Jenny Story is the 2020 BC Autism Awards Self-Advocate of the Year award winner as well as an accomplished author and animator! We love watching our community members succeed, so the release of Jenny's second book Dysnomia: Home Lies in Your Heart fills everyone at AutismBC with immense joy. Congratulations, Jenny!
My Journey to Self-Appreciation
I was diagnosed as autistic at the age of three. I knew I was different from the rest of my peers when I was in kindergarten and I got weird looks from my classmates because I had my blanky and my 101 Dalmatian stuffy, Patch, with me and sometimes I had to go to the learning center to learn. Since I was different and stood out so much, I did get bullied in school. I also struggled with certain classes like math. I was lucky to make a few good friends at school who I am still friends with today. When I was a kid and teenager, I didn’t like being autistic. In the world when I was growing up, being autistic and different was seen as a bad thing. I just wanted to be normal like other people and belong. I am always asked “if you were given the chance to not be autistic anymore, would you choose not to be autistic?” If I were asked that question when I was younger, I might have said yes, but now I wouldn’t change a thing about me. As I get older, I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today nor would I be doing all of the wonderful and creative things I do, like writing my books and doing my animation work, if I didn’t have autism. Being autistic is a part of me and it always will be, but it doesn’t define who I am.
My Passions, Fueled by Disney
I found my passion for writing, drawing, and animating at a very young age. Watching the behind the scenes of animated VHS tapes, like Bambi, and seeing the step-by-step process of how they were made into animated movies. I always thought it was so cool to see how they took drawings and brought them to life, gave them personalities, and created stories and worlds around them. I thought it was amazing and I wanted to be a part of that someday. It was also nice to see how close the bonds of the people working together were too, like a family.
To pursue my passion, I went to VFS (Vancouver Film School) to learn how to become a 2D and 3D animator. When I was struggling or having problems with any challenges, I would either talk to my teachers or my animator friends for help and ask them for their advice. Sometimes I would watch online art videos for some art tips as well.
The Dysnomia trilogy is Young Adult Fantasy/Science Fiction that is an enjoyable read for everyone of all ages. The story of Dysnomia was based off a dream I had while I was studying for my grade 9 final exams and the dream never went away, so I decided to write a book about it. The first book, Dysnomia: Outcast on a Distant Moon, is about a young woman named Layla who sets out to prove herself. Strong-willed and courageous, she is determined to show that she can do anything a boy can do. Along her journey she finds herself face to face with danger, adventure, and mysterious forces. A devious character named Nilerm traps Layla and her friends and they are driven off the edge of a cliff into a mysterious new world underground. They realize that they must do all they can to find the courage to confront danger if they are going to find their way back home. The second book, Dysnomia: Home Lies in Your Heart, is continuation of Layla and her friends’ adventures. After being together for a long time, Layla Jenkins and Shaine Dawson decide to take their relationship to the next level until he gets kidnapped. Now, it is up to Layla to go and rescue him along with the help of her friends. But as the Ex-Royal Commander goes to search for the Dark Prince, it brings her back to an old familiar place, which makes her question the decisions that she’s made. I am currently working on the third book.
I gave half of my prize money [from the 2020 BC Autism Awards] to a single parent family of a mother and her two autistic boys is because my mom was also a single parent for part of my childhood. She took care of myself and my big brother. It was rewarding; however, it was a lot of hard work for her to raise us on her own. I gave the other half of my prize money to Spectrum Productions. Its goal is to help autistic people that want to become animators, and as an autistic animator who knows the struggles of being an animator, I wanted to give this money to help other autistic people.
My Advice to Others
Follow your dreams and do what you love to do! Don’t let people tell you what you can or can’t do, because you can do anything you want if you set your mind and heart to it. Just work hard at it, keep going through the good and bad, and never stop believing in yourself.
Want to Know More About Dysnomia?
You can find and buy both books on Amazon.ca or Amazon.com, Indigo online, or at any Indigo, Chapters, or Coles bookstores, LibroWorld, Red Tuque, Barnes and Noble, and many more. You can also buy the books from the official Dysnomia website here.
You can follow Dysnomia on Facebook, on Twitter @JennyJennystory, or on Instagram @jennystory2019 to stay up-to-date with the latest news and other stuff about the Dysnomia Book Series. The first book is $20.95 and the second book is $38.00.”