J. J. LeVan
Why I Started Writing:
My sister forcefully dragged me to a writer’s group at the tender age of nine. To my surprise, I discovered that expressing myself through the written word brought joy to my little heart. I fell in love with weaving word tapestries together and experimenting with various writing projects. Yet, when an autism diagnosis arrived in our home in 1998, I laid my pen down to focus on raising our children.
Now twenty-five years into our autism journey, I have found a new season and passion for my words. As much as I enjoy creating playful stories for children, I felt the Lord calling me to focus my writing on autism. The heart of my craft now beats for families of autistic children. It has been a true joy sharing the uniqueness of our kids and connecting God to their journey.
Authors Who Have Influenced Me:
As I lean heavily into nonfiction, favorite authors like John Eldridge, Rosaria Butterfield, Brennan Manning, and Erma Bombeck are on an audiobook loop in my car. However, I have been deeply moved by autistic author Naoki Higashida and would recommend his works to anyone trying to understand autism better. I have also been inspired by the friendships of fellow authors, both near and far. Their words of encouragement have been a rich blessing to my heart.
My favorite children’s books at this time are:
I Will Not Be Afraid, by Michelle Medlock Adams; Wherever You Go, I Want You To Know by Melissa Kruger; Scurry: The Truth About Spiders, by Annette Whipple; the beautiful Tomatoes for Neela, by Padma Lakshmi; and the playful Llama Llama series. (I suggest starting with Llama Llama Mad at Mama.)
Books I Have Written:
My first book, He Meant You To Be You, was released in September 2023. I am so thankful for what the Lord has done and for the support of the Elk Lake Publishing team.
What I'm Working On Now:
My current work in progress is entitled, We. Saw. Mice. This book shares a little bit about disabilities, a little more about awareness, and a lot more about believing that our friends with challenges can shine EVERY DAY!