Author Interview "John D. Richmond"
A passionate author, parent and advocate for those dealing with autism. Especially my own son who was diagnosed just after his fifth birthday. Everyday of my life since has been dedicated to helping people like my son and bringing awareness to this disorder that affects approximately one in every 60. My first book, “Totally Lost: A Brutally Honest Assessment of Raising a Child on the Autism Spectrum” is a memoire of my family’s experiences since diagnosis. My second book, a fiction story about an autistic law enforcement officer titled “Savant,” is in the publication process and is available now.
Is “Savant” your first novel? Yes it is my first novel. After writing my first book "Totally Lost: A Brutally Honest Assessment of Raising a Child on the Autism Spectrum," I made the decision to get into fiction writing as another avenue to bring awareness to autism.
Can you tell me a bit about your first book “Totally Lost”? "Totally Lost" is a memoir of our autism journey just before, during, and just after my son was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. In doing research to learn what this new term was that would now define the rest of our lives, autism spectrum disorder, all I originally ran across was literature that was very medical and technical in nature written by Doctors, PhDs, etc. All of which are very useful and I do not mean to imply otherwise, however, in that moment, I wanted to hear from someone who had been through the situation we were now faced with and had come out better for it on the other side. The reader is taken into the very same emotions we felt during that time because, and I believe this is very important, "Totally Lost" was written in real time and as it was being lived, not years or decades in retrospect. I believe this book is a reference for families living with autism. The cover is actually a picture of my son and for this reason, it will always be my favorite work.
What was your goal in writing that book?
Very simply, it was to get our story out because I knew someone else would benefit from hearing it. My sole purpose in writing "Totally Lost" was to show people that this condition is challenging, but livable and that there are things one can do to help their children who are coping with this disorder. And really, that's what we all want is the best for our kids.
How would you describe ‘Savant”? The protagonist in "Savant" is Michael Avery. He has autism but is also a savant. He uses his incredible intellect and eidetic memory to become a world class detective. Michael also shows an unwavering, almost fanatical, need for truth and justice. At age 8, his father was murdered basically right in front of him and the case went cold. Michael takes on his own investigation to bring his father's killer to justice. "Savant" also serves another purpose and that is to help continue to bring awareness to what autism families face. The reader is taken into the mind of Michael and shown what some of the struggles are with this condition. My entire purpose for writing is to bring autism awareness and fiction writing is just another avenue for me to do this.
Can you give me a synopsis of the book?
Everything about the Avery family was absolutely perfect. Steven and Diane Avery, with their son Michael, lived a charmed life of wealth, success, and happiness. Until the world stopped turning and their lives were shattered in an instant and changed forever. Steven Avery was murdered in what appeared to be a random act of violence. After his father's case went cold, Michael vowed to take matters into his own hands. Utilizing his eidetic memory and once-in-a-generation intellect, Michael reopened his father's case and took on his own investigation to bring the killer to justice.
How did you come up with main character? I wanted Michael Avery to be a combination of Jason Bourne, The Good Doctor, and Sherlock Holmes. He had to be an excellent, brilliant detective who struggled with every day life occurrences that those of us who are neurotypical take for granted. I had a very good model of what I wanted Michael to be in my own son. My son struggles with the parts of life that have come very naturally to me: communication and socializing. These are areas where Michael struggles mightily in the book and despite this, he is a world class law enforcement officer hell bent on finding justice for his father.
What would you like your readers to come away with? I want my readers to be both entertained and informed in reading my works. "Savant" was written with both of these ideas in mind. The reader will be taken into situations that those on the spectrum deal with every day that the rest of us take for granted.
Are you working on other books? I have several other books in process right now. "Closure" is the sequel to "Savant" and will be submitted for publication in early 2020. "Cabal" is the third book in the Michael Avery series and will be submitted for publication late 2020 or early 2021. I also have another book I have just begun to write that I am really excited about and the title is "Conveyance." It is about a young lady who loses her parents in a car accident. Once she begins to put her life back together, she begins to receive messages with information only her parents could have ever known. The messages begin to reveal dark occurrences that the main character must act upon. All of these works, and any I do in the future, will always have some tie to and information related to autism awareness!
John Richmond’s newest book, Savant, was released in June 2019. It is a story about protagonist Michael Avery who has autism but is also a savant. He uses his incredible intellect and eidetic memory to become a world class detective. Michael also shows an unwavering, almost fanatical, need for truth and justice. At age 8, his father was murdered basically right in front of him and the case went cold. Michael takes on his own investigation to bring his father's killer to justice. "Savant" also serves another purpose and that is to help continue to bring awareness to what autism families face. The reader is taken into the mind of Michael and shown what some of the struggles are with this condition. “My entire purpose for writing is to bring autism awareness and fiction writing is just another avenue for me to do this,” states Richmond.