Some books are written just to entertain. If the book is enjoyable to read on a cool fall night, that’s enough. I enjoy reading books like that sometimes, but as an author, I want more. I want my stories to help people; to increase their understanding. I especially want to give people hope. That thought was always in my mind as I wrote Look Me in the Eye.
As an author, you assume you know everything there is about your book. After all, you wrote it. When Look Me in the Eye came out in hardcover last fall, I too made that assumption. Boy, was I wrong!
As soon as my book was published, comments began coming in from teachers and parents. Something magical was happening. Teachers were taking passages that I’d written – foolish stories of my misfit childhood – and using them to teach today’s kids understanding and tolerance.
More than one parent described my book as a window into the mind of their Aspergian child. That's a very powerful thought . . . could it be true, I wondered? A year later, I see what they meant. So many behaviors that I thought were unique to me are really common to many people on the autism/Asperger spectrum
I was stunned. I had no idea that I’d written something that could be applied to others in that way. Yet it was happening. I began getting invitation to speak at schools, and I saw it for myself.
Grownups studied my story too. I began getting very moving letters from people on the spectrum, saying things like this:
Your book is more than an entertaining story about a dysfunctional family. It's even more than just a memoir by an Aspergian. It can help a lot of people to understand where they are coming from, and why they feel and behave like they do. It can teach us something about who we are. I count myself as fortunate to have read your book, because now I know more about how other Aspergians are or might be. And by knowing that, I also know more about myself and my own problems.
I realized the most remarkable thing. The book was bringing people – misfits like me – together to form a community.
Look Me in the Eye has had an effect far beyond anything I might have imagined.
I made a number of changes and improvements to the paperback edition as a result of all this feedback. You can read about the changes in earlier blog posts, or you can just read the new and improved paperback book. It’s on sale everywhere this Tuesday.
Here are a few links that talk about what I've added and improved:
I’ll be kicking off a national tour to meet as many readers as possible. The dates are on the right sidebar of my blog, at http://jerobison.blogspot.com/
It all starts Tuesday night, September 9, at River Run Books in Portsmouth New Hampshire.
From there I go to Burlington, VT to the book festival. Then it’s LA, Boulder, Vail, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Dayton, Marlborough, MA and beyond. Keep checking the blog as we'll be adding more dates.
Stop in and say hi if I come to your town. . . And I can't wait to hear what you think of my improved and enhanced paperback edition. So come back and let me know!
Causes John Robison Supports
I support Asperger and autism advocacy groups. I also support the University of Massachusetts