Today we’re joined by Elin. Elin is a phenomenal writer from Sweden who currently specializes in fanfiction. She hopes to publish original work in the future. Aside from writing, Elin went to drama school and acted for a time, but found that writing is where her heart is at. It’s clear she’s a passionate and talented artist, 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 express my art form through writing. While I mainly focus on fanfiction, I’m also currently writing three longer original works, which I hope will be published one day, if I’m very lucky. In the past I have also had a major interest in theatre and acting, and actually went to various acting schools for some fifteen years, starting when I was five, but I’ve recently moved on from that to pursue a different education.
What inspires you?
With fanfiction it’s not that hard to guess: the works I’m basing my creations on inspires me. I love to explore worlds and characters we, the fans, only get to know a limited amount about, and I love to expand on the already known universe. It’s a way of getting to know the characters I love better, and a way to express this love for them.
For my original writing, a number of things inspire me. When you grow up in Sweden you learn about the Nordic gods in elementary school. The memory of these lessons have stuck with me, and inspired me to write about the legacy of said gods in a modern time (hopefully not ripping of Neil Gaiman too much, but I don’t think that will be a problem, seeing as how I’ve never read or seen American Gods ).
All in all, my inspiration comes from things I see and hear; things that give me ideas. It can be anything at all, really. Just anything that makes a thought pop up in my head, like: Huh, I can build something from this.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
When I was little I loved to read. I read so much I knew all the people working at the local library by name, and they knew me. The writing didn’t start to become a thing until I discovered fanfiction at the age of fourteen. That’s when I thought that maybe I could write something like that as well, and that’s when my background with reading came in handy. I used the memory of the books I’d read to see how a story was supposed to be, but it did take me awhile to get there myself, and it wasn’t until senior year of High School when I felt comfortable enough to write original pieces, and create my own universes.
As for the acting classes and drama school, my mother signed me up for the classes so I’d have an activity after school. She had a high maintenance three year old at home and wanted the five year old out of the house for a few hours a week. Frankly I don’t blame her, my sister is a lot of work. I would have done the same. Anyway, I thought it was really fun to be on stage with people my own age, so I stuck with it. We were playing around more than actually acting, but it was really fun. It wasn’t until I was about thirteen when I realized that there are people who act for a living, and that I could be one of them. It sounded like a dream. As I said, I stuck to it for fifteen years, starring in several small stage productions, until I went to college. I’m kind of sad that I don’t act anymore, but I know that I can always go back to it should I want to in the future.
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?
Not really. I guess there are some things in my writing that you could consider a pattern; certain things that I write in all my works, particular phrases and words and such. I notice when I write that I sometimes use a wording or a phrase one too many times. I probably use these phrases and wordings in most of my works. Someone who reads them all could probably see the pattern.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Take every step in your own time. Don’t rush yourself, or let anyone else rush you. As in, don’t let the influence of anyone else affect your creative process. You know what’s best for you. You know what you need to do to move forward with your work. Just you, no one else. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, or how much life gets in the way. Do things at a pace you’re comfortable with. It’s never too late to start over, or even to start. Take a deep breath. There’s no rush. You’ve got time. There’s no expiration date on art.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m definitely asexual and sex-repulsed- or at least when it comes to my own involvement. I can read about it, or even see it sometimes, but that thought of participating makes me shiver and feel a bit sick. It’s not just sex that I don’t feel comfortable with, but also the acts leading up to it, i.e. kissing and physical intimacy. As for the romantic part, I’m not sure. I’ll call myself aromantic for now, but that might change, who knows.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
The first thing that comes to mind is one time when I was in a play and I was supposed to kiss a guy on stage. This was before I identified as ace, and was just incredibly uncomfortable with the thought of kissing someone I didn’t like romantically in general. I told the director that I didn’t want to do it. That I couldn’t do it. She said “Yes, you can” in an encouraging voice, like it would help if she believed in me. I almost cried right there, the thought scared me so much, but she still didn’t listen to me. Luckily the script changed and I didn’t have to go through with it, but that is the most clear memory I have of my orientation coming into play, and being ignored, in my creative outlet.
Not so much in my field when it comes to writing. At least not yet. I suppose it might in the future. In my original works I hardly ever write romantic plots, and when I do they are very much in the background. Perhaps, if I get published one day, my popularity increases, I might have to take some complaints about not writing romance, but the fact of the matter is I don’t know how to write romance, or sex, or anything like that. I just don’t think it’s important, so I don’t. If you do see me writing romance, it’s because I’m experimenting and hoping for the best.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That we don’t exist. I’ve heard this from people who’ve I’ve just met, people I’ve talked to on social media, and a person I was in a relationship with. They doubted that there was such a thing as asexuality or, if they did believe it existed, they didn’t think it applied to me (because I kissed him, and that meant he thought I would want to have sex with him. Don’t worry, he didn’t force me, but I still feel like I dodged a bullet there).
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
You don’t owe anything to anyone. You don’t owe anyone to have sex with them, or to do anything else physically or relationship-wise, if you don’t want to. You don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why that is. You don’t owe it to anyone to come out if you don’t want to. I’m out to all my friends. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a proud Ace. However, I’m not out to my family. I don’t know why, it just never seems like the right time to talk about it, and I don’t feel the need to do so.
My advice is the same as I gave about your art: don’t rush it. Take your time, and think about things. What are you comfortable with? Do you want to tell anyone? It might help if you talk to someone, but it’s up to you. Express yourself in whatever way you’re comfortable with. Your sexuality, like your art, isn’t going anywhere. You’re allowed to take some time and figure things out, whatever those things may be.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
My acting was only on small stages, so that’s a bust. However, you can find my fanfiction on Archive of Our Own. My name there is KingsNeverDie100. Frankly, I think it’s a pretty unsatisfactory name, but I’ve had it on most of my accounts since I was about fifteen, and I can’t be bothered to change it 😛
Thank you, Elin, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.