For Chrissy Couper, the thought of writing a book was once pure fantasy.
Despite her passion for writing short stories since she was a child, she struggled to put pen to paper due to her autism and dyslexia.
“I used to write all my sentences and numbers back to front. It took me a very, very long time to be able to do basic things like talk to people and look them in the eyes,” Chrissy says.
“It was hard going through school and trying to find work when I felt like no one could understand me and I couldn’t understand them.
“I’ve had a few struggles growing up with Asperger’s, learning disabilities and dyslexia so I had to find a way to get around having to re-read everything.”
Following in the footsteps of her literary heroes Terry Brooks and J.K. Rowling, Chrissy has now published her first fantasy fiction novel.
Released under the name C.M. Couper, Alexander Hazard and the Mysterious Orb is the adventure of boy tasked with delivering an orb in a magical world of alchemists and creatures such as giants and the Crow Goddess.
Chrissy says “lots of faith and will power” was the key to writing a book over the course of a decade.
“It took me over 10 years to write this book, I even had to get a text-to-speech application on my computer to read my words back to me because I can’t read properly,” she says.
“Chrissy is supported with daily activity skills which include budgeting and support with accessing job networks. We also support Chrissy with looking for more suitable living arrangements,” Carinity Fassifern Community Centre Client Services Coordinator Kerry White says.
Chrissy says Carinity has “made me feel like I am a part of a family”.
“It is a wonderful feeling to feel Iike someone cares enough for you to help you be who you want to be and live how you want to live,” she says.
“I’ve had more help in one session with Carinity then I have in a year with other organisations.”
Chrissy hopes to inspire other people living with a disability to follow their dreams.
“I want to let everyone know that no matter what your disability is you can do what you want to do if you keep at it,” she says.
“If you have disabilities like me please don’t get discouraged, keep trying. You will be so proud of yourself when you achieve what you really want.”
Copies of Alexander Hazard and the Mysterious Orb can be purchased at Carinity Fassifern Community Centre, Little High Street, Boonah or online at www.amazon.com.au.