ROAR – trans woman returns to her rural hometown after her mother’s death
ROAR is a novel inspired by the original screenplay for Shelley Thompson’s award-winning feature film Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor, about a young trans woman who returns to her family farm in the wake of her mother’s death.
The MacInnes family is grieving. The loss of Miranda has devastated her husband, John Andrew, her eldest daughter, Tammy, and her youngest child, Dawn. Not Donnie anymore but Dawn, like sunrise, who transitioned while her mother received cancer treatment — without the rest of the family knowing. Now, when Dawn leaves Halifax for rural Nova Scotia to attend her mother’s funeral, she knows she’ll be meeting her sister and father for the first time as herself.
With Dawn’s revelation, John Andrew and Tammy find themselves grieving for the son and brother they once knew, while Tammy’s fiancé, Byron, becomes an unexpected ally. Between the complicated reaction from her family, unwanted attention from local bigots, and whispers from curious neighbours, Dawn wonders if she can ever really come home.
A work of fierce allyship, of enduring love, and of gentle hope, ROAR follows a family through grief and estrangement as they become catalysts for change in their rural community. Told from multiple points of view, with confidence and tenderness, actor and screenwriter Shelley Thompson’s debut novel is profoundly authentic, drawing on her own experience as the mother of a trans child and a fierce activist for the trans community.
Available from Nimbus Publishing.
Shelley Thompson is a Canadian actor, screenwriter, and activist based in Wolfville, in Mi’kma’ki (NS). She trained at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, the Canadian Film Centre, Women in the Directors’ Chair, the New York Writers’ Lab, and the Whistler Producer’s Lab. As an actor she has received and been nominated for Gemini and ACTRA awards for her work in film and television, including The Trailer Park Boys and feature films Splinters, and The Child Remains, among others. Her short films have screened internationally and the most recent, Duck Duck Goose, won Best Atlantic Short at FIN Halifax, was selected by Telefilm Canada’s Not Short on Talent at Clermont-Ferrand, and was a finalist in CBC’s Short Film Faceoff. Her first feature film, Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor, premiered at INSIDE OUT International Film Festival in Toronto in May 2021, then at Halifax’s FIN International Film Festival in September 2021. It has since screened in Whistler, BC, Amsterdam’s Roze Filmdagen, the BFI Flare Film Festival in London, UK, as well as across the US and in Germany. Among many prizes and awards, the film recently won the 2022 Nova Scotia MasterWorks Award. Thompson is working on a full slate of projects for TV and cinema under the banner of her emerging production company, Rusty Tractor Productions Inc. A committed LGBTQ+2SP ally, Thompson is proud parent to singer/songwriter T. Thomason. ROAR is her first novel.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.