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Novel skills overcome dyslexia for Plymouth author
By Laura Joint
BBC Devon

Sarah Turton
Sarah Turton juggles several books at a time

Sarah Turton describes herself as a "dyslexic doodler".

When Sarah was diagnosed as dyslexic in 2001, at the age of 32, all those years of not being able to put her thoughts into written words suddenly made sense.

But rather then a hindrance, she says her condition is a creative tool which she can use in her books.

"The one comment I get is that my writing is vivid and alive," said Sarah. "I just chuck things down and somehow it works, I think."

Sarah, from Plymouth, has just written her second book, Aporia, and with her husband Szymon has set up a publishing house, Selchie Print.

Aporia
Aporia is Sarah's second book

Her first book, Beyond the Lemon Tree, was published in 2008. It was, she says, "her reality".

Aporia is a novel - "a surreal, mythical, fantasy," as Sarah puts it.

"With my first book, I was scared of my dyslexia. It was a process book, to overcome my fears and just get me writing.

"This was much easier. I have learned how I write - I write in jigsaw fashion. I find the centre of the story and put everything around it.

"With this book, I knew what the centre was so I had to work my way through to it and work the ending out.

"I work on pieces - just like a jigsaw - and think 'oh, I can put that bit there, and that bit there'. It's like a road map.

"Szymon helped me a lot in that process, telling me where things fitted. I looked at it and thought 'oh yes, it's right all the way through'.

"I'd written the story without being aware of it.

"I still make spelling mistakes - I look at the words over and over again but just can't see it. It's like a word blindness. So my mum reads everything through for me."

Selchie Print
Sarah and Szymon hope to publish other authors

In philosophy, an aporia is an insoluble puzzle. In Sarah's book, the main character, Eala, appears to be taken over by a being from outer space and begins to adopt, seemingly, more than one personality.

"My mum says it's trippy - not that I'd know! In fact, a couple of people have said that. Sometimes it's quite funny and sometimes it's quite creepy - I find it quite scary myself," said Sarah.

"It was really exciting, writing it. Beyond The Lemon Tree was about my life. With this, I could do what I liked, it was like freedom for me."

The front and back cover of the book is designed by Szymon and is a fractal - a design repeated many times over into infinity.

"Think about broccoli," explained Sarah. "That's a fractal.

"If one thing changes, everything changes. That's the statement, that a person has the power to change their reality."

The book is published on Selchie Print, which Sarah and Szymon set up a couple of years ago.

As parents of three-year-old twin daughters - Serafina and Aradia - they've had a busy few years.

But having completed two books, Sarah is already working on others: "I always seem to have bits of several books on the go all at the same time.

"But I can sit back and take some time on them now that the girls are in nursery.

"And later this year we'd like to find other authors to publish. "




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