Interview: Jessica

Today we’re joined by Jessica, who also goes by stormleviosa online. Jessica is a wonderful up and coming writer who recently had a short story published in an anthology. She’s currently a student studying English and writes in her free time. Jessica hopes to write longer narrative forms, such as novels and novellas, in the future. She’s clearly a dedicated artist with an incredibly 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’m a writer when I have time but mostly I’m a student because education is important. I’ve written a few short stories and I’m currently working on longer pieces (novellas or eventually a full-length novel). I also write a lot for my college newspaper which I am also an editor of.

What inspires you?

I don’t really have a specific inspiration for my work. Some of what I write is heavily based on current affairs, particularly those I have an invested interest in such as the refugee crisis. I also write from prompts or based on other author’s works which includes dabbling in fanfiction. For my most recent piece of coursework, I wrote a short story based on 1984 with heavily implied connections to the Brexit situation in the UK.

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

It sounds cliché but I’ve been writing since I was a young child. I read a lot of books (and still do) which helped develop my skills and it escalated from there. I’m also useless at art so being able to express myself with words rather than images was important.

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 like to write about things I am passionate about and problems that need to be resolved. Often, I try to include characters that are marginalized or misrepresented by the media to spread the issue to a wider range of people. It is something that challenges my writing but is very rewarding for me.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t stop writing! If you truly feel passionate about it, write about it and don’t let anyone convince you it’s worthless. If you hit a writer’s block, work around it by writing something else. But at the same time, it’s OK to take a break if you need to. Your writing will only suffer if you work yourself into the ground.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m an aromantic asexual.

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 yet although this may be because I’m not out to many people. My sexuality does make it difficult to write romantic subplots between characters because I don’t experience those kinds of feelings.

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

Mainly that asexuality is something you will grow out of. My parents don’t know I’m asexual but whenever I mention that I don’t want a relationship they tell me I’ll change my mind. It’s not a phase to grow out of and that’s perfectly alright.

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

Don’t worry about figuring it all out right this second. You have all the time in the world to sort out what you feel and if you never find a label that fits that fine too. Any feeling you have is valid so don’t worry about categorizing them all right away.

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

I don’t have much published work but my most recent is in the DoveTales anthology (published later this year) which is compiled by Writing for Peace. There is more information on their website or you can ask me questions directly via my blog (stormleviosa.tumblr.com). I sometimes write fan fiction on AO3 under an account with the same name (StormLeviosa).

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

Interview: Rachel S.

Today we’re joined by Rachel S.. Rachel is a wonderful up and coming writer who is currently studying for a degree in English, journalism, and creative writing. She writes quite a bit of poetry but also writes long-form pieces. Rachel is a phenomenally talented and dedicated writer, 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 currently living in Arizona and I am in the process of gaining degrees in English, journalism, and creative writing. After almost seven years of writing everything I could, I find that original, thoughtful pieces suit me more than anything else!

Right now I’ve been working on more ethereal themes in my writing along with more detailed scenes and dialogue.

What inspires you?

As cliché as it might sound, I find inspiration everywhere. Car rides and flowers will inspire poetry just as Tumblr posts and things my friends say can inspire full stories. Personally, I find that anything can be inspiring – it’s just a matter of how you look at it.

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

Oh, not at all! When I was younger I had wanted to be a singer, believe it or not. I got interested in writing in middle school because a friend of mine wanted to write our own Harry Potter fanfiction. It was absolutely horrible: our OCs were Mary Sues and I couldn’t take valid criticism. But if it wasn’t for that first and delightfully bad venture into writing, I don’t know where I’d be now.

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 don’t know if I’d call this a signature feature I do but I have been known for doubling up and my tone. I’m a very long, drawn out writer and when I give detail I love to give it two adjectives or just unneeded adjectives in general. (It drives my editor mad, let me tell you.)

As for my tone, I’m a very bittersweet writer. I don’t care for strictly happy things or continually horrible things. I’m very much “sad beginning, happy end” or “humorous beginning, sad end”.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Write whatever you want. Write what you know, write what you don’t – write with too many commas and spaces and ellipses and exclamation points. Write happy things and dark things and then write the one you like the most. Write fantasy and science fiction and mythology and about what happened last week in school. There is nothing you shouldn’t write. And don’t forget to read either! That is just as important as writing most days.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a sex-repulsed aromantic asexual … kind of. It’s really hard to explain exactly how I feel most of the time. I’ve learned to just say that I’m gay or bi if someone asks but I’ve been lucky enough to encounter people who genuinely take the time out of their day to listen to me talk about my orientation. I’ve learned to not limit myself to, in full, I consider myself a pan-aromantic asexual.

I have no romantic or sexual inclination but I’d be ecstatic to date any person should we be compatible. Orientations are fluid so why not put a prefix on your prefix?

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

I have never encountered prejudice but ignorance has definitely been a theme. I’ve been lucky enough to encounter well written asexual characters but misinformation is, sadly, a norm. Sometimes the character is hypersexualized and other times they’re a complete prude – which I understand to a degree. However, there was one non-ace writer who had called the asexuality their character portrayed as “their favorite type” of asexuality—which, you know, was a little creepy.

Other than these few instances, I don’t think people write about asexuality enough as is.

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

The most common is that the asexual will still be “like everyone else” and have sex. There are real asexuals like that but this also ignores all the sex-repulsed asexuals (like me and a good friend of mine). I wouldn’t call this a misconception but it is a fact that not all facets of asexuality is being represented.

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

There’s sex-repulsed asexuals, sex-positive asexuals, gray-asexuals, demisexuals – there are so many ways you can identify. Don’t feel ashamed to identify as one and then realize your something else. Take all the time in the world; only you can decide who you are.

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

I’m here on Tumblr at miistical as well on DeviantArt and Twitter under the same name. I’m also on Instagram as miistical but that’s purely for everyday photos! If anyone is interested in my poetry, I’m on DeviantArt as hedonophobe (and will eventually get to making a poetry Tumblr account as well).

If anyone has any questions about me or my work/commissions or requests, feel free to email me at miisticalwrites@gmail.com!

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

Interview: Mari

Today we’re joined by Mari. Mari is a wonderful aspiring author and dedicated fanfiction writer. When she’s not working on fiction, Mari writes for her school paper and is working toward a minor in journalism. She’s incredibly passionate about writing, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a writer, both FanFiction and for my school paper, but I’m aspiring to be a published author. Writing is a passion. I’m in college for a major in English and a minor in journalism. I write FanFiction for a few fandoms, such as Soul Eater. As for my school paper, it’s just small stuff, like the football game or a fundraiser. But we gotta start somewhere, right?

What inspires you?

My inspiration really comes from my own life experiences. But my real motivation are my friends. I wouldn’t write anything if it wasn’t for them. Especially my Tumblr friends. They’ve gotten me farther then I could’ve imagined.

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

To be honest? Yeah. Ever since I was little, reading and writing was a big love for me. I’d buy book after book. But soon, I wanted to start to write for myself. What I am today, I’ve always wanted to be.

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 asked me, I’d say no. I don’t really notice any unique thing about my writing. But I’ve been told that I make my writing very emotional. I make people feel with the characters.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I’d say that what you want to do is completely you. It’s not anyone’s business of what you want, and no one knows what you want except you. Don’t let them tell you otherwise!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a sex-repulsed ace, but I’m also panromantic. At least, I’m pretty sure I’m pan. I’m still figuring myself out. I just know for sure I’m ace.

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

I have, actually. In high school, I had a small column in the paper. I could write anything I wanted. I wrote about asexuality, and other orientations. Though everything was anonymous, people found out who I was. I got bullied a lot. From mean notes in my locker to someone actually peeing on my chair. Stupid, huh? Finally, I went to the principle. A new policy was put in; anyone found bullying would be suspended. The teasing stopped.!

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

I don’t have emotions. I can’t write without emotions. I actually do have emotions. And I love romance books. Crazy!

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

It’s however you feel. Whatever you’re comfortable with. And if you find out that, hey, maybe I’m ace? Then that’s amazing! And if you realize that you aren’t, that’s amazing too! Your orientation is completely you.

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

They could check out my Tumblr, at saucey-and-spicey! All my fanfic work is posted there!

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