Have you Read? Boy Banned

At the moment I am writing a short birthday story for Amber Kell's birthday bash. When I asked Rachel what book she wanted me to write from she immediately said Boy Banned was one of her favorites.

So I did some re-reading, and loved it as much as a read through as I did writing it.

But, then I came to the part after THE END, my note to readers, and realised that if you haven't read Boy Banned then you may never have seen these words.

So, being in an introspective mood today I thought I would copy them here...

* * * * *

For those of you who follow my Facebook, or my blog, you will know that my son has autism. He is a funny, sweet, angry, confused, perfect, child, and he influences our lives in so many varied ways.

One of the many questions I often get asked, besides the one about writing a sequel to The Christmas Throwaway (one day), is when was I going to write an ASD character.

I have always said I wouldn’t. Because it’s too hard to write a future with love and hope, when I worry so much about Matthew. There, I said it, I admitted it.

But, Matthew isn’t like Corey, he isn’t interested in forming friendships or relationships at the moment, his autism is, for want of a better word, worse, or maybe, just different. He may not have a significant other, but equally he doesn’t have the anxieties that Corey has with social conformity. He just gets on with life in his own way.

Autism is all about swings and roundabouts I think. Some good, some bad, but always perfect in its own way.

But I digress.

When Meredith Russell showed me this premade cover she was looking to put on her website to sell, I had to have it. The cover is beautiful, and I had a story all ready to go. Corey was edgy and Angel was sweet, and their relationship was one of enemies to friends. That is exactly how I was going to write it.


I started writing it.

And suddenly Corey became more, he was different, struggling in a world others take for granted, and Angel wasn’t his enemy, but his peace. And I knew why. Corey was on the autistic spectrum, knew himself as Asperger and was comfortable with that label.

I couldn’t argue with him. Or Angel, who loved him so hard.

And so, if you take anything from this story of Angel and Corey, I hope you take hope, and trust that there is someone out there for all of us, whatever our view on the world.

Like, maybe there will be one day for my Matthew.

Love and hugs to you all.

RJ, 18 May, 2016, England

✨🎤 Boy Banned 🎤✨

When the only way to win is to hide who you are, how far are you prepared to go?

Reuben “Angel” Jacobs is one step away from giving it all up. Losing a place in the live finals of Sing UK almost kills him. He has no choice but to go home and work for the family business, even though it means giving up his dreams and proving his old bullies right.

Corey Dixon is a rocker at heart. Being on the spectrum means that making sense of other people’s ‘normal’ is hard in itself, let alone in the chaos of a high-powered competition. Singing is his safe space, the only way he can think through the noise in his head. Messing up his audition for the live shows means his journey is over, and it’s the worst day of his life.

The judges throw them a lifeline and create a boy band from the near-miss hopefuls. Angel, Corey, and three others are put together in a room and offered the chance to sing as a group. Agreeing to become part of the new band means Corey has to hide who he is and what Angel has come to mean to him.

Is winning worth the price Corey and Angel have to pay?

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