Bodies By Design – now available in paperback
Having reached the end of the prequel, Split Mirror, at a convenient time I can now announce that the second Jasmine Frame novel, Bodies By Design is now available to order in paperback form (it is also available as an ebook). Go to the Jasmine Frame Publications page to find out how you can get hold of your copy. You’ll find a short excerpt below to whet your appetite.
However to digress for a moment – with transgender remaining a subject of journalists’ fascination it is interesting that the media snake is now starting to bite its tail. An article in last week’s Guardian (or Observer, I can’t remember which) asked whether it was right for non trans people to play trans characters on screen. The main focus is of course the part played by Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl but of course applies to previous film portrayals of trans women such as Transamerica, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and others where the trans character is played by a “cis-” man or woman. I would have liked to have seen these parts played by a transwoman but I am not sure that it is a principle that has to be enforced rigidly. The point is that a part should be given to the actor who is able to play it well. A good actor can take on many roles which may differ greatly from their own personality. On the other hand a trans woman is indistinguishable from any other woman and so, if she is a good actor, can also play any part. What I am saying is that the watcher should not be able to tell if any part played on screen is being played by a trans or cis person. However I hope that no trans-actor is being discriminated against simply for being trans.
Anyway, back to Bodies By Design. The novel follows on some three months after the events of Painted Ladies and Jasmine again becomes involved in the investigation of a murder while undergoing a significant stage in her own transition.
Bodies By Design: The 2nd Jasmine Frame Novel – excerpt
Jasmine sank down while raising the camera to her eye. She peered through the viewfinder, choosing her shot. Would the picture show whether he was relying on the crutch for support? Did he need it? Was he the benefits cheat the FIS suspected? Was he going to get in and drive off? Jasmine clicked off a few shots.
The subject, a middle-aged man with greying brown hair wearing old jeans and a battered sweatshirt, reached inside the car and withdrew a package. He closed the door. He began to move with difficulty around the bonnet back towards the pavement. Good, he wasn’t going to drive off, not yet anyway. Jasmine took a few more pictures. He paused, looked up the road. Jasmine wondered whether he had noticed her but he was staring, not at her but at something on the pavement opposite. He began to walk quickly, almost breaking into a run, his crutch not performing any role at all
High pitched cries finally penetrated Jasmine’s consciousness.
Jasmine looked out of her side window. Standing on the kerb opposite was a young woman with wavy brown hair wearing denim micro shorts and a cut-off vest. She was shouting.
Jasmine dropped the camera onto the passenger seat, grabbed her shoulder bag and opened the car door.
‘What’s the matter?’ she called, getting out.
‘There’s a fire! Upstairs!’ The girl ran towards her just as Jasmine’s subject arrived puffing and leaning on his crutch. The girl pointed to the top floor of one of the Edwardian terraced houses. ‘I heard the alarm going off,’ she added.
Jasmine looked up. Thin wisps of dark smoke rose into the sky from a small dormer window.
‘Is there anyone up there?’
‘Xristal. Oh my God, I think she might be trapped!’ The girl shivered.
‘Show me the way!’ Jasmine’s training took over and she spoke firmly. She urged the girl back towards the house, hurrying her along. The subject followed more slowly.
There were two doors in the front porch. The right one was open. The girl led Jasmine into a dark hallway, through a small kitchen and out into a gravelled backyard. A steel staircase rose to the upper floors. The smoke alarm’s whine was clearly audible.
‘Do you have a phone?’ Jasmine asked the girl.
‘Well, dial 999 and get the fire service here as quick as you can!’ Jasmine ran up the staircase. Two short flights brought her to a narrow landing and a door to the first floor flat. Two more flights and she stood at the door to the top flat. The alarm was deafening.