Today we’re joined by squire. squire is a writer who hails from the Czech Republic. She writes both fan fiction and original work. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
My trade is writing. I write and publish SF and fantasy stories in Czech, my mother tongue, and in English, I write fanfiction in the fandoms I am active in. Sometimes, these two do overlap, like when I sold one of my Czech stories to a publisher in a States to be published in English translation or when I translate English written fanfiction into Czech for the benefit of the less language-wise equipped members of the Czech fandom. Other than that, I keep my fannish and my professional work separated.
What inspires you?
Pretty much anything. In the course of my life, my interests and fields of study varied; I started off as an aspiring linguist, studying both Latin and modern languages, and ended with a degree in chemistry. In my original work I always strive to address the eternal question of science fiction: what makes us humans?
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I wanted to be a writer pretty much since I was six. I have had only one deeper rooting and longer lasting ambition, that is, to have a family. I come from a large family, having three siblings and numerous aunts and uncles, and I never once entertained the thought of not having children of my own. With three little young ’uns of my own and a handful of nephews and nieces to look after time to time I think I couldn’t be happier if I tried.
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?
Nothing I am consciously aware of. My Czech readers do sometimes remark on my ‘unique’ style though they never care to elaborate 😉 As to my English work, I am afraid that the most prominent feature of it is my lack of actual knowledge of that language. I studied many languages, but never English, and I learned that one through reading. I might look fluent enough in writing but once it comes to actually opening my mouth I find myself at serious disadvantage. There are many words that I know the meaning of but not how to pronounce them:) I am completely dependent on the services of an English-speaking beta-reader every time I write something in English. They are too kind-hearted to complain but I am sure that fixing my drafts is a tremendous task.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Only one – and I dearly wish I followed that one myself more often (;-)): It’s not a competition.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I don’t think there is a label that would fit me. I once saw a funny article posted somewhere, dividing various types of attraction after the thoughts passing in the person’s head. Imagine seeing someone’s rising attraction, then the thoughts would be like this:
– Sexual attraction: “Geez, I wanna fuck them.”
– Romantic attraction: “Oh my, I wanna date them.”
– Aesthetic attraction: “Sweet Christ, I wanna paint a portrait of them.”
Well, and then there’s me, who upon seeing a person I am attracted to thinks “Oh my, I wanna bake a batch of scones for them.”
I am born caregiver, I think. Always was. I like to care for someone, to see them well fed and happy. I vent most of this towards my family, of course. I experience total of zero sexual attraction. Though I am not opposed to having sex, seeing as I am married and the level of intimacy is actually quite nice. (And of course, those three children had to be conceived somehow, didn’t they:)) But I wouldn’t be heartbroken if I was told I could never have sex again from this day onwards. I always prefer a quiet evening with a book over any physical exertion in the bedroom and I can only thank Heavens that in my husband I have found a person who not only understands but is fine with it as well.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Not many. My parents don’t know and I doubt they would mind, seeing as I already “provided them with grandchildren” (I think my mother would even approve because she’s living in constant fear that I’ll be having more children and ‘waste away my life at the kitchen counter’). My husband has a very low sex drive himself, we met as virgins and were happy to take things very slowly. At the last school reunion, I sort of came out to my old mates and friends, but it didn’t raise questions at all – maybe because at the same time, two of my former schoolmates came out as gay, and everyone was much more interested in that. I found it amusing.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
I never encountered any large misconceptions – maybe because I never needed to announce my asexuality in the open and as long I was dating, the question just didn’t arise. And I must confess that to people who’ve been around me during my younger years I must have looked the opposite of asexual – my need to ‘have someone to look after’ was so great that ever since I was 15 there wasn’t a week I was single. I might have had a bit of reputation, actually. What people didn’t know was that ‘things’ between me and my then-boyfriend always ended before we made it to the bedroom.
Actually the only funny question I ever got was a rather timid inquiry after the way I got my children. I think that sometimes people would over-do their understanding of asexuality and assume that asexuals just never do anything.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
I might just be terrible at giving advice. The only one I can think of is maybe don’t try to fit into labels.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Well, as much as I would like to boast over my Czech work, I think it’s of little use here 😉 My stories get published in print anyway, so they can’t be linked.
If anyone would be interested in the stories I wrote for Sherlock (BBC), my username on the Archive of Our Own is ‘squire’. Feel free to drop by (and drop a Kudos if you like:)).
Thank you so much, squire, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.