Norwich woman with Asperger syndrome becomes published author
PUBLISHED: 11:29 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:01 22 March 2019
A young woman with Asperger syndrome and dyslexia has stunned her family by becoming a published author at just 26 years old.
Jenine Sherwood from Heathgate, Norwich, began her debut novel The Black Feathered Angel following a recurring dream about an angel with black feathers.
Penned and illustrated by the 26-year-old, the book follows the only black feathered angel to be accepted by his rainbow feathered peers.
The colourful sketches and hopeful narrative grabbed the attention of international publishers Austin Maccauley, who contacted her by email to offer a print contract.
Ms Sherwood said: “I was excited to get it published and they took the first draft of the book. It’s nice to see it in an actual book.”
The author was diagnosed with aspergers and dyslexia as a child and her mother, Carol Sherwood, said the youngster had to use a one on one reader and scribe to sit her GCSEs at Flegg High School.
Aspergers is a condition on the autistic spectrum and typically affects how people communicate and interact with others.
For Jenine, this means everyday life can be difficult so she uses a support dog, Magic, to stay calm in public situations.
She said: “A lot of people and police sirens, ambulance sirens and car alarms bother my ears a lot. Having Magic makes it easier to go out because I can just stroke him and going into crowded spaces doesn’t annoy me so much.”
Jenine said although the illustrations translated easily from her head to the page, the words took a little more work.
She said: “Typing it out took me a while and if I type too long I get a headache. I had to take quite a few breaks. But I just really wanted to get it down in a proper form so it was finalised.”
The 26-year-old said despite the success of her fictional debut, she had no intention of pursuing a jet-setting lifestyle.
For Jenine, the ultimate goal is to live in a quiet area with a stream nearby so that she and Magic could swim together in peace.
She added: “Writing is perfect for me because I don’t have to meet too many people. I’m already working on sequels.”
It is available at www.austinmacauley.com/book