Today we’re joined by Alex Beecroft. Alex is a very talented author who writes male/male romance. Her website states lyrical prose, misfit heroes, strange and vivid worlds. What more could you want? More information on her work can be found at http://alexbeecroft.com/. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m an author of queer fiction, I can’t really put it much more specifically than that. I’m published in the field of m/m romance, but even there, there’s a variance in the sexuality of my protagonists – I have gay men and bisexual men and trans men (currently only in one m/f story, but I mean to write more) and homoromantic asexual men. In my fantasy and science fiction stories (now looking for a publisher) I have a larger range of protags, as I can include bisexual and lesbian women, trans women and genderqueer people.
What I like is a good, strong adventure-type story, with plenty of action and preferably also with elves or spaceships, or interesting history, or murder, or explosions, or all of the above. Basically my aim is to write what I hope is the equivalent to Marvel superhero movies, but with queer heroes, who sometimes fall in love, but sometimes have to fit the mushy stuff into the gaps left while they’re saving the world.
What inspires you?
If there was one surefire thing that always inspired me and I knew what it was, I’d be a happy person, but there isn’t. I tend to explore themes of otherness, being outside society and finding a way to fit into it without doing violence to who you are. My Christianity is important to me, so there will always be themes of redemption and love, and learning to detoxify your spirituality so that it leads to life and love, rather than to death and despair.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I used to be the one who thought up the stories when my friends were playing ‘lets pretend’. When they grew out of playing that, around the age of 11, I started writing my stories down instead. It’s really very much what I do to keep myself from imploding, since I’m prone to anxiety and depression. If I can write in a day, I know my life is worth living.
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?
Not that I’m aware of or do deliberately. I have outcast/misfit heroes a lot, and I did notice that I have a thing whereby people hurt their hands, but I have no idea what that means. I usually don’t notice symbols when I’m writing. They come up from the subconsciousness by themselves and I only spot them later when I’m looking back.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Finish what you start. Don’t let yourself go ‘oh, well I have a much better idea, so I’m going to leave this one for now and go write something even better.’ That’s a recipe for never finishing anything. Once you’ve started something, carry on working on it until it’s got a middle and an end. One ugly finished first draft is worth an infinite number of perfect, polished, abandoned starts of novels that never amounted to anything.
Also, if you can’t manage to write 1000 words a day, don’t try to write 1000 words in a day and then hate yourself when you don’t succeed. Aim for a manageable amount and then do it regularly. You’ll be surprised how fast 500 words a day can mount up.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m heteroromantic asexual with a side order of autochorisexuality. So I can find sex scenes in books arousing, but I wouldn’t want to be involved myself.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I’ve encountered the belief that hetromantic asexuals are not really queer at all, and that we’re really just doing it because we want to appropriate queerness and distance ourselves from the suggestion that we’re really just straight cis women who are objectifying gay men for money and/or sexual kicks.
I think that unless we want to say that nobody can write about people of a type they don’t belong to, the important thing is to make sure I’m not writing in an objectifying way. I try to make sure my heroes are complex real people who can be read and enjoyed by gay men. Apart from that, I don’t do anything. I know I’m ace, and other people’s acceptance of that is not necessary. Whether hetromantic ace people are queer is perhaps a matter for debate. I think we are, because we sure as hell aren’t ‘normal’ – we still don’t fit into the sex obsessed straight society we find ourselves in. But whether that belongs under the rainbow banner or somewhere else, I don’t really know.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Mainly the idea that it’s made up in order to be cool. Right, yeah. I didn’t have a word for it for 40 years, so I couldn’t even talk about it. How was it cool then? …Wankers.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
I would say that being ace is great. In this huge, messy, demanding, squalid world we live in, you have one less stressor. Your minds are clearer, your eyes are unblinded, and capable of seeing all the things that hide behind the smokescreen of sex. You are lucky to be who you are, and this world is lucky to have you.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
The best place would be my website: http://alexbeecroft.com
I’m on tumblr at: http://itsthebeecroft.tumblr.com/ and twitter as @alex_beecroft
I also have a Facebook page, but I mostly ignore it. I’m really not great with social media, but I do always reply to comments or asks, so drop me a line if you like 🙂
Thank you so much, Alex, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.