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  • Kate Forest

The People Who Write My Books for Me

Years ago, I was driving to work when I heard a radio story about a woman who used her tics due to Tourette’s Syndrome to choreograph a performance by professional dancers. I hardly ever get blinding inspirational flashes, especially driving in traffic on Broad Street. Band of Artists founder, Sutie Madison, had no idea she inspired me to write three love stories featuring people with diverse physical and neurological differences.

I started with writing about autism in Interior Design and Other Emotions and limb loss in Standing Up since those were areas I had some knowledge. But I kept coming back to that dance based on tics. I took a step into the unknown and did a ton of research. Discovering Sutie was practically my neighbor made this project even more meaningful. I am more than grateful to her for allowing me into her home, and bothering her with drafts of my latest story.

In my research, I discovered the brave Jess Thom, Touretteshero. She was also generous with her time and instrumental in helping me craft my characters. Please check out her TedTalk. She is brilliant.

Mark Brugger, who I found through Decoding Dyslexia, will recognize some gems of his in this book.

I have no idea what possessed me to write about classical musicians, as I have zero musical ability and have never played an instrument of any kind. (I’m not counting the recorder I played in the fifth grade. That version of “Hot Cross Buns” was not musical.) Gratitude needs to go to Ulrike Shapiro and Jeanne Gassman for all the musical support.

With all these people involved, it’s hard to believe I write any of it. In Tune, Out of Sync was the most fun book to write, in part, because of these amazing folks.

I’m launching it into the world with hopes that I have done justice to the people who walked with me as I wrote it.

By the way, this is traffic on Broad Street into work. It's hellish, and that tiny statue of Billy Penn on the top of City Hall never seems to get any bigger.

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