Kathy Hoopmann author of the bestselling All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome and Inside Asperger’s Looking Out is taking part in the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2014. Ahead of her talk at the festival Kathy shares her experiences of becoming a published author.
What are you looking forward to when you visit Dubai and the LitFest?
As I have lived in Dubai (mostly) since 2003, I am looking forward to sharing this unique and vibrant country with fellow authors. It is always so interesting to see Dubai through the eyes of newcomers and author’s eyes see things no one else sees.
What got you interested in writing?
Initially I was a primary school teacher who loved children’s literature and delighted in creating worlds that would fascinate children. Later on I was drawn to the world of autism and Asperger’s and wanted to show readers the positives of people on the spectrum whilst not belittling their difficulties. One style of writing allowed me to investigate vast places of fantasy and mystique, and the other style I refined the vast mystique of Asperger’s to its essence. Both were immensely satisfying.
Can you tell us about your experience getting published? How did it feel to hold your first book in your hand?
I was very involved in the publication of my first book which was through a small niche publisher. I had seen the layout and the cover before it was sent to be printed. Then once it was sent off, I got on with my next book. So by the time that completed book was first in my hand, I did feel happy and proud, but honestly, my mind was so engrossed on my next project that I never really felt that glow so many authors speak about. It’s been the same way with every other book since.
Who are your favourite authors?
Depends on the genre. I think the best fantasy book ever was Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula Le Guin. There are almost too many brilliant children’s authors to mention, but David Almond, Andy Griffiths, Eoin Colfer, Anthony Horowitz and Garth Nix come to mind. I laughed so hard at Graeme Simsion’s Rosie Project that I almost cried and I have bought more copies of Markus Zusack’s Book Thief as gifts than I have of any other book. More recently I have read and loved just about written by the Christian author Philip Yancey.
What would you have been if you weren’t an author?
As a child I wanted to be the first woman on the moon but when I realised I needed to be good at maths to be an astronaut, I had to make new plans. I became a primary school teacher but once I started writing, really there was nothing else I wanted to do more.Kathy’s talk ‘What If’ will be at 13.30 on Saturday 8th March 2014. View the talk schedule for more information. This blog was shared with the permission of the Emirates Literature Festival 2014. For more information and to view the original post please visit the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature website. Kathy Hoopmann is the author of All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome, All Dogs Have ADHD, Inside Asperger’s Looking Out, the Asperger Adventure series and Haze all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.