Struggled To Explain Their Identity

Huxley Ren Bunn Author Interview

Stan and Allen: A Book About Gender follows two non-binary alligators who are misgendered and educate their friends on gender-neutral language. What was the inspiration for your story?

The inspiration initially came from my own experiences explaining my identification of nonbinary to others. When I first told my parents about my identification they mistaked being nonbinary for being bisexual – a common misconception. I also thought about those I knew who were younger than me who also struggled to explain their identity to family or others. I wanted to create something which could act as a friendly tool for these conversations. A children’s book seemed to be a great format which could reach all ages.

My older brother, Brennan, is actually the great story-teller in the family – and has always been a creative inspiration for me. Brennan loves creating short stories. It really was his love which made me truly fall in love with writing and creating stories of my own.

What educational aspects were important for you to include in this children’s book?

The presentation of Stan and Allen was extremely important. I wanted the book to be visually stimulating to hold attention and also represent the positive nature of the story. If you follow closely you can see each character speaks in their own font style. It was also important to me to have the book rhyme to depict a friendly tone. Having anthropomorphic characters I believe is one the most important aspects of the book. Since Stan and Allen are both alligators we are able to just purely focus on the given topic – gender. Since animals are less ‘gendered’ than humans I believe it’s easier for someone new to the concept of non-binary to learn on an already fairly gender neutral alligator. Finally I also wanted a type of reflection included which is why the book ends with some pure educational pages. These include a dictionary type definition of what it means to be non-binary, three important things about gender, and some easy gender neutral greetings.

Overall I hope the book is able to serve as a great educational tool. I have had school counselors, students, pediatricians, parents and others express how helpful the book has been in their explanation and understanding of non-binary identification. The book is meant to help educate anyone of any age about what it means to be non-binary.

What were some of your inspirations as a writer?

I drew inspiration from my favorite children’s books : Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich and The Spider and the Fly. Both books have very unique illustrations, are written in rhyme, and are in square page format. My love for these two books and their formats helped inspire Stan and Allen to have hand drawn illustrations, rhyme, and be formatted in square pages.

What is the next book that you are working on, and when will it be available?

I am currently working on two more Stan and Allen books. One is a follow up on gender which dives deeper into the topic. The other is about ADHD. I have ADHD and realize all the negativity associated with it, but don’t agree. I hope to illustrate ADHD as a positive rather than a negative. Stan and Allen: A Book About Gender is my first published book through Archway publishing — I am currently working on marketing it and building up a following. My dream is to publish my next book through Simon and Schuster.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Website

Stan and Allen are two alligator friends who decide to quench their thirst at the local Mud Slug. But while ordering, the alligators discover that not everyone knows what it means to be non-binary, and that’s okay!
Stan is here to help. In a kind and gentle way, he offers suggestions on how to extend gender neutral greetings, answers questions around pronouns, explains what it means to be non-binary, and encourages everyone to advocate for themselves. Best of all, Stan teaches the importance of accepting ourselves and others around us, just as we are.
Stan and Allen is the tale of two alligators who have a friendly conversation about gender that will educate and empower all ages about what it means to identify as non-binary.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on December 23, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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