Novel Magic features a YA fantasy this week–The Lost Chord by Lyndi Alexander. I’m excited for you to learn about this book and the inspiration behind the main character. Also, note the link to Arms Around ASD, a resource center providing therapies for people on the autism spectrum.
Meet the Inspiration for Bee Warrick
by Lyndi Alexander
I have a daughter on the autism spectrum. She is not Rain Man.
What she is, though, is uncannily intuitive. She often seems to be listening (and even conversing) with someone I clearly can’t see. I can make a mental wish that she would do something like turn off her light—and she will without my even saying it. She has a whole separate world where she lives part-time and is incredibly happy. She bursts into peals of laughter without any explanation. It’s kind of amazing.
It’s also the inspiration for The Lost Chord, a YA fantasy novel I wrote about an autistic girl who travels through multiple dimensions to help a professor of music save the universe.
I’m always stunned when parents and friends in tv shows and movies discover their child has some bizarre secret power and freak out and try to force them to conform to “normal.” I mean, what could be more wonderful? Okay, so teaching them not to set the curtains on fire every time they have a tantrum, etc., might get a bit tedious, but after awhile you appreciate their special gifts and help move them along that pathway, just as you’d encourage a child with musical talent, or sports ability, right?
Who wants to be just plain normal?
My daughter now gets a kick out of being the mold for Bee Warrick, and she comes with me to book signings, playing a lovely Vanna White style barker. Recently we had a signing at a local Asheville center that supports families on the spectrum, Arms Around ASD, and we got interviewed by the local radio station about her condition. She was delighted and pleased that someone would want to listen to her.
Sometimes I wonder if she’s dealing with magic, her imagination, or nothing at all. Or is she really interacting with other worlds and other people I can never reach? So far, all these meetings have been happy ones. Let’s hope that continues. I don’t know if evil interdimensional spirits could handle what this girl can dish out. 😊
A poisonous wave is spreading disease and discord across the eleven known universes. Seven special people, known as Keys, must strike the Lost Chord in order to restore the balance.
Among those Keys is Bee Warrick, an autistic teenager from Earth who has traveled between the realms for years without realizing it.
Can Bee help the Conductor find the other Keys before a bitter enemy strikes the wrong chord and shatters the universes?
Buy a Copy of The Lost Chord by Lyndi Alexander
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Book Trailer: http://www.dfpbooks.com/dfp/videothelostchord.html
Lyndi’s Beautiful Daughter and Images from The Lost Chord
A Few Notes from The Lost Chord
Her brother Reese barged into the room. The tall, broad-built boy plopped down on her bright pink bedspread and dropped his football helmet on the floor, where it rolled in a circle before coming to a stop.
Bee jumped and covered her ears to protect herself from the sound.
“Hey there little sped girl. I see Mom isn’t riding you about homework.” He glared at her. “Must be nice to be autistic.”
“I’m not stupid like you.” Bee knew Reese wasn’t supposed to call her names. Mom had told him often enough, but he never stopped so now she tossed names back at him.
She wasn’t sure what “autistic” was supposed to be. She had read about it in books. She was just what she was, not some word that started with A. Her favorite book was Songs of the Gorilla Nation, about a woman with autism who had learned to communicate with gorillas.
“Stupid is as stupid does,” she said.
Reese twisted up his face at her. He had the same auburn hair as Bee, a color received from their father’s genes. She hardly remembered their father. He took Reese away every other weekend, but never took her. She no longer went to the window to look at him.
“Bzzzzzzz,” she said, annoyed and wishing Reese would leave.
“You know that’s so damn lame. Knock it off. People talk about you at school, sped.”
Bee knew that term was derogatory by the tone of Reese’s voice, but couldn’t understand why it was bad. ‘Special’ was something extra good, so ‘special education’ should be something really great, right?
Besides she wasn’t in specials any more. Just speech. Her classes were regular, just like everyone else, and she finally didn’t have a TSS following her everywhere.
Since she could remember, she had been in occupational therapy. She had swung in a net and glued letters on paper. In hippotherapy, which she loved, she rode and cared for horses at a local farm. In de-sensitizing therapy, which she hated, her mother had scrubbed her body with a surgical sponge for fifteen minutes at a time several times a day.
The longest had been speech therapy, where she had struggled to learn language, a process that was short-circuited somewhere in her brain. So much didn’t make sense.
Like special education.
The TSS, Therapeutic Staff Support, had been a string of different women over the years who were supposed to help Bee learn skills to deal with life. Some Bee had liked. Most she had not. One she had hated for pinching her when her mother wasn’t looking. They came to her house or sat in class with her at school, always interrupting her thoughts with reminders. Take out your book, Bryony. Push in your chair, Bryony. Do you have your gym shoes, Bryony? The memories made her groan. Why couldn’t they call her Bee like everyone else?
“Go away.” She turned back to her math, itching to pull out her sand. Once Reese had stolen the box and poured the sand into the carpet. Her mother hadn’t been able to afford to buy more for nearly a month. The wait had been agonizing. She nearly failed math that time.
“Make me.” Reese stood up and stepped in front of her. Easily six inches taller than she was, he had her trapped in her chair.
She didn’t like it. She wanted him to stop.
After considering solutions, she punched Reese in the crotch.
Meet Lyndi Alexander
Lyndi Alexander always dreamed of faraway worlds and interesting alien contacts. She lives as a post-modern hippie in Asheville, North Carolina, a single mother of her last child of seven, a daughter on the autism spectrum, finding that every day feels a lot like first contact with a new species.