April is the product of mostly just one person, me. And even though I have probably one of the weirdest and unbelievable life stories imaginable I've never thought of myself as interesting. Demographically I'm probably the most boring person you could ever meet. I'm a middle-aged guy from California. I'm married and have a daughter. You bored yet, yeah I know, except for one thing that makes me very very weird. And here it is. . .
Do you remember when you were a baby. Like about a year old, when you were first learning to talk, walk and all that. Well I guess nobody does . . . except me.
The clearest memories of my life are of my very very early childhood. The memories begin at about 18 months old. Before I clearly understood language at all and was slowly putting together what words meant. I remember all this better than what I did yesterday. However, the clarity begins to fade when I was about 4 years old. But in that interval I remember my bedroom, my daily routine, I still remember the color of my preschool carpet, my favorite nursery rhyme. The thing I remember the most was trying to figure out what words meant by using the tone of voice, their facial expressions and the other words I did know that they used to try to figure out what they were trying to say.
To make things even stranger, when I was a boy I was autistic with hyperlexia. Hyperlexia is a "splinter-skill" to autism which means I have a very strong understanding and fascination with words and their meaning. I was reading words at the time my memories began at 18 months. But my understanding of human behavior took me a long time to learn.
Even as a child, being so bad dealing with people, I began to write down complex paths, diagrams and flowcharts on how to interact with people. This was something I felt inadequate of having to do but this technique helped me a lot as I got older. I practiced human interaction as much as I could, having to learn what everybody else seemed to be able to do instinctively. As the years went on, these "social flowcharts" became very extensive and eventually became the basis of what April is. Since the processes and principles of basic conversation were already written down, I just had to learn how to code them. So the beginning of April was written when I was still a small boy, trying to teach myself how to talk to people, before I knew about AI or even what a computer was.
It wasn't until my 30's before I finally got my head around what people do and why they do it. So I remember the very beginning of human behavior, the part that nobody else does, and I finished my understanding so recently I can still remember it pretty well. And was finishing my understanding of people at the same time I was writing April.
So in a nutshell, it was my lack of innate ability to understand people that lead to the ability to create April. I never thought a lack of social skills would ever be beneficial in the long run, but now it looks like it has been :)