My main character, Robbie, surrenders to a lot of changes. While his Autism is something that encompasses his everyday perspective and processes, it is no different from someone having their culture or their background affects their perception.
LOS ANGELES (PRWEB) September 10, 2021
Los Angeles native and rising junior at California State University, Northridge, Me'Chele Sevanesian has meshed her love for literature and disability advocacy in her freshman works, "The Color Orange."
Sevanesian noted a tremendous void in the young adult genre catering to disabled children and their families. These stories comprised inspirational people with disabilities conquering all odds, a traditional model of disability called 'super-crip' where a person with a disability exhibits superhuman strength for typical things because they are disabled. Also, parents or medical professionals who were either too emotional or scientific and dry were the sources who harvested these stories. Sevanesian took it upon herself to combat this disillusion by writing her own story with Autism as the background catalyst to bring about a fresh perspective on a type of disability narrative. She wanted her main character to embody a cyclical change through self-discovery and immense support versus challenging a single bully.
"My main character, Robbie, surrenders to a lot of changes. While his Autism is something that encompasses his everyday perspective and processes, it is no different from someone having their culture or their background affects their perception. The best way for him to understand life is through color. In everyday neuro-typical culture, most things are black and white and frequently bleak and depressing. Robbie's perception allows his world not only to be more digestible but also malleable, where he can change, bend, and reshape things that are colorful and constantly changing. In this way, we can all take a page out of Robbie's book (no pun intended)," said Sevanesian.
Sevanesian held a 30-day pre-sale, crowdfunded campaign to ensure market interest for her novel and raised five-thousand dollars toward its publishing. This success led to New Degree Press, an independent publisher and distributor dedicated to empowering authors, moving forward with "The Color Orange." On Friday, August 27, 2021. Sevanesian became the proud author of her freshman work beneath its community-powered umbrella.
Sevanesian set out to find the perfect artist to illustrate both the front and back covers. After arduous searching, she was introduced to a young artist diagnosed with Ullrich Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic and rare disease affecting 1 in every 13 million people named Myranda Gereau. Gereu and Sevanesian clicked instantly upon meeting. They collaborated visions of art and writing to accomplish the goal of the novel's final illustrations. While Sevanesian could not be happier with the outcome, the result was not as important as it would have been to most. What was critical was having a true disability community member create character images representation was accurate. Also, she wanted to add another level of assurance to her audience that her main goal was to uplift and highlight the immense talent within this community that is often ignored or patronized.
For the future, 19 year old Sevanesian plans to continue her undergraduate degree in English Literature and Creative Writing with a minor in Communicative Disorders. After that, she hopes to attend graduate school for Speech-Language Pathology, continuing on the path to helping others overcome challenges.