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The Story Behind

Although this journey began somewhere in 2004, the tipping point most definitely was when Caroline saw a YouTube video of Daniel Kish, founder and president of the World Access for the Blind and, pioneer and expert in human echolocation. In the video Daniel, who is 100% blind, demonstrates the use of active echolocation in order to ride a bycicle, hike, ... 

Caroline was not only amazed at the adaptability of the human body, but it also inspired her to write a fantasy story about a blind doctor. Blind characters in fiction and even in fantasy are not new, but generally they have superhuman or magical powers which completely make up for their lack of vision. 

But Caroline wanted a blind protagonist who does not have special powers - aside from improved elven hearing - that make up for his blindness. Thus, she delved into the depths of human echolocation and blindness in order to create a realistic blind character. It was also at this time that she first started playing with the idea of donating the proceeds of this book to the World Access for the Blind, if she could ever publish it.

In 2019 during the last year of her PhD, Caroline finished the first draft. The next few years the story would see many editing sessions and the first few beta-readers. In 2022, she contacted Daniel Kish - the human batman himself and the major inspiration for the main character Ambarenyll and his mentor George - and asked him to review the manuscript. He didn't disappoint and offered loads of additional insights. 

“Thanks for your diligence in portraying the blindness bit right. I’d say you’ve probably come closer than any other author I can readily think of. And yes, I can see you’ve done your homework.”

Daniel Kish, Founder & President of the World Access for the Blind and and Pioneer and Expert in Human Echolocation

The World Access for the Blind

The World Access for the Blind is a non-profit organisation founded by Daniel Kish. It is a global registered charity that is committed to facilitating the self-directed achievement and Perceptual Freedom of blind people of all ages. Not only do they teach blind people to see in a new way, they also teach sighted people to see better.

Daniel Kish was blind since he was 13 months old, and has learned to “see” using a form of echolocation. He clicks his tongue and sends out flashes of sound that bounce off surfaces in the environment and return to him, helping him to construct an understanding of the space around him.

This technique is called FlashSonar and allows people to navigate using tongue-clicking and by responding to the reflected sound from their surroundings. The ear and brain then work together to construct a 3D-image from reflected echoes of objects.

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