I have not blogged now for nearly three months. It has been a difficult time with various activities and projects, two family deaths, the death of my best friend, and a two week old baby of another friend, and the upcoming publication of my new book.
As the publication date of my book is only two weeks away, I have decided to write about this for the first blog back. The rest can wait for another day.
Sensing the City: An Autistic Perspective is the culmination of an idea which developed nearly three years ago, just after my doctorate was completed. I was on a much needed long weekend break with my husband in London, and we were having brunch in one of my favourite restaurants, when I started to point out the sensory delights around us. I wondered, to him, whether we notice them because we are autistic, or does everyone see what we see. And so the seeds for the book started to grow. With some bravery after a couple of months of working on the idea, I approached Jessica Kingsley Publishers to see whether they were interested in the project and the rest as they (who are they?) say, is history… or is it.
If only it were that simple. The next couple of years involved a lot of travelling, eating, spending and note-taking; and then the writing began.
For any author, writing a book is always a challenge, even for the most competent writers. Combining writing the book with the sensory journeys around a variety of noisy, smelly and frantic cities was a task which at various points seemed highly unlikely to ever come together. Autistic overload was frequent, and the tiredness was akin to running in the Olympics every hour of every day for a month (or in my mind at least).
I owe a lot to my husband Joe – not only for his support throughout, but for some of the wonderful examples and stories included in the book! I shall not blog my thanks and acknowledgements at this stage; the book is not quite available yet, and I’d rather the interested parties saw the thanks in the book first-hand.
I do need to acknowledge Jessica here however, as she managed to calm me down when I was ready to give in, and persuade me to keep going.
I can’t believe that it has finally reached this stage, and that clever people within the field of autism, have read and agreed to endorse it; Sarah and Nick: big virtual hugs – I know you would not wish to be given real ones by me – for those not in the know, it’s an autistic thing! Just the foreword by Dr Luke Beardon is worth reading the book for – fabulous.
Sorry if I sound like I’ve won an Oscar; if only. Perhaps it will be turned into a film?!
Now I would like to travel around India with an accompanying person who can show me around and help with any anxieties – if anyone from the BBC is reading this, please contact me – Sensing India: An Autistic Perspective (copyright me).
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and order your copy. Tell anyone who is listening to buy their copy. Available on Amazon now… or through JKP books.
See you at my website www.theautisticvoice.co.uk
Until next time…