When I first created the idea for my story, I knew two things. I wanted to have an autistic main character, and I wanted it to be anti-romance.
There is so much misunderstanding about autism, and neurotypical people write most autism rep fiction. I am sick of reading books about young boys who are burdens on their families. I am autistic, and I have raised two kids who are autistic, and I know that autism is full of benefits. So, why do neurotypicals always focus on difficulties?
Even though I am Non-Binary, I wanted a female main character. I wanted Alicia to be a mother. I wanted to show the ups and downs of parenthood being autistic. In-Between is not an autistic book – it is a fantasy book with autism rep. That was very important to me. I hope that neurotypical readers love this book, but I didn’t write it for you/them.
I also wanted to write an anti-romance book. Since this book developed, I realized that I wanted to write an aromantic book. I grew tired of watching characters make googly eyes at each other in the middle of important scenes.
Labels are significant to how I understand the world. Once I realized I am aromantic, the book developed. I created a main character who is aro/ace – who, like me, hasn’t found her language. Once I did that, I could throw in a flair of romance. There is a m/m romance between two non-narrative significant characters. But at its heart, this book is still anti-romance. I hope you can love it anyway.
They say to write the book you want to read. This is the book I needed. I hope that others find it at the right time.