Episode 199: Transgender Characters in Literature — Interview with Dharma Kelleher

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there word nerds!

Today I have the pleasure of talking with Dharma Kelleher on the show!

Dharma Kelleher is the author of several gritty crime fiction novels from a transgender/queer perspective. She has worked as a radio news director and is a current member of Sisters in Crime, the International Thriller Writers, and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

Dharma traditionally published her first series, the Shea Stevens biker series, before deciding to go the indie route for her latest thriller.

Her new book, Chaser, is the first book in her Jinx Ballou Bounty Hunter series and is available now.

Listen in as we chat about this awesome book, and giving accurate voice to transgender communities in literature.

In this episode Dharma and I discuss:

  • Crafting a multifaceted and realistic transgender character.
  • The need for accuracy not sensitivity when portraying a marginalized community.
  • Dharma’s two-pronged attack for avoiding the echo chamber of niche marketing.
  • Marketing challenges in indie publishing vs. traditional publishing.
  • How to build your following with an email newsletter.

Plus, Dharma’s #1 tip for writers.

About Dharma Kelleher

Dharma Kelleher writes gritty crime fiction from a transgender/queer perspective. She is the author of three thrillers including Iron Goddess and Snitch in her Shea Stevens biker series, and her latest novel Chaser, the first book in her Jinx Ballou bounty hunter series.

She is a former radio news director and a current member of Sisters in Crime, the International Thriller Writers, and the Alliance of Independent Authors. She lives in Arizona with her wife and three feline overlords.

Dharma’s latest thriller, Chaser, is now available.

To connect with Dharma check out her website at dharmakelleher.com.



When Arizona bounty hunter Jinx Ballou is outed as transgender, she’s thrown into a tailspin. The bail bond company she works for axes her, and she’s desperate to find a new job.

Boyfriend and fellow bounty hunter Conor gives her a tip about another agency that might be hiring, and soon Jinx lands the job and is on the hunt for Holly Schwartz, an infamous handicapped girl who’s accused of killing her mother and fleeing town.

Jinx chases conflicting leads that point in different directions. The police suspect someone is helping the disabled fugitive escape justice. Holly’s family believes she’s the latest victim in a string of kidnappings by a sadistic human trafficker.

The teenager proves to be slippery, and Jinx’s job becomes even more dangerous when a Chechen crime boss gets involved and threatens her and the lives of the people she loves.

Fans of crime fiction will enjoy this fast-paced novel brimming with fresh characters, witty dialogue, and twists and turns galore.


If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate link, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!


Link to Episode 199

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