Happy Friday fellow adventurers!
Today, I’m joining Heather L. L. FitzGerald in celebrating the release of The Tethered World along with Mountain Brook Ink Authors Kimberly Rose Johnson and Angela Ruth Strong hosted by Books & Beverages Blog Tour. And there is a giveaway! A chance to win a Kindle Fire and some Starbucks Gift Cards. Whoohoo! Who doesn’t need more coffee???
The Tethered World is a story of a family who is connected to a world beneath ours known as the Tethered World. It is a world filled with creatures that sometimes sneak to the surface. We know some of them as bigfoot, leprechauns, and gnomes. It is a fun read for middle grade to young adult readers, and those of us who are young at heart. Ha! It feels a bit like Donita K. Paul’s DragonKeeper Chronicles meets Artemis Fowl meets Narnia. You can find my full review here.
Like most adventuring novels, there is a cast of characters, but there is one character that drew my attention. Brock. An eleven year old boy who has Autism. See. My son was diagnosed with high-functioning Autism when he was in preschool. It is still fresh for us, still processing, and all, so I’ve not really said much outside of our friends and family.
Not many stories feature a character who has Autism, much less make that character the future king. So I invited Heather to share a bit more about Brock.
Please welcome Heather L. L. FitzGerald!
Brock is a twin to Brady, although Brady is not autistic (which means he looks out for Brock and understands him better than anyone). Brock is contemplative, and observant, and a bit OCD. Okay, quite a bit! He loves the number 17 and collects things in that amount. His side of the room is neat and orderly which makes Brady look like a slacker if he doesn’t keep things fairly decent on his half of the room.
Brock doesn’t tolerate being touched very well, though he’s made progress through the years and will put up with a quick show of affection. Emphasis on quick. He’s good at karate (it’s definitely helped with his sensory issues) and has a photographic memory.
Brock is definitely the strong, silent type!
What inspired you to make him the next future king of Tethered World?
As a mother of an autistic young man, I know that there is a dying, of sorts, of the ideas you held about the future when your child was born. I’ve woven much of my life, my views, my ideas, and even my friendships, into this story. I wanted life with an autistic child to be shown as normal—because for so many of us, that is our normal!
But I also wanted it to be special…I think in some ways we all long to understand ‘why’, although we eventually learn to accept the circumstances God has entrusted to us. It just made sense that the unique things about Brock were there to equip him for being the future king of a rather unique realm. I mean, why not a king? 🙂
What would you like readers to walk away with after reading Tethered World?
I suppose what it says on the back cover is a good summation. “Normal means different things to different people.” I wanted to write about a slice of life that IS normal to vast numbers of people…minus any agenda. I’m not trying to prove anything about autism, or homeschooling, or Bigfoot, for that matter. But I felt it would be compelling to treat those differences in the main character’s life the same way an author uses other “norms” like a single parent home or going to school in a rough neighborhood.
Those things are part of what informs the main character’s outlook on life. That’s what I wanted to do with these elements in the story. My hope is that those who walk in similar shoes will enjoy a character they can identify with, while feeling like they can share the story with those who do NOT walk in these shoes—without having it come off as preachy or, like I said, as if there’s an agenda or some subtle message being conveyed.
The unusual slant is but a background to the greater adventure. One I hope families will enjoy getting caught up in—together—by reading it aloud.
Thank you so much Heather!
And here is the giveaway! And don’t forget to visit the other bloggers on the tour stop!
2/15 – Brent King
2/15 – Annie Douglass Lima
2/16 – Beckah
2/17 – Ginger Solomon
2/18 – Sandra Robbins
2/19 – Jennette Mbewe
2/20 – Erika Keswick
2/21 – Marisa Deshaies
2/22 – Autumn Macarthur
2/23 – Crystal Scott
2/24 – Stephanie Florentino
2/25 – Diana Montgomery
2/26 – Liz Tolsma
2/27 – Sarah Ruut
2/28 – Ashley Taylor
2/29 – Kat Vinson
3/1 – Anna Weaver Hurrts