Today we’re joined by Frankie Onye. Frankie is a wonderful aspiring author who hopes to publish their work one day. They’re currently working on a number of novels, mostly queer fiction and fantasy. A fellow Poe fan, Frankie takes inspiration from a number of different places. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and enthusiastic author, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
Well I’m a writer, first and foremost. I write queer fiction and mostly slice-of-life fantasy. It’s my favorite genre and it’s a lot of work, what with coming up with magic systems that make some sense, filling in plot holes, trying to fix my horrible sleeping pattern, but it gives me a sense of comfort when I write and my dream to get published one day keeps me going.
What inspires you?
Anything and everything. Mostly works by artist, Pascal Campion, Studio Ghibli, Black Panther, Leigh Bardugo and a friend of mine that got me into fantasy again. She goes by Zuko on Wattpad usually and she has inspired me and supported me in so many ways. She’s ace as well and one of the best writers I know.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
To be honest, it would be the story of King Arthur that got me interested in actually writing. Morgana had been my favorite and the world with magic like that had always interested me. Before that, I was a kid that wrote random declarations of war on the wall with my name signed underneath, reading works of Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe and Tolkien before resuming to give my older brother hell. Frankly, I was a weird kid.
I’ve always wanted to write or draw, but i had the kind of parents that told me it was a waste of time and should get a well-paying job that could keep me afloat for myself and my “hobbies”.
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?
Nothing I can think of. Sorry, mates.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Practice, practice and learn. Don’t be afraid to take constructive criticism. Even if it’s something you don’t agree with, say thanks and move on. As art is subjective, there are going to always be people that think your work is crap, and sometimes, you might be one of those people. Don’t let that get you down, okay? Nobody can get better if they don’t listen and take correction but you also can’t get better if you give up just because of some nasty comments and thoughts. You gots this.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m as ace as it gets, mates!
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I’ve been told that being ace doesn’t mean I’m LGBT or queer, that me being non-binary is the reason I’m LGBT. To be perfectly queer, I’m still not sure about this debate. I know I’m ace and that’s pretty much it for me.
Another thing is being told that I am just too young and I have no idea what I’m talking about and that it’ll change when I “fall in love”. Which I mean, is point blank ridiculous. It’s not an on and off switch, Karen! I’m 18, sure, that’s young, but I’m pretty sure at this stage I know when my motor ain’t running that way. How do I deal with this? I ignore the ignorance like it’s the buzzing fly that it is. Life’s too short to scream at cement walls.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That it’ll all change when I found “the one”.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Own it, live it, and love yourself as you are. I’ve been struggling with this since I was a short little thing in Nigeria (though some might argue I’m still a small fry). Felt like a freak honestly and even worse when the issue about my gender was added on top. You are who you are and that’s all anyone can be.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I’m a bit everywhere, or I try to be.
Thank you, Frankie, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.