For our next interview, we’re joined by Elena Deagle, a very talented author. Elena writes as J.L. Douglas and her first book, “Lunaside” was just published with Prizm Books. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I write positive stories about queer characters who don’t fall into the “tragic queer” tropes, and who aren’t defined by their sexualities. Because we’re all more than that.
What inspires you?
Although pretty much anything can inspire an idea for me, I think what I find most inspiring is other people. I try to pay attention to what is going on around me and I ask myself why people act in certain ways. Often answering these questions gives me ideas for scenes, pieces of dialogue, and descriptions. Sometimes even whole stories can come out of tiny fragments of something someone said or did.
I also read a lot, and reading the right book at the right time can really make writing a story go more smoothly for me.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always wanted to tell stories about people like me because I wasn’t finding those stories (and mostly still can’t) on bookstore shelves.
Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in our work that you’d be willing to reveal?
Everything I write is set in one world. Lunaside is my first book, but those characters appear in other things I’ve written because I think it gives a sense of community that some readers (myself included sometimes!) lack.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Read a lot; keep track of what you’re reading, and read lots and lots of books in the genre in which you’d like to write.
Oh, and keep a journal. Fill it with all the stuff that inspires you. You’ll come back to it. No writing is ever wasted.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Demi/lesbian. I identified as completely asexual for as long as I knew that was a thing, but then I started to realize that maybe I was demi after my fiancée and I were together for a while.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Yes! I write contemporary YA, so there are lots of people in this field who say “you need at least some kind of love interest if you want to sell books.” I just try to point out that it’s not really fair to assume that every person who buys YA wants love interests when that’s mostly all they’re exposed to anyway.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
I think probably it’s just that people don’t “believe” in asexuality the way they do with other sexualities.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
You. Are. Not. Broken.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
You can buy Lunaside through any of the usual online retailers or directly through Prizm Books (the publisher) here: http://www.prizmbooks.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=93
The Tumblr for Lunaside, and the summer camp featured in it, is here: http://lunasiders.tumblr.com
You can also find me tweeting about books I like, writing, dapper style and other stuff at: http://www.twitter.com/JLDouglas1
Thank you so much, Elena, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.