Today we’re joined by Moon, who also writes under the pseudoname Wintermoth. I met Moon at Indiana Comic Con and was incredibly excited to meet fellow aces in a genre space (three asexual identifying people came to my panel at that convention). Moon was cosplaying as Rose Tyler. It turns out she’s a fan fiction writer and dabbles in a lot of fan art. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
Well, I’m a writer. I’ve been writing short stories since I was very little. I even used to illustrate them! They weren’t very good, of course, and most of them featured mermaids. I remember filling an entire notebook with drawings of a series about lions, sorta like a comic. But my drawing skills are pretty much what they were in sixth grade so I’ve pretty much kicked the illustration thing. Other than winning a few essay contests, my writing wasn’t anything special that I can remember, but I did devote a lot of my free time to reading and writing. Then my friend Wendy introduced me to fanfiction (it was a Shugo Chara fic – I remember because she loved the show and was trying to get me into it) and I thought fanfiction was the coolest thing on the entire planet so I dove in headfirst. I’ve moved through a few fandoms there and right now I’m writing Doctor Who. Outside fanfiction, I’m also (slowly) working on a novel with characters developed by me and my best friend over the years.
I also run a studio on Youtube where I make fmvs, usually Final Fantasy or Doctor Who, but the primary focus is the audiobook section. I make what are essentially radio plays of webcomics with a full cast of marvelous voice actor and actresses from all over.
What inspires you?
I usually don’t like this question. The easier one to answer would be: “What doesn’t inspire you?” I can pick up ideas from anywhere at any time. For example, I have a cold and I sneezed five minutes ago after suffering from that I’m-gonna-sneeze-any-second-now tickle for about fifteen minutes… and I had an idea for how to resolve a plot point in my novel. I discovered a few years back that writing near open water works really well for me, something about the sound of the water.
For the music videos, usually I listen to a song long enough and then I start picturing scenes from shows or games in my head and it’s all downhill from there.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I have no idea what got me interested in writing because it was so long ago. The Youtube stuff, however, if I remember right . . . I only found Youtube because I was on a mad hunt for every single Danny Phantom episode I could find back in 2006. Youtube had episodes up at the time and then, from there, I began browsing Youtube and became aware of amvs/fmvs. I thought it looked interesting and then I realized after a few tries that, oh, hey, I’m good at this.
Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in our work that you’d be willing to reveal?
Not that I can think of, really. I always put my username on my fmvs but that’s about it.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
This is mostly going to apply to writing but this first part applies to anything, even homework.
Pack snacks. There’s nothing worse than being into your work and on a roll and suddenly realizing you’re hungry then having to get up and go all the way to the kitchen/nearest food source, get the food, go back, settle down, and try to resume working. Ugh. It sucks. Exercise is for athletes.
Know your skills and your limits. Find out which areas you’re good in and which you aren’t. A lot of younger writers fall short when it comes to something like dialogue. Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are then practice, practice, practice so you can improve your sills and push your limits but take care to not bite off more than you can chew.
I’ve had people ask me how I’m so good at writing and I’ve given a myriad of answers over the years. I used to spend my school hours writing in notebooks. There are at least six notebooks from my 7th grade year somewhere in our storage shed with nothing but Neopets stories in them. I spent years roleplaying with friends (and still have the transcripts of many of these to prove it somewhere) on top of years writing fanfiction. And, before I even started writing, I spent years making up complex stories with my dolls and toys and each had their own character and purpose to the plot. Basically, what it all boils down to is that I worked my butt off and I’m always going to be working my butt off.
Writing is an art. Some people have an inherent skill in their art others have had to fight tooth and nail to get to where they are. If you woke up one morning and decided you want to be a doctor and tried to start practicing medicine, yeah, that’s not going to happen. You aren’t qualified; you don’t have the skills. You can wake up one morning and think ‘hey, I want to be a writer’ and just start doing it but like anything else, writing takes time and practice to build skills to make you good at it. Unless you found a genie, helped a mermaid, or made a deal with the devil, you’re not going to just become amazing at it overnight. So if you really want to be a great writer, buckle up, buckle down, and get at it.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Asexual. BUT I’m not entirely certain. I know I’m not gray ace but I’ve never been in a romantic relationship so the possibility of being demi is there but for now simply saying Ace is easier.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I’m fortunate enough that I’ve never experienced anything personally. But it’s kind of annoying how in . . . like . . . everything there is always a relationship in everything. Like, even if it never develops into anything romantic, there’s always an underlying sexual tension somewhere in every storyline and ugh.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
There seems to be this idea that being asexual means I can’t have kids. Like, I’ve had to reassure people (in my family) that I can and that nothing’s broken down there. Though, in hindsight, the fact that I’m able to procreate reassured them is just a liiiiiitle irksome.
The less open people in my life seem to think this just a phase or something and I’ll be back to normal soon. Whatever. I’ve been told I don’t understand what things are like in ‘the heat of the moment’ which just makes it seem that sexual people lose brain capacity when they’re getting it on.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Read. READ. READ. READ. Any bit of information on different sexualities you can get your hands on, read it all. Sexuality is fluid and a large spectrum but we all fall somewhere on it and I swear you do have a place, all you have to do is find it. I promise, somewhere is something that when you read it you’ll think this is me. For me, there was an immense relief when I realized I was Ace.
If you think you fall somewhere on this general end of the spectrum you can always come talk to me. My inbox on Tumblr is ALWAYS open for people who are ace-questioning or just curious about asexuality. I may not respond immediately cos I do this thing called sleeping and it happens at weird hours but I respond to any messages I receive. If you want to come off anon, I won’t publish your asks, but understand that anon questions cannot be replied to without publishing.
Also . . . keep in mind that it doesn’t matter if your family/friends approve or not. Really, it doesn’t. Whether or not they like it, it’s not going to change anything. What matters is that you are happy with yourself. There is nothing wrong with you and you are not alone. And I don’t think God would have any issues with it either since the Bible is pretty big on not doing the do unless you’re married anyway, so you can chillax about that, too.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
For now just Tumblr (http://wintermoth.tumblr.com/). My sidebar has links to all the other relevant profiles I have. 🙂
Thank you so much, Moon, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.