Last November I had the pleasure of sharing Wendy Janes guest post about Autism and SEN in fiction. In What Jennifer Knows, Jennifer’s grandson Tim is having problems at school and she suspects he’s on the autistic spectrum.
Now Wendy Janes has released What Tim Knows and other stories – six stand-alone short stories, spanning five decades each capturing a significant moment in the life of a different character.
Wendy is kindly offering a digital copy in an International giveaway. Details below.
A gallery-owner’s quest for beauty; a dancer in danger; a new mother struggling to cope with her baby; a sculptor’s search for inspiration; a teenager longing to live in the perfect family; a young boy lost and confused by the rules of life that everyone else seems to understand.
Six stand-alone short stories, spanning five decades. Each capturing a significant moment in the life of a different character.
Separate lives linked in subtle ways.
Tim by Wendy Janes
In What Tim Knows, and other stories, six supporting characters from my novel What Jennifer Knows reveal more about themselves. Jennifer plays a supporting or minor role in each story, appearing as student, friend, wife, mother and grandmother.
It has been a joy and a challenge to write these six stories; exploring key events in the lives of Rollo, Cynthia, Sue, Gerald, Blythe and Tim.
While I feel very close to all my characters and the situations they find themselves in, I love Tim the most.
Tim appears in the last of the stories in this collection. We first see him as he arrives at a children’s birthday party. He stands in the garden, holding the birthday girl’s present, while the other children dash about in the sunshine. He is lost, his senses overwhelmed. Even though his mum has explained what to do, he’s still unsure how he’s meant to behave.
We learn how each and every day Tim makes a huge effort to try and understand a world that is confusing and sometimes harsh. He is trying his utmost to do the right thing, to follow the rules and not make a mistake.
My heart goes out to him.
Some people may recognise that Tim is likely to be on the autism spectrum. But his diagnosis isn’t the point of the story. What’s more important is that Tim experiences the world in a different way to the majority of other children. In some ways he’s more perceptive than his peers, and in other ways he struggles to comprehend things his peers automatically know. For parents and school teachers, it can be a challenge to understand a child who appears to be very able in some ways and lacking in others. We often make presumptions that if a child knows x, he must know y, but that’s often not the case.
Tim is also processing the world around him in a different way to others. Sights, sounds and smells that many people barely notice, affect him deeply. His thinking and processing are different, not wrong.
A child like Tim is crying out for the people around him to take time to listen to him, be sensitive to his needs and to respect him. That is the message at the heart of Tim’s story.
Wendy Janes spends her time writing novels and short stories, running her freelance proofreading business and volunteering for The National Autistic Society’s Education Rights Service. Her first solo novel, What Jennifer Knows, was published in 2015, and she has recently released a collection of short stories entitled What Tim Knows, and other stories. You can connect with Wendy online and discover more about her writing via Twitter @wendyproof, her Facebook author page, and Amazon author pages (UK/US).
The giveaway is for a digital copy of What Tim Knows and is open Internationally.
Please read the Terms and Conditions on the Rafflecopter.