Kuri Yasuno is the author of Autism With a Side of Sushi, a book that’s very close to Kuri’s heart, and we were so excited to interview her for Booked for Review!
B4R: Tell us a little about your book, Autism With a Side of Sushi.
Kuri: Autism with a Side of Sushi is a hopeful and humorous book about my experiences as a first-time mother, learning to navigate parenthood with a child on the autism spectrum. It shares the story of the connection between me and my son as we navigate the various stages of growing up. Starting from the first days of colic to the diagnosis to the successes and failures at school and home, this book will take you on our journey.
If you are touched by autism in some aspect of your life, this book will give insight on what life is like, parenting a child on the spectrum. If you are parenting a child on the spectrum, perhaps you will feel less isolated. Perhaps you are interested in learning more about the topic of autism. Whatever the reason you chose my book, I hope it will make you laugh, cringe, and roll your eyes with me and my son as we navigate our lives, our emotions and our unique challenges,
When I started this project, I asked my son if I could write a book that shared some of his stories and experiences. At first, he was hesitant but when he asked me why I wanted to write it, I explained that I wanted to share our lives with others so that more people can learn about autism. I told him that I wanted to write a book that makes autism commonplace, to remove the mystery surrounding the autism spectrum and to increase understanding and encourage kindness.
My son said that if this book will make people nicer to people on the spectrum, I should write it. And so, with his permission, I did.
B4R: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Kuri: My book is a memoir about raising my son, so I spent maybe a few weeks jotting down some ideas funny stories and not so funny stories. Then I looked through my files to put things in chronological order and started to write.
B4R: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Kuri: I love people that write very matter of fact like James Clear and Gretchen Rubin. I also like “wait, what” by James E Ryan. I am in awe of writers like J. R. R. Tolkein or George R R Martin for being able to create intricate worlds in their minds and then putting them into a story form. I also love romance writers like Judith McNaught and mystery writers like Lee Childs that can weave me into a story so completely that I can’t put the books down.
B4R: What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?
Kuri: My story ends in a very good place where I applaud my son for doing so well and adjusting to his environment. Unfortunately, as the book was published and became available, we were suddenly cast into a very sad situation. I wanted so much to include that as well. But I ended up resolving this feeling of never being able to write all of the stories because life just happens and will continue to happen. Had I had a chance to add the negative experiences of last Spring, then a positive experience would follow and there would be no end. Now I”m happy with the way things stand because there are always ups and downs.
B4R: What advice would you give to other writers?
Kuri: Write it down. Write it down or you will forget it and then it’s gone. Write it all. I think we are all afraid of being perfectionists and thinking about writing can delay the start. Don’t think about it. Just start writing and don’t stop. 🙂