Today we’re joined by Susannah Cummins. Susannah is a wonderfully talented and productive writer who has written in almost all forms. Poetry, novels, screenplays, this girl can do it all. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m a writer. I write a mix of (mostly) fantasy with a little bit of history and there’s been one instance of steampunk so far. I experiment in most things – I’ve written novels, shorts, prose poetry, poetry, screenplays…
What inspires you?
I listen to a lot of music when I’m writing, and that tends to help a lot with some things. But for the beginning ideas? It varies. Two have been based on comments by my aunt. One was based on a drive home from a restaurant. One is because of a gift a friend got me for my birthday. They come from anywhere, really.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
More or less? When I was younger I was more about wanting to be a vet, but with all the reading that was going on around me, I picked up on that. Animal Ark by Lucy Daniels was the first series I properly read, and that was kinda where I started on both things. My first stories were little short things (Those six page books you can make out of an A4 sheet) about a superdog.
Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?
Oh… there’s always something about freedom. Freedom of choice, of life… I’m big on the freedom thing. There also tends to be a lot of the colour blue and probably feathers as well.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Don’t give up just ‘cause you don’t think you’re not as good as the others around you. They’re something to aspire to, not to match. Don’t be afraid to try something new, even if you don’t think it’ll work.
And find someone to talk to about your art. Talking about it with people who are interested is one of the best things ever, and it helped me so much.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Asexual aromantic for the most part (sometimes I think I’m verging on panromantic, but I can’t tell if that’s just ‘cause I don’t particularly want to live completely alone or if I genuinely want a romantic-style relationship)
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
It’s mostly just that the people I work with (who tend to be over sixty at least) are very much of the mindset that I should be settling down with someone in the near future to have a family. I’ve given up trying to explain it to them.
I like to imagine that I would correct people, but I’m more likely to jump in and defend someone else rather than anything relating to me. Mostly – because people don’t know how I identify – it never comes up. Even my granny’s stopped asking if there are any boys I’m interested in.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
The one very confused marine biologist I went to Uni with who brought it up at dinner one night (which was maybe the first time I’d ever heard it spoken about?) who thought it was a thing only relating to asexual reproduction. Someone else corrected him before I got in.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Don’t sweat it. The labels aren’t necessary – I went for… three or four years before finding out about it? It’s not a big deal, even if knowing can be nice. There are more important things to worry about than where you are on the spectrum
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Most of my things are at The-ShadowMaster.deviantart.com, and I’ve also got a recently started writing blog where I mostly ramble about all my processes and such at timeenoughforamasterpiece.tumblr.com
Thank you so much, Susannah, for taking the time to participate in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.