In a house fit for the scene of a feel good novel on the west side of Rockford, lives a woman who writes them.
Karla Clark grew up in Rockford with aspirations to be a writer. She laughed when she recalled her first stab at writing as a teen. "I wrote my first novel at 14 and it's terrible!" said Clark.
Fast forward to today, that teenage dream has become a reality as she has written four books. Each book is a peak inside her own life.
Clark said, "Each book, I know now looking back, reflects where I was in my life at the time."
Subjects spanning from her big Italian-American family to the afterlife and now her latest being a mom to a child with autism.
"My new book is called, 'Everybody and their Brother' and Johnny was my inspiration.
Johnny is her 25 year old son. According to Karla, he's a character in her new book but also a character in real life.
"This guy's pretty funny," laughed Karla. "He's got a great sense of humor. He's always saying funny things."
A lighthearted novel stemmed from a growing concern in Karla's life.
"Every parent with a child with special needs, our biggest worry is whats gonna happen to theses guys when we aren't here anymore", said Clark.
Karla wants to open the conversation of autism in today's society and be a comfort for those in the same situation as her family.
"I want people to see that people like John have so much to offer. They have the same wants and needs as anybody else. With a lot of help they can really thrive and do well."
Like getting lost in a good book, Karla doesn't know the ending to Johnny's story but she's hopefully it will be a happy one.
"I want what every mother wants," said Clark. "A meaningful life."