Hello, all! Today I am interviewing Stuart Kenyon, author of Swiftly Sharpens the Fang, and the Subnormal Series.
Leigh: Thank you so much, Stuart, for the interview! My first question relates to your latest work. I really loved your latest book, Swiftly Sharpens the Fang. What motivated you to write it?
Stuart: The Brexit vote. I first imagined the storyline a couple of years back, but I planned to work on other projects first. Then Britain voted to leave the EU. In my opinion, the referendum result legitimised racism in some people’s eyes, and sure enough, within days, there was a spike in the number of xenophobic attacks reported.
Leigh: What do you think about the rise of Donald Trump and more broadly, the rise in popularity of far right political parties in Europe?
Stuart: It troubles me greatly. Just seventy years ago – a blink of an eye in historical terms – fascism was defeated, its ugliness exposed for the world to see. But, it seems, people have short memories, and the world seems to be regressing. Hopefully, we won’t have to learn our lesson the hard way again.
Leigh: I noticed you’ve previously written a Dystopian trilogy, which I very much look forward to reading soon. Can you tell us a little bit about what the trilogy is about?
Stuart: The SUBNORMAL trilogy centres on, Paul, a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome, who lives in an alternative-reality contemporary Britain. The UK is ruled by a tyrannical dictator who believes that anyone who isn’t “productive” – like the disabled – should be marginalised and persecuted. Along with a crew of unlikely allies, Paul uses his intelligence to strike back against the Government which oppresses him.
Leigh: One of the things that has me excited to delve into your trilogy is the main character. My daughter is autistic and I think there aren’t enough books and movies out there that have such characters. Would you agree?
Stuart: I certainly would! My son is autistic, too, and I have many traits of Asperger’s myself. Diversity, especially as regards to disability, is sadly lacking in fiction, both in literature and on the screen. Also, the representations we do see are often clichéd.
Leigh: Are there any specific petitions you’d encourage those of us concerned about the rights of autistic persons to sign? Also, which charitable organizations do you think are doing truly important work right now?
Stuart: There is a particular petition, yes: Young Minds . In the UK, young people with autism and mental health problems are being sent to mental hospitals which are almost Victorian in their approach and atmosphere. Okay, bit of an exaggeration, maybe, but they are far from suitable for the children therein. Furthermore, they’re often hundreds of miles away from their families. As for a charitable organisation doing great work in the UK, the National Autistic Society is a great example. We’re having trouble with our local authority over our son’s transition to secondary school (blog coming soon), and the NAS have been a great help.
Leigh: Thank you, Stuart, for taking the time to answer my questions. Readers, if you want to check out Stuart Kenyon’s works, you can find them at Stuart Kenyon on Amazon . Thank you!
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