Today I am so pleased to welcome Chris T. Kat to Joyfully Jay. Chris has come to talk to us about her latest release, Despite the Odds, the first book in her Odds Are series. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Writing a Disabled Character
Hello, I’m Chris T. Kat, visiting Joyfully Jay again. 🙂 I’m here to talk about my new release, Despite the Odds (Odds Are: Book One). Despite the Odds is the first book in the Odds Are series and was published by Dreamspinner Press on June 3rd.
Joshua Stone, one of the main characters in my book, is disabled. He has cerebral palsy, and most of the time is dependent on his walker, Mr. Steel, and his tricycle, the Racing Rhonda, to get around. This story was in my head for a long time, and I’m glad I finally wrote it. In my work as a special ed teacher, I’ve worked with a lot of children and teenagers that have cerebral palsy. Still, before I started writing this story I freshened up my knowledge about this disability.
It was important to me that I didn’t gloss over the limitations Joshua has in his daily life, but I wanted him to be a very positive-thinking character. Often when I’ve read books with disabled characters, I’ve felt disappointed afterward. Why? Because either the protagonists were portrayed as almost saintly people, or bitter cripples.
Joshua Stone is neither a saint, nor is he a cripple. He’s a well-educated young man, who knows his limitations. He has his good days and bad days, just like everyone else. Yet, he leads a contented life, even though his love life is non-existent. That fact is going to change when he meets Michael Campbell. 🙂
Are there books with disabled characters you could recommend? Let me hear about them!
Never judge a book by its cover.
Michael Campbell can’t hold a job for more than a few days. He’s lucky his foreman is giving him another chance with the solar panel project at an elementary school in Atlantic City. When he spies a man walking strangely in front of the school, Michael laughs, assuming he’s drunk or high. Little does he realize that Joshua Stone, a teaching assistant, has cerebral palsy, and he’s having a bad muscle control day. Taking a tumble right in front of the handsome construction worker is just his luck.
When Michael learns the truth, he feels bad for his cruel behavior. He offers to give Joshua—and his tricycle, the Racing Rhonda—a lift. Joshua accepts the help, and suddenly there’s a gorgeous man breezing into his life, turning his world upside down. But Michael has more issues than his inability to hold down a job, and neither man is sure if they’ll be able to overcome their fears in order to be together.
Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there’s any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks or does cross stitch.