Buongiorno and konnichiwa

Unlike my book, which was translated by professionals, this blog was partly translated by an automated translation program. Therefore, the translation may not be perfect.

It’s-a me, Toeps, business manager. This blog is a selection of the things I have done in recent months. Because a lot has happened, and a lot is still going to happen! What exactly, you ask? Well…

The Italian translation of "But you don't look autistic at all" came out

I had known this was coming for a while, but because this translation went through Italian publisher Il Margine and then past Blossom Books, I heard very little about it. I knew that all of Il Margine’s books used the same cover format, so I would get a different cover. At one point, I received a request through Blossom asking if they could purchase a portrait of me – a photo I had taken before, which they had seen on my Instagram. I sent an invoice and the hi-res image, and then heard nothing again for months. Occasionally I would visit the website, to see if I was already on it, but I never was. Until one day Blossom asked me if I had another photo, for the Italian author page. Oh, something was happening again.

Not much later I received two interview requests, from major Italian newspapers. I was dumbfounded, though that was just me. I hadn’t quite realized that the Italian publisher was also going to promote the book! (Which of course makes perfect sense.) So I answered the questions, which at times felt like signals from another universe, from a time when I didn’t yet live in Japan, and had bright pink, green or blue hair. The interviews aren’t out yet – they’ll probably schedule that around autism week – but according to Amazon, the book shipped to François’ father yesterday. (He’s from Corsica and also speaks Italian.)

I gave interviews in Japan

A while ago, I hired Olga to work part-time on my marketing and PR. So when the English version of This Autistic Girl Went to Japan came out, Olga started emailing newspapers, magazines, YouTubers and other influencers. For example, she emailed Nobita from The Japan Reporter, who previously made videos about autism in Japan. He followed me for a day and interviewed me for his channel.

This tree was asking for it
Elyse in Odaiba

I took pictures of my book with Elyse

Together with Elyse, a Dutch girl who also lives in Tokyo, I went to Kasai-Rinkai-Koen, the park next to Tokyo Disneyland, to take pictures of This Autistic Girl Went to Japan. And because she was sweet enough to help me, also of Elyse.

Sometimes it’s crazy that this is work, just taking pictures of my book. But since this book is not being published by another publisher, but by me (that is, I AM the publisher!), marketing through social media is one of my most important channels. We often dwell on the negative sides of social media – which are certainly there – but it is also precisely thanks to the Internet that my book is read worldwide. Isn’t that great!

Japanese books on girls and women with autism

I spoke with a Japanese researcher about autism

Do you know what’s secretly kind of my dream? Besides happily shouting “oishii!” and “sugoi!” as the guest of the week on Journeys in Japan, the travel program of Japanese broadcaster NHK? Releasing my book in Japanese! Now that’s not directly what this meeting was about, but perhaps it’s a step in the right direction.

In fact, last week I spoke with a researcher and editor at a scientific publishing house who focuses on girls and women with autism in Japan. With Olga by my side to interpret (that girl really is golden, SO glad I hired her), we discussed autism in Japan, my experience as a foreigner on the spectrum, AND the Japanese book market. We got valuable advice, and the two books pictured above.

There is no immediate Japanese book deal in it for me, but perhaps some other collaboration. I think it would be incredibly cool to support Japanese girls and women with autism, talk about my experiences, or contribute to increase knowledge and acceptance in Japanese society. I am deliberately staying a bit vague, because I don’t quite know all the details myself yet, but I think it is already pretty awesome that this researcher managed to find me, and invited me for a conversation.

Aafke and Bram, stylish podcast duo

I took photos for Aafke's new podcast

Back in January, while I was in the Netherlands, I photographed Aafke and her husband Bram for their new podcast, Opslaan Als. The job had to be crammed into my schedule at lightning speed, because I was almost back to Japan. Fortunately, the photos didn’t have to be ready the next week, so that was fine. I asked Maan to shoot with me, and Charlotte to do hair and makeup, so the super team was complete again.

Aafke and Bram’s podcast is about fascinating stories that should not be forgotten. Last summer, for example, they stumbled upon an overgrown cemetery in the Belgian countryside that belonged to a now-abandoned mental institution. What had all happened here? The first episode of the podcast comes out May 6 and can be listened to via NPO Luister.

I post this mainly to lure Aafke to Japan


I built websites for some regular clients (Iris Esther now has a wholesale page, a government project has a new backend, and for Blossom Books I’m working on a website to go with their book series And Now What?). I also had preliminary meetings for upcoming shoots, scouted locations (like the above brutalist gem in Kawasaki), met with Kei, had Japanese classes every Friday, and spent weekends with François. In short: Things are going pretty well.

PS: Follow me on Instagram for more snapshots like this. My username is @biancatoeps. PPS: If you bought my book, be sure to tag me in your book posts and/or reviews and I’ll share them! PPPS: Did you read my book and did it make you happy? Then be sure to leave a review on Goodreads or Amazon! That way my book will be found by more people.