People - Stevie Platt - Deaf Author

All It Takes Is an Idea

Stevie Platt
Stevie Platt.

Stevie Platt is one of the few living published deaf authors, having published the books "Go to the Hill," and "The Last Servant." The blurb on the back of the book "Go to the Hill" reads: "Go to the Hill is a compelling work that examines the lives and friendship of two deaf women, Jeanette and Maria, growing up in World War II America. Friends since childhood in the small town of Culpeper, Virginia, their struggle for independence in a time of turmoil is compounded by their struggle for validation in a world that often mocks their disability."

Idea Genesis

Platt was inspired to write "Go to the Hill" by the movie "Hilary and Jackie," a 1998 film about the relationship of two sisters. He watched the movie while flying home from a vacation in England. Platt decided to write a book about two deaf women similar to the movie's characters. He found a publisher through an advertisement in the Washington Post's Book World section.

The Last Servant

However, Platt's book, "The Last Servant," does not involve deafness. The focus is on hearing people and the African American experience. Platt plans to write about deaf people again in his third book  and plans to alternate between the deaf and hearing world in each subsequent book. All of his books will be fictional as writing nonfiction is not Platt's cup of tea.

Deaf Experience

Platt was born deaf, and grew up with both oral communication and sign language. Until the age of eight he was an oral-only communicator.

He attended Camelot Elementary school in Fairfax, Virginia, where there was and is an oral program, before transferring to Mantua Elementary school in Fairfax, Virginia, for their total communication program. Following Mantua, Platt attended Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind in Staunton, Virginia, for six years before finishing his high school career at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington, DC, graduating in 1987.

His deaf experience continued with college in 1988, when he attended the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), majoring in photography. By 1989 he had dropped photography, transferring to RIT for a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. He returned home to Virginia to attend Northern Virginia Community College, where he completed an Associate's Degree in Architecture in 1998. Platt planned to attend Catholic University of America, but was hired to work in engineering and manufacturing before he could begin at CUA.

Writing Books

Writing books is a time-consuming process, and takes even longer when you are working at a regular job at the same time. Platt states it takes him a year on average to research and write a book. First, he has to research the background, then prepare an outline, and begin writing each chapter.

His first book, "Go to the Hill" took a year and a half because of stumbling blocks along the way, usually involving the background facts.

Platt is confident he will be able to do future books more quickly now that he has had more experience.

Not Writing

When he is not writing, Platt likes to travel, read books, and learn about different cultures. From time to time, he also goes to ASL dinners and Deaf Professional Happy Hours in the metro Washington, DC area.

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