Fully Booked

The Hidden Gems Author Podcast

Episode 110 – How Can Authors Best Represent Disability in Fiction?

Hosted by: Craig Tuch and Roland Hulme with special guest Michael Coolwood

On today’s episode of Fully Booked, Craig and Roland explore the portrayal of disabilities in literature, with a focus on the often misunderstood realm of invisible disabilities. Invisible disabilities refer to conditions that aren’t obvious when simply looking at a person, yet still deeply affect the lives of individuals that have them. To help them navigate these tricky waters, they’re joined by author Michael Coolwood, who shares his personal journey of writing with and about his own disabilities.

Michael explains the intricate balance authors must strike between authenticity and the expectations of a market that may not fully grasp the realities of mental and neurological diversity. Invisible disabilities in particular are often uniquely experienced by the individuals they touch, challenging the cookie-cutter perceptions that often pervade popular fiction. Michael takes us through various approaches to handling these challenges, along with the potential pitfalls of each. While self-publishing offers the chance for a more authentic portrayal of the disabled experience, it must be handled with care to achieve a balance between genuine representation and commercial success.

Michael Coolwood

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