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From the Comfort of their Favorite Armchair
  May 11, 2001

Today's Featured Author - Constance Grant

Julia Manchester

It is almost impossible to come up with a single word to describe Constance Grant's stories (which is good, otherwise this would be a very short review), but if I was forced to use one to word it would be imaginative. Her stories include both CD/TV and magical transformations, and she is, at times, adventuresome, playful, and loving, but there are also elements of vengence and a sense of justice that seep through on occasion.

Connie simply can't be pidgeonholed into any particular category simply because her stories encompass so many different themes and human emotions. When I began my research for this column I picked three of her stories at random and read them with an eye to spotting similarities in plot or dialogue, but after finishing the stories it was apparent that Connie wasn't following any one path. Her stories tend to center on relationships between characters that are down to earth and very believable, and those relationships, rather than physical sex, are essence of her writings. In fact, the only theme that seems to occur in more than one story is love -- not the star-crossed, teen sex type, but a mature, deep and fully-developed love between two human beings, or within a family. I do not know Connie well, except through her writings, but I suspect that this deep love is a reflection of her feelings for her own family.

Aside from a great imagination, Connie is also a very skilled and literate writer. She knows how to spin a yarn, and has that great sense of tempo and timing that all good writers possess. Her stories move along quickly, without filler or padding, and she knows how to build up to a good conclusion. Her prose is neat, with very few grammatical or spelling errors, and her stories are quite polished.

My absolute favorite is "Pirate's Gold 01," which as the number implies is the first in what will (hopefully) become a series. "Pirate's Gold" is an action-adventure story as much as a TG story, with an excellent plot, well-developed characters, and very good dialogue. It is quite long, but well worth the time. Drug dealers, Navy Seals, park rangers, and the CIA combine to form an exciting tale surrounding a boy and girl who become very best friends. Though Connie has promised a sequel, "Pirate's Gold is a complete story, and is as well written as any story at Storysite. I Can't wait for another episode.

Other stories I particularly enjoyed were "Serendipity" and "Cotillion," which are companion pieces, and "S2K Experience." All of these stories involve married couples. In "Serendipity" the wife actually introduces her husband to cross dressing, and in "Cotillion" he responds in a loving way with a surprise or two of his own. In "S2K" Connie gives us a delightful short bodyswap story between a husband and wife, in which a middle-aged couple are transformed into rejuvenated, idealized versions of each other after looking for the 2,000th posting at Fictionmania. Their "perfected" forms are the result of the way they see each other, looking through the eyes of love.

Another story I enjoyed was "Halloween Football Magic," but I can't say much about it without spoiling it. Go read it yourself and see what I mean.

Connie has a darker side too, as expressed in tales such as "Humiliation," "Roger's Plight," "Devil Of A Deal," "Sam Considered The Pistol," and "Mary Walsh's Own Story." These stories deal with issues such as forced cross dressing, intentional infliction of pain, revenge, and other, less pleasant aspect of human nature. The stories are both disturbing and thought-provoking, but well worth reading.

There are a dozen stories by Constance Grant here at Storysite, and all of them are worthwhile. Her works are entertaining, and sometimes provocative and disturbing, but she should be on everyone's "must read" list.

Reviewer's Note: During the course of writing this review I learned that Connie has been very ill of late, and has been hospitalized. I would like to take this opportunity to wish her a full and speedy recovery, and to add my prayers to those of her many friends and fans. I look forward to the time when she will be able to resume writing and once again grace us with her presence. Best of luck Connie!

Heather Sinclair

A leading author in our genre, Connie Grant, is my topic for review, this Friday. TG fiction is old hat to Connie, and she has stretched her feelers into a good number of categories. This is what makes her stories so much of a treat to read. Some of the more famous authors find a niche and exploit it until the uniqueness of their work has all but dried up i.e. every single universe storyline.

Connie's main plot lines revolve around Crossdressing, however every now and then she branches off into the Magic field. Her stories cover the scale of ratings from G to XXX, so there is something for everyone. Evidence of this is told by her page counters, several of which are well over four thousand hits...I'm jealous.

Her style is very unique. Usually I might find an author swings in the descriptive driven story or the dialog driven. Connie is neither. She balances out her eye for detail with well thought out dialog...I'm still jealous. Her characters are sympathetic, loving, hateful, strong, sad...do you get the feeling that she is a good author? If so then I am not making myself very clear with this review. She is an extraordinary author.

My favorites of hers are: "Mary Walsh's Own Story", "Serendipity", and "Cotillion". However, my tastes are getting a little tame in my twenties. This is not to say these stories are tame, just more lighthearted and loving.

Evil Connie shows her dark side in "Devil of a Deal". A note to the light hearted reader: this story is quite rough, but it goes to show you that even the most loving of us has a bad day, or series of days.

All of us can take a lesson from the Constance Grant School of Plot Development. Take your time and let your characters breathe. Thanks for a wonderful read Connie.

 

Editor - Heather Sinclair

 

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