Mother and daughter Janet and Jenny Wamsley will be in Kelowna this week for two simultaneous book signings.
Jenny’s book is a young adult fiction novel called Dysnomia, Outsiders on a Distant Moon, while her mother’s book, titled The Autistic Author and Animator: A Mother’s View of a Daughter’s Triumph is about Jenny’s life with autism.
Janet’s book covers everything from Jenny’s diagnosis up until where she is now, as a 22 year-old author and 2d and 3d animator. When Janet first began to think about writing the book she asked her daughter if she was okay with it, as bearing your life for the world to see isn’t an easy thing to do, particularly for a young adult.
“That definitely made me uncomfortable and was scary,” Jenny recalled. “That’s my story and people out there can be cruel and mean and you don’t want to share some things. But as I told my mom, if it could help one family with their special needs then I’m okay with it.”
The Autistic Author and Animator is a positive, encouraging story about a young woman who has exceeded all of the expectations put before her.
“These two novels show her journey and battle with autism, and how she went through the trenches and her school was like a war zone every day,” Janet explained. “To see her march into that school every day knowing what she was going to go through, and even though there were a lot of tears when she came out she knew what she wanted. She wanted to be an animator, she wanted to write and you’ve got to give her a lot of credit.”
While the book about her life can give Jenny some trepidation, the thought that it could help even one person fills her with joy.
“That makes me very happy, because that’s what I want to see,” she explained. “I want to see people succeed who have autism like me or disabilities. I want them to say, ‘Hey, I can do this,’ and then go accomplish their dreams and not be told what they can or can’t do. So it makes me happy that I’m giving people inspiration and making them feel better about themselves and that’s what I want to do.”
While an author penning a book about their experiences with an obstacle or issue is hardly uncommon, the two Wamsley’s are providing something unique as readers not only get to read about Jenny, but then have the chance to learn more about her themselves through reading her novel.
“The reason we wanted to do it together was because when people read my book first and read about Jenny’s life history, then they see this amazing book that she’s written and how cool it is, it’s just the scenario behind it all,” Janet said. “What a feel good, heart-warming, raw, true inspiring story for people to read, and not only about her life but this novel that she’s written.”
Jenny began writing her story while she was in high school, and in May both books were released with Jenny quickly becoming an Amazon Best Seller. Dysnomia is the first book in a trilogy, and Jenny noted she has begun to work on book two but it will take a bit of a backseat as she will begin animation for a movie in September.
“It reveals that it can happen, and not only for people with autism, but for all of us,” Janet described. “If a young girl can like this can beat the odds, which were a lot of odds to beat, all of us can do it too.”
The first book signing will be at the Film Factory from 2pm to 6pm on Saturday, while the second will be at Chapters on Sunday from 1pm to 3pm.