Announcement time. As of the 19th September 2016 I will be returning to the University of Manchester to start a part-time PhD in Creative Writing.
I've been backward and forward thinking about this for a good long while. I silently slipped in an application back in January after spending December tickling a few academic books and crafting a little idea. The idea grew and evolved and became a proposal which the University seemed happy enough to accept and then they were like; wanna come do this thing? And for a short while I still went a bit back and forth with it all, gripped in the terror of money, work, and capability. Then I turned 30. Then I got married. Then we messed up the country. So I thought: screw it. Do it.
So I am. I'm extremely excited to have Dr Geoff Ryman as my supervisor (yep, seriously, Geoff Ryman) and work starts in earnest very soon. I have to write a novel and a research project and I've got a long and terrifying but thrilling six years ahead in which to do it all.
In fact, I made a little start this very evening with the first 388 words of the first draft. I've already used the word 'plates', 'spittle', 'thump' and 'cat' so it's going rather well already. Is that too much optimism too soon?
Truth is, I'm starting to feel rather daunted as I approach this bold new horizon. So much to stuff into my tiny brain - I'll need all the help I can get. So let's start it now. My project, broadly speaking, will be all about Autism and its relation to the Fantastical - connections between the ASD spectrum and narratives of science-fiction, fantasy, horror, or anything unreal and unusual.
So I'd like to ask you all for suggestions of source material - books, films, TV shows, podcasts, radio - anything, as long as it in someway explores either a) autism, b) theories of the fantastic or c) a combination of a) and b). And it doesn't matter if it's done badly or well, just send it my way. At this stage, the box is wide open. I've already got a bunch of ideas, but I'll happily take more.
Either leave a link in the comments here or email me via the Contact page.
And wish me luck as I dive in to my biggest damn ocean yet. I'm not quite sure what I'll find at the other side...