Before I even knew I was autistic, I was including my special interests into my writing. Whether it was writing equestrian romances, especially those featuring predominantly English disciplines like show jumping and dressage, or working an entire content, magical, and geopolitical system around the kabbalah, I took my special interest rabbit holes, whatever caught my dopamine receptors or made both the autism and the ADHD sing, and wrote them into my stories. Once I accepted and stepped into my self-diagnosis, followed by as close to a medical diagnosis as I can get in my town’s healthcare system, suddenly it all made sense.
The fact that I was a “horse crazy kid”, who never “grew out” of the phase, and then had a driving need to write “horse books for those of us who never grew out of being horse crazy”, made perfect sense. Aha! I’m autistic and horses (and unicorns and pegasus) are one of my special interests. For the fantasy stories, that the magic happens to revolve around music, and my clarinet is a special interest of mine–not to mention band was one of the few places I felt accepted in school–well, that’s another special interest arriving into my fiction work.
As an autistic author, writing my special interests brings me joy! And, I’ve heard from readers that my stories bring them joy too.
Being in the publishing world is difficult if you’re neurodivergent. Too many processes and ways of doing things are tailored toward the neurotypical, and the community can be full of gatekeeping and being left out. Adding your special interests into your books makes them–dare I say it?–more special. It gives you something to look forward to and world that not only you can play in, but one that sparks the imagination.
If you’re autistic and write about your special interests I’d love to hear from you. Just visit the contact page and reach out! I’m doing author interviews for an upcoming podcast and would love to talk to you. And if you’re interested in writing about your autistic experience, please check out Epona Muse Publishing.