Today we’re joined by TC Doherty. TC is a wonderful fantasy author who has just released her first novel (The Ghost, part of the Celestials series) with a sequel on the way. TC loves the fantasy genre and her books are all LGBTQ+ friendly. Like many ace authors, TC wants to write the diverse narratives she wishes she had access to when she was younger. Her book sounds fascinating and definitely one worth checking out. It’s clear she’s a talented and dedicated author, 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 write fantasy novels, both middle-grade and young adult. My work is aggressively LGBT+ friendly. I’ve loved the fantasy genre my whole life, so I really try to take advantage of it to write the sort of diverse narratives I wish I had access to growing up.
What inspires you?
My roommates more than anything. I can’t tell you how many stories have been written just because of jokes they make. Other media too, especially fairy tales! Real life, and sometimes dreams.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Jack London’s Call of the Wild. No, really. The book had such an indescribably profound effect on me. Upon finishing it, I knew that I wanted to be an author too. And I’ve been writing ever since!
Of course, I loved reading from a very young age, so perhaps it was inevitable.
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?
Well, I’m passionate about fairy tales, mythology, and legends. Many of my books have these types of story-telling elements and motifs in them. Other than that, I really love gryphons and I think they’re criminally under-used so I put them in as much of my work as I can get away with (so really…almost all of it).
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Forget about inspiration. If you want to be a hobbyist, then it’s your buddy, but if you want to go farther than that, inspiration does more harm than good. Learn how to work even when you don’t want to – later you won’t be able to tell the difference between work you did when “inspired” and work you did because it had to get done, and no one else will either.
There’s no such thing as a perfect first draft. Or a perfect second draft. Don’t let fear of imperfection stop you from creating, or from reworking as many times as you need to.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I refer to myself as a homoromantic asexual.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
In my field not really, but in real life certainly. I’m very open about my orientation and so I run into a comparable amount of ignorance. For people who are curious and want to learn, I’m happy to share and answer questions. For those on the rude side, I ignore them. It’s not worth the fight trying to convince someone who doesn’t want to see you as human.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
There are two I see with equal frequency. The first is that asexual people are broken, the second is that we’ll change our minds when we meet the right person. Both are harmful in different ways, but especially the narrative of “brokenness”.
I didn’t learn about asexuality until I was already eighteen or nineteen, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t know something was up. With no positive examples in media, and no one even admitting it existed, I couldn’t help but think of myself in terms of “what’s wrong with me”. That’s something I really want to change.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
There’s nothing wrong with you. Don’t let people pressure you into doing things you don’t want to do. Surround yourself with people who accept you for who you are. There’s no shame in taking time to figure yourself out, or to find the perfect lifestyle for you. And you don’t have to be a “gold-star” asexual to be welcome among us.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Thank you, TC, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.