I discovered when I was writing THE SOUND OF LETTING GO that there was a LOT I didn't know about trumpets, Youth Orchestras, and especially autism. To write the best work of FICTION I could manage, I needed information to be sure my scenarios were plausible, my characterizations and descriptions authentic. What did I do?
- PRIMARY RESEARCH: Sought out and interviewed teen trumpet prodigies, psychiatrists and psychologists who treated people with autism in residential settings, parents and siblings of teens on the low-functioning end of the autism spectrum.
- READING: I read non-fiction books about autism, musical prodigies, family therapy strategies. I read fiction about and by folks on the autism spectrum.
- ONLINE EXPLORATION: I scoured the Autism Speaks and Autism Society websites, connected with some amazing people, including the director of the Sibling Support Project.
- VERIFICATION: I had my manuscript vetted by readers who worked in the autism field to make sure my finished product held up.
For a wonderful and poetic musing on this topic, check out Caroline Starr Rose's ODE TO A RESEARCH NOTEBOOK here!