Today we’re joined by Ash Roberts. Ash is a wonderful self-published author who specializes in young adult fiction, fantasy in particular. They’re currently working on a nine-book series, which they hope to find a traditional publisher for. They have an awesome amount of passion and enthusiasm, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I write YA fantasy stories with strong female protagonists. There are usually dragons involved. I’m currently in the finishing stages of editing The Royal Dragon, which is the first book in a planned 9 book Dragoneer series. My goal is to get it published and then picked up by a TV channel like MTV or Freeform.
What inspires you?
Rick Riordan. I’ve been writing for a while, but when Hammer of Thor came out and had a genderfluid character, it suddenly made sense that I could do that too. I could work on the representation problem where nonbinaries and aces are almost completely non-existent, and still sell books.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
When I was 14, a friend of the family loaned me a copy of Dragonriders of Pern. Two decades later, I still have it. Sorry, Cathy! Ever since then, I’ve been obsessed with dragons. I started writing a few months later.
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?
Wherever I go, dragons aren’t very far behind.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
There are some who will claim that art requires passion. “If you wake up and you can think of nothing but writing, then you are a writer.” That works for some people, but don’t beat yourself up if you have other interests and goals. If you create art, you are an artist.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I call myself gray, bit I guess technically, I am akiosexual. I experience attraction but don’t have any real desire to act on it.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Mostly, people seem to be pretty accepting. I polled a bunch of writers in a writing group I’m in and several people are already writing ace characters. But the wider world definitely doesn’t seem to consider asexuality to be a real phenomenon.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That we don’t exist. Most people just haven’t been exposed to a sexuality and even if they’ve heard of it, don’t think it’s real, because they haven’t seen asexuality in action. So they assume it’s not real.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Don’t let relationships define you. Being ace is perfectly valid, regardless of anything anyone might say.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I’m on Tumblr at http://dragoneer.tumblr.com.
Thank you, Ash, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.