We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Grodin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I believe that honesty and transparency have been critical in my success. When I first really thought about writing a memoir about my life as a non-speaking, autistic person it was a little scary. I knew I would be asked to reflect on hard times. I knew that my darkest moments would be spelled out on paper for the world to read. That left me feeling a sense of vulnerability. But I came to understand that to reach people and to allow readers to connect with my journey, it had to be the honest and transparent truth. I had to be okay with that vulnerability if I wanted others to be able to relate. This is true for all of my writings and all of the work that I do. Honesty and transparency are key.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
All of my work is born through letters and words on either my laptop or iPad. Because I am mostly non-speaking, my written words are what I consider to be my voice. Much of my work is inspired by this unique way I experience life. The hardest part has been unpacking those years and reflecting on all of it. The easier part has been writing about it. But even with all of that, it only meant that now I was well-acquainted with my story. In order to let others do the same, we needed people to believe in our story and help us get it out there. This is where the publisher became very important.
But really the most powerful thing I think has been allowing people to see my process of typing. Publicity for the book has involved a lot of live interviews. This lets people see firsthand how I am able to communicate. I think it goes back to transparency being so important to my mission.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I think that LA has so much to offer. One of my favorite, and maybe unexpected, ways to see the city is by hiking through it. If I was looking for a hike along the ocean I might go to Palisades Park, where there are a number of paths. A favorite hike of mine is Franklin Canyon; a forested area between valley and city, it’s so tucked away you can almost forget where you are. Another unique spot is the ruins of the old LA Zoo, located in Griffith Park.
If I was looking to take a friend to a special dinner, I would take them to the Sunset Restaurant in Malibu. Right on the beach, there’s not a bad seat in the whole place. The food is wonderful, but the atmosphere is truly the best kind of LA dining in my opinion.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many that are deserving of a shoutout in my journey, but I would like to speak to the support of my parents. They have been my fierce protectors and constant support. When I had no voice they spoke to advocate, to fight, to inform, all for my sake. Their lives have revolved around my success and my happiness from the very beginning. Mom and dad, I say to you, “we have arrived.” Thank you for all you have done, from yesterday to tomorrow.