In this humorous chapter book about an eight-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, Connor struggles to make his way through a typical school day. In his attempt to be as cool as everyone else, he leaves a hilarious trail of destruction. But, by the end of the day, and despite many miscommunications and misunderstandings, Connor realizes that he is exactly as cool as he is supposed to be.
To buy this book, please visit Amazon.
Interview with Jodi
When did you realize you had a book (or some books) inside you?
7th grade. I wrote this dramatic story called, "Too Young to Die." I remember reading it to my classmates, as I wrote each chapter, and being thrilled when they’d beg for more. As I grew up, I pushed my writer-self aside to pursue a more "realistic financially rewarding career," but in my heart I secretly dreamed of being a writer.
7 years ago, after prompting from my mom, I took my first writing class and haven’t stopped writing since.
Why is the theme of this project important?
For a number of reasons. First, the book is about acceptance – both of yourself and others, for all that you are. Everyone can relate to that. Second, the book is about what it is like to see the world – to perceive the world – in a very different way than most people do. Third, my intention was to help promote tolerance, understanding, and compassion not only for kids with Asperger’s Syndrome, but for all children who behave and learn differently.
What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?
What a great question. A lot of the main character, Connor, feels like an extension of myself. I have ADHD, so some of the struggles he faces I can relate to on a very deep level. Writing this book forced me to face my ADHD and embrace the great things that come with that disorder, as well as the challenges it presents. It made me realize that if I wanted kids to be okay with who they were, I had to lead by example and say, "This is me and I’m okay with that."
How do you find time to write?
I’m laughing as I type this response. Currently, this is my biggest challenge. I work, have two kids, speak at schools, and volunteer as well, so writing time is getting harder to come by. I always have a note pad so I can scratch down thoughts as they come to me. I’ve just begun apprenticing in a writing program, which has forced me to push back on other commitments and make time to write.
If you could work on a writing project with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be? Why?
I have two.
Anita Daher – she is a Winnipeg author, editor, journalist, and incredible mentor. She has an approach to writing that I love. Recently she critiqued one of my manuscripts and she didn’t tell what changes to make, rather she asked the right questions so I was able to "see" the holes in my story.
Lucy Maude Montgomery – Anne of Green Gable was my all time favourite series when I was in middle school. The character of Anne is written with such heart, that I’d love to ask Ms. Montgomery about how this wild girl came into her imagination.
About Jodi Carmichael
Jodi Carmichael was born and raised in Manitoba, Canada. Her dreams of becoming an author began to come true when she attended her first SCBWI conference in Los Angeles in 2007. She was thrilled when her submission was nominated for the Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award.
Jodi is a strong advocate for Asperger’s Syndrome which led to Connor and his adventures in Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food and Other Life Lessons. It is her belief that understanding brings tolerance, acceptance, and compassion for others. Recently, she was accepted into The Manitoba Writers’ Guild, Sheldon Oberman Mentorship Program to work on her most recent novel; Who Needs Romeo – A Tale of a Modern Day Juliet.
Jodi lives in a big yellow house in the heart of Winnipeg. There she can often be found dancing in the living room with her two wildly imaginative daughters, her patient and supportive husband, and a scruffy Border Terrier named Zoe. She continues to write, give presentations, and talk about writing to whoever will listen.
You can learn more about Jodi Carmichael at www.writingandotherlifelessons.blogspot.ca.