Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Kent, and has extensive personal, professional and academic experience relating to autism
Like her protagonist Sunday in her debut novel, All the Little Bird-Hearts, Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow is autistic. She has presented her doctoral research internationally, most recently speaking at Harvard University on autism and literary narrative. Viktoria lives with her husband and children on the coast of north-east Kent, England.
I wrote All the Little Bird-Hearts over two and a half years. I did not have the luxury of writing when I felt inspired but rather wrote whenever I could, whether that was at my laptop, on my phone or in longhand. I had significant caring responsibilities during this period, and I knew there would not be fixed times available in which to write uninterrupted. It was actually a useful restriction as it disciplined me to write enthusiastically whenever there was an opportunity. The one thing I could do consistently was think about the book and arrange it in my mind. I constantly made little notes to myself, so that when there was time I had material waiting to be written up and did not simply sit and get lost in thoughts about what I might write.
I write wherever the quietest place available is. My children would find it very amusing if I thought myself grand enough to require a working space of my own.
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Written from the perspective of an autistic mother, All the Little Bird-Hearts is a poetic debut which masterfully intertwines themes of familial love, friendship, class, prejudice and trauma with psychological acuity and wit— The Booker Prize 2023 judges on All the Little Bird-Hearts