About Zoe Whitten
From my web site:
I don’t like writing about myself in the third person, so I won’t. Before I get to the standard stuff of name, rank, serial number, and former jobs, I thought I’d add an update about who I am and what I do.
First of all, I am not a “real writer.” No, please, don’t send e-mail about my self-esteem issues. What I mean is, I don’t earn a living at this. Writing is my hobby, and sometimes, I put out stories that I think are worth asking money for. Sometimes, people even agree and buy my stuff, but my annual income from writing has been just enough to buy one pizza per year. (actually, 2008 was a good year, since I could afford two pizzas, a pitcher of beer, AND bus fare to the pizzeria.)
I occasionally write stuff that I think is so good that I mail it off to publishers and ask them if they might take it. The answer is usually no, but I keep trying. The publishers might always say no, but as they say, there’s no harm in trying.
I am a self-published writer, but I am not an “untapped genius,” nor am I the “next wave” of anything. I’m just someone who enjoys writing stories, and I’ve decided to share my stories with other people. Over the last two years, I have self-published the Campiagn trilogy, as well as having “web published” six novellas and three short stories. I have had one short story published on a “semi-pro” level through Necrotic Tissue (Alpha Male, issue 4), and while I continue to offer stories to the fine folks in the publishing market at various levels, I am still waiting for a yes to come back on one of my novellas or novels.
I was born in Denison Texas on April 4th, 1975, and I have spent most of my life in various cities in the state of Texas. My parents were divorced when I was three. I bounced between them a lot, and they both suffered from wanderlust. I lived with my mother in Idaho for almost a year when I was five, and I moved with my father to Las Vegas for three months just after I turned sixteen. Though we had also briefly lived in Louisiana, I was three and a half, and remember nothing of that time beyond burning my hands on a crawfish boiler. During my life in Texas, I have resided in Austin, Dallas, Denison, Devine, Natalia, Sherman, and San Antonio.
I have a tendency to study what interests me and ignore what doesn’t. During my “formal education,” I elevated slacking to a new art form. In spite of never turning in homework, I have only repeated the first grade. The rest I got through by acing my year end exams. I was told that this trick wouldn’t work in high school and that my slacking days were over. So I dropped out of high school at fifteen, and I passed my GED certification at seventeen as soon as I was legally able to take the test.
I attempted college for less than a semester, where I was passing intermediate college algebra, but failing my drawing class. I dropped out because I discovered computer graphics wasn’t about computer animation. It is in fact about presentation graphics like Powerpoint. I was told that dropping out of college meant dooming myself to being a burger flipper for the rest of my life. This turned out to be a hollow threat. I’ve worked in fast food less than six months of my entire life, and most of that was during my teens.
After working for a few years alternating between telemarketing and temporary assignments, I managed to talk my way into a job working as a computer technician. During my off hours, I worked on a public access program called Infinitely Stupid, which ran for four years. I attempted to join the army at twenty-three, but I was injured in basic training and spent six months working as a secretary with a buzz cut. While staying at Fort Sill in Lawton Oklahoma, I also learned that contrary to the popular myth, Army food doesn’t suck. Instead the lousy coffee eventually kills your taste buds and makes everything else taste bland.
I moved to Austin after being honorably discharged, where I again began working as a computer technician. However, in 2000 the “Y2K bug” turned out to be far less menacing than the media had hyped it to be, (big shock) and the tech market floundered. I spent the following year unemployed, and was homeless for two weeks. My homeless phase came later in the year just days after I had found a job, but I managed to hold onto it in spite of having trouble keeping clean. After many days of trying to sleep outside without being arrested, our manager allowed us to live in the theater. This was a secret of sorts, but whenever someone complained “I’ve worked so much overtime, I feel like I live here,” I would reply, “I did live here.” I doubt if many of my co-workers knew I wasn’t joking.
During this time, I began to get serious about writing. After finally completing my first novel, I gave it an objective review and decided it could never be published without a massive rewrite to address inconsistencies in the plot. I then wrote a second novel which I thought was more worthy of publishing. I passed that story around in a hand written form to anyone who would take it, and the response from friends and strangers alike was unanimous: I should publish that novel. I…did not believe them.
At the age of 27, I began to suffer from symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Though I had been a workaholic most of my life, I found that my illness was making even light work exhausting. I became moody and combative, and I started to enter a self destructive pattern, intending to have myself put out of my misery one way or another.
Just before my 28th birthday, I reached a point where I had to confront my past problems with my gender. I decided that I could no longer attempt to live as a male, and I began taking hormones which I’d ordered from the internet shortly after my 28th birthday. I began gender therapy sessions a few months later.
I continued my transition with help from my family, and in the latter months of 2003, I met a man online who lived in Italy. After a nine month courtship involving almost daily video chats and e-mails, I traveled to Italy to meet him. I returned to the US four months later to complete my paperwork to have my name and gender legally changed. I returned to Italy, taking another trip again in July of 2005 to Thailand to have gender reassignment surgery. I returned to Italy, and on October of 2005, I got married in a palace in Milan.
I currently reside in Milan Italy with my husband Luciano and our two cats, Zeus and Carlotta. I divide my time between writing, reading, and playing video games. My current video game addictions are Second Life and Never Winter Nights 2.
And I guess that’s it. Thanks for taking the time to read all of this.