Interview: Kaj

Today we’re joined by Kaj. Kaj is an awesome up-and-coming writer and a former actor. They’re writing blends a number of different genres, though they write quite a bit of fantasy. Kaj used to perform as an actor in the theater and hopes to return at some point in the future. They’re clearly and enthusiastic and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a writer and used to be an actor.

Acting was fun, my favourite parts so far (I’m hoping to get back into it one day) were Horatio in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Mrs. Erlynne in Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan. It was just my school’s drama club, but we had the reputation of doing a pretty decent job.

Writing is mostly an outlet for a lot of feelings, for things I think about, and sometimes just plain stress relief. I write basically everything. I started out with Harry Potter-ish fantasy, then crime stories, urban fantasy, and my most recent project is some kind of Fight Club inspired tragedy. -Ish. Actually, I just start writing whatever comes to my mind and see where it takes me from there. I never know what’s going to happen in a story until it happens. Party because of that (and because I keep getting distracted) I never finished one of my “big” projects. I do fine with short stories, but actual novels are usually abandoned somewhere along the way. But maybe my current idea will work out. Being almost ten chapters deep is quite a step forward for me.

What inspires you?

I started writing at a young age (I hardly remember a time where I haven’t been writing), so I have no idea anymore why I started writing in the first place.

And for the individual stories, it depends. My first big project was obviously inspired by Harry Potter. In general, it often happens that I read a book (or fic or watch a movie etc.) and get an idea about what might happen if you took /that/ element and spun it another way.

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

As I said, I don’t remember when and why I started writing. But I think it’s safe to say that my love for books might have something to do with it. As soon as I could read I was hardly ever seen without a book. I think we sometimes got assignments in school to do some creative writing and I kinda noticed how much fun that is.

As long as I’ve been writing stories I also wanted to be an author – as in, a published author. And I still hope that one day I might be able to finish one of my bigger project and actually get it published. But since I have a “real” job, writing is and will always be a hobby.

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?

There are definitely a lot of queer characters in all my stories, but I don’t think that counts. Another constant, I think, is that my protagonists tend to be thrown into some kind of trouble so I can just watch them react. They hardly ever make the first step in the stories, it’s usually something that happens /to/ them. Reactions interest me, because there are so many ways to react to the same situation and every character behaves differently.

Also, many – if not most – of my stories /don’t end well/. Idk why, but tragedy always intrigued me. So, death and violence could probably be counted as “recurring themes”.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

1. Don’t stop. No matter what kind of art you produce, keep doing it. Write short-short-short stories in the notebook on your phone. Write some sentences on the back of your homework and see if it takes you anywhere. It will get messy, you will have loose ends /everywhere/ and the amount of abandoned stories will grow daily, but that’s okay as long as you keep writing. And if you have an idea for a novel, try and work on it whenever you can. You can write the first chapter on your computer. Maybe you get an idea for the next chapter at work – scribble it down on whatever piece of paper you can find. Try to outline the plot in your head when you’re in the supermarket.

2. Don’t beat yourself up about it. It doesn’t matter if it’s not Shakespeare. It doesn’t have to become a novel. It’s okay if you can’t write on your wanna-be novel every day. It’s okay to let stories sit on the shelf for weeks. And it’s okay to abandon stories.

3. Don’t let the muggles get you down. Don’t let anyone talk shit about what you write. Or about the fact /that/ you’re writing. You do you.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m asexual. I didn’t realize until a couple of months ago, because I never gave much thought to it. I experience very strong sensual attraction, which is probably why I never thought about being ace. Only when Tumblr made me realise that sexual attraction actually means looking at someone thinking “I want sex with you” it dawned on me that I might not experience that.

I’m also pretty sure I’m aromantic. This one’s a bit tricky though, because I’m also hella romance-repulsed and I can’t quite tell if I’m not interested in romance with anyone or averse to the thought of a romantic relationship itself.

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

I haven’t encountered any prejudice. But that’s mostly because I’m not out in RL, and I usually don’t connect much with other writers on the internet. The only people who know about me being aroace /and/ me being a writer are close friends, most of them queer. So, I’m in a pretty good place when it comes to that.

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

Being asexual = not liking/having sex. I mean, it’s kinda true for me, since I’m also trans/nonbinary/agender and dysphoria makes it kinda impossible for me to undress in front of anyone, let alone have sex with them. But there are many aces out there who enjoy sex, and the orientation isn’t defined by the behavior.

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

It’s going to be okay. You’re not broken. You’re not alone. And no matter what exclusionists say, you DO belong in the LGBTQIA/Queer Community.

There are many people out there who feel like you do, and just because society tries to tell us we must always want sex with basically anyone, that doesn’t make them right and you wrong.

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

On my http://daughterofhecata.tumblr.com/ blog there’s a page where you can find http://daughterofhecata.tumblr.com/stories my stories. It’s just a tiny bit of my work, because most of it is in German (my first language). Maybe I’ll add some of the German short stories as well, I’m not sure yet. I also have accounts at ff.net and AO3, but I rather not link them with my Tumblr because I’m honestly not too proud of that stuff.

(In shameless self-promoting: Janus is my favourite story so far; it’s actually the longest story I ever finished. Also, once in a lifetime I did plan ahead and outlined the story before jumping into writing.)

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

Interview: Jade

Today we’re joined by Jade. Jade is a phenomenal writer who has one of the most adorable dogs ever. She writes mostly poetry and fantasy. When she’s not working on original work, Jade writes fanfiction as well. It’s very apparent that she’s incredibly dedicated to the art of writing, 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 writer who works mostly with poetry and fantasy works. I’m only just starting out publishing my work to my blog but it makes me really happy to share something that means so much to me with others. The last few years I have been big into writing fanfiction for Supernatural but recently I’ve wanted to start working on original works more so I’ve started doing daily couplets and taking poetry requests from my followers. I also did a little challenge for a few days where I would have one of my friends pick out a dialog prompt and I would write a few paragraphs of a story based on it. Writing is one of my favorite things and it has always been a very empowering and relaxing process for me so I’m happy to be expanding on things and doing more of it.

What inspires you?

My dog Duke is a huge inspiration to me since he survived going to the pound twice and having to be there so long but has come out a super loving and amazing dog despite it. Besides that, I’m mostly inspired by the progress I see every time I post something new and can see how much I’m improving and getting better and the knowledge that if I keep going then that trend will continue. My religion also is a big inspiration for me as I’m encouraged to create new works to honor my deities all the time and knowing they appreciate my art helps me want to make more.

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

When I was little I actually wanted to be a scientist and get to study rocks. However I soon realized that doing things that required set steps that were always the same bored me. However since the moment I could read books have always been my escape and eventually I realized that I could write stories too and my heart was set. I’ve dabbled in all sorts of prose but the freedom offered by poetry has brought me back there time and time again.

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 all of my works are their own thing so there’s not really anything I purposely add into them to connect them, however many things that I personally like do get carried over to some of my characters (Like a love of cheesecake or the color blue). I also work a lot with mythology and exploring diversity. Another thing that’s often featured in my works is mental illness and having the characters learn to accept and work with their limits to reach their goal since it’s something that’s important to me since I have had major depression and anxiety since I was really young.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Do what you love and love what you do. No matter what you do there will be people who put you down or don’t like your work but when you create you should do it for yourself because its something YOU love, not for them. That and try to hold onto old works. Looking back and seeing how much you’ve grown can be such a rewarding and empowering feeling.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a non-binary poly panromantic sex repulsed asexual. Try saying that ten times fast XD

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

Most of the prejudice I’ve encountered has actually been from family and people outside of my online fanbase. My father and brother both believed my identity was just because of my time on Tumblr and I was just being a “Special snowflake” However after wasting my breath in many arguments I realized they’d never change their minds and I instead just moved on with my life. I know my body and my life better than them and I wasn’t going to waste more time or energy fighting with them just to be seen as something I already knew was a real part of me. In the few works I’ve written that has Ace characters I’ve mostly gotten support from others who were happy for the representation. I have no tolerance for people who want to insult or mock others so they get deleted, banned, and ignored. I don’t give them the time of day.

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

That it’s just a phase or it’s for attention. It’s not natural. People can’t be sure about it unless they’ve had sex and even then they probably just had bad sex and it’d change if they were with someone who “knew the ropes”. No one seems to take asexuality seriously and it can be really frustrating at times because defending yourself is like talking to a wall but if we don’t stand up for ourselves then we’ll never be able to earn the respect we deserve.

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

You are valid. You don’t have to feel like any label you choose is cemented in stone. You don’t have to have sex to know what you are and your sexuality is as natural as any of the others. It’s okay to not know for certain at the moment and it’s okay to take as long as you need deciding even if you change later. Asexuals exist and are just as important as anyone else.

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

My work is being posted on InkStainedWings.tumblr.com currently. I take poem requests there and post story shards as well as reblogging writing tips and tricks. I hope to see you there 😀

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

Interview: Jessica Suphan

Today we’re joined by Jessica Suphan. Jessica is a phenomenal author who has recently published her debut novel, a psychological thriller entitled Perfect World. Jessica hasn’t met a genre she doesn’t like and writes in a variety of them. She’s an incredibly passionate and dedicated writer, 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.

Gladly! I’m an author, I write psychologically based stories, romance, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, any genre that pops into my mind. I write novellas and novels and short stories; just like I write whatever genre is needed for the story, I write whatever length is needed for the story I’m telling. Though most of them tend to be really long. It was very recent that I became a published author instead of an unpublished writer; my psychological thriller Perfect World came out in June. In a sentence, it’s about a young government agent who shoulders the burden of his utopia’s secret origins and has to struggle against psychosis because of those secrets. Just like all my other work, it’s extremely diverse. Perfect World features LGBT+ and ethnic as well as racial diversity. But I give all forms of diversity to my stories; it’s something that’s very important to me, and something I’ll never stop.

What inspires you?

It’s a dumb answer, but I’d have to say everything. I adore worldbuilding so cool tidbits from various cultures get tucked away into my mind along with science facts (mostly space) and psychological phenomenons. I’m a counseling psychology student so I learn a lot in the latter most’s area. Tumblr’s a great place too. I’ve gotten ideas of things to add to stories, ideas for characters, phrases that leap out. Perfect World actually has a scene inspired by a Tumblr post that asked why we never learn about other cultures in dystopian stories, and a character inspired by another post about how we never see a man sleep his way to the top. My friends do too, along with nature. Have you ever walked outside when it’s raining? Not a downpour, just raining. If you look at flowers and leaves then, it feels like the world is a fuzzier and gentler place. That’s a feeling that really sticks with me. And injustice.

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

I’ve been a writer as far back as I can remember. My first finished story happened when I was in fourth grade. It’s the first story I recall writing, but my parents assure me that it went on beforehand, and I’m not surprised. Like many writers I was a voracious reader; how could I not want to add to the number of worlds in the universe, even as a young child?

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?

Hm. I’m not sure if it falls under it, but I do love putting exact onomatopoeia in. Exact though. It’s such a delightful yet challenging thing to write if you want to get the true sound of what just happened. A metal fan’s blades don’t go rrrrrr, they go brrirrrr, a rock doesn’t grind sssssss against another rock, it grinds ssszzzzzt!, but you have to stop and listen and focus only on the sound in order to get it. I’ll spend easily an hour trying to figure out the spelling of something that isn’t even a word.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just write. A lot of advice will tell you to copy how great authors write, and you totally can if you want. But I’ve never seen the point of it. Write like you. That’s how you find your voice, something else writing advice frets about, because your voice is how you naturally tell a story. Not only that, but write what you know doesn’t mean you’re stuck writing high school stories until you graduate. Good heavens, can you imagine how awful that’d be? You can write anything you want because, for me at least, that phrase is about emotion. I will hopefully never experience what it’s like to have my child go missing. But I’ve experienced the emotions of panic and dread and frustration at my own helplessness. I haven’t gone to another planet (yet). Still, I know the thrill of exploring, that tight stomach and fizzy head that comes from embarking out into something I couldn’t possibly know. And don’t write for word counts. I’ve found that sitting down to write a scene gives you a lot more success than sitting down to write ______ words. In the latter you’re pausing to count words, focused on those instead of the story. When you sit down with the intent to write a scene you’re honed in on the story and moving it forward, and we all know scenes can be very long. So if you write one you can look back on pages instead of a paragraph that leaves you wanting more.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m homoromantic asexual! A girl who has romantic interest in other girls but no sexual attraction or urges whatsoever.

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

Everything I’ve experienced has been ignorance. Since I hang out with other writers who also know the importance of diversity that’s slightly less common than it otherwise might be, but it’s still very much present. I personally really enjoy teaching people things. So if something comes up, I take pleasure in patiently but (if needed) firm explanations. The vast majority of the time, people just need to be treated with respect and not attacked for their ignorance, and they’re happy to learn and respect. Of course you have to be more aggressive with some people though, it can’t be helped. I do experience compassion fatigue though with all the activism I do (where your brain is so overloaded and so tired from caring so much about everything you could read the most heinous article title and be unable to feel anything about it), so sometimes I let a comment pass. With those though, they have to be both ignorant and not harmful in a large way.

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

That asexuality = aromantic pops up, but the most common one is absolutely that asexuals don’t have sex ever. Some don’t. But some, myself included, have. Asexuals might like it on an intellectual level, because they crave physical contact that much, because they enjoy the emotional intimacy that comes from it, or any number of other reasons. It’s very common for me to get nothing but crickets when someone says that I just need to try sex and I tell them I’ve had it several times and am still asexual. That’s my truth, it’s the truth of many people, and there’s nothing wrong or “lying” about it.

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

You exist. You’re okay. I promise you are, you’re not broken and you’re not wrong. There hasn’t been a term for us until now because there wasn’t a safe space for us to be heard, talking about sex was taboo, and the expectation was that it was a necessity not a pleasure. That’s why it’s “new”, not because it’s made up. We’re real.

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

Right here on Tumblr! My blog is scripturient-manipulator, and you can find Perfect World as a print book, as an ebook, or for your kindle. Feel free to message me to talk as well!

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

Interview: Ash Roberts

Today we’re joined by Ash Roberts. Ash is a wonderful self-published author who specializes in young adult fiction, fantasy in particular. They’re currently working on a nine-book series, which they hope to find a traditional publisher for. They have an awesome amount of passion and enthusiasm, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I write YA fantasy stories with strong female protagonists. There are usually dragons involved. I’m currently in the finishing stages of editing The Royal Dragon, which is the first book in a planned 9 book Dragoneer series. My goal is to get it published and then picked up by a TV channel like MTV or Freeform.

What inspires you?

Rick Riordan. I’ve been writing for a while, but when Hammer of Thor came out and had a genderfluid character, it suddenly made sense that I could do that too. I could work on the representation problem where nonbinaries and aces are almost completely non-existent, and still sell books.

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

When I was 14, a friend of the family loaned me a copy of Dragonriders of Pern. Two decades later, I still have it. Sorry, Cathy! Ever since then, I’ve been obsessed with dragons. I started writing a few months later.

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?

Wherever I go, dragons aren’t very far behind.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

There are some who will claim that art requires passion. “If you wake up and you can think of nothing but writing, then you are a writer.” That works for some people, but don’t beat yourself up if you have other interests and goals. If you create art, you are an artist.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I call myself gray, bit I guess technically, I am akiosexual. I experience attraction but don’t have any real desire to act on it.

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

Mostly, people seem to be pretty accepting. I polled a bunch of writers in a writing group I’m in and several people are already writing ace characters. But the wider world definitely doesn’t seem to consider asexuality to be a real phenomenon.

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

That we don’t exist. Most people just haven’t been exposed to a sexuality and even if they’ve heard of it, don’t think it’s real, because they haven’t seen asexuality in action. So they assume it’s not real.

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

Don’t let relationships define you. Being ace is perfectly valid, regardless of anything anyone might say.

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

I’m on Tumblr at http://dragoneer.tumblr.com.

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

Interview: Raven Black Writer

Today we’re joined by Raven Black Writer. Raven Black Writer is a wonderful upcoming New Adult fantasy author who also does quite a lot of blogging. While writing is her first love, she also dabbles in drawing and music. It’s very clear Raven Black Writer is an incredibly passionate artist, 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’m a writer, blogger, artist, and I love to sing and dance in my bedroom. I blog about my life, mental health, self-love, philosophy, and human potential because I like to inspire people – or  maybe show them a new perspective – and just bring positivity into the world. In terms of writing, I see my book falling into the New Adult fantasy genre because I’m not getting any younger and adulthood is scary! Lastly, my art is anything from bored doodles in notebooks to spontaneous drawings of the person in front of me.

What inspires you?

Life inspires me. My own experiences and the things and people I read about or see inform my work and encourage me to keep going.

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

In fifth grade, my teacher had us write short stories and I was hooked. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something so addictive about making up people and places and calling it a story.

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?

If you look closely, you’ll find a cesspool of angst that collected over the course of my life and never really found an outlet.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If you’re afraid of being judged, wait until nighttime to do your work because it’s literally impossible for anyone to watch you or insult you. If the person who’s watching you and insulting you is you, I want you to learn to love yourself. It sounds hella sappy but self-love is the only reason I’m here today and I want everyone to know that they deserve to love themselves; whoever they may be.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as aroace! I’m also romance and sex repulsed as well as touch-averse . . . in other words, I’m aggressively ace. 😉

Looking back, I think I’ve experienced aesthetic attraction my whole life, but obviously I didn’t know what it was when I was younger. So I confused that attraction with bisexuality, and eventually pansexuality, because I was aesthetically attracted to pretty much anyone, regardless of gender. Eventually, though, I realized that I didn’t actually have crushes on people so much as their style resonated with me. I felt like I was looking at artwork and was content with just seeing them for a while then leaving. Though I didn’t know about aesthetic attraction until a couple years later, I figured I was aroace because dating and sex are so not my thing and nobody can convince me into either.

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

The first place I heard about asexuality was on a women’s period forum from a woman who identified as ace. I was 16. So I think it’s pretty safe to say that ace erasure occurs basically everywhere. I’m dealing with it by making my main character in my upcoming novel, with no title as of yet, identify as ace. Bit of #ownvoices for ya.

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

That there’s no such thing as asexuality. America and many other countries have such heavily sexualized cultures that people tend to just assume that everyone wants to have sex and that anyone who doesn’t is celibate or “hasn’t found the right one yet.”

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

I want to emphasize that falling on the ace spectrum does NOT mean you’re broken. I’ve been a victim of severe bullying and for years I used to think that caused it, but it didn’t. I’m just genuinely not into dating or sex at all.

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

I blog over at <theboundlessagenda.wordpress.com> and my Wattpad username is TheOriginalPhoenix, but I haven’t posted anything yet.

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

Interview: George-Anne Carnegie

Today we’re joined by George-Anne Carnegie. George-Anne is a wonderful writer who writes mostly fanfiction. They specialize in fantasy and supernatural horror. They’re also working on a few ordinary stories. It’s very clear they’re a passionate writer, 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 write stories on Wattpad, under the username ‘Supernaturalaholic12’. I mainly write fantasy/supernatural horror/fanfic, but I have a few ordinary (non-supernatural) stories coming up, though. I also do edits from time to time, but do not consider it my main field.

What inspires you?

The thing that first inspired me to start writing was J. K. Rowling’s book series Harry Potter. I was forced to read the first book in Year Three (Second Grade) for a book report contest we have. Since then, I have become obsessed with books, TV shows, and movies alike. (Fun Fact: I couldn’t find anything that grasped my interest for two years after Harry Potter, so I just kept reading them over and over. I read them seventeen times in a row!)

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

I first got interested in actually writing down my ideas three years after I began reading. I wrote four chapters more than I was supposed to for a piece of homework in Year Five (Fourth Grade). Shortly after, a good friend of mine (at the time, we now hate each other) introduced me to Wattpad, a writing and reading site he had discovered through a German friend. I started my first story, and it was a train wreck (I deleted it).

In all honesty, I hated the idea of writing and reading for quite a few years. I couldn’t understand the allure, and barely understood the themes. Teachers would get angry at me when I couldn’t read some of the words, or stuttered when reading aloud. This all led to me hating books, until Year Three (Second Grade). After that, I wanted to write something so bad, but my spelling and handwriting were horrendous, and I wasn’t allowed on the computer. In Year Five (Fourth Grade), I was given a tutor in school to take me out of lessons and give me extra English help, as I had fallen behind the rest of the damn school (Note: My school is a very high-achieving school. Currently in Year Eight, three years before our GSCE’s, most of the class have passed old GSCE tests with flying colors.). After this, I became determined to write. I began practicing my handwriting, spelling, and grammar. It took a while, but at the end of Year Six I could join my handwriting, had exceptional spelling, and was better at marking grammar than the high school teachers. My handwriting was still pretty bad, but it was a lot easier to read by that point. By this point my stutter had all but cleared up (it wasn’t all that bad in the first place, but it would act up really bad whenever I was nervous), and I mainly only stuttered when tired or extremely stressed. I was reading almost obsessively, mainly to better my spelling and vocabulary. By Year Seven (Eight Grade), I was top of the class, and was beginning to write my own novel. I later scrapped it. I am writing on Wattpad, though. It was around this time (mid-Year Seven (Eighth Grade) that I found out why I had a stutter, among other problems, both mentioned here and not. I was diagnosed with Autism.

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?

I guess the only universal feature in all my work is I try to represent all communities/genders/sexualities and so on.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t let anyone tell you your work is bad. If you love it, do it. Listen to constructive criticism. Take it in to account, and then choose your own way to get better. Believe in yourself. You can do it.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Currently as a Grey-Ace.

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

Most ace prejudice I come across is simply because of misinformation. I tend to correct any misinformation I come across, and then leave them to educate themselves with it.

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

The most common misconception would be that we want humanity to ‘crash and burn’ (literal quote from my dad) because we don’t want to continue the human race.

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

Trust yourself. Nobody can know you better than yourself. Don’t force it. You’ll come to terms with yourself eventually.

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

You can find my Wattpad at www.wattpad.com/user/Supernaturalaholic12, which has my Facebook and Twitter. My Facebook has any other platforms you may wish to contact me on. If there are any others you want to know, feel free to message me.

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

Interview: Brennan Stidham

Today we’re joined by Brennan Stidham. Brennan is a phenomenal author who has published two books so far. She writes YA fiction, mostly fantasy and scifi. Her second book features an asexual main character. Brennan is a wonderfully dedicated writer with a passion that suggests we’ll be seeing plenty more work from her in the future, which is always great. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Ace trainer
Ace Trainer

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am primarily an author. Thus far, I’ve published two books with my writing/platonic partner under the pseudonym Eden R Souther. So far, we’ve focused mainly on the Young Adult fantasy/fiction genres.

The first one we published is Angel Syndrome, an urban fantasy with sci-fi overtones. It’s part of a much larger universe that the two of us have been building for the past decade.

The other is Cruentus, which is my passion project, and was published at the beginning of the month. I wrote this one on my own, but he’s helping me with later entries.

I also do some digital art, but I have been woefully behind on that, though.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by other authors that I read when I was younger, and honestly also by my partner. He’s a very creative person and I push myself to do better with every project so that we can make a name for ourselves.

I just want one person to connect with the characters or the story and get inspired by it. The idea that I could inspire someone with my words, just like I was, is amazing motivation.

AS Brighter
Angel Syndrome

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

I’ve always wanted to be an artist, but not necessarily an author. My sophomore year of high school I was pursuing my passion for Marine Biology and taking AP Biology and realized … I’m not smart enough for this. I was towards the bottom of the class and hating every single moment. So I took the time to reevaluate what I was really good at.

It was then that I realized that I’ve been writing since 3rd grade, with varying levels of success. The year before I had written my “magnum opus” a 99 page hand written “novel” over the course of 3 months. And I had never been happier than when I was working on it. So I decided that I would focus more on my writing than on the high level academics.

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?

There are actually a couple.

In our work there are very few non-LGBTQ+ characters. In fact, Cassandra, the lead of Cruentus is also Asexual. I really have to push myself to find characters in Cruentus who aren’t LGBTQ+.

Another is that I absolutely love trying to mess with typical or expected tropes in Young Adult literature, and literature in general. One of my absolute least favorite is the “love triangle, how can the girl pick between her two hot boys?” We have fun with that in the sequels to Angel Syndrome, which aren’t out yet, but are currently being edited.

CassieHead
Cassie

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

The advice I’d give to aspiring writers… honestly, just write. It doesn’t matter if it’s good, or if it’s bad. Because writing is both the most fun, and easiest part. Editing is a super long, and time consuming process.

The second piece of advice, don’t edit until you’ve finished the whole thing. You will spend DAYS fixing and adjusting a single paragraph, and it’ll kill the flow. Just let that book flow out, or push that book out if you have to. Just don’t edit til it’s done. I had to make that promise to my mentor years ago, and it’s honestly made the writing process so much more enjoyable.

Cruentus Cover Internet
Cruentus

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am an asexual/aromantic. It took a lot of years to get there, but once I found the asexual identity… I felt whole. It was like a missing piece of the puzzle and I just broke down crying. I’m not broken, I’m not wrong, I’m asexual.

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

Honestly, I haven’t in my field because I am independently published. I’m a founding member of the publishing group, and when it boils down it’s me, my mentor, and my QPP.

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

“You just haven’t met the right person yet,” or, “don’t close yourself off for the chance at love.” Those two are seriously annoying. I came out to my boss because she was pestering me about not having a boyfriend and then spent half an hour trying to debate asexuality with me, and how I was wrong about my identity… even though given what she’s said about her marriage and her opinions on sex… she’s on the asexual spectrum.

Kazun Hockey
Kazun Hockey

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

There are always people who aren’t going to get it. And at some point, you have to realize that you can’t let their ignorance get to you. Every single person is unique, and has a different experience. Your experience is beautiful, enjoy every moment that you have, and love yourself. You are amazing.

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

You can find my work on our author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EdenRSouther/
Our author website: https://www.edenrsouther.com/
Our author Tumblr: http://eden-r-souther.tumblr.com/
My digital art is on DeviantArt: http://black0eternity.deviantart.com/

NyssaHead
Nyssa

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