Welsh disabled author to write memoir of life with cerebral palsy
A Welsh author who found success with a book featuring a disabled character will write a memoir about his own life living with cerebral palsy.
Gavin Clifton, also known as The Disabled Writer, reflected his own experience of growing up with cerebral palsy in his first book, Max and the Magic Wish.
The story has been praised for its resounding underlying message to children that ‘there is a place for everyone in this world.’
The story features Max, an insecure five-year-old who has only one wish, to be accepted by other children.
Max then meets a fortune teller who helps him believe it really is ‘ok’ to be different.
The author from Pentwynmawr in South Wales, has now made it his mission to spread the word about the importance of disability acceptance.
Gavin Clifton said: “I want to use my experiences to educate other children with disabilities, their parents and wider society.
“I want to show them that it is perfectly ok to be different and not only let others accept you as you are, but to accept others too.”
Gavin went on to write another children’s novel, ‘Paddy the Polar Bear Teddy’ which again received positive reviews.
Gavin’s journey as an author had a shaky start and his first book was rejected by multiple publishers.
Then whilst attending a music event, Gavin met Clare Thomas from Caerphilly based publisher, Lola and Co.
Gavin said: “We didn’t speak at the music event because of my speech impediment but a few weeks later I reached out to Clare on social media.
“At first I was messaging about music as I’m also a songwriter then I explained how it was my dream to have my book published.”
Gavin met Clare for dinner with his Mum in tow for support and Max and the Magic Wish was published in October 2020.
Now Gavin is working on a memoir set to be published next spring and hopes other people out there will resonate with his story and learn from his experiences.
Gavin said that throughout his life, he has faced misjudging situations like being told he shouldn’t drive because his legs don’t work properly and being refused entry to pubs because he looks drunk.
Gavin said: ‘It can be tiring and even draining both physically and mentally sometimes. When all I want to do is live life to the best of my abilities, or, in my case, disabilities, so I can get on with things and keep following my dreams.
“From a physical perspective, my right side is affected the most, along with both my legs, and I also have a speech impediment which can be challenging.
“The most pain I get is in the back of my legs when my hamstrings tighten, and after walking long distances, my legs ache.”
Gavin conducts most of his daily chores with his stronger left arm and his parents help with anything hazardous, like boiling the kettle.
He said: “I’ve made it to forty. I’m still alive, still fighting, still writing and if I can make a difference and educate people this extraordinary journey I’m riding on will all be worth it. That’s all that matters.”
You can find out more about Gavin’s books here.
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