Rachel Dax, author of The Legend of Pope Joan – Part 1, joins us here today to tell us all about her new release, Part 2 in the Pope Joan story.
Because she kicks ass, she’s made book Part 1 free on Amazon from 6/28-7/2. Here’s the link if you want to grab it: POPE JOAN FOR FREE ON AMAZON HERE.
And, because she’s cool, keep reading and learn about Pope Joan.
Want to read something totally different?
by Rachel Dax
The Legend Of Pope Joan by Rachel Dax is a three-part gender-bending, pansexual, theological adventure set in the 9th Century.
To celebrate the release of Part 2. Rome this weekend, Rachel is offering Part 1. Frankia FREE from Friday 28th June until Tuesday 2nd July 2013.
‘Pope Joan’, as she is commonly referred to nowadays, is asserted to have sat on the Papal Throne during 853-855 under the name Pope John VIII. Her existence is fiercely disputed by the Roman Catholic Church but the legend has never died. Over the centuries, various writers have become fascinated by her tale and a plethora of plays, films and novels have been written exploring who she might have been. To my knowledge, my version is the only one that has not assumed she was a heterosexual woman in disguise. I do not believe that if Joan was just a ‘straight woman disguised as a man’ that she could have successfully pulled off living as a male amongst other males for years and years without being discovered.
My trilogy addresses the idea that we are all floating around on a series of spectra when it comes to sex, gender and sexuality and some people, who find themselves in the middle area of all of those spectra, can manifest as many things in the course of their lifetime. The Legend Of Pope Joan explores Joan as a character that cannot be categorised as male or female, straight or gay, but instead, one who is all things at once and beyond definition. I want my readers to ask themselves: Is she female or male? Is she trans? Is she lesbian, bisexual or a gay man? And I want those readers to be thinking about this long after they have finished the trilogy.
Part 1. Frankia. FREE THIS WEEKEND
When thirteen-year-old Joan, having past the age of schooling for girls, is banned from studying theology, she is devastated. Determined to be a scholar and unable to submit to the expectations of her sex, Joan transforms into a boy, aided by her best friend Michael and a flamboyant entertainer, Amadeus Reichenbach. Together the trio embarks on a journey from Eastern Frankia to Athens where Joan and Michael intend to train as priests. But the road ahead is beset with unexpected challenges, including Joan’s burgeoning sexuality, and how they will reach their final destination becomes more and more uncertain.
Part 2. Athens OUT THIS WEEKEND
Joan, now living as a seminarian in Athens, starts to grow up and embrace what it really means to live as a man for good. She works diligently to look, think and ‘feel’ like a male – as simply being a ‘woman in disguise’ would be too dangerous and doomed to failure. Although this process is challenging, her overarching desire to be a scholar and teacher at the seminary seems undisputed even by God, and so the sacrifice of her femininity feels worth it. But then Joan meets a young woman called Thea and every decision she has made thus far is called into question…
Part 3. Rome DUE THIS WINTER
Having caught the attention of Rome, Joan is invited to become Head of the Greek School and soon asked to serve Pope Leo IV as his Deacon and Chief Advisor. Joan presses for a Church that prioritises the poor and sick above its ambitious building program, and as a result, her popularity amongst the ordinary citizens of Rome begins to grow and she is tipped to become Pope. But when the city is hit by an outbreak of pox, Joan’s skills in healing and politics are put to the test and as Pope Leo grows closer to death, Joan finds herself locked in battle with two powerful enemies each vying for the Papal Throne. The pressure and isolation push her to breaking point only to be further exacerbated by the attention of Julian, her fellow Deacon, who has fallen in love with her believing she is male…