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IRDA Winning Author Aaron Wright: “I believe the core of this story is universal to the human experience.”

Daisy Has Autism was the SECOND PLACE winner in the non-fiction category of the 2020 IndieReader Discovery Awards, where undiscovered talent meets people with the power to make a difference.

Following find an interview with author Aaron Wright.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?  

Daisy Has Autism, published January 2019.

What’s the book’s first line?

“Are we sure this is a good idea?”

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

Daisy Has Autism follows the Russell family as they navigate the complexities of public special education on behalf of their autistic daughter.  Told through the eyes of the father, it is a story of parental love, advocacy, and resilience.  It is a heart rending and authentic David versus Goliath story.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

The story is a memoir and based upon real events.  The ultimate inspiration to write the story came from a desire to start a larger conversation about how to educate children like my daughter.  As we navigated the system, and met multiple roadblocks, I wanted a way to process these experiences free from the terms dictated by the schools.  In addition to my personal catharsis, Daisy has served as a vehicle for many readers to no longer feel alone.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of? 

The main character is me.  The distinction I tried incredibly hard to make in Daisy is to not voice my daughter, or speak on behalf of the actually autistic community.  This is not a grief story or a tale of how I came to grips with my daughter’s diagnosis. The most distinctive thing about the main character is the process and transformation he undergoes as he transitions from a naive parent to an advocate.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

Although this is my story of transformation and resilience, everyone has experienced something in their lives that challenged their understanding of who they were and what they were supposed to be.  I believe the core of this story is universal to the human experience.

When did you first decide to become an author? 

In junior high school I had an experience with a local author in my hometown who inspired me to become a writer.  As part of a class project I was tasked with narrating a series of historical facts into a tangible story.  The experience was amazing and empowering.

Is this the first you’ve written? 

This is the first book I have written.  I have been published in peer reviewed science journals.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing? 

I am a nurse practitioner.  Currently I manage a Level 1 adult and pediatric trauma center in Northern California.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing? 

It took me four years to write Daisy.  Writing comes in spurts for me.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?  

The best part is the freedom of expression.  The most difficult part is marketing and exposure.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why? 

Yes.  My ultimate hope is for as many people as possible to read my story so that I can start a larger conversation about this issue.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?) 

Love for my family and a desire to help others.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire? 

Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Which book do you wish you could have written? 

Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption – Stephen King