Today we’re joined by Amy. Amy is a wonderful genderfluid writer from Australia. They sent me one of the nicest emails I’ve ever read. They’re currently studying creative writing and judging from their passion, they have an incredibly bright future ahead of them. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
So far, I’m only a student writer taking a writing course. Though, once I’ve got the time, I hope to publish novels, short stories, poetry, and so many other forms. I don’t have any particular genres I’m going to restrict myself to, but there is one genre I’m definitely avoiding as a stand-alone: romance. That genre is the bane of my existence, especially in young adult literature.
I would say my favourite genre has to be either sci-fi or detective fiction, so I definitely hoping to write under those categories in the future. The possibilities of world-building is breathtaking and terrifying at the same time, so having the chance to construct my own world excites and scares me. Normally, I hate feeling scared, but this is a good kind of scared… You know what I mean?
I try to give my stories good representation on all fronts, especially for the LGBTQIAP+ community — in fact, I manage to get a short story published about a girl moving into a haunted house, who met her girlfriend through the ghosts there. I do worry about a character falling into a stereotype, so I keep myself informed on what to avoid.
What inspires you?
I can get inspiration from anywhere, such as unusual moments — like strange dreams or listening to music or even reading other stories — the little what if… chimes in my mind and starts to sprout from there. It’s starts off with the basic plot, and as it grows out, I decorate it with details and organise key events for it to follow. It’s such a delight to wish for a story to exist, and then realise that there’s nothing stopping you from writing it yourself!
But to be specific, what drives me to write is this urge to tell stories. Naturally, I’m a very shy introverted person who has trouble expressing themself through everyday speech and often what I say isn’t heard because I talk too quietly. So writing is one of the ways to help me express myself — I would even say that it’s the most fluent method. My writing is the only skill of mine that I’m confident in.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
From a young age, I’ve always wanted to be a storyteller. I had this forte whenever something along these lines would be set as classwork, and I found the written word much easier than my peers. My teachers and my family would praise me on my talent, and through that I became more confident and passionate. My Mum was my best supporter when it came to my writing — she would always be willing to read my stories, give me advice, and encourage me to keep at it. Though, I can’t really show her my work anymore considering that I now write less “innocent” works.
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 most of the stories I write, a red ribbon will appear at any point; it doesn’t matter how relevant it is, I like to add that one repetitive detail. Why I choose to include the red ribbon is a little inside joke with my younger self and me — for most of my childhood, I never had proper bookmarks (because I’d either lose them or they’d be accidentally ruined by my clumsiness) and instead, I would use a red ribbon. In a way, I’m honouring and thanking my younger self for being so interested in reading.
Another inside joke/detail would be owls. This is in a way a tribute to my favourite band, Owl City, who I would even go as far to say helped me figure out my identity. His music has a sweet innocent love to them, and it was refreshing to listen the beautiful imagery it produced. When everyone around me was “coming of age” and discovering the world of puberty and sexuality, I’d felt left behind and alienated on that front. Being already an unpopular kid as it was, I was so desperate to fit in that I pretended to have crushes (god forbid on the guys who hated me the most), and boy, was that a mistake! However amongst the flood of hormones and sexual desire, I remember being in class one day with the radio on, ignoring the music because they were about romance and/or sex. Then on comes a song, and it’s not about either — it’s about fireflies.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Practice, practice, practise! You can’t climb a tree by only imagining the canopy — you have to start somewhere. Trust me, this is advice from someone who doesn’t take their own advice and really should because it makes sense.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m not sure at this point. I believe that I’m sex-neutral and have some element of autochorissexuality, but apart from that I haven’t figure it out. I haven’t had any sexual or romantic experiences. I’ve had one crush in the past, but I couldn’t act on it and I haven’t had one since. It’s weird to think about, and I’ve run in circles trying to determine my identity.
I tell people that I’m demiromantic asexual to make it easier, but it doesn’t sit right without any experiences to refer to.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Mostly I’ve come across ignorance — like stereotyping ace characters or aces in general. If it’s a person I’m talking to, then I would try to inform them on their mistake. But other times, I’m not courageous enough to go out of my way to contact them, and I hope the ace community can forgive me for that.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That because someone is ace, it means they don’t have relationships and/or don’t have sex. From what little representation I’ve encountered, this is the most prominent misconception used by allosexuals. Also that aces can’t appreciate people’s beauty. This one is most irritating to me considering I hope to have a partner one day, albeit romantically not sexually.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
You don’t have to fit under a label perfectly and you have plenty of time to figure it out. In fact, you don’t have to use labels altogether. I’m sorry, but I don’t have much else to say, since I’m still kind of struggling too.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
At the moment I’ve only gotten one short story published to my name, however I’m not “out” to my family or beyond close friends, so I’m not ready to come out to a wide audience yet.
Thank you, Amy, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.