The ‘Wooden’ Boy

Published on Friday 15th April 2011 by DJ Kirkby

Sarah Barns was my guest judge this week and she is giving away tickets to The Baby Show which is taking place from 20th – 22nd May at Birmingham’s NEC. Sarah thought the *snerk* photo was hilarious and her favourite caption was submitted by Troy: “It will never last!” because it was “Short, simple and made me laugh aloud!”

Congratulations Troy, please send me your full name and address so I can pass the details on to Sarah.

I have been asked many times at book signings  if Without Alice is about people with autism. The answer is no. I much prefer to write novels about the peculiarities of neurotypical (mainstream) behaviour. This is particularly because it is not something with which I will ever be instinctively functional in and so writing about it helps me work thorough the complexities required to pass chameleon like through my work day. However, I know there are many writers who do include characters with autism in their writing.

One of them is the playwright Richard Conlon whom I met with yesterday to discuss writing and autism. He has been commissioned to write a couple of autistic related works loosely based on a short story called Wooden Tony written by Lucy Lane Clifford (1846 – 1929). You can read a summary of Wooden Tony here. Richard is working with the Ringwood based theatre company Forest Forge whose director, Kirstie Davis, has secured support from Hampshire County Council’s ‘Inspiring You’ fund.  The first will be a stage show which will tour as many venues as possible in order to familiarise audiences about what it is like to live with autism. The  second will be a three act play on a family living with autism. Richard is doing extensive research across the whole spectrum of autistic behaviours and I am looking forward to seeing the end result. If you feel you would be able to help Richard with his research please contact him via his website.

3 comments so far

  • Well, knock me down with a feather! I think its the first time I’ve won this year so I was very surprised and delighted when I clicked on your blog this morning. And what a prize – “the perfect day out for me and my bump”. I didn’t see that coming (as the actress said to the bishop). I’ll send you my contact details by e-mail.

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