How Rysa got her ADHD
To celebrate the coming release of “Fifth of Blood” at the end of this month, I’m answering questions about the universe, how I created it, and the characters. Today, I’m talking about Rysa’s ADHD.
Rysa, the heroine of the Fate ~Fire ~Shifter ~Dragon universe, is based on a real young woman with real Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The ADHD symptoms Rysa shows—the jumping from one topic to the next, the inability to sequence tasks or events, the internalizing of social difficulties—are all based on the experiences of one young woman who is particularly dear to me.
The female ADHD voice is uncommon in fiction. These aren’t the girls who save the world.
I thought it was time for that to change.
The barriers thrown up by ADHD often hide specific and wonderful talents. The young woman Rysa is based on has a way with languages, but finding her talent takes extra effort, both on her part, and on the part of the people around her.
Rysa, for her part, is the same way: She’s smart but information slips by. Too many things happen at once and she gets overwhelmed. And she most definitely internalizes all the disapproval heaped on her while growing up in a world that frowns on attention issues.
Breaching those barriers is Rysa’s story. It’s the character’s true story, under the world saving. And it’s why she’s the Fate ~Fire ~Shifter ~Dragon protagonist.