Amalena Caldwell majored in English/Creative Writing from FAU and currently works from home as a freelance editor. She’s known she’s autistic since the age of nineteen, and has been writing about it for herself ever since to explore what it means to have a different brain. The thing that cemented the idea that she truly was different for her was not the psychologist who mentioned it, but rather a writing workshop she took in college. She wrote a short story about an autistic high school girl and for the first time decided to write the way her mind actually works. Previously, she had attempted to write the way she’d seen in the books she loved. There’s a certain style to most novels, and she assumed that the reason that style existed was simply because of space constraints, that it was too difficult for an author to accurately capture thought processes in a novel because it wouldn’t have the same narrative flow. Instead, she discovered comments on her work that indicated people in her class had never read anything from such a perspective, that it wasn’t how their minds functioned. Even without the label of ‘autistic’ included in her short story, the other writers in the class picked up on aspects of the protagonist’s character and identified her as being on the spectrum. It was an eye-opening, life changing experience that taught her who she was and what her literary voice should be. Now, that short story has turned into a nearly complete rough draft of a novel she hopes to publish in the future titled The Unwanted: Castle of Blue Stone.
Amalena enjoys reading and writing in her spare time, primarily attracted to her ‘special interest’ of fantasy. Additionally, she enjoys sewing, belly-dancing, is classically trained as an operatic soprano, and has performed in several shows including as a gypsy in the Masala Gypsy Dancers at the Deerfield Beach Renaissance Festival, Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof, and Christine Daae in a concert version of Phantom of the Opera. She enjoys anything creative or crafty that allows her imagination to shine. The most striking thing about her upon first sight is the fact that her hair is four and a half feet long. She lives in Florida with her fiancé.
Follow on twitter @AmalenaCaldwell or Facebook at Some Girl with a Braid.