It is a determined process.
The writing of a book.
The completion of the book.
I have done this.
I also had a long process of acquiring an agent, but it happened.
If you have enjoyed this blog I dare you to read my labor of love and tell me what you really think of it!
Here is the brilliant forward that Donna Williams wrote for my book (she wrote Nobody Where and subsequent books afterward including Somebody Somewhere which I highly recommend.) Here it is:
To say I cried when I read Kimberly’s book is an understatement. I cried buckets. But this is not a miserable book, far from it. It’s a gritty, gutsy, moving, sometimes even funny book about the worst and best of life.
It’s a book about childhood and innocence, and about entrapment, selling-out and smiling whilst you do the unbelievable, simply because your back is to the wall and you damned well have to.
Kimberly’s husband, Howie, develops ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), one of the most challenging of all diseases and one which stripped him of almost every function, with the exception of his intellect and sexuality.
Kimberly, a remarkable woman with Asperger’s struggling with life-long selective mutism lives in an invisible cage of her own, struggling with being known, being dependent on others, showing her feelings openly.
Yet in their incredible journey together it is Howie’s obvious imprisonment that overshadows Kimberly’s own at every turn. In spite of very real anxiety disorders, anxiety disorders her own invisible cage compels her to hide from others, she is expected to ‘pull herself together’ and function where many non-autistic adults would crumble. The crazy thing is, she does.
There are many on the autistic spectrum who do not feel excruciating social phobia to the degree they are compulsively compelled to hide, lose their natural voice, their connection to their own expressions and actions, but as the author of Exposure Anxiety; The Invisible Cage of Involuntary Self Protection Responses, I know of these things too well and I know where Kimberly has been. Most people with severe Exposure Anxiety as part of their autism don’t speak and Kimberly surely struggled and still does, with verbal communication.
We are not all desperate for attention, easily to accept praise, cope with feeling overwhelming gratitude or connection, or want to be known. Some of us are lucky if we manage that with a single friend or partner and Kimberly achieved that, only to lose that partner. What’s so much more remarkable is that whilst Kimberly has an obvious natural rapport with others on the autistic spectrum, she was also able to dare to be known by her non-autistic husband who often couldn’t see her.
For all his faults (and he is unashamedly portrayed here in all his gritty glory) Howie stands out in this book as a real rough diamond. What she’s written here is a monument to him, but also an act of enormous daring and self honesty.
Howie was no monster but he was not politically correct either. He was a ‘rough-and-ready’ type of bloke from the same raw, tell it like it is, reality Kimberly grew up in. She saw him beyond his often insensitive, even flippant reactions and still saw him beyond what his disease reduced him to. She saw him even when she’s stopped seeing herself. And it is this that leaves me so awestruck about Kimberly Tucker. I identify with her in so many ways. I am proud of her. Let her hide from the world if she is safest in such a ‘cat corner’, but her individuality and humanity will still jump out as long as she allows us that window through her ARTism, through her writing. Dare to read this book. She dared to write it. You won’t forget it.
Author of the international bestseller, Nobody Nowhere.