About Zoe Whitten

Hi, and welcome to my site. If you’re curious about who I am, this is the short version. (The long version would require writing a book, and I’m not interested in doing non-fiction.) Before leaving the US, I’ve worked a variety of jobs. I was a dishwasher, a telemarketer, an amusement park ride operator, a PC technician, a webmaster, a help desk operator, and a movie theater projectionist. I had a brief stint of service in the Army, but was injured in basic training and spent a few months serving as a secretary for my senior drill sergeant. I’ve also worked as a video editor and producer for a small wrestling federation in Austin and very briefly served as the commissioner. (I also got to ref a few matches, which was lots of fun.)

In the last ten years, I’ve settled into a life as a writer and bored housewife. I live in Milan, Italy with my husband Luciano, who helped encourage me to begin self-publishing my stories after several years of constant silent rejections from agents and publishers. Since releasing my first book, The Lesser of Two Evils, I’ve become fairly prolific and have 46 books on Amazon.

Before meeting my husband on an internet forum, I had a dark life. My childhood was a nightmare of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, and as a result of my experiences, I became an abuser myself. I repressed myself to minimize the damage, but this made me so miserable that I turned to drugs and alcohol to numb my pain. The drugs also made me less capable of recognizing how toxic I was to people in my life, and I made a lot of mistakes that could never be undone. It’s often said that everyone is the hero in their own story, but I saw myself as a villain, a broken and corrupted husk of a person who no one could redeem.

My turning point came at the age of 28, when I realized I had to accept myself and make some drastic changes before I ended up in prison or committing suicide. I began therapy and gender transition, finding the resources and support I needed online. During the first two years of my transition, I struggled to come to terms with my past and to develop better coping methods for my depression and anxiety. I also had to come to terms with my bisexuality and being bigender, neither of which was easy. This difficult period was made somewhat easier with help from friends online and from my father, who I did not expect to become as supportive as he did. I found love and support with some family, while others rejected me and became antagonistic. To some relatives, I am “The Whore of Satan,” and this makes me sad because their love was conditional. I have never stopped loving them, though, and I often wonder if there was something I could have said or done to make them see me and recognize that I needed to change.

In 2003, I met my husband on an internet forum, and we initially were only exchanging recipes and jokes by email. As we grew closer, we began “internet dating” using video chats to share meals and watch films together. Nine months after the start of our relationship, he convinced me to come to Italy. I spent four months living with him before returning to Texas to sort out my legal documents, and I returned in 2004. With financial support from his family, I was able to go to Thailand for gender reassignment surgery, and in 2005, we were married in a palace.

It’s a strange fairy tale life, one begun with seemingly insurmountable adversity and leading to redemption and acceptance that I would have never imagined possible.

It’s not all happy rainbows and sparkling ponies, though. I still struggle with multiple sclerosis, and with mental illness and depression. But I take each day as it comes, and I try to keep things in perspective by looking back and acknowledging how far I’ve come with the help of friends and loved ones.

In addition to writing, I spend my time reading, gardening, playing video games, and spending time with my dog and cat.

I’m active on a number of social sites, and if you want to follow me or my various interests, you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Last.FM, PSN, and Tumblr. If you’re interested in checking out my fiction, you can find my ebooks on Amazon, Kobo, Nook, and on the blog bookstore. (links on the site store lead to Gumroad, which accepts PayPal)

So that’s the short version of who I am. (The TL;DR version is “A frog prince who blossomed into a pretty pretty princess with the help of a Prince Charming and magic hormone pills.”)