At Best, They’re Tolerated

Chelsea Britain Author Interview

Chelsea Britain Author Interview

Cuttle follows Nora, who struggles with her own overwhelming thoughts day in and day out while navigating romantic relationships. What was the inspiration for the setup to this heartfelt novel?

With a few amazing exceptions, I think people like Nora on the autism spectrum are a little underrepresented, and sometimes misrepresented, in novels that focus on relationships. Even many well-meaning writers present non-neurotypical traits as something to be overcome, and it’s difficult to read these as fully realized characters. At best, they’re tolerated, and at worst, they’re confused with narcissists or people who are incapable of empathy.

So I’ve never really felt like these stories were for me, and this seems wrong, because people on the spectrum certainly have all these experiences—our lives are full, too, of decisions about things like work and friendships and romantic relationships. My intention with Cuttle was to offer at least one slightly different perspective. Nora’s not a traditional romantic or “chick lit” heroine, but I hope some people can relate to her experience and see this demographic as capable of engaging in happy, fulfilling relationships.

Nora is a unique character that posses INTJ personality traits. Why did you want to explore these personality traits in your story?

I think INTJ’s are actually a little overrepresented right now in pop culture. So many of the amazing psychological thrillers published in the last handful of years really lean into their INTJ villains, and the most recent article I read about INTJ relationships focused on how to identify if you’ve inadvertently found one of us and safely get out of the relationship. INTJ’s make the best Hannibal Lecters, Professor Moriarties, and Emperor Palpatines.

…But most of us aren’t really take-over-the-galaxy kinds of people. I wanted to bring up Nora’s “type” because it’s mentioned so much less often to describe scientists, entrepreneurs, artists, and any number of other not-eating-people paths like Nora’s. Nora talks a lot about her “choosing” times, and most INTJ’s choose not to become sociopaths; Sherlock Holmes is an INTJ, too, and we also claim people like Nicola Tesla, Steven Hawking, and Jane Austen.

I enjoyed the supporting characters in this novel, and Nora’s relationships were always interesting. What were some themes you wanted to capture in their interactions?

I think one of the biggest challenges for all of us is finding our “tribe”–people who simultaneously accept us as we are and support our (healthy) growth. I used to think tribe-finding was a life stage, but now I think we’re always finding and updating our tribes as they grow with us.

Nora has a diverse tribe that’s really important to her but, like everyone, she spends a lot of time trying to distinguish between even well-meaning influences that hold her back and those which challenge her in positive ways. Characters like Heather and Lillie are able to expand their conception of Nora’s capacities with Nora, for instance, but the Milners of her life obviously need to go.

When and where will Cuttle be available?

Cuttle will be available September 1, 2020 through Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and other ebook retailers. Paperback, hardback, and large print copies will be distributed by Ingram.

 

Cuttle: A Novel – Book Review

 

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on February 23, 2020, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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