How to write autistics and not rely on tired stereotypes.

Despite mainstream media and their mostly dismal attempts at creating autistics. It’s rare to see examples of autistic characters who feel ‘real.’ We’re not all rain man or white, young, male savants.

We’re real people who are just as diverse as every other subset of humanity.

Many autistics like myself will tell you if you’ve met one autistic–you’ve met one autistic.

When creating neuroAtypical characters, I try to be cognizant of creating individuals, and not carbon copies of either myself or some stereotype I think non-autistics will easily recognise. I will admit many of my own experiences find their way into my stories. How could they not?

In fact, one of my favourite parts of writing my most recent release, The Lion Tamer, was including Alex and Alice. Autistic twins. They’re on different parts of the autism spectrum with their own special interests and struggles.

Neither of them is some off the charts genius.

They’re just autistic.

No massively high IQ required to be legitimate human beings who deserve to be celebrated.

So, here are a few tips on creating autistic characters, or what are some of the pieces/parts to doing so. (And please keep in mind, this is from my personal perspective.)

  1. Talk to #actuallyautistic people, not just autism parents before you start.
  2. Avoid AutismSpeaks.
  3. Stimming. Your autistic character should have a stim. We stim.
  4. Special Interests. I could write an entire post about this.  We have them. Obsess over them. Use them to calm ourselves from super stressful moments.
  5. Emotions are something many autistics struggle with. We can feel quite intensely, but we don’t often understand what we’re feeling. I’ve spent days trying to decipher an emotion before.
  6. Sensation. Many autistics suffer from hypersensitivity. I, for example, struggle with touching certain fabrics. Light affects me. Certain sounds can trigger me into a meltdown.

Just a few thoughts.

Not sure if any of it is helpful.

I might turn this into a series of posts about being autistic/writing autistic characters.

Do you include neuroAtpyical characters in your stories? Do you have characters who have anxiety, or PTSD, or are autistic? Or some other mental disability or illness?




Book Review: The Lion Tamer

“Overall, it was a great addition to the series. It’s well-written and entertaining, angsty and bittersweet and with a nice HEA. It was pretty cool catching up with the rest of the Sin Bin guys, too. Very recommendable!” 4.5 Stars from Mari at Book Bayou Junkie

It’s ALIVE! The Lion has been released.

The Lion Tamer has been released into the wild.

Grab it now!

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Amazon AU:

Amazon CA:




Lessons from the Olympics.

This is a conversation I’ve had with my hubby three times in the last seven days.

Hubby: What are we watching tonight?

Me: The Olympics.

Hubby: Again? Seriously? Isn’t anything else on?


It’s fair to say I’ve watched the Olympics all day, every day since the opening ceremony. I’ve seen everything from curling (which I swear was invented by drunken, bored Scotsmen) to snowboarding to figure skating.  The Winter Olympics are always my favourite.

I’m taking a few lessons away from the athletes as well. I thought I’d share them.

  1. Never give up. Even if you fall on your face, you might still win in the end if you keep going.
  2. Tune out the critics (even if it’s your own self-doubt.)
  3. Sometimes winning comes without a medal. Set your own definitions for success.
  4. No matter how inspired. I’ll never be a figure skater. I’d probably maim myself in the attempt. lol
  5. Find joy in what you’re doing.

How about you? Are you enjoying the Olympics? What’s your favourite event so far?


Friendship is really one of the themes that connect the Sin Bin series.

Strong friendships run through each novel in the series. Relationships that are strong enough for friends to become family. The Lion Tamer is no different. In fact, it might be the story where those connections are even more important.

Scottie & Gray both suffered through terrible childhoods. In their experiences, blood family have hurt them more than anyone else. It’s their friends who gather around them to support them.

One of my favourite friendships in the entire series is actually the one that has developed between Gray and Alice & Alex, the autistic twins who first appear in The Royal Marine.

Here are just a few reasons why:

  1. Is there anything better than watching as hard-as-nails marine become gentle and kind?
  2. Alice and Alex have gained an immense amount of confidence from it.
  3. Origami parties. The visual. The visual is priceless.
  4. Patience.
  5. Snow angels. (You’ll have to read The Unexpected Santa to see why.)

Do you enjoy platonic relationships in romance novels?

What’s your favourite non-romantic relationship in The Sin Bin?


Author Friends: Eva King

Are you a panster or a plotter?
I’m a pantser through and through. I cannot, for the life of me, plan a book in advance. Believe me, I’ve tried. But it was absolute shite.
Do you believe in Writer’s Block? If so, how do you kick its arse?
Yes, I do. I’ve suffered from it. You just stare at an empty, blank page for hours.
The only way I’ve managed to get over it was by stopping writing all together and read as much as I can. Then I try again after a couple of days.
What book is your comfort read on a bad day? The one you go back to reread over and over. 
Argh! Do I have to say? Right, okay… Twilight. I think I’ve read it about ten times. It isn’t a classic, but I see Stephenie Meyer as an inspiration. If she could do it, so could I.
Describe your perfect writing space: 
My perfect writing space would be an empty house for a whole day with no Wifi. Just me and my laptop. However, the chances of that happening are very slim, so I just use my mobile phone on the train as I make my way to work.
Do you write your title first or story first?
None of the above. I write the characters first. Everything else comes after.
And lastly, write a one or two paragraph flash fiction inspired by the last photo or text you got on your phone:


I needed this land, like I needed air. 
Filling my lungs with the fresh air, I imagined my children, running wild, climbing trees. Growing older and having their own kids.
The circle of life would happen right here, underneath my feet. 
I circled around and faced the realtor, “I want to buy this land. Can I sign the papers now?”
She beamed, “yes, of course.”
Author Links:

Recovering from a broken relationship, Emma Mitchell moves in with her best friend. Her life is quiet and uneventful, just how she likes it. Little does she know that the events of the following months will change her life forever.

Famous Hollywood actor James McNair is a renowned womaniser with a penchant for partying and hitting the tabloids for all the wrong reasons. When a night of partying a little too hard means he finally has to take stock and reevaluate his lifestyle, a week away from the flashing lights of Hollywood is just what he needs. What better place to hide than in his childhood home in Edinburgh, Scotland?

When the old friends are reunited, feelings resurface and sparks fly. But James must keep the pretence of his new persona until the premier of his biggest film in his career. He just has no idea if he’ll be able to keep his feelings for Emma under wraps until then.

Sometimes it takes more than damage control to find a happily ever after.

Buy Link

Love & Books Giveaway

How much do we love our readers? We’d like to show you!

Enter to win a collection of over 60 romance ebooks and a Kindle!

One simple entry will subscribe you to all participating Romance Authors’ Newsletters. Plus, gain additional entries through bonus sign ups!

Unsubscribe any time, but please don’t label us as spam. Better still, stick around and get to know us.

Participating Authors:

A. G. Henley | A.M. Myers | Aidy Award | Amanda Heartley | Anne Renwick | Annie Anderson | Ashlee Price | Beth Prentice | Brooke O’Brien | Byron Cane | Carolyn Reilly | Charmaine Ross | Chiquita Dennie | CM Lally | Colleen Charles | D.M. Davis | Dahlia Donovan | Elisa Leigh | Ellis O. Day | Em Petrova | Emily Murdoch | Emma Nichols | Emmanuelle de Maupassant | Haylee Thorne | Helen Scott | Ina Morata | Ja’Nese Dixon | Jennifer Millikin | Juliana Conners | K A Servian | K.B. Andrews | Kari Trumbo | Kelly Collins | Kim Bailey | Kimi Flores | Lacey Weatherford | Leigh Anderson | Lisa Suzanne | LK Shaw | Lyssa Cole | Mary Crawford | McKenna Jeffries | Melanie Summers | Monique McDonell | Nikki Lynn Barrett | Rachael Tonks | S.M. West | Sammi Starlight | Sarah Darlington | Sarah J. Brooks | Sarah Zolton Arthur | Shannyn Leah | Shauna Allen | Sheila Kell | Shelique Lize | Simone Leigh | Skye Jordan | Susan Ward | Taige Crenshaw | Teddy Hester | Tee Smith | Tracey Pedersen | Tracy Lorraine | Ysa Arcangel

Enter here: