Today we’re joined by Antonius Marie. Antonius is an amazing writer who works in the speculative fiction genre. I perked up the instant I saw mention of folklore on their website. They also mentioned that most of their stories feature queer characters, which is always a plus. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the future. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m a writer, something in the literary speculative fiction range. I write for both adult audiences and young adult ones, in historical and contemporary setting. Most of my stories are connected, if only by happening in the same world. The world is supernatural, in the sense that myths and folklore is proven true, or starting as accepted, at least among the main characters.
What inspires you?
Anything and everything. It can be a piece of poetry painting a specific image, or a line from a song, or the way that the fog swirling on a meadow was imagined to be fairies dancing.
I do my best to keep images of the nature around our summer home for when I’m writing, since that helps me get immersed in the world of folklore I write.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always been creative in various ways. I’ve written bad poetry, and winding novels, and drawn/painted. For that matter, I work as a developer, and that is an art form in itself, though more tightly bound to conventions.
I didn’t start writing properly until 2012, but since then I haven’t stopped. Both short stories and longer, with two finished (1st draft) novels. By now, I’ve decided that this is what I want to be: a writer.
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?
Some, though nothing that’s thoroughly consistent. There’s a lot of cats (Norwegian Forest Cats), which is actually hinting at the goddess of Love and War, Freyja (or Freja in Swedish). I use other similar motifs from old folklore, even if people wouldn’t catch them as such.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Be yourself, do what you want to do. Learn the tricks and rules of the trade, so that you know exactly where and when to break them. You don’t want to break any rules in your art by accident, but a masterpiece comes from those that take risks and dare to pave their path.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I could spend all day figuring out the exact word, so let’s settle with facts: I very rarely get sexually attracted to anyone, and am in a relationship with a man who’s also ace. I’m also romantically attracted to women and non-binaries, though at least currently not to anyone but my partner.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
None for me, because it hasn’t really come up that much. I don’t talk about my sexuality that much, because it’s frankly no one else’s business what I do — or don’t — in the bedroom.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That you’re only ace because of sexual abuse, or because you haven’t “met the right person”, or for that matter that it means that you are either a) repulsed by sex or b) incapable of wanting it, ever. Oh, and c) that ever having had sex means you’re not ace. For a) and b), that’s certainly part of the truth, but not the entirety. I’m not repulsed by sex, I’m just indifferent to it.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Trust your instincts. If you don’t want to have sex, don’t have it. Mind you, this would be a good thing for anyone to remember, so it’s not exactly rocket science. Let’s go with the other side: If you do want to have sex, you should. Do what makes you happy, as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I have a website, http://smaty.se, where I post character interviews, teaser snippets and other things. It includes my first published piece, Solitary Duality, which you can find in the free anthology Summer Nights.
Thank you, Antonius, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.