Interview with Sharice Rascoe, Author of 'Shaina's World: My Family and Autism'

June 3, 2020

I was privileged to invite Sharice Rascoe for an interview with BooKecCenTric to discuss her latest book Shaina's World: My Family and Autism and the inspiration behind it. Enjoy!


What's your book Shaina's World: My Family and Autism about, and what inspired you to write it?
I wrote a middle-grade chapter book for kids that’s loosely based off of my life growing up having two siblings diagnosed with autism. I chose to write about this experience because I know there are other kids who are feeling the way I felt and wanted to them to have a book they could to relate to. Support is important for kids growing up with that type of family, so I wanted them to see they aren’t alone. I want other kids to read it as well and get a better understanding of what it’s like to have family members with special needs.

Who is your target audience, and why do you think this book will appeal to them?
Tweens are my target audience. So anyone between the ages of 8-12 will enjoy this story. However, I am finding out that adults like the story just as much as kids do so that's a pleasant surprise. The book is has 7 chapters and there are illustrations in it so I wrote it with kids in mind.

What message do you wish to pass across to your readers with this book?
My main mission for writing this book was to bring autism awareness to kids at a young age so they are aware of it if they ever encounter a person with special needs. Having empathy for other people is so important to instill in children so they won't forget it when they get older. Hopefully their parents will read it with them and get a better understanding of what it's like to have a relative with autism also.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
One of the most difficult aspects for me was the editing process. I’ve had several editors help me out with it, but I still found myself going back into the manuscript and adding more things to the story and changing some of the edits that were made because I didn’t feel they were necessary. Working with my illustrator was another difficult obstacle, and that took several months to complete. She had to keep making adjustments to the same illustration several times so that it looked the way I wanted it to. I’m very meticulous so I know it was tough for her, but she hung in there and got the job done so I’m grateful for that.

As a writer, is there anything you've learned about yourself while writing this book?
I’ve learned not to underestimate myself and that I should never say never. For years I’ve told myself that I I’m not a good writer and I hated doing writing assignments in school, so I was convinced that I’d never be able to write a book. Through this process, God showed me that He shows up strong in the areas that we are the weakest in. Now it’s easier than ever to write a book and self-publish because they’re so many resources available to help you out.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books, and why?  
Both, it depends on the type of book. For longer books, like the classics, or self-improvement books I like to have the paper/hard back version of it. For books that are shorter and that I want to read just for fun and entertainment I'll just stick with the ebook version, but to me nothing beats the feeling of actually holding a book in your hand.

What is your niche genre, and if you were to write in a different genre, what would it be?

This is my first book, but I do feel like my niche is more middle grade fiction. If I were to write a different genre it would just be picture books for children ages 4-8.

What books and authors have most influenced you?
Wow, well I've read so many books it's hard to pick. I've been reading a lot of books that help change your thinking when it comes to money. There's one that was recommended to me by my financial mentor called "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill that's a must read for anyone learning how to develop a wealthy mindset.

Is there anything you'd like readers to know about you?
I thought I was going to be an Engineer growing up because I was good in math and science in school. I had to learn that it wasn't enough to just be good at something or just want to do it for money. You have to actually like what it is you're doing.

Do you have any more books in the works?
I am planning on releasing a second book in 2022. I've already started the outline for it and I want to start working on the manuscript for it by the end of this year.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Yes, but right now I don't have a lot of reviews for it yet so hopefully that changes soon. I don't want to sound like I'm bragging but I haven't had a bad review come in for it so far. I've learned to take any type of critique as constructive criticism. This is my first time doing this so I feel even if there's someone who hates it, I can learn from that if they tell me why.

What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, Goodreads, etc.)?

My book has its own social media pages: Facebook: @shainasworld

Instagram: @shainasworldbook

Website to purchase:

It's also on Goodreads.

Any additional comments you would like to add?
Hope anyone that's reading this checks out my book and enjoys reading it. It was a labor of love.


Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Sharice Rascoe is an entrepreneur and first time author. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercy College in 2015 and is a member of its chapter for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. The New York City native has three brothers- two of which were diagnosed with autism at a very young age. By writing this book, she hopes to not only inspire children who can relate to her story, but to help make others more aware about people with special needs and the struggles that they and their families have to face.