Aspergers syndrome is a condition on the autistic spectrum. People with Aspergers (or aspies) can find it harder to read the signals that most of us take for granted. This means they find it more difficult to communicate and interact with others which can lead to high levels of anxiety and confusion.

Mr Tumnal is a story about people, and acceptance, and of how different people can be. Louis Tumnal is ‘different’. Much like myself, he doesn’t always ‘get’ social situations and he can’t always read those cues that NTs (Neuro-typicals) take for granted. It’s never an issue that’s raised in the story, but Louis does almost certainly have, like many adults, never formally diagnosed Aspergers. But he lives with it nonetheless and it makes him who he is.


Some people with Aspergers go to university, hold down jobs, and live perfectly normal lives, but for others they need a lot more help and support. That’s what makes it so difficult to recognise if someone has the condition or not. As a writer there’s actually probably more of Me in Kathryn but the aspie in Louis is Me.

It’s because of who I am, and of who the hero of my novel is, that I want to help. Also, I’m one of the lucky ones. I have a job, a house, a whole menagerie of furry and feathered friends, and a wife.

 Help me raise £50 for the National Autistic Society

  • £5 a month pays for 5 anxious parents to get advice from our Autism Helpline.
  • £10 a month helps pay for a befriender to meet regularly with someone with autism.
  • £20 a month helps us to give practical support to someone with autism who is looking for work.

The story of Mr Tumnal – the man who married his imaginary friend celebrated it’s ninth anniversary last Sunday, and so from today, Saturday 15 August until the end of September I am pledging to donate 50% of all the profits from print and ebook sales of the book to the National Autistic Society. I would like to raise at least £50, are you up for helping me? And helping all those other people who you know, or don’t know, who find dealing with the ordinary difficult?

And you get a cracking good read out of the deal too!


Book_Cover_final_Front_thumbnailEveryone has an idea of their ideal family. Not everyone’s become real.

Lewis Tumnal is a man with the life he always dreamed of: a job he loves, a wife who loves him and the smartest, sassiest daughter he could wish for. It’s also the imaginary life of Louis Tumnal, an English teacher and lonely bachelor.

When he joins a photography class he meets Kathryn Summers and the real and the imaginary become entwined, Louis and Kathryn need each other to free him from his childlike and innocent world and the magic that has bound him for twenty-two years. But at what cost?


50% Profit share to National Autistic Soiety is for all copies sold between 15 August to 31 September 2015 in either paperback or ebook formats anywhere in the world.
Neither book, Mr Tumnal, nor T E Shepherd are affiliated in any way or endorsed by National Autistic Society.