Today we’re joined by Mary. Mary is one of the awesome aces I met at C2E2. We had a really great chat about writing and her projects, which sound absolutely incredible. I’m always thrilled to meet a fellow ace who is as passionate about writing as I am. Mary is a very versatile writer, who does both original work and fanfiction. She has worked with different forms of writing as well. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I write a lot of speculative fiction, both fanfic and original works. I’m bad at finishing however, but the attempt is what counts right? I prefer writing Fantasy and steampunk to sci-fi, and I write both poetry and prose. On my blog I’ve lately been doing media reviews “I did the thing so you don’t have to,” meta talk, and random snippets of work.
My favorite original projects are a poetry chapbook on Camp Douglas, a Union prisoner of war camp from the American Civil War that was built in Chicago; and a historical fiction/magical realism chapter book about a spy in the American Revolutionary War.
My current Fanfiction projects are “The Salt in the Ashes” an AU of the video game Dragon Age: Inquisition, and a series of one-shots dealing with Madelyne Pryor and Bucky Barnes from Marvel Comics.
What inspires you?
History inspires me a lot for my original stuff, you can make great stories out of little historical facts just by expanding on them. Then blend fact with fantasy and you can come up with something new, or at least something potentially interesting.
With my fanfiction it’s a lot of fun asking “what if?” and then applying that to a setting. Also I end up working though extremely salty feelings concerning how some of my favorite characters are treated by the male writers who have used them.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always had been a reader. The story about me learning to read is that, to all appearances, I was told “you should be reading on your own by now” and so I did. That evolved into an interest in writing, but my brain works weird, so it’s hard for me to write because my brain moves a lot faster than my fingers can. In fifth grade we were given these typing things that could print what we wrote, and that opened up me actually being able to write more consistently.
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?
I don’t think I do. Maybe it’s that I have a habit of using run-on sentences a bit too much. I could be wrong though, or if I do have a unique feature it’s been so normalized to me that I don’t notice it as unique.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Writing is as hard as it is easy, but you shouldn’t give up on yourself, even when you feel like you’re writing shit that no one will read.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Bi-romantic asexual. Bi over Pan, because I internalize a definition of being bi as “mine and other genders, and “Pan” as attraction regardless of gender. When I like someone in a romantic sense, their gender is part of that make up that is part of why I like them in a romantic sense.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Not so much in my field, but I have been dismissed by family and some people close to me. Not that they deny that asexuality exists, but in that they deny that I could be asexual because it is “rare.” Or they just get confused enough that I don’t see a point in continuing the track of conversation.
I end up handling it by not handling it, and finding folks, like my glorious set of internet friends, who understand and help me validate my own feelings about myself.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
A sort of continuation of the above question, the misconception I’ve seen most is that because asexuality is “statistically rare” then it’s impossible for someone to know another person who is asexual.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Surround yourself with a safe space of friends who love you and accept you for who you are. And to remember that you are not broken, and you are not wrong, even, and especially, on the days where everything seems to tell you that you are.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I have a Tumblr, (at) mwritesink and I also post work on AO3 under the handle InkSplatterM
Tumblr link: www.mwritesink.tumblr.com
AO3 profile link: http://archiveofourown.org/users/InkSplatterM
Thank you, Mary, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.