Interview: Zombie

Today we’re joined by Zombie. Zombie is a wonderful young aspiring author. They are gravitating toward writing YA fiction, mostly in the fantasy genre. They have an incredible creativity and an awesome enthusiasm for their craft, as you’ll soon read. Zombie obviously has a very bright future ahead of them. 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 consider myself to be a beginning author. I’ve been writing since 8th grade and the things I write tend to be geared towards young adults. My characters are from a variety of backgrounds. For instance, there’s a character by the name of Ozymandias who is a gay immortal alchemist who appeared in literature and art all the way from 1337, his Latino husband, and the main protagonist of the Eden series; a psychic Puerto-Rican aro-ace girl named Kira Black. I enjoy coming up with unique characters. I euphoria I get from creating them on paper is what I imagine to be the feeling of artists when they draw their OCs. Even the villains I work hard to create.

Honestly, I’m very proud of what’s in my head, and I can’t wait to show it to you all!

What inspires you?

My life experiences and the things I’ve read. It’s hard trying to find characters that relate to my struggles in the genre I prefer to read and honestly, I’m tired of seeing pretty female protagonists with perfect bodies and flawless skin and love triangles. I always wanted characters that I can relate to! Ones with physical and mental flaws! I want heroines with OCD and depression! I want girls to wear glasses because they’re visually handicapped! I want protagonists who DON’T want to get the guy/girl! And since I could never find any, I set out to write them myself.

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

I guess it was the books I read. The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod and Artemis Fowl by Zac Brewer and Eoin Colfer respectively. I think to a degree, I always wanted to write. When I was a kid, I’d beg my teacher to let us have time to write. When I grew older, I’d write in my notebooks instead of doing school work and then my grades started to slip!

There’s something beautiful in writing and I’m not quite sure I know what it is.

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?

Actually, yes! Characters from previous works/series will always be mentioned. Remember Ozymandias who I mentioned earlier? I’d keep an eye on him if I were you!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice makes perfect, and there’s no shame in starting off your writing career with fanfictions! You have to learn somewhere, right?

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Romance-Repulsed, Sex-Neutral Aromantic Asexual. I identify as the gender I’m born with (female) because I’m not sure I have the right to call myself anything else. Though I’d love to have an androgynous form. Having no gender sounds amazing and honestly, being a girl is just a bit tiresome. I guess I’d feel more free and less ashamed.

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

Not really. The only other authors I talk to are Ace positive or Ace themselves. I don’t appreciate being called Heterosexual.

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

That we don’t understand sex or can’t handle sex jokes. I assure you guys I know plenty about sex, which is why I’m uninterested in it. Also, I have a huge repertoire of sex jokes just waiting to be set free because of the shows I watch and the company I keep.

They do get some things right, though.

I effing love cake.

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

You’ll figure it out by yourself in enough time, and when you do, don’t let strangers or even family tell you you’re wrong.

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

On my Wattpad, AO3 account, Tumblr and Twitter! ZombiesNeedCoffee, CemeteryLights, Kirablackisback, and Zombieaugust respectively. While my Tumblr is a roleplay blog, I do post frequent snippets from my stories and information about my characters there. You can send me emails at ghostwritergraves@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from people.

(Zombie also has a blog they made strictly for writing: https://zombieastronomy.tumblr.com/)

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

Interview: Mia

Today we’re joined by Mia. Mia is a fantastic up and coming writer who also dabbles in music. She writes fanfiction but also has a number of original stories she’s working on. When she’s not writing stories, Mia composes pieces for the piano. It’s very clear that she’s an incredibly dedicated 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 mostly unpublished writer who also happens to dabble in composing pieces on the piano. I write anything from short stories to poetry, I have too many novels in the works to count, and most of my composing is inspired by my writing. The vast majority of my writing is YA fantasy, but I’ve recently gotten back into writing fan fiction again, too. My two biggest current projects are a fairy tale rewrite (featuring gay kings!) and a novel for National Novel Writing Month that features (among others) a female, Ace protagonist.

What inspires you?

I find inspiration in a lot of different things. The people around me tend to inspire me most. I’m constantly borrowing little things like names, traits, quirks, etc. from people I encounter in real life.

If we’re talking people, I drew a lot of inspiration from my favorite authors as a kid, especially Brian Jacques, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and Christopher Paolini.
My writing inspires my music, to an extent.

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

I started writing and taking piano lessons both around the age of six. My mom even has a poem I wrote around that age still saved somewhere. It’s just always been a part of 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?

Not officially, but, and this is something I don’t tell a lot of people: Any time you see a goddess called Thelbriza in any of my stories, that’s actually me, keeping an eye on my characters from their own world, instead of from my own.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice makes perfect, but never feel bad for not Doing The Thing. Art takes time, and art takes effort, and nobody got to where they are without constant work, practice, and, yes, really awful art. But it’s okay to take a break from practicing. Art isn’t about being the best, it’s about putting something that no one else could make into the world, whether or not someone else sees it. If it’s not fun, what’s the point?

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as Demisexual (and have since I found the term about four years ago).

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

I wouldn’t say I’ve experienced it in my field specifically. I’m not sure if it could be considered “prejudice or ignorance” but the almost total lack of any sort of representation in written media is really jarring sometimes.

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

That we’re all prudes who don’t like sex. I’m a sex-positive ace who has a long-term partner and an active sex life, and honestly, seeing how many people think that aces don’t like or don’t have sex, I occasionally feel Not Ace Enough.

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

It’s okay to question, and it’s absolutely okay to change your labels or how you identify. I’ve personally gone from Straight, to Bi, to Demisexual, to Demisexual/bi-romantic, to Demisexual/pan-romantic, to Demisexual/pan-alterous to Demisexual, Demi/pan-alterous! Questioning just means that you’re still learning about yourself and growing, and personal growth is never a bad thing.

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

I (used to) post a lot of my work on my personal Tumblr: http://once-upon-a-lyfetime.tumblr.com/
This is also where you’ll find one of the pieces I’m most proud of (any fans of mermaids? It’s under the short story tag!)

I’ve started posting somewhat frequently on AO3 under the name Mistress Dandelion, too! This is where you’ll find my fairy tale rewrite.

Anyone who wants to watch my progress in November as I write my Ace Representation NaNo novel can find my profile on the NaNoWriMo website here: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/lady_eemia

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

Interview: Parker Goodreau

Today we’re joined by Parker Goodreau. Parker is a phenomenal and versatile artist. They do both writing and illustration. They have a webcomic entitled Shadow, a Supervillain Comic. They have also written a few short stories and specialize in YA fantasy. They also do quite a bit of illustration and the images they sent to go with their interview are really beautiful. There’s so much expression and emotion in them, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Belle et Bete

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’ve dabbled in lots of stuff, but mostly I write fiction, do visual art, and make comics. I have a couple short stories out and I’ve contributed to a few collective art projects soon to be available to the public, so the next goal is publishing a novel. I write fantasy for teens or slightly younger kids, and my art is usually in a similar vein. I just started a really fun project, an art nouveau-ish illustrated chapter book inspired by the Cottingley Fairies. I’ve got a webcomic that’s been going for about a year and a half, which I should be working on right now. When I get into a better rhythm with that, I’m planning a slice-of-life style comic about an asexual drama student. She has a vampire girlfriend. I’m pretty stoked to finally get to work on it.

What inspires you?

Odd people. Most of my favorite characters are unconventional in some way; I love people who are peculiar and revel in it. I’m also a sucker for fairy tales, mythology, and pseudo-historical legend. And I watch a lot of cartoons.

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

My brother was a bit of an art prodigy, so I’ve been hanging around art studios and paint fumes since I was a preschooler. It never occurred to me that I might stop drawing and find some other interests, but it wasn’t until later that I considered art as a career. As far as the writing, I think it’s S.E. Hinton’s fault. I started my first novel shortly after reading The Outsiders in middle school.

Blood Muse
Blood Muse

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 sometimes feel like Beauty and the Beast is actually the only story I have any interest in, and thank God there are so many things you can do with it. Elements from that, and a few other related fairy tales, pop up all over the place in my stuff. I also really enjoy writing nonbinary characters; it’s rare that a long project of mine doesn’t have at least one.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Listen. Consume lots of whatever it is you do and engage with other people who do it. Take part in the communities that interest you and support each other. If you can’t afford to buy books or do Patreon/commissions, talking about the work you love is all the more important.

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Masha

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m asexual and biromantic (and agender, which wasn’t the question, but in my case it all feels related).

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

Young adult publishing is pretty good about it, though asexuality is not as widely talked about as other orientations. The great thing about the field is most people are willing and eager to learn, so I make myself available to answer questions and jump in if it looks like asexuality is being forgotten/misrepresented. In webcomics, there seems to be an uncommon amount of asexual rep, which is very exciting. A lot of media still considers asexual characters less interesting or marketable than allosexuals, and many people don’t understand how varied the asexual experience can be. And it still seems like most asexual/agender-coded characters are inhuman, or treated as less than human. (I once had an editor tell me the genderlessness of my character “enhances its alien nature,” which was amusing. I just made extra sure they got my pronouns right in my bio.)

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

I’ve had people question my orientation because of my lack of experience. The idea that you need to meet the right person or that you can’t know unless you try is pretty common.

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

Remember that we’re all different. I value the asexual label a lot, but it’s still a label. Everyone on the spectrum experiences and acts on their sexuality in their own way; don’t let anyone, allo or ace, make you feel uncomfortable about your identity.

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

Portfolio: https://parkergoodreau.carbonmade.com/

Patreon for webcomic and queer fiction: https://www.patreon.com/parkerctg

I post updates and other art stuff on my Tumblr: http://youdonothavetochoose.tumblr.com/

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Mist and Rita

Thank you, Parker, for participating in this interview and this project. It is very much appreciated.