Image by Tim Geers

Number 11 of my 40 Before 40 is: Write a book.

Shelley Taylor is, amongst other things, a champion of sex-positivity, the founder of Venus Envy and an all-around superb human being. She’s also the creator of Pass The Herpes, an awesome blog that discourages stigma by encouraging people who live with genital herpes to share their stories.

Shelley asked me to participate in a blog hop.  It’s similar to a chain letter, except instead of correspondence, each blogger answers a series of questions about their book. Vain woman that I am, I lept at the chance to write an entirely self-focused entry about my book. Then I remembered that I haven’t written a book…unless you count my  NaNoWriMo endeavour from 2005, which you absolutely should not because it’s utterly dreadful.

So, no book yet; however it is on my list of things to do before I hit the big 4-0. So consider these answers a preview of my future literary endeavours.

What is the work­ing title of your next book?

The Talk: How to speak to kids about sex and what to say.

How did the idea come about for this book?

A few months ago, I found myself on the periphery of some controversy about a local museum exhibit designed to teach youth about sexuality. I thought it was fantastic presentation. Critics of the exhibit feared it was too explicit. Time and again, I was confronted by the argument that kids should learn about sex from their parents, not from a public institution. I disagree that sexuality and sexual health should be exempt from public education spaces. However, I total support the ideal that parents, guardians, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other caring family members can be an integral part of a young person’s sex education.

Unfortunately, most caring, conscientious parent-types don’t have easy access to comprehensive information about sex. Even basic stuff, like using lube or dentals dams as part of safer sex practices are things I only learn about through my work. People can’t and  shouldn’t have to become professional educators to access to the information their kids need. I thought to myself, “Self, what can you do to change this?”

My answer?  Start by offering advice on how to talk to youth about sex but follow up by giving them all the accurate knowledge to share.

What genre does your book fall under?

Sexual Health. Or Sexuality Education. Or Nadine Is Determined Not To Be The Only Parent Whose Kid Who Yells “Ovaries” In Public.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

A movie version of a non-fiction book about sex? Balls-out awesome!

LeVar Burton because he would bring the ‘Reading Rainbow’-style, educator cred. My friends Kate and Natalie Joy who are both fantastic actors and fantastic parents. And finally, Sir Ian McKellen because then the Oscar nomination’s in the bag.

The one sentence rendition of your book

Teach yourself how to teach your kids about sex.

Will the book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Since we’re dealing in hypotheticals, let’s assume I’ll get picked up by a big-time publisher. Let’s also assume they’ll give me a big, fat advance which I will use to secure my retirement and to buy Fluevogs.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It took me a few days to solidify the concept for the first manuscript. I suspect writing it might take a little longer.

What other books would you com­pare this to within your genre?

That’s the thing. I haven’t come across any other books quite like this in the genre. There are books that give advice on how parents can talk to their kids about sex but I haven’t found any that also include a lot of factual information.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Every moment during a class or training module or workshop that made me think, ‘Wow. I wish I’d learned this when I was twelve.’

What else might pique the reader’s interest about your book.

Sexually transmitted infections are fascinating – fascinating, I tell you!  My book will include a comprehensive chart listing all the STI’s, their symptoms, their effects and known treatments. It will also include some sort of fancy-pants legend. It’s seriously going to blow your mind!

Now hop along to:

Danielle Writes 642 Things

My dear friend Danielle wears many hats. She’s an author, a poet, a mother, a partner and a stand up comic. She was a fixture in Ottawa’s spoken word community until life whisked her away to Seattle. Settling into a new home while raising two young children and nuturing one’s artistic career would be more than enough to keep most people busy. But Danielle is not most people ( I suspect she has secret powers). Inspired by the book 642 Things To Write About, Danielle has made it her mission to write 642 things in 642 days.  If you want a glimpse into the extraordinary mind of a woman living an extraordinary life, check out Danielle and her blog – immediately, if not sooner!





  1. NJ says:

    I would be honoured to perform with Kate, LeVar, and Ian.

  2. Brenda says:

    Ooo, please also include a chapter on how to deal with the hyper-sexualised media. My hypothetical children will benefit greatly from your hypothetical book!