Tuesday, 7 October 2008

My two hats

Generally, my day job – working with teenagers on the autism spectrum – doesn’t really intersect with my writing life at all, apart from the need to think very carefully about what you say before you say it. (Misunderstandings, as those of you in any way acquainted with an individual on the spectrum will know, arise easily and are not necessarily as easily cleared up...)

But then, along came Vicky Warren from The Bookfiend’s Kingdom. Vicky runs her site entirely in order to draw attention to the work of The Disabilities Trust which look after adults with autism, and to raise money for it. And, to do this, she talks to a lot of writers and works her way around the country tirelessly talking to novelists about their books, going to book fairs and generally being seen about at literary happenings.

She interviewed me in May and, a couple of days ago, I heard from her again, telling me that she had chosen Testament as her October book of the month.
How kind! Something tells me she really does like my book.

When she interviewed me, Vicky asked whether I’d be interested in writing something on what I do in the day job for her site. Given the state of the work in progress, I said I’d love to but would have to take a rain check. I’d still like to but the rain check’s still in my pocket (getting a bit limp) as the wip’s nowhere near finished as yet.

But, if and when I get around to writing my piece for the BFK on working with high functioning autistic teenagers in a grammar school setting (or whatever catchy title I manage to come up with, certainly not this one) it will be weird for both bits of my working life to be together under the same cyber-roof.

I’ve often thought of writing a book called something like ‘Ten Things every Parent of an Autistic Child should Know’.

If I did, would I publish as Alis Hawkins or would that just get horribly confusing?


David Isaak said...

I think you'd be safe enough as Alis Hawkins. Nonfiction is such a separate world that you need not worry about anything you do over there confusing your fiction brand.

Now, if you suddenly dashed off a novel about guys in rocketships, you might need to worry...

KAREN said...

I think it would be fine to use your own name, and I think the book would be a bestseller! I know my friend would appreciate it as her daughter (11) is going through a particularly tricky stage at the moment :o(

Alis said...

I must confess, I toy with this idea a lot but usually shy away from it as it would distract from my novel writing. But maybe if I put aside some evenings a week to do it I could get somehting sensible together over a year or so. Definitely needs thinking about as, as you say Karen, there are people out there who are desperate for help...

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