When trying to write a post to introduce my heroine, Tookie, it became clear more background needs to be provided for things to make sense. I didn’t intend to create a character with Asperger’s Syndrome; I didn’t even know it was possible for women to have Asperger’s, let alone exactly what it is. Tookie revealed herself to me as I wrote the story. It was over a year after an editor called her the c word, while reading a scene in which she treated her first boyfriend badly, when I stumbled across a web site about Apergirls (also called Aspie girls) that I realized I’d created a character who displays many of the traits often associated with women who have Asperger’s Syndrome. Prior to that, I just thought I’d loaded her with more peculiarities than any real-life woman I’d ever encountered.
To claim complete credit for creating Tookie would be dishonest on my part. True, she came to my mind fully formed, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Like most men who’ve lived several decades, I’ve come into contact with a number of women and have had experiences ranging from excellent to horrific to baffling. The latter experiences, and the women associated with them, stick in my mind most strongly, perhaps because I couldn’t make sense of them. Until now, and I still disbelieve some of them actually did the things I saw them do.
Tookie was inspired by people I observed, often at a distance, as well as some I knew quite well. To suggest that she is a real-life person is ridiculous when one considers the mix of traits I gave her and the, sometimes bizarre, things she did. What real-life person would decide to earn the title of “Blow Job Queen” from her co-workers?
Tookie doesn’t know she has Asperger’s because I didn’t know it exists when I wrote the first volume of this series. Will she ever know? Will she accept that she’s Asperger’s if she’s told? She will reveal the answers to those questions in future volumes?