Tip: My May giveaway to one lucky commenter is a $10 Amazon or B & N gift card. I'll draw at the end of the month from all commenters on posts during May.
My main character in the young adult Whispering Woods series, Mia Taylor, is a synesthete. Synesthesia is a neurological condition that doesn't impede normal activities. As a matter of fact, it enhances rather than detracts from life. There are very specific kinds of synesthesia and my character experiences multiple types of sensory perception.
In a nutshell, Mia has several sensory perceptions that are crossed so she experiences the world in a different way. In the beginning of the series, she kept this medical condition a secret for many reasons. Her older brother had been tested for many "disorders" as a child, so she reasoned that she didn't want to be different or labeled as dysfunctional.
I read a book last week with the most unique hero I've ever come across. The hero experienced his world very different from the rest of us.
In Jennifer Ashley's first book in her Highland Pleasures series, Lord Ian MacKenzie has been an outcast from most social circles and considered mad. His brother rescued him from a life in an asylum. The older brother recognized Ian's ability to memorize lengthy documents after one reading and to recite conversations verbatim.
In the book, Lord Ian cannot look people in the eye, doesn't understand social expectations, has difficulty engaging in long conversations, and can become lost in the study of a visual detail. Passages in the book explain his study of pattern and shape. He's a collector of Ming pottery and obsessively acquires pieces.
He's blunt in conversation. The heroine in the book, Beth, is at first fascinated by his blunt mannerisms. The author does a fantastic job of revealing Ian MacKenzie's character, layer by layer. He's become one of my favorite book characters.
“We don't fit in, you and me," he said. "We're both oddities no one knows what to do with. But we fit together." He took her hand, pressed her palm to his, then laced their fingers through each other's. "We fit.”
If you follow my blog, you know that I love Ted Talk videos. Here is one of a synesthete named Daniel Tammet. If you must skip ahead, begin at the 4:00 min. mark to see an explanation of how Tammet perceives numbers.