Book Name and Description:
The SUBNORMAL trilogy – set in an alternative-reality contemporary Britain,
Subnormal, Supernormal and Postnormal tell the tale of Paul Kelly – a young man with Asperger’s – his misfit friends, and their battle against the tyrannical government which oppresses those who don’t conform to their leader’s hive-like utopia. Can Paul and company defeat the odds and restore freedom to the nation?
The SUBNORMAL trilogy has been a critical success (4.8/5* average on Amazon UK & 4.7/5* average on Amazon US from 50 reviews in total), but they haven’t been a commercial success. I donate 20% of SUBNORMAL series royalties to my local Special Educational Needs school; unfortunately, I’ve not been able to give them very much so far.
SWIFTLY SHARPENS THE FANG – Joe Travis , a young, depressed man tortured by the loss of his father and a childhood trauma, yearns for a sense of belonging. His uncle, a racist gangster and skilled manipulator, see his vulnerable nephew as perfect fodder for his evil plans. Will Joe escape, or he is doomed to fulfil the destiny chosen by Uncle Steve?
What gave you the idea for writing young adult thrillers with characters that have Asperger’s? How have the books been received?
Two things: firstly, the worsening treatment of disabled people in the UK. Benefits are being slashed by the Government, while claimants are stigmatised and shamed by the media. Secondly, I read the book Winter of the World by Ken Follett in 2014. Set during World War 2, one of its chapters tells the story of a disabled German child who is scheduled for euthanasia by Nazi authorities as part of their Aktion T4 program. My son is severely autistic; if he’d been born 70 years earlier and 800 miles away, he would’ve been marked for termination.
Which of your books is your favorite? Which one was the most difficult to write?
My new novel, SWIFTLY SHARPENS THE FANG, is my favourite. The protagonist, Joe, has more of me in him than any of my other characters. Also, I think the style and content are my best yet. The most difficult to write was my first, SUBNORMAL book 1. It took me over nine months to write, and two months to edit. Nowadays, I’m much more and confident, and therefore fluent – SWIFTLY took just eleven weeks.
What got you into writing YA thrillers?
Accident! I’m not sure why, but my characters are generally young people. Perhaps I’m trying to relive my own misspent youth! With my books, the emphasis is very much on the “A” of YA. There are mature themes and graphic violence; the characters come of age in very brutal, dark settings.
How long have you been writing?
Since January 2014. I’ve wanted to write all my life, but for whatever reason, I didn’t start until the ripe old age of 32.
What is the writing process like for you? What is your writing day like?
Having spoken to a number of my peers, I’ve come to the conclusion that my process is close to unique. Home life, with two children, one of whom is severely disabled, is hectic. I work 9-5, and my commute is lengthy, so I take advantage of the time spent on public transport by writing. 90% of my work has been completed on my mobile phone.
What is your favorite book (other than your own book, of course) and why?
1984 by George Orwell. It’s so bleak, so powerful, and it stayed with me for a long time.
What projects do you have in the works?
Soon I will begin writing the sequel to SWIFTLY SHARPENS THE FANG. Originally, I wrote is as standalone, though I deliberately left the ending open. It has received such praise that I feel duty-bound to continue Joe’s story.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Start writing now! However, before you publish, build yourself an author “platform,” and use social media to make yourself known and build relationships with other authors before your book is released. Also do as much research into the rules of the English language as possible. It might be dull (I don’t think so, but I’m a bit of a geek), but it will pay dividends when it comes to editing.
Stuart lives in Greater Manchester, England with his wife and two young children. Despite wanting to pen a novel since reading English Literature at the University of Salford, he didn’t start writing until 2014. He released the final part of the SUBNORMAL series in May 2016, and has recently written a new novel, SWIFTLY SHARPENS THE FANG, which releases 30th January 2017. Stuart prefers to write in public places, tapping away as the world passes by, and he plots his stories whilst out walking the dog. He has always enjoyed reading disturbing tales which explore the darkness at the heart of the human condition, and his characters are devised with this in mind.
As the father of a severely autistic son, the author has pledged to donate a fifth of all royalties from the SUBNORMAL series to his local Special Educational Needs school. They are raising money to provide much-needed sensory equipment for the children. The treatment of disabled people in Britain – in particular the cuts in welfare benefits for society’s most vulnerable – provided Stuart with the inspiration for his original trilogy. The Brexit vote, and the lurch to the right in politics across the Western World, prompted him to write SWIFTLY SHARPENS THE FANG.
SWIFTLY SHARPENS THE FANG – https://bit.ly/swiftlybk
SUBNORMAL – https://bit.ly/subnormal1
SUPERNORMAL – https://bit.ly/subnormal2
POSTNORMAL – https://bit.ly/subnormal3
Stuart Kenyon books: