Today we’re joined by Erin A. Erin is an aspiring author who is going to be attending university in the fall to study creative writing. Her work tends to include very diverse characters, including quite a few aces. I cannot wait to see her future work as it’s likely to be amazing. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I am an aspiring author. I always make several of my main characters MOGAI in my work. Typically, my heroine is asexual because that’s what I am, but they usually have several friends who are gay, pansexual, or otherwise queer.
I prefer to write fantasy, though I have dabbled in poetry.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by the books I read as a child and the beautiful people around me. One of my favorite devices of storytelling is the “true story,” as used by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi in the Spiderwick Chronicles. When I was little, I really believed in the world they created; and upon learning the truth, it never felt like a lie. It felt like a possibility.
When it comes to my peers, they often inspire me to create more diverse characters, ones who are neuroatypical, suffering physical disabilities, or facing loss. My own struggles with epilepsy have also influenced the way my characters react to personal difficulties.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
My grandmother and father always encouraged my artistry, and the constant book-reading of my childhood made becoming an author an almost-immediate dream. Although I initially wanted to be a “dancing princess,” my interest in the arts in some form was apparent.
After I quit ballet, I immediately decided I would focus on becoming an author-illustrator. I wanted to make people fall in love with my characters and worlds as I had with so many, from Harry Potter to The Dark Is Rising.
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?
As of now, the closest I have to a signature is my actual signature. I do sign some artwork with it. My name is 13 letters long, so I shorten it to six letters.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
- Keep on trying. The more you work towards your goal, the more likely you are to achieve it.
- Let others see. I know you may want to hide your work; to you, it is imperfect, or lacking. But the positivity of your peers and loved ones, even complete strangers, gives you an important confidence boost.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as asexual aromantic. I’m completely baffled by relationships on a personal level, though I think they are beautiful when it comes to the rest of the world. I’m also somewhat sex-averse; whenever I imagine myself in a sexually-charged situation, I can’t help but laugh at it.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
As of now, I haven’t, but I wouldn’t be surprised if an editor or publisher told me I needed romance and/or sex to make my book readable or exciting. If that were to happen, I would try to stand my ground and emphasize that if they find asexuality implausible or boring, then they need to tell me if I am either of those, as well. If they don’t understand, I’ll go find someone else to help me.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
So far, the only person to resist my being asexual has been my mother. While she believes it exists, she associates it with bad hygiene, boringness, and unkemptness. She claims that because I care about my appearance and am a happy, cheerful person I cannot possibly be asexual.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Find others online. Tell people you trust in real life. You are not alone, and they may make you feel like the struggle is shared.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
So far, my work is all fan fiction, which can be found on Archive Of Our Own under the username ErLiAu and on Fan Fiction Net as ErinLisaA. One work or two are silly, but all are worth reading. I have one story on wattpad, but it is the first chapter of one of my other stories.
Thank you so much, Erin, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.