by I.W. Gregorio
This month we're pleased to highlight debut novelists, I.W. Gregorio and her novel, None of the Above. Kristin is a senior in high school, homecoming Queen and track star, when she learns something about herself that makes her rethink everything about her she’s ever known. She’s intersex.
On Friday, May 1, 2015, Marcy and I shared our Five Favorite Things from I.W. Gregorio's debut novel None of the Above. Now you get to hear the author’s favorites!
1) What is your favorite line or paragraph from the novel as it relates to the main character's development and/or growth?
My main character is a runner and a hurdler, so perhaps my favorite line to show her growth (spoiler alert!) is in the penultimate chapter:
"I’d been running for so long, trying to escape from who I was. Here in the steady circle of Darren’s arms, I was finally ready to stand still."
2) What is your favorite chapter ending or cliffhanger?
Probably the end of Chapter 42 when Kristin downed the bully who was trying to beat her up:
"It turned out that David Letterman's gender verification test had something to it, after all."
3) Who is your favorite secondary character and why?
Definitely Darren. He is the prototypical under the radar guy that doesn't date much during high school but who is GREAT husband material!
Little known fact: None of the Above was originally written in dual narrative, with Darren as the second POV!
4) What is your favorite line or paragraph of description?
"One day I would find my own place. I couldn’t run there, though, because it didn’t exist yet; I had to build it myself, out of forgiveness, truth, and terrifying gestures of friendship."
5) What is your favorite line of dialogue?
“Wait, you called the urologist asking for surgery?” she asked. “And she let you go through with it without making you see a psychiatrist first?”
“I wanted it.”
“But you were still wigging out over your diagnosis. That is so not the best time to go ahead with something like that.”
“I know, that’s what she said too, but I needed them out.” I stopped for a second. “Wait a second. Does that mean you still have them?”
“Have what?” Gretchen asked, smirking.
I blushed, and gestured toward my groin. “You know.”
“Oh,” she said loudly. “You mean my testicles?”
I couldn’t help myself. I looked around to see if anyone had noticed, but the nearest dog-walker was several hundred feet away.
“Yes,” Gretchen said firmly. “I still have my testicles.”
“How can you stand it?”
“What is there to stand? Whatever higher being you believe in made me what I am. I heart my gonads.”
We’d like to congratulate Ilene on the success of the novel and can’t wait to read her next novel.
I. W. Gregorio is a practicing surgeon by day, masked avenging YA writer by night. After getting her MD, she did her residency at Stanford, where she met the intersex patient who inspired her debut novel, None of the Above (Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins). She is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books™ and serves as its VP of Development. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News and Journal of General Internal Medicine. A recovering ice hockey player, she lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.
To read more about I.W. Gregorio’s None of the Above debut novel please go to: