[44] S4, Ep1: Holly Smale: Synaesthesia, hyperlexia and accidentally writing an autistic book-child
Topics in this episode: autistic characters, coming out, dyspraxia, family, intergenerational autism, masking, meltdowns, synaesthesia, writing

Holly Smale is a multimillion-bestselling and award-winning author of young adult fiction, famous for her Geek Girl and The Valentines series of books. Geek Girl heroine Harriet Manners is a 15 year old, socially awkward girl, and Holly says that it was only after being diagnosed autistic herself at 39 that she realised that her character Harriet is also autistic – and that she had actually been writing about neurodivergence for a decade. Holly lives in Hove, in East Sussex in the UK.

Holly and I talked about all sorts of things, including:

➡ Meltdowns, masking, synaesthesia and dyspraxia
➡ Holly’s childhood memories
➡ Coming out as autistic publicly
➡ Attitudes, misconceptions and gender stereotypes
➡ Undiagnosed intergenerational autism
➡ Her lifelong special interest in books and writing, autistic characters in books and on screen and writing an autistic character 

Squarepeg is a podcast in which neurodivergent women, and trans and nonbinary people, explore navigating a neurotypical world and share their insights, challenges and successes.

I hope that these conversations will be inspiring and thought provoking, open you up to new ways of thinking about being neurodivergent, and help you feel more connected to a worldwide community of people with similar experiences.

I’m Amy Richards, and after being diagnosed autistic at the age of 37 I’m now on a mission to learn more about different perspectives and issues around being a neurodivergent adult in a world that feels like it doesn’t quite fit.

Find Holly on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HolSmale
Kieran Rose course: https://theautisticadvocate.com/onlinelearning/ 

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A HUGE thank you to my amazing patrons, who support my work on the podcast:
Caroline, Cat Preston, Corinne Cariad, Elise, Karawynn Long, Kate Faust, Katharine Richards, Katherine Lynch, Laurie Green, Lea Li, Lilli Simmons, Pete Burke, Sarah Hardy, Vera Cady

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