Renee James is the pen name of a Chicago-area writer who lives in two genders.
In her male identity, James has been a full time free-lance writer for several years, following a long career as a magazine editor and owner. In her male life, James has won dozens of awards for journalistic excellence and authored a biography.
As Renee James, her first novel, Coming Out Can Be Murder, was the 2012 Chicago Writers Association Indie book of the year and a bronze medalist in ForeWord Reviews' LGBT book of the year competition.
Coming Out Can Be Murder was republished in March, 2014 by Magnus/Riverdale Books as Transition to Murder.
James is a spouse, parent and grandparent. She is a Vietnam veteran, licensed hairdresser, and wilderness adventurer. She has struggled with gender identity issues since childhood but never let her gender define her. Instead, she has worked to define herself according to her human values and what she does with her life.
She has been active in the Chicago transgender community. James edited the Chicago Gender Society newsletter for many years, and participated in many of the other groups and activities that make the Chicago transgender community one of the most vibrant in the world.
Coming Out Can Be Murder evolved from a fictional journal Ms. James wrote on business trips during her magazine editing years. The journal was a reflection on what her life might have been like if she had chosen to become a transsexual woman.
Transition to Murder, a revised version of James' first novel, was released in early 2014 Riverdale Avenue Books' Magnus imprint. It is the basis for the sequel, A Kind of Justice.