BBB: What inspired you to become a writer?
DMC: It was something that I never thought I could do. Having struggled with dyslexia throughout academia, I wasn't even reading until long after college. But I had so many stories in my head. Once I began reading for the joy of the story, I realized writing was what I wanted to do. I wanted to overcome the obstacle of dyslexia and prove to myself that it was possible. I was inspired first by the classics; Charlotte Bronte, Thomas Hardy. Now I really love all of the teen Sci-Fi stuff.
DMC: My publisher actually came up with the SNUB Club idea. We were getting ready to publish my son's book, Jackie's Journal, a book centered on his autism. My publisher had the idea to take our message a step further with Snub. I thought it was genius. Reaching out to Elementary School age children is important. Getting words like autism, ADHD and ASD into their vocabulary is key to creating inclusion and acceptance. The book is really great for all kids. It's a face-paced mystery with a lesson built in.
BBB: Tell us about one of your main characters, Jackie.
DMC: The character of Jackie is fashioned after my son. He is a boy facing the challenges of Autism Spectrum Disorder daily. Mix in middle school and the challenges increase. He has issues with loud noises and chaotic hallways and he's faced a bully or two. In the book, I try to focus on all the great abilities that he possesses, like his amazing memory, while giving the reader a glimpse into what ASD is like. My message is always about celebrating the good. Every child has something that they can celebrate. Jackie may have a hard time understanding social cues, but he's a wiz at chess. His real friend Cameron is also a main character. The struggles in the book are based on real issues and the talents are also real.
BBB: What do you think readers will find most appealing about, SNUB Club?
DMC: I always write with a touch of humor and sarcasm. The story line is simple with a few twists and turns along the way. I think solving the mystery will be fun for the reader, but I love to use trickery to mislead you, so watch out. I also hope that my characters are relatable, both for typical and non-typical children.
DMC: I am not yet working on the next SNUB Club book. I've decided to start something new and have begun a YA cross over Sci-Fi series. I am continuing with my underlying message of autism awareness but I've thrown in some other characters who deal with blindness, MS, and a few other issues. I'm always looking for ways to help children understand these things and add the vocabulary to their language. I sometimes think that we are afraid of things that seem different. I want to show, through my writing, that kids with ASD and ADHD and other issues, are basically just kids.
You can find out more about her and SNUB Club at: http://www.jackiejournal.com.
You can purchase SNUB Club on Amazon.