Double Invert, and has been doing so since 2011.
Don’t forget to get your copy of Waking for Hours from:
It’s really a great book, and should be read by teenagers everywhere. It also makes a good gift. 🙂
Does this book pique your interest? Why or why not?