Today we’re joined by Rayah. Rayah is a wonderful writer who has written a few stories, including one for an anthology that’s soon to be released. Rayah works for a publishing house that specializes in LGBTQIA+ work. She has a great deal of passion and enthusiasm for writing, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I am a writer. I have been published with two short stories so far. One of the anthologies still hasn’t come out yet though. It’ll be out soon.
What inspires you?
My stories inspiration generally comes from real life experiences, and I kind of elaborate and imagination “what ifs” from there. I also draw inspiration from other writers and their works.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Well, I have my BA in English, and since a very early age I have been an avid reader. I’ve always been drawn in by stories and devoured them with enthusiasm … and I guess it was only natural after a while to want to write some of my own. Over the past year, I have started managing a small publishing house with my best friend. That’s given me more drive and motivation to pursue more published works.
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?
Those that know me can usually tell that I have a character that sort of like me within my stories. I can’t help it. I also write furry stuff sometimes. The publishing house that I manage has a large base of furry writers that we publish and work with. It’s by no means all that I do, but it’s what my currently published story falls under.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
For aspiring writers, I encourage you to be avid readers of the genres you are interested in. Explore others styles, learn the rules and norms of the writing through reading. It’s really the best way to learn.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as heteromantic asexual… and I’m also exploring the idea of polyamory.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Not so much prejudice. Perhaps a bit of ignorance. There’s a lack of visibility for sure. It’s difficult for people who are not asexual to imagine it, and that also makes it hard to write it. Even as an asexual, I often struggle to know how to write an effective and complex asexual character. It’s definitely something that I feel like writers are still trying to figure out.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That I will never have a fulfilled relationship without sex or that I never will have sex. Neither are necessarily true.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Try to surround yourself with understanding people and friends if possible. I actually didn’t even realize what I was until a friend pointed out I could be demisexual (upon later research I learn I am actually asexual) … and after that conversation is when I did my research, and I realized that I wasn’t broken like I had always though. That felt liberating. I came out as asexual for the first time to the same best friend who suggested demisexuality. I knew he’d be a safe place to do that, and it really help me just to be open about it with him. It helped me to explore it by doing the research too. I also had the chance to go to a local pride event during this time of figuring out I was asexual, and even though I was too shy to talk to anyone, I saw individuals wearing ace colors and that made me feel less alone.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
They can find the book I am currently published in here… https://www.amazon.com/Seven-Deadly-Sins-Furry-Confessions/dp/1945247096/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491185017&sr=8-1&keywords=seven+deadly+sins+furry+confessions (This is a pretty dark and rated R book. My piece is not sexually explicit though, but beware if you are sex repulsed or you don’t like dark stuff. Not all of it is sexual in nature, but all of it is dark. This is not a book for everyone….)
For updates about my writing and my work they can follow me on Twitter at rayahbunny. I am working on some stuff that’s not quite as niche as this first work, and I am always editing and managing fun books through our publishing house, thurstonhowlpublications.com, so I am always involved in the writing and creating process.
Thank you, Rayah, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.