Oh, my pleasure. She says that she has Asperger's and when she read the book The Bands of Mourning, and the other ones that have Steris in them, she identified a lot with Steris. I appreciate that.
What research did I do, did I talk to autistic people. I have several people in my life who actually have Asperger's specifically, and they were a huge resource, as you might imagine. One of the things that I like to do, kind of a mandate I have in my fiction, is to try to get people who are heroic who have different types of psychology than we usually see in heroes. Because the more I've lived in life, the more I've realized that we all are really distinctive in our own way, and our psychology all works differently. And yet we see a lot of heroes that all kind of have the same brain chemistry, it seems. Which has always felt really weird to me. And so it's kind of one my mandates to do that.
What research did I do? When I was in college, one of my favorite things to do was sneak into classes I wasn't signed up for, and the psychology classes were my favorite. This friend, who coincidentally was the one who wanted to be a chef, actually got a psychology major. His parents were "You should do something useful with your life." and so he got a psychology major, which he ended up going to med school. He didn't become a chef, he went to med school. He likes that too. But I would sneak into his classes and they were so useful as a writer, just listening to the different types, and to start to see personality not as-- We like to look at a lot of things as being normal or abnormal, but that's not the way it is. Everyone's personality is on this interesting spectrum and what is normal and what is abnormal is completely a matter of perspective. Where you stand on this line as opposed to-- It's like trying to make a value judgement that shouldn't really exist. And to come to see these personalities as great swathes of interesting color is what the psychology classes taught me. And so there was that and I did do some specific research for Steris and then I interviewed people as well.
I'm glad that you picked up on it without me ever having to say what she was, and things like that. That's when I really feel like I've nailed something, when you can read something and say "Yeah that's who this person is" instead of someone outside pointing and saying "this is who this person is, who they are"