Signal Boost: Series Reboot

Hello all,

I meant to post this earlier, but I kept getting nervous and losing my nerve. I’m really bad at self-promotion 🙂

As most of you probably know, I’m an author (I write a series entitled The Shape Shifter Chronicles). You’re probably also aware of how my career started: with an emotionally abusive acephobic writing mentor, who tore me down completely. As a result, I had no confidence in my ability as an author and I had to hide my ace characters for my own safety. When I got into self-publishing, I released an error-ridden problematic version of my first manuscript. When I went to conventions, it was like carrying around the novel form of the Scarlet Letter: it was not my voice, not my story. I dreamed of the day when I would be given a second chance to re-release my first novel as the story I had always intended it to be.

Then, I was given the opportunity to do just that by Snowy Wings Publishing. I would be able to get my manuscripts professionally edited, have the covers redesigned, and finally reclaim my voice and my story. The Shape Shifter Chronicles is being rebooted. It is truly a dream come true.

I mean, just look at these gorgeous covers designed by Najla Qamber (Najla Qamber Designs). Those are my characters, my wonderful badass characters! There they are 😀

Originally, the series was going to be a summer release, but then the nightmare with my local community college happened (which further destroyed my confidence. Turns out regularly referring to a person with a learning disability with heinous ableist slurs doesn’t exactly do wonders for their mental health. Go figure). I had to recover from that and it set me behind schedule. Snowy Wings Publishing was awesome and I was allowed to push back my release date to Halloween.

And now Halloween is just around the corner and my anxiety is through the roof. I put so much work into in this reboot and I’m really proud of how it came out. I really want people to enjoy it (I know some of you have already started reading or read the first version of this series and I’m hoping you’ll check out the reboot too).

Marketing is super tough for Indies, especially when you need a certain number of reviews for various services. I’m really doing a lot of trial-and-error when it comes to marketing and therefore, I’m dependent on word-of-mouth at the moment. Reviews help a great deal, so does signal boosting. Adding my series on GoodReads (first novel here, and I think you can find the rest by clicking my name) is a great help as well. If you have a blog or podcast or something, I’m available for interviews.

I’ve received a great deal of help from Lyssa Chiavari, including her setting up my Pronoun page, where you can pre-order all the eBook versions of my book.

Signed editions of the paperbacks will likely be available via my Square store in mid-November (you also get convention prices, which are a little cheaper than from the big online stores).

The series is going to be released on October 31st. I’ll probably reblog or repost this next Sunday. Hope you don’t mind.

I’m incredibly nervous about this (seriously, kind words are very welcomed and very appreciated). I pour so much into Asexual Artists and am way better at promoting this site (and all the amazing artists I’ve interviewed) than I am at promoting my own work. I really need to get better at that because that’s my source of income.

Anyhow, I’m hoping some of you check out my series! It’s four openly queer women saving the world! And having fun while doing so!

Thanks everybody! 🙂

Interview: Francesca Mylod-Ford

Today we’re joined by Francesca Mylod-Ford. Francesca is a wonderfully talented author who is currently working on a fantasy trilogy aimed at a YA demographic. It sounds like a fascinating story about life and death. Aside from writing, Francesca plans to study film and hopes to be a full-time film director in the future. She clearly has a very bright future ahead of her, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am currently writing a book trilogy called The Thanatology Series. I have finished the first installment (The Trials of Mr. Reaper) and am now coming to the end of the second novel, On Behalf of the Universe. The third book is in planning stages, and I will begin work on it soon. Although I am currently unpublished, I am seeking agents and if all else fails, I plan to self-publish the first book to gather interest, before sending it and its sequel to a new set of publishing houses.

The Thanatology Series is, to be blunt, a story about Death. It’s a fantasy novel, aimed at an adult and YA demographic. The story commences as a comedy, but as the book progresses, it turns to a darker narrative altogether, exploring the true nature of life and death … and where we go when we die.

Death – a harassed bureaucrat with a scythe – has only two desires: to be able to get on with his job, and for people to stop asking stupid questions. But life (or death) is never that simple for the Grim Reaper. From stubborn ghosts to the Demon Nicotine, everything in the universe seems to be out to get on Death’s nerves. The other three Horsemen of the Apocalypse have forgotten his birthday, the Seven Deadly Sins have proven to be incompetent beyond belief, and on top of everything else, Life is determined to be friends with him again. As Death continues to carry out his duty, he must consider this: What really happens when you die? And once Life is gone, what will happen to Death?

I am currently studying Film and Television Production, and in the future, I hope to be a full-time film director and write in my spare time.

What inspires you?

I have always preferred creative arts to academia, and being able to write and film allows me to express my creativity productively. One of the key things that inspires my writing is wanting to understand the universe around us; to take it apart and try to put it back together again. What if Death did have feelings? What if Life isn’t quite the way we imagine it to be? I think that the best part of writing (and filming, for that matter), is taking a trope and flipping it on its head.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

As it happens, I never wanted to be an author. I thought that you had to write the way they taught us to in school: beginning, middle and end, carefully preceded and followed by meticulous planning. When I got older and began experimenting with my writing, I realised that structured writing belonged where I was taught it: in the classroom. Now, if anyone asks, I tell them that being a full-time author is my dream job choice.

My uncle is a director, and that’s pretty much what got me into the film business. From the day I first picked up a disposable camera to now, enrolled in film school, I have been falling down the magical rabbit hole of movies and film. One of my favourite aspects of film-making is the power to make simple ink and paper leap off the page and into real life. It’s like having a magic wand.

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?

In film, I have a very particular lighting style I like to use, but if I told you then I’d have to kill you! Seriously, though, most of what makes up my work is just pure, solid research. Nothing gets done without a bit of good-old fashioned book-bashing, I’m afraid.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice! It doesn’t matter what you’re making or how bad it is at first, the more you make, the better it gets. When I first started writing, it was absolutely awful. But now I write nearly every day, and my skill increases the more I practice. Be prepared to put the work in – research is a bitch but trust me, it’s so worth it in the long term. Finally, you need to learn to accept criticism. If you argue with everyone who tries to help improve it, it’ll just make you look like a bad sport. There’s nothing wrong with receiving pointers!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I have never experienced sexual or romantic attraction – I just prefer to have platonic relationships.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I have been asked how I can expect to write/direct sexual or romantic scenes if I have never experienced either. My answer is this: have you ever been shot? Fallen down a cliff? Had a concussion? If not, then you RESEARCH IT. I don’t experience sexual or romantic attraction, but I have plenty of friends who do, and I’ve seen more than my fair share of rom-coms. Research is the key to literally every artistic problem.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

Since I’m quite sociable and enjoy making friends, people often have trouble understanding that I don’t want to seek any other kinds of relationships. Many people believe that asexual/aromantic people are antisocial, or that we’re closeted gay people (not true!). I’ve also had people tell me that it’s just “a phase” or that it’s a medical issue.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

Seek out other asexuals! We’re here, we’re queer, and we’re always ready to talk to anyone who might be struggling. Although some members of the LGBT+ community may be somewhat exclusionary, the asexual/aromantic community is welcoming and friendly, and there’s always someone ready to talk about dragons. Don’t be shy about who you are, own your asexuality! And remember, it doesn’t define who you are: only you can do that. Stay ace, friends.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

Feel free to check out my Tumblr (burnt-confetti), or my Twitter account (at burntconfetti). Hopefully when I’m published (or when I release my first film!) you’ll be able to see what I’ve been working on! Have a good one xx

Thank you, Francesca, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Evelyn Lloyd

Today we’re joined by Evelyn Lloyd. Evelyn is a young aspiring writer who is working on a number of interesting sounding stories. She plans to post her work on Wattpad. When she’s not writing, Evelyn enjoys participating in dramatic acting. She has a wonderful enthusiasm, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Tell us about your art

I don’t have anything published yet, but I plan to soon. My main project is a story called The Wishing Well.  It’s about Simon, a small town Canadian teenager who moves to LA with his new step father. As he gets used to his new life, Simon is haunted by dreams of a strange yellow haired girl. When exploring his backyard, he investigates a sound coming from a shed which whisks him away to a world of demons, a complex society where a silent war rages. As a conspiracy unfolds right under his nose, Simon realizes this yellow haired girl is the key to winning the war, and he wonders about the voice that spoke to him the moment he left his own world “welcome to the wishing well, you asked for heaven we give you hell.”

I have two other side projects that are slowly making progress. The Hanging Tree and American Idiot

The Hanging Tree: Thirteen years ago, they were born into a sweat shop, into a place where they are doomed to work until their inevitable early death. With rumours circling about a way out, Kate, Alex and Mark begin to conspire about searching for the hanging tree–a supposed long dead oak–with miles of forest between the children and its location.  After a narrow escape, Kate, Mark and Alex soon discover the many horrors lurking in that forest, and the reason no one has ever made it to the hanging tree alive.

I don’t have much for American Idiot, but it’ll be about four young adults living in America, and the way they were treated because of their sexual orientations, gender identities and race drives them to form a rebellion against the government.

The first chapter of The Wishing Well will most likely be published on Wattpad by (Canadian) Thanksgiving hopefully.

I also enjoy drama, but mainly for fun and competitions.  I don’t plan to take it anywhere past high school.

Playing With The Lights Off

What inspires you?

Music mostly. I got the original idea for The Wishing Well from the music video of Dead Bite by Hollywood Undead. I don’t have much that inspires my writing, usually I just give myself a basis, like that song, and I run with it. That’s what I like about writing fantasy and paranormal stories, there are no limits. Sometimes I get ideas for random stories I end up making a chapter or two for and get bored of it.

What got you into your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I always loved to write. As a kid, I liked to describe different things I’ve seen and experienced in vivid detail before I slept that night. I loved competing in oratory competitions they had at school and I got complimented a lot by my teachers whenever we wrote stories in French and English class. Then social anxiety stopped me from sharing any writing with people, and a few years later, I found out about Wattpad, where I can show my writing to people under a pen name, so here I am.

As for acting, I performed in the musical our school had in grade 6, found out I was good at it and kept doing plays n’ musicals in school. My high school has a great drama program (we’re known as the beast from the east at festivals) and I really enjoy acting, so I do.

Do you have any special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

I don’t think so.  A lot of the creatures in The Hanging Tree come from nightmares and sleep paralysis I’ve had, but other than that I wouldn’t say I have anything specifically me.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

This question makes me sound like a professional writer when I’m just a high school student haha. I’d say don’t procrastinate. Sit yourself down for about an hour and work on whatever you’re working on, even if you only write one sentence in that hour. Also you will not remember that plotline you thoughts of in math class. Write it down. Somewhere you won’t lose it. I don’t care how good your memory is you will not remember. You’ll mentally slap yourself for not writing it down when you draw a blank trying to remember it.

The HangingTree

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum to you identify?

Asexual and aromatic

Have you encountered any ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?  

Not so much in my field, but I do experience a bit in my daily life. My mother straight up laughed in my face when I asked her what she thought on asexuality, and most of my family says it isn’t a thing and the person will grow out of it, so I’m not out to them yet. The one thing that stung the most (and still sometimes gets to me) was a close friend told me he can “fix me.” He told me “its so good when its done right” and “I can make you want sex.” He crossed lots of lines when he started trying to touch me, though luckily it didn’t go any further. Needless to say, he’s not my friend anymore.

Another one is when someone I talked to on Tumblr they told me I was lucky for being ace because they thought their attraction to people was a curse.  I don’t know why it hit as hard as it did, but I didn’t like the way the said I was lucky.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That aces can’t be in relationships and can’t enjoy sex. People don’t seem to get that asexuality is simply the lack of sexual attraction, not the lack of libido or romantic attraction. Another big one is that asexuality is the same as celibacy. Celibacy is like going on a diet; asexuality is like just not liking cake. Yet another is asexuality is a mental illness/hormone imbalance. A hormone imbalance would affect someone’s sex drive and libido, not their sexual preference/attraction. As for mental illness, the biggest thing is a mental illness impairs your life in some way. I can say with certainty my asexuality has not once impaired my life the way depression or anxiety does.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

No matter what, you’re valid. You’re valid if your asexuality stems from trauma. You’re valid if your asexuality does stem from a mental illness. You’re valid if your asexuality stems from dysphoria. You’re valid if you enjoy sex, you’re valid if you’re in a relationship, you’re valid if you have a dirty sense of humour, you’re valid if you find people aesthetically pleasing, and you’re valid no matter your race, religion or gender identity. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You’re ace enough.

Where can people find out more about your work?

My Tumblr is https://h1tlerthestr1pper.tumblr.com/ where I don’t post much about my work (although I will once drama festival rolls around.) I do post a lot of ace positivity though!

My Wattpad is https://www.wattpad.com/user/LowBudgetCIA where I don’t have anything published yet, but I plan to in the near future. If you’re interested in The Wishing Well or random short stories I might publish make sure to keep an eye out.

The Wishing Well

Thank you, Evelyn, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: K O’Shea

Today we’re joined by K O’Shea. K is a wonderful writer who has completed a fascinating sounding graphic novel. Anytime someone mentions The Maltese Falcon, I perk right up (I’m a sucker for noir). K’s novel is entitled The Ghost Army of Atlantis and it’s currently being illustrated. It’s clear they’re very passionate about the project, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I currently have an unpublished but fully written graphic novel called The Ghost Army of Atlantis: A Millie Buckle, Ace Investigator Adventure. It is currently being drawn and colored by the artist, who is an equal partner on the project.

Millie Buckle was a project I began while I first was working out what being asexual meant to me, and is a reflection of what I always wanted in literature – awesome women, zero romance, and skeletons fighting ghosts in a two-page spread splash panel. Millie is a private investigator in the 1930s who often gets called for some of the weirder crimes – the elevator pitch is basically “What if The Maltese Falcon also summoned ghosts?”

I also write the occasional editorial and review on a website created by friends.

What inspires you?

A lot of my inspirations come from experiences or shared stories with my friends, but I do take a lot of influence from the books and movies I had growing up. There’s a little bit of Stephen King in me, but also some K.A. Applegate and Terry Pratchett.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

Honestly, I always have ideas for stories, but I get the most excited when I get to share them with friends and family.

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?

That would probably be a good idea, huh? Probably my love of the semi-colon, which gets used far more than grammatically should be allowed.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to shove things back in the vault if it’s not working. You might get to it later when you’ve learned more. It’s okay to let yourself stop and move on to something else if you’re just not feeling it. If you force it, it’ll come out forced.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Sex-neutral, alloromantic, asexual. It’s never been that important to me as it has been for my partners – I get intimacy from emotional bonds and physical closeness.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

Not personally, but I’ve seen more published authors struggle with it.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That my marriage is not as valid as it otherwise would be. My spouse and I love each other, and sex doesn’t factor into it. We’re no less married than we were before I figured this out.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

You’re not broken. You are absolutely not broken.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

My reviews, editorials, and former podcast (I have since given it to my former cohost who continues to produce it) are at Made of Fail Productions (http://www.madeoffail.net). When Ghost Army is nearing artistic completion and ready for publishing, it will be there as well.

I’m also around at Twitter and Tumblr under the username osheamobile.

Thank you, K, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Ella

Today we’re joined by Ella. Ella is a phenomenally talented artist who specializes in designing creatures and props. She works as a graphic designer and also writes, both original work and fanfiction, and bakes. Ella is most passionate about making creatures from movies. They’re exquisite, as you’ll soon see. Ella is a passionate and dedicated artist, which really shines through in her work. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do lots of things! I’m a graphic designer, I bake, I write stories … But I think my creatures are the things I’m proudest of, so I’m gonna talk about them.

Have you ever sat in a movie theatre and went: ‘that animal is the most adorable thing I have ever seen and I want to hug it!!’

Me, too. Sadly, most of the animals on films and series are either lethal, imaginary or trained. So you’ll have to live out the rest of your life, knowing you would never get to hug that little critter.

I refuse to live out my life that way. That’s why I make the animals myself.

I have made a Toothless costume from How To Train Your Dragon, a BB-8 from Star Wars, two creatures from Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, and a plaidypus and the pig Waddles, from Gravity Falls.

My greatest joy comes from bringing the creatures to a convention, so other people can hug them, too.

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What inspires you?

The movies the creatures are in, mainly. But never underestimate the reaction other people have to your creations. People keep me going. People going “He’s so CUTE! Where did you buy him?” And then I can say: “Oh, no, I made him!”

Then again, everything can inspire me. A walk through the dollar store is very helpful, for instance.

The thing that inspires me the most is that sometimes, kids believe that my creatures are real. To me, that’s the best compliment I can get.

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What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I just sort of… ended up in it. My job is graphic designer, but I only went to that school because it was close to home. I started working on Toothless when I was 18 or so. I always thought I wanted to be a comic artist, or just an illustrator. Or maybe an actress. Or maybe something with languages! Then it turned out that my drawings are not that good, I don’t have patience to practice and I didn’t like languages all that much.

But, man. I started work on Toothless, and it just flowed. And then I started to work on BB-8, and that flowed as well. Writers tell about it, too. As if a book wants to be written.

I guess my creatures just want to be made.

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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?

For some reason, I love the number eight. I usually try to put it somewhere in my writing, art or creatures. Or I incorporate something of myself. The lines on the hands of the big white ape-like Dougal are the same as the lines on mine. And I love special effects. The eyes of Dougal light up, the Niffler has a pouch in which bells are glued so he rings when he is shaken. BB-8 rolls and makes sounds. Toothless’s wings could go up and down.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t force yourself to do anything that you deep down feel you don’t want to. If drawing secretly isn’t your thing, try clay! Try writing!

If you wanna do something like the things I do, buy a glue gun. It’s the best tool ever.

Stay kind to the other artists. They started like you did. And above all, stay weird. Find that one small spot inside yourself that screams “this is me!” and hold on tightly.

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you aren’t good enough. If they do, hot glue their fingers together. Trust me, it hurts.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as Straight and Asexual Until Further Notice.

That basically means that I have no sexual interest in people, but I don’t know what happens when I actually do get a relationship at one point.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

My colleagues don’t often understand it. They ask questions like “But if your partner wants to, and you don’t, what do you do?”

The answer is “We don’t do the do.”

I don’t have much prejudice or ignorance, really. I guess people already see me as a strange person and are like “well, we’ll just add that up to the total picture”

Most people just want explanations on How It Works. Here’s my tip on that:

Ask if they have pets. Most people do. Then ask them if they think that their pet is the most beautiful thing in the world. Most people say yes. Then ask them if they would like to have sex with their pet. The people go “NOOO EEEEW”

Then you go: ‘That’s how I feel about everyone’

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What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That you can get rid of it.

“Oh, no matter. Once you meet the right person…”

You can’t get rid of it. It’s like your spine. Sure, you could try to get rid of your spine, but that would take immense force and possibly trauma.

Please don’t get rid of your spine. (unless you medically need to or something)

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What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

Relax. Sexualities change. At first I thought I was completely and utterly asexual, now I’m thinking I might just be demi. Your atoms and molecules replace completely every seven years or so. Who says you can’t?

If you don’t want sex, don’t have it. And if you are struggling with anything, do some research. Talk to people. Talk to your partner, for goodness sake.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

My stories: SleepingReader on AO3
My cosplays: EllaFixIt on Facebook or FixitCosplay on Instagram.
My Tumblr – feel free to talk to me about anything- SleepingReader.

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Thank you, Ella, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Diane Ramic

Today we’re joined by Diane Ramic. Diane is a phenomenal freelance illustrator who specializes in prehistory, science, fantasy, and science fiction. She does a ton of paleoart and dinosaurs are frequently in her work. Diane has also written a couple children’s books, including a coloring book of scientifically accurate dinosaurs. She has a passion for science and it shows, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, and my work tends to focus on prehistory, fantasy, and sci-fi. So, you’ll find plenty of dinosaurs, dragons and aliens in my art. I also illustrate children’s books, and have written a few of my own as well! I love combining art and science into a work, as those two fields have both captured my imagination since I was very young. Educational media is something I try to work on whenever I can.

What inspires you?

Nature for sure. Thinking about life that existed in the past, and life that may exist in the future, it just makes me want to design or re-create them through art. Astronomy is a huge inspiration for when I need to do alien designs, and just thinking of the cosmos gets me in the creating mode of thought.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

Well, when I was seven, I wanted to be a Velociraptor. I even started walking on my toes, all hunched over and with my arms mimicking their folded up arms. When I found out being a Velociraptor was physically impossible (for now), my next goal was to be a paleontologist, and that turned into wanting to be a science-minded illustrator. Fossils are a fantastic base for knowing as much as we can about these extinct animals, but the only way we can really know what they looked like in life is through artists reconstructing them in their work. For most of the public, their first impressions on prehistoric animals comes from the media, be it in movie, toy, or book form. That’s why it’s important, when you’re working with paleoart, to incorporate the updated science in your work. It brings me great satisfaction to help contribute my work to the paleoart community, and help educate the public about the lives these wonderful animals lived.

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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?

Beyond designing aliens and their environments, I really, really enjoy doing the math for figuring out the planet’s mass and composition, atmospheric pressure, its place in the solar system, the mass and age of its star(s), how many other planets it shares the star(s) with, etc. Even if no one ever sees these things, it’s just very satisfying to have it all work out in your head and on paper.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I’m a visual artist, so this will be in that category of art. Study from life as often as you can. Once you’ve got a good grasp on the basics of how objects interact with one another and understand color theory, you can experiment with distorting and exaggerating figures, and play with color choice. A lot of online resources are free, and try to share what you’ve learned with others. There’s a lot of gatekeeping in the artist community, even though that doesn’t help anyone. You will most likely have to go through plenty of rejections, and that’s OK, too. Just pick yourself back up and keep going as best as you can. And whatever you do, don’t make fun of younger or less experienced artists’ work.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am definitely both ace and aro, and have felt this way as long as I can remember. I’m actually pretty relieved to not have developed any romantic or sexual feelings; I feel they would get in the way of me doing my work.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I think the most common thing is being told again and again that what I am doing is unnatural, and going against nature, the person’s gods, or “how it should be.” The “late bloomer” stuff can get kind of annoying, too. I’m about to be 23 as of this writing, I’m pretty sure if I was going to develop any other orientations, it would have been a thing by now. And if nothing else, I’m pretty sure there are plenty enough humans on this planet, the global population isn’t in danger of going extinct anytime soon, haha.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

Probably that we are seen as cold, unfeeling robots. I understand a lot of ace people out there definitely have the same range of emotion as anyone else, and being compared to a robot is very dehumanizing. But as someone that also has a lack of emotion/empathy/etc. in general, I actually kind of like the description.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

You are a valid and real person, and you know yourself better than anyone else can. You might be confused at first, thinking “Is something wrong with me?” or “Am I really like this?” and that’s ok. Sometimes feelings can shift over time and you may find yourself having a different experience than you do now, and this is normal. Part of what makes living things special is their ability to grow and change over time. You’re not alone. Do what makes you comfortable.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

I have a website at http://dramic.wixsite.com/home, but more frequently post on my Tumblr at  http://dianeramic.tumblr.com. I’m always working on new projects, so I hope you stop by to see what’s new! I’ve also got an Amazon author page; feel free to check out what new books I have available!

DiantimonySpino

Thank you, Diane, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

A Few Odds and Ends

Hello all.

This is just a couple odds and ends, random bits of news.

Apology for Last Week

I know I didn’t post last week and I wanted to offer a sincere apology for that. The past few months . . . they’ve been incredibly rough. I wanted to give a brief explanation, because there’s a chance that I might need a day or week off every now and again in the future.

I have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), have had it all my life. Because of this, I wasn’t allowed to learn another language in school. Neurotypical students were given the option to take another language in middle school, while students with diagnosed learning disabilities were put in study hall. From a young age, I was fascinated with language and not being allowed to learn a second language was not only humiliating, it was heartbreaking.

I tried to learn Greek when I was earning my degree and was absolutely terrible at it, but good heavens, was it fun! I sucked at it, but I was allowed to learn it and that’s all I wanted. Had I be given a few more years, I probably would have been halfway decent. Unfortunately, I was only able to take a year of it before I graduated.

Recently, I decided to learn ASL. I really want to learn another language, being fluent in at least two languages is a dream of mine. I signed up at my local community college, having forgotten some past experiences I had at the place (which should have left permanent red flags). I passed ASL I and II. In January, I started ASL III.

I really don’t want to go into detail about what happened, it’s still really painful to remember, but from January until April, I was regularly subjected to ableist abuse from the students in the class, including being shamed for having a learning disability. It got so terrible that I wound up having to medically withdraw from the course (as well as another one I was taking). I realized that I would have rather been dead than in that class and wound up having a panic attack that almost landed me in the hospital. All because I wanted to learn a language.

I wound up lodging a complaint with the college. I am currently in the process of trying to get a refund for the course, which looks likely to happen (based on the sheer amount of fuck ups that happened). I have been assured that this sort of situation will never happen again.

Since April, I’ve been recovering from the experience (and the subsequent anxiety that it triggered. Oh and all the brand new triggers, which is just so much fun [sarcasm]). Some days, I wake up and my entire body feels like an exposed nerve and everything hurts and it just reminds me of that damn class. I’m still trying to get back to a place of confidence, back to my badass self, but it’s difficult. Some days are better than others. Some days are still a struggle. Keeping up this site helps a lot (as it did when I was going through the worst of that experience). Seeing friends also helps. I had lunch with the phenomenal H-P Lehkonen in April (though I fear I was quite out of it at the time). I went to WisCon in Madison with my dear friend, Leigh, in May where I met a couple followers of this blog (it was lovely seeing you 🙂 ) and had dinner with a bunch of aces. In July, I went to Indy PopCon in Indianapolis, where I saw Hallopino, who I interviewed for this site a while back, met a whole bunch of aces, and got to hang out with my bestie (we went to see Wonder Woman! It was awesome!). I also got to see my bestie again a couple weeks later for her birthday.

Anyhow, I wanted to apologize because I feel like I’m letting the followers of this blog down. Some of you have written really lovely messages that I haven’t been able to respond to because of all the shit I’ve been dealing with relating to this f’ing class. I am so sorry. Please know that your kind words were very appreciated when I was in a really bad place (I am so grateful to all of you). And then I just completely burned out last week and couldn’t upload the four interviews I had waiting in my inbox. I am very sorry. You guys deserve better. I am really, really trying. I really am. I promise that if I ever burn out again, I’ll post a short post to let you know that’s the case.

Thanks for your patience.

Happy Exciting News! 😀

While all the shit with that class was happening, I was still hard at work on the reboot of my series. Unfortunately, the severe anxiety and panic attacks meant I had to push back the release date. It was supposed to happen in August, but I’m lucky enough to have great friends who tell me to take care of myself first (I probably would have had a complete breakdown had I tried to release the series in August).

BUT! That means I get to re-release my series on my favorite day of the year: Halloween! YAY!

My wonderful friend and fellow ace author, Lyssa Chiavari, has been helping me set up everything in anticipation of the book’s release. You guys, the first two pages are live!

Sere from the Green
Through Storm and Night

I know some of you have already read the previous versions and I hope you’ll give the series another chance, now that it has been professionally edited (and beta read by another dear friend, Taia Hartman). These are the books I wanted to write, told in my voice. I poured everything into these books and I’m really happy with the result. I’m so grateful to Snowy Wings Publishing for giving me this wonderful opportunity. It feels like a dream.

I have to warn you that September and October are going to be ridiculously as I continue to prepare for this re-release. So there might be a couple days I go M.I.A. It’s super important to me that I get this right. Thank you in advance for your understanding 🙂

I’ll probably post a reminder closer to the release date, which I hope followers won’t mind.

Upcoming Birthday

As some followers of this site are aware, my birthday is September 27th. As usual, I’m requesting you find some way to support asexual identifying artists (either by supporting their work or by offering them some kind words).

However, I have a teeny request: my fundraiser for the trip to Baltimore is still going on. I really need to raise the funds for this trip (still need a little less than $200 to reach my goal). Anything you could spare would be greatly appreciated: https://www.youcaring.com/laurenjankowski-878223

I’m terrible at fundraisers (and it has been hard to focus on this with all the other stuff going on). I cannot reiterate that enough: I am so bad at promoting myself. But I really want to do this. I know that I could really contribute to this panel and I want this experience.


Anyhow, that’s about it.

OH! Please keep those interview requests coming. I only have four scheduled for next week.

Thanks, everyone! 🙂 ❤