Diane Mayer Christiansen’s Picks
One of the questions that authors get asked most is, “What are you reading now?” It’s an innocent enough question and wholly understandable. I suppose that most people think that authors have the inside scoop on what’s fresh, that we spend a great deal of time reading everything that comes out, especially within our writing genre. There is a certain amount of truth to this, but, for me, there was a time when the question of what I’m reading was a difficult thing to answer.
Dyslexia kept volumes and volumes of books away from me for a long time. It wasn’t until I was well out of college that I decided to pick up a book and read, for the sheer joy of the story. I started with anything 19th century. The Bronte sisters, Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens. These are the books that taught me to read, that gave me a place to escape and turned a real fear into something not too short of joy. They are the books that made me want to write.
Now I write about real life. I write about my dyslexia, my son’s autism and our journey. I do this through fiction and I’m pretty sure that the 19th century writers were doing the same thing; giving us a glimpse into the world that they lived in through their stories. Learning about the human experience is what teaches us tolerance, acceptance and understanding. That’s my biggest goal as a writer.
So what’s on my nightstand now? I’ve moved on. Sorry Emily, Charlotte, and Thomas. There’s been a big wind of Sci-Fi sweeping across the Young Adult genre. I’m completely into James Dashner. The Maze Runner, The Thirteenth Realities and The Eye of Minds. I love being transported to a different place that doesn’t exist, but could. The books get my imagination going and even though they’re considered young adult or middle school, they truly cross over. If you’re a Hunger Games fan, you’ll love these.
Diane Mayer Christiansen graduated with a biology degree despite her struggles with dyslexia. She worked at both the University of Chicago and Northwestern University doing genetic research. Christiansen is now a published author writing young adult fantasy and middle school chapter books including SNUB Club. Her characters are based around children with special needs such as dyslexia and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She speaks to parents and teachers about learning to celebrate those things that make our children different and her journey with her son and his ASD. Like her on Facebook here.
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