Author Maxine Owen visits the Plain today to talk about Cameron’s Journey, a book that has received several five-star reviews. In 2009, Carl and Maxine Owen discovered that their youngest child, Cameron, had a high-functioning form of Autism, called Asperger's Syndrome. They quickly realized that very few people knew about this condition or how to help those who lived with it. Through daily experiences, research, and the support of family and friends, the couple and their other children were able to help Cameron to work toward achieving his future potential. They realized that although love does not conquer all, it gives a strong foundation on which to build.
Welcome, Maxine. Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from?
I was born in Binghamton, New York, but I was raised and currently live in rural Pennsylvania.How would you generally categorize the books/stories you write?
My books are written in memoir style. I write about true, and sometimes terrible, things that have happened to me or my loved ones.How much of your writing is based on people or events familiar to you?
All of my writing to this point has been based on true events and real people.What inspired you to write Cameron’s Journey?
When my youngest child was five years old, he was diagnosed with a high-functioning form of Autism, called Asperger’s Syndrome. I realized that very little was known about this condition and that people who were dealing with this often felt alone. I wanted to educate the public and offer my support to those who were in similar circumstances.How did you come up with the title?
I called the book Cameron’s Journey because the place where we started and the place where we are currently at in this adventure has been a journey for all of us, but most of all for him. He has made a lot of progress, but he still has a long way to go.What was the hardest part of the story to write?
The hardest part of this story was the parts where I mention my fears for how he will be treated by his school mates, my hopes for his future, and my sadness that what comes easily for other children his age is a struggle for him.What was the easiest part of the story to write?
The easiest part of the story to write was the part in which I mention the funny little things that he says and the charming things that he does that make me fall more deeply in love with this special child.Was there much research involved?
When Cameron was diagnosed, I did a lot of research in my efforts to help him. My story is presented as the story of a family who discovers their child’s challenges and makes changes to help him to succeed and to make the world a better place for him. It is in no way written from an expert’s point of view. It is not full of boring statistics or graph charts. It is simply our story.Is there a message in your story you want readers to grasp?
I want readers to know that the person they see as "odd" may just need some kindness and understanding. Forming a friendship with a person who does not quite fit in may mean the world to that person. What they see on the outside does not tell the whole story. There may be hidden struggles of which they are unaware. I want to tell parents that have children like mine that they are not alone. We are in this together.Do you listen to music when you write?
I do not listen to music when I am writing. I find it to be too distracting. I can better focus if I have "white noise," such as the washer or dryer going in the background.Have any new authors caught your interest?
My newest exciting author is Alexia Purdy. She writes about magic and mystical worlds. Her books carry you away. When the journey is over, you want to jump back in and go on another adventure.What’s next for you? Can we look forward to a new book in the near future?
I do not yet know what I will write next. My first book was about abuse; my second was about my son’s Autism. I write about what touches me deeply and that which makes me think I can touch hearts and lives with my message. I may try my hand at fiction next.
* * * * *Maxine L Owen lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and four children. She has two boys and two girls. The couple has six children between them, two of whom are grown. Cameron's Journey is Maxine's second book. Her first book, My Remembrance, came out in 2009.
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Cameron’s Journey / Available from