Welcome author Emma Leigh Reed. Check out her post below and follow the links to find more about this wonderful NH author. —Jodi
As I sit and think about writing this blog, my mind wanders to the beginning of my serious writing journey. Eight years ago I decided I wanted to tell my son’s story. My son has PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder, nonspecific – in layman’s terms high functioning autism). At that time (the start of my writing journey) he was eleven years old and the journey he had taken me on had been frustrating, rewarding, all consuming at times, but on the whole, it was a journey of looking at the world in a totally different light.
As I sat down to start writing his story, the emotions were so raw still I just couldn’t do it. So instead, I decided to write a fiction story, but weave my son’s journey in autism into the story line. I did not plot out this story. As it developed, the characters took over and the story just became what it is.
SECOND CHANCES, although fiction, in a lot of ways has my own personal, and my son’s, experiences weaved throughout. A lot of the accomplishments you will see Jared making in SECOND CHANCES are accomplishments that my son made. It was a therapeutic story for me to write, allowing me to tell some about my journey through autism and my son’s accomplishments and also allowing me to write a story in which I always wanted to do, but never had the courage.
My son’s autism has taught me a lot about my own life. His hard work to get where he is now in life has given me bravery to do what I truly love to do – write. People who have never had the experience of knowing an autistic child do not understand the small milestones that are huge. The simple act of finally getting a hug from your child, a real hug with arms wrapped around you, will bring tears to your eyes. The first words out of a four-year-old after being nonverbal and only using sign language to communicate tears can melt your heart. I would never be able to convey through a book how powerful a journey it is to be taught by your child how to never take the little things for granted.
At this time, my son has just graduated high school and is moving on to a trade school and then working in his dad’s family business. Over the years I have said over and over again that my son is autistic. I do NOT say he has autism because for me autism is not a disability. It is a way of life and it is just what makes my son who he is, but it does not define him. Yes, he is quirky and downright odd at times, but he takes life in stride and I have seen him overcome being nonverbal, overcome sensory overloading times and deal appropriately with them. My son is an incredible young man who has taught me and his sisters so much just by knowing him.
Blurb for Second Chances:
Consumed by guilt surrounding her husband’s death as she raises her autistic son alone, KIRA NICHOLS shuts herself off from everyone and everything. That is until GRANT RUTLEDGE returns to town to help run his family’s business. The spark between them is unlike anything either has ever experienced, but when Kira discovers a secret from Grant’s past, her suspicious nature puts up a roadblock to a happy future. She’ll have to overcome her suspicions and leave behind the haunting ghosts from the past in order to let love heal the broken trust she’s lived with for too long.
Emma Leigh Reed has lived in New Hampshire all her life. She has fond memories of the Maine coastline and incorporates the ocean into all her books. Her life has been touched and changed by her son’s autism – she views life through a very different lens than before he was born. Growing up as an avid reader, it was only natural for Emma Leigh to turn to creating the stories for others to enjoy and has found herself an author of contemporary and romantic suspense. With a BA in Creative Writing/English, Emma Leigh enjoys sharing her knowledge with others and helping aspiring authors.
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