Interview: Chimney

Today we’re joined by Chimney. Chimney is a wonderful poet from Germany. He writes mostly for a hobby and his poetry tends to focus on emotions. Chimney mainly writes in German though he has translated some of his poetry into English. It’s clear he’s a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Please, tell us about your art.

I am a writer and poet. I write a lot of poems about love and being heartbroken by love, but also other stuff. In my writings I concentrate a lot on the emotional side, like how the characters feel, why they feel that way. I want the reader to understand my characters and feel with them. I really want to have this transparency in my stories and poems.

My poems especially are very personal. And I try to throw as much emotions and pain as possible in them, that’s why it often hurts to read them, because their pure emotions.

What inspires you?

I get inspired by a lot of stuff, actually. Obviously I get inspired by real life experiences, but music is one of those things that inspires and influences me the most. When I listen to songs there are always popping up some lines and ideas in my head. But I also get inspired by other people or artist who achieved something in their life. Seeing them getting from bottom to almost the top inspires me and gives me the courage to try my best. And even if I don’t made it there will be always people who I can inspire and that’s it what keeps me going forward.

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

Honestly at first I hated writing poems, because I never was able to rhyme something good. So I first started with writing stories, because some guy in my class wrote a very funny story and I wanted to write something funny as well xD. But after finally starting to rite I realized how much fun this is to me. I love creating stories, telling  stories and share them with others. Being an artist was never my main goal. It was and unfortunately still is one of my greatest hobbies. But I really hope that it someday will be more than just this little hobby of mine.

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

Not that I’m aware of. I try to change my still very often and I like to experiment a lot. Especially with my poems. I often change the metre and sometimes even use different languages.

But more like snippets or a few specific words. Other than that all I can say is that my writings are full of emotions.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I would say: “Have the courage to post your art online!“ Why? Because there will always be at least one person that will like it. Art is very important and it can help people, inspire people etc.

So it doesn’t matter how insecure you feel about your stuff, there will be people who supports you and by sharing it you can grow. Be open-minded accept critique and advice, so that you can grow.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as quoiromantic asexual. And I think more on the sex-repulsed side.

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

Yes I did, from one person actually. Who actually very radical and I don’t want to explain the details. They said horrible things to me. First I tried to have a real in-depth conversation with them about it, but after that didn’t worked I broke contact with them, because in the end it was better for my mental health.

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

From what I’ve heard most people think that asexuality = anti-sexuality. Like that we’re all against sex and everything that has something to do with it. Which is just not right.

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

Seriously, the most important part is that you accept yourself how you are and that you understand that you’re fine, lovable and not broken by being asexual. The sexuality is just one small part of you and what really matters is your personality. I can understand that finding out that you’re ace can be frightening, but when someone really likes or loves, they will do it because of your personality, because you make them smile and give them a reason to stay strong.

You’re all valid.

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

So for my German fellas you can always read my work right here: https://www.fanfiktion.de/u/Chimney

For the others I suggest you to follow me on my Tumblr where I’m planning on releasing little English poems and snippets: megahyperchickenwing.tumblr.com (yes, that is my name)

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

Interview: Sierra

Today we’re joined by Sierra. Sierra is a phenomenal poet and dancer. She uses art as an outlet. When she’s not choreographing dances, Sierra enjoys writing poetry. It’s clear she’s a passionate artist with a great amount of enthusiasm, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Please, tell us about your art.

I am a dancer and poet. I write or choreograph what I am feeling and use my art as an outlet for my emotions. I try to address issues and subjects many people deal with such as mental health, grief, etc. I think it is important for everyone to express themselves, and if my art can be used to help someone express themselves, I feel I have reached my goal.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by everything, but my main inspiration is people. When I see someone being purely themselves, I can see the art in them and want to be able to express that to others. I also get a lot of my inspiration from music of all kinds.

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

I have always loved the arts, specifically dancing. I grew up dancing and felt like it was the only thing I could relate to others through. As I got into high school I discovered a love for poetry and began to write. I have not published any of my work, but it is a goal I have for the future. Art has always been something very close to me.

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 isn’t anything special about my work. I just try to capture raw humanity and convey it to others.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Do what you love and don’t worry about what others think. You will grow into a uniquely beautiful artist no matter what you do. Not everyone will love your work, but if you reach just one person and help them feel something, you have done the best you can as an artist. Push yourself to your artistic limits and allow your creativity to flow freely.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as aromantic-asexual. I consider myself sex-repulsed and between romance-neutral and romance repulsed.

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

Not specifically in my field have I encountered prejudice or ignorance, but in life in general I find a lot of ignorance. So many people can’t understand how something so engrained in their minds can be non-existent in ours, and therefore ridicule us for it. I think as long as you can stand tall and ignore that hate that comes towards you, you can be whoever you want to be. Anyone and everyone is valid.

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

I’ve found the most common misconception of asexuality is what it actually means and that it is different for everyone. Many people don’t understand asexuality and try to decide for themselves what it is. They then have an incorrect idea and/or opinion of asexual people which can be hard to change.

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

If you embrace who you are, you will feel amazing. Its okay if you don’t know what that is yet, you will figure it all out in due time. If you don’t feel like coming out yet, then don’t. Just know that the ace community is such a loving family that is always looking for new members.

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

You can find out more about my work on my Tumblr, at poeticaceinspace. P.S. I’m pretty bad about keeping up with my blog but I’m trying to get better.

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

Interview: Snig

Today we’re joined by Snig. Snig is a phenomenal poet who has recently come out as asexual. They write a lot of blank-verse poetry and most of it has to do with emotions. They have a book out titled Girl Behind Scars, which is definitely worth checking out. It’s clear they’re a passionate author with an admirable dedication, as you’ll see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Please, tell us about your art.

I am a writer/poet on WordPress.

A lot of my work is blank verse poetry usually relating to my emotional status at the time. But more so than often you can find me also ranting about some topic that has caught my eye, or just random thoughts that go along in my head. Ya, I’m pretty much all over the place when it comes to writing.

What inspires you?

To be honest, too many things inspire me. It can be a conversation I’ve had with someone, my mental illnesses, the people around me, a meme I saw online that made me feel a certain one. But I think at the crux of all of them is the fact that they evoked a raw, undeniable urge to write about them.

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

I’ve always written. Even as kid, penning my thoughts down on paper provided me with more clarity than anything else could have. So that’s where it all started I guess, a need for little me to understand the world around her, and so I would write down every perspective or thought I could about something that had caught my eye. If I couldn’t understand how I truly felt about someone or something, I’d write about them.

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 think I have any unique signature, symbol or feature that I include in my work.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Art has very little to do with success and more to do with how it personally makes you feel and that’s what make someone a true artist. So no matter what art form you choose to pursue or do as a hobby, always keep it true to yourself and your perspective on life. Success will follow.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as panromantic asexual.

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

In my field? Not really, but that’s probably because my sexuality isn’t something that’s ever brought up in my discussion with people. However, I have encountered people in daily life that do think me identifying as an asexual, is just a typical “women” thing because apparently women aren’t sexual beings. A thought process which is just appalling.

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

That it means we will never have sex or enjoy sex. Nah bruh, it just means I don’t have to deal with panties in a twist just from seeing someone particularly attractive.

Also people who confuse it with asexual reproduction and then say “oh so one day you’re just going to split into two”, not funny guys, not funny.

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

You aren’t broken. I know in the hyper sexualised world that we live in it can feel that way, but you aren’t broken. You are just as valid an orientation as someone who is gay or lesbian, and even though the LGBTQ+ community may sometimes also treat us as broken, there are many of us out there who exist and will always be willing to help you out. You are queer and you are here.

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

As of now most of my work is on my WordPress blog, Semblance of Normality.
https://justanotherdepressedsoul.wordpress.com/

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But I’ve also had a poem be published in a collective anthropology called Girl Behind Scars
https://www.amazon.in/Girl-Behind-Scars-about-Writing/dp/B078WQJSDX.

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

Interview: Amanda Sexton

Today we’re joined by Amanda Sexton. Amanda is a phenomenal visual artist who recently did a painting for the Haitian American Museum of Chicago (a fellow Chicagoan, who is also a feminist and fan of Myrna Loy. Insert squee here). When she’s not painting, Amanda enjoys dabbling in poetry and has written an epic surrealist poem in the past. It’s clear she’s an incredibly talented and very passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Please, tell us about your art.

My art is all over the place really, as I only do it for a hobby. Last year I did have the privilege of working with the Haitian American Museum of Chicago. My piece represented the first black men in Chicago—first resident/founder [Chicago] from Haiti, first black mayor, first black president. Then I worked with the art gallery next door, Sustain, who wanted to make t-shirt designs from my painting. Lately, I’ve been working with watercolor, and really, I have no aspirations to be an artist, I do it for fun.

What inspires you?

I have a fair amount of inspirations, nature–trees, especially. History and politics, I have a degree in historical interpretation, and that has definitely played a role in my creative process—a  big influence on my poetry. Other artists also inspire me, film, paintings, music, literature. Dali, Jheronimus Bosch, John Bauer, Zdzisław Beksiński, Leonora Carrington, and Remedios Varo. You can see the influences in my 2017 Inktober set on my Tumblr. Music plays a big part as well, for the last few years Swedish synth pop has been my jam, my creating music, and my muse, like iamamiwhoami and the knife. I’ve also been working to musique concrète lately. Anything weird haha.

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

I’ve always been artistic. I’ve been drawing my whole life. Though I’m not a career artist, I try to incorporate my artistic nature in my field of work, which is archiving and curating. Working on exhibits taps into my creativity.

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?

No, I don’t think I have anything symbol or unique feature

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Take the risk, because there could be a time that it works out! You’ll spend the rest of your time regretting it.

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Self-Portrait

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a homoromantic asexual

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

Not in any fields I’ve worked in, but I don’t typically bring up my sexuality unless asked. I know I did have someone assume my sexuality at an art showing, and I revealed that I was asexual. I had the support of my director, who is mentor and stand in mom at the Haitian museum, which was nice.

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

That it doesn’t exist, I haven’t met the right person, or I have a phobia. All untrue of course! I do want a relationship, just not a sexual one. I want to hold hands with a girl in an art museum and that’s about it. And I think that’s very sweet. Also, I wish allosexuals would stop asking asexuals questions that are very personal, especially involving sex, it’s rude to ask anyone.

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

Don’t be afraid of not knowing where you are on the spectrum and not being afraid of changing if something fits better. Also, not feeling ashamed if you want to talk about your sexuality (you are valid!) But also don’t be ashamed if you have to hide who you are. I for the most part still live in the asexual closet, because of the prejudices I would face where I live.

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

My painting at the Haitian American Museum of Chicago can be found at : https://www.hamoc.org/product-page/first-black-chicago-commemorative-t-shirt

My other art is scattered on my Tumblr between a lot of asexual postings and Adventure Time references: https://iamamianarchivist.tumblr.com/

I also have a YouTube channel with some art pieces: https://www.youtube.com/user/AMsexton7

I have poetry as well, I haven’t put it on any kind of platform yet, but if anyone wants to drive into a 42 page epic, surrealism poem, PM me!

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Inktober Panel

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

Interview: n.a.

Today we’re joined by n.a.. n.a. is a wonderful poet from Canada who publishes his work on his Tumblr blog. His poems play with language and use strong visuals. It’s clear he’s a talented and dedicated poet, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Please, tell us about your art.

My art is poetry, so I guess you could say that I’m a poet – though I would never admit it in public. Currently I post one poem a day to my Tumblr blog, but I have hopes to publish a poetry collection in the future. There isn’t really any set theme of my poems and I’m a firm believer in subjectivity, so every poem means something different.

What inspires you?

This will sound cheesy, but everything inspires me. I would say music and books are what inspires me the most – I didn’t have a lot of friends growing up so, they became my friends at an early age and ever since then I think they’ve always been there to guide me as I progress with writing. Other aspec artists inspire me as well – especially Roanna Sylver whose books I’ve recently fallen in love with!!

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

Yeah, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, even before I knew how hard writing actually is. I remember when I was younger I used to write little stories and poems that didn’t really make sense, but I found myself loving them and dreaming about what I would do if they were published. Reading sparked my interest a lot as well, I’ve always enjoyed analyzing characters and I think poetry has allowed me to do that a little bit.

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 think I have one, unless my alias counts. I think having one would be super cool though, I just haven’t put much thought into one yet.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to create your art, even if you don’t think it’s good enough. Everyone starts somewhere and everyone lives a different life, but not everyone can create what you can.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m an aromantic asexual, I also like to describe myself as queer. I first found out about asexuality after an ex-boyfriend of mine came out to me, I had heard about asexuality before (from prior experience with queer Instagram pages), but didn’t know much about it. When I read up on it I realized that I was, and always had been, very aroace. Funnily enough, he broke up with me the day after I figured it out – for reasons that didn’t have anything to do with my recent discovery.

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

I’m lucky enough to say that I haven’t had any encountered any ignorance based on my asexuality, but I have seen many people outside of the poetry community and on twitter get a fair bit of hatred. I’m very grateful that my friends outside the internet are accepting individuals and always let me know that I’m important and valid, even if I don’t always feel it.

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

There are so many that I could talk about, but the one that bothers me the most is that asexuals are straight and don’t belong in the community. Being a trans asexual guy, I often don’t fall into that category because I am trans, but I know that if I wasn’t trans that I would probably be shunned from the community in the blink of an eye. Another misconception that I really hate is that asexuality is a medical or health issue, I think I hate this one specifically because it could lead to a misdiagnosis if an asexual person is accessing healthcare.

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

I believe the biggest advice I could give, and the advice I wish I had gotten, is that it’s 100% okay to be confused or unhappy about your orientation – just like it’s 100% okay to be content or happy with your orientation. If an asexual individual is feeling unhappy or just generally down about their asexuality I recommend they read some books or comics with asexual characters like themselves, it always helps me when I am feeling down and reaffirms that representation really is important!!

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

As of right now my work can only be viewed on my Tumblr, which is apollota.

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

Interview: Tamare Rosemov

Today we’re joined by Tamare Rosemov. Tamare is a wonderful poet who hopes to publish his poetry one day. He writes mostly short free verse poetry and has sometimes posted it publicly. He is clearly a dedicated and passionate writer as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Please, tell us about your art.

I write short free verse poetry which I sometimes post publicly. I usually only share my poetry with a couple close friends, although I do hope to get published someday.

What inspires you?

My emotions are the basis for my work as well as my greatest inspiration. I love the way that poetry can aid in the struggle against the impermanence of life – a small burst of joy or sorrow can retain its original vigor when expressed in a few meaningful phrases. This urge to commemorate my favorite moments and feelings inspires me as strongly as emotion itself.

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

My interest in poetry increased significantly when I was hit with depression. I discovered that poetry could be a wonderful coping mechanism for making sense of the emotions and problems that haunted me. As for being an artist, it was never on my mind until I realized that I need art in my life, and perhaps it might become part of my professional career in the future.

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

My favorite poems include sea imagery. I grew up in a small European seaside town, and the sea remains to me the ultimate object of nostalgia as well as a metaphor for many parts of my life.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t give up on art even if you’re afraid of criticism or a lack of creativity. I think we all have that desire in us; the desire to express ourselves, and we all encounter stimuli that inspire us to create. So even if your art does not fit somebody’s standard, if it makes you feel more whole, keep on creating.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a heteroromantic asexual, and until recently I thought I was just an extremely innocent heterosexual. It still shocks me that I’m that different from the person I always considered myself to be.

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

I have not encountered much prejudice, and I acknowledge that I am privileged in that aspect. The worst I’ve encountered is ignorance because I haven’t come out to many people for fear of damaging my relationships.

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

Probably the idea that asexuals don’t exist. It’s annoying when someone seems to accept my asexuality but then proclaims smugly, “You’re just very pure”, “Everyone wants sex”, or “You’re just too shy to express your dirty thoughts”. I know how I feel, and even though I’m still getting used to it, I am an asexual and asexuality is a valid identity.

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

Don’t be ashamed of who you truly are. Sexuality is as deep as the human mind, and the human mind is an enigma. We might never know why our minds work the way they do, but what we do know is that our minds can create, think, analyze, love. So, no matter what your sexuality is, love yourself.

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

I post my bad and good poetry at https://allpoetry.com/BlueCandlelight;

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

Interview: Shelby Eileen

Today we’re joined by Shelby Eileen. Shelby is a phenomenal poet who has recently released a book of poetry entitled Soft in the Middle. She uses poetry to express herself and has an amazing dedication to her art. It’s clear she’s a dedicated artist with an incredibly bright future, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Please, tell us about your art.

My art, currently, is poetry. I have one self-published poetry collection titled Soft in the Middle and almost all of my WIPs are also poetry. Writing is something I’ve always, always done and poetry has long been my preferred way to express myself in writing. I think my art has always had a lot to do with communication even if I didn’t always know it; trying to communicate better not only with others but also with myself. Picking the right words and putting them together in such a way that I feel I’ve finally made sense of something is the best thing about what I do.

What inspires you?

The thought that there is really nothing that has already been created that is exactly like what I have the potential to create. I don’t know if it’s naïve or self-centered to think, but my own individuality inspires me. Other asexual artists inspire me. Self-published poets inspire the absolute heck out of me. There’s something so pure and immeasurable about their success- they are literally the embodiment of that “she believed she could so she did” sentiment and I think that’s so badass.

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

Yep, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Even before that though, I’ve always wanted to be an editor. Reading got me into this whole world and I’ve never felt like I was meant to do anything else but work with authors and be an author myself.

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 think I do, or at least, not yet. I haven’t been at this long enough to figure that out. I would almost prefer to have readers pick up on a “unique signature” on their own, whatever that could be, without me actively trying to tie all of my works together. I find myself focusing a lot more on the differences between my projects than on the similarities anyway.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Make friends with people who are already doing what you want to do! Social media is a great way to do that.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m asexual. Since figuring out that I’m ace I’ve grown to absolutely love that part of myself. The label brings me a lot of comfort and peace. I also identify as queer, bi, and somewhere on the aromantic spectrum.

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

Online and in the poetry/writing community, no. I have yet to see anyone criticize my work specifically for reflecting my asexuality. My family and many of my irl friends haven’t ever commented on my asexuality though, and seeing as I explicitly state that I am asexual in my work, it definitely feels like they avoid it because they’re confused or made uncomfortable by it. Silence and passivity on the matter can hurt just as much as outright objection or disapproval. That doesn’t feel nice but it’s not the absolute worst reaction I could get, I suppose. I handle it by constantly reminding myself that my work is first and foremost for me and no one else. Even if I don’t show it or admit to it often, no one is more proud of me than me for what I’ve accomplished so far- as long as I feel pride in what I do, negative reception is easier to deal with.

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

Oh god. That asexuality and the mere concepts of sex and intimacy can’t overlap at all. That asexuals are just straight people weaseling their way into the LGBTQIAP+ community. Asexuality as a sexual/mental health issue. Asexuals are broken. Asexuality isn’t real. Everyone is demisexual. Asexuals can’t have relationships. It’s disgusting how common it all is.

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

It’s REALLY okay to question stuff and be unsure or even unhappy with where you’re at in regards to your orientation. You’ve come this far on your own and that’s something to be proud of. You should never hesitate to investigate, dissect, confront, and share all of the feelings you have. I dealt with orientation struggles/ general unhappiness by seeking out a bunch of books with asexual characters. A lot of them made me feel so much better about myself- quite frankly, it made me feel like less of a freak. Getting swept up in stories with characters that you can relate to that get a happy ending is great medicine.

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

Amazon buy link for soft in the middle! http://a.co/fLDIzIw

Goodreads page! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36812982-soft-in-the-middle

My Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr are all at briseisbooks. My social medias are not exclusively for my writing, they do contain a good amount of personal content as well!

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