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Christopher Wheat is a resident of Kansas City, MO, where he lives with his wife Jaimee and their two standard poodles. With four grown children and two grandchildren, he leads a family-oriented life. In his free time, he enjoys playing sports and online games, which helps him unwind from his busy schedule. He is the author of the book Weirdo 2.0.
As someone who has Asperger's Syndrome, Christopher is passionate about raising awareness of autism and educating people about the challenges that come with it. Through his work, he hopes to encourage greater understanding and acceptance of individuals on the autism spectrum, and inspire others to embrace their uniqueness.
These four questions tie directly together: How did you develop the title? Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? How much of the book is realistic? And, Are experiences based on someone you know or events in your own life?
The main base of the book is entirely based on my own experiences. Everything in the book is accurate, except I changed the characters' names and locations and moved the story back a few years. I did this to hide the actual names of the people; however, the dialogue and actions are all honest with no embellishing. The book's title came from my former superintendent, who told the head of human resources to “Get rid of the Weirdo”. This information was said to my Union Rep by the head of HR. The big message I need all people to take away is the severe discrimination all the people with mental illness get fired from their jobs because of their mental issues. Gender and race are easy to prove in any job (bully) case, but for a person with mental challenges is more difficult to establish the reason for any termination. This has been a constant battle; we lose in court cases.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The most challenging part of writing this is all the emotions that came with the experience. It was so bad that my wife and dad refused to read the book because they had been part of the horrible time and didn’t want to read about it.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
One of the best pieces of advice for any writer is to love your writing. If you’re not motivated by the writing of your piece, then you’ll never get it done. People can tell in any literature if there is no passion behind what you write. If you don’t care, then neither will the reader.
Do you feel it’s most important to have A) Strong characters B) Mind-blowing Plot twists, or C) Epic settings?
When it comes to what is more important, having a solid character, mind-blowing plot twists, or epic settings, I would say it's a little bit of a combination of solid surface and blowing plot twists. I say this because a mind-blowing plot twist is incredible, and it creates a lot of buzz and talks about your book, but the only way to have this mind-blowing plot twist is if you have a solid character to have it happen with. The strong character can drive the story, making a much more substantial impact when you have that stronger character go through that mind-blowing plot twist. I believe that they go hand in hand together on this one.
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