Initially I wanted to record the events and happenings around ‘the cottage’, a close-set, run-down pair of fruit pickers’ cottages in the southern highlands in New South Wales I lived in during the 1970s. I’d organised a reunion of ‘the old crowd’ in 2013 and following that thought it would be good to have a record of those times. So initially I wanted to write a ‘memoir’ of the cottage rather than specifically about me.
I struggled to write anything other than a few short anecdotes, one of which became the Prologue for ‘Legs’. Then I went to see a psychologist for an on-going set of issues, and was completely thrown when she said I had high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder a.k.a. Asperger’s Syndrome. I soon realised that not only was she right, but that much of my life had been about learning the skills to appear ‘normal’, and that I had in fact become very good at that. A crucial phase for me had been the period of seven or so years I spent at the cottage and from there the memoir fell into place.
I still wanted to record the history of the cottage, but now I also wanted to provide a glimpse into the world of someone with Asperger’s for others. Of course, to paraphrase the good Prof. J.R.R. Tolkien, I also wanted to write a good yarn.
Tell us a bit about who you are.
Where did you get the idea for ‘Legs’?
What were your goals in writing ‘Legs’?
How do you think autism has affected your life?
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
What are you currently working on?