Monday, June 25, 2012

Talent Tuesday - Shawn Colton Interview Part 1

Illustration by David Hanson
Welcome to Talent Tuesday, a new series for authors affected by autism.
As I wrote in my last post, Shawn Colton's son David inspired to him to write Legends of the Boo-Monster, a book project he is funding through kickstarter.
I sent some questions Mr. Colton's way and he kindly and quickly responded with thoughtful answers direct from "Stately Boo-Monster Manor." Look for the rest of the interview next Tuesday and for the book some time this Fall.
How does David react to the Boo-Monster stories? Does David read?
David is non-verbal and doesn’t read, I talk to him constantly but I don’t know what exactly is getting through. When I talk to him about the Boo-Monster’s adventures he seems more interested than when I’m talking about other things, but maybe he’s just noticing my excitement. Also, I use a lot of funny voices when telling him of his other-world adventures. That might have something to do with it too. I’m certain that he knows that something exciting is happening. One of the things I’m most looking forward to is having a physical copy of the book in my hands to read to him.
Is the book aimed at any particular age group?
I think everyone from 10 years old and up will be able to enjoy the story on their own. I think parents will enjoy reading it to their little ones. There’s certainly nothing objectionable in the book and I’m fairly squeamish by nature, so, as a writer, I think I have a good handle on keeping things very “G” rated. The “reality checks” that will appear every five chapters or so will tell David’s story in the real world and those portions of the book will probably be better appreciated by adults, but I make it very clear that those portions of the book can be skipped over if younger readers are just interested in the fantasy story. The message of love, acceptance and tolerance will come through either way.
Is the book intended for those with autism? Those who want to know more about autism? Both?

As far as for those with autism go, it depends on the person with autism. I’ve had more than a few parents with kids on the spectrum tell me their kids would be very excited by the book and others that said that their children don’t read and don’t like to be read to.
The book will help others understand autism better I think. Though the Boo-Monster is on the low-functioning end of the spectrum by the end of the book there will be many younger characters that represent other areas of the spectrum as well as kids that aren’t on the spectrum at all.
To be continued .  .  .

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