Interview: Jordan S. Brock

Today we’re joined by Jordan S. Brock, who also goes by Kryptaria. Jordan is a wonderful author who specializes in queer romance. She writes both original work and fanfiction. Jordan is currently working on a book she describes as “a kinky m/m asexual romance.” She is obviously an incredibly passionate 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.

I’ve been writing all my life, though I spent forty-plus years trying and failing to muster the courage to submit to a publishing slush pile. For years, I read and wrote sci-fi/fantasy. Then I found fanfiction and fell in love with romance in fanfic — which is strange. I was never able to connect to mainstream romance, to the point where I could reasonably say I hated romance novels.

But romance in fanfic is a different creature altogether. As at earlgreytea68 says here [http://anauthorandherservicedog.tumblr.com/post/159134116719/on-fanfic-emotional-continuity]:

“[F]anfiction has nothing to do with using other people’s characters, it’s just a character-driven *genre* that is so character-driven that it can be more effective to use other people’s characters because then we can really get the impact of the storyteller’s message but I feel like it could also be not using other people’s characters, just a more character-driven story. Like, I feel like my original stuff–the novellas I have up on AO3, the draft I just finished–are probably really fanfiction, even though they’re original, because they’re hitting fanfic beats.”

This is the original fic I write. It’s marketed as romance, and the focus is on a happily-ever-after ending, but the romance is organic. It grows step-by-step, as true to the characters’ motivation as I can get, without heavy-handed external machinations to cram the characters together.

My first published romance novel, The Longest Night, is actually a nearly word-for-word copy of my Sherlock (BBC) fanfic, Northwest Passage [http://archiveofourown.org/works/531662/chapters/943040]. After I posted NWP, a senior editor at Sourcebooks contacted me on Twitter and asked if I’d be willing to scrub the fic and change it from m/m to m/f. After forty years of wanting to see my name in print, I agreed and signed a two-book contract.

Never let anyone say that fanfic isn’t real writing!

These days, though, I’m much happier to be writing queer romance. In October 2016, at Riptide Publishing released Change of Address [http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/change-of-address], an #ownvoices story about PTSD, a service dog, and a Jewish character — who, unlike me, is a fantastic cook. The sequel, tentatively titled Building Bridges, will be written as soon as my brain cooperates.

COA Book cover from Riptide

For now, I’m very excited to be working on a kinky asexual m/m romance. It’s an awesome challenge, writing an asexual character who’s sex-neutral (bordering on sex-repulsed) but also has a mile-wide dominant streak. He’s learned to navigate kinky spaces in various ways, both healthy and unhealthy, but he’s never found his happily ever after — until now, though it doesn’t come without a whole lot of stumbling blocks in the way. I hope to have the first draft done before May 2017 so the book can be released this year, but no guarantees. Real life keeps getting in the way!

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

I’ve always needed to write, for my own mental health. I’ve noticed a direct correlation between periods when I don’t write and times when I’m depressed or unhealthy.

As for inspiration, these days I look to the unusual romances: ones that sneak up on people from unexpected connections, ones that are realistic, ones that don’t fix the world or cure a character’s problems but that make life a little happier for everyone involved.

That’s what I love about queer romance. I’m not shoehorning or stereotyping my characters into “male” or “female” roles as they’ve become traditionally defined in the romance genre. I can let my characters develop as they will, without fear that an editor will redline a character because of breaking those gender-based molds.

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?

Animals! I tend to sneak in animals, especially dogs or cats, wherever I can, because they’re so important in my own life. I have a service dog for PTSD — two, actually, since my senior service dog, Darian, has retired due to bad hips and I’m now working with Bucky, my service dog in training. Isn’t he gorgeous?

Bucky 39

In Change of Address, I gave Michael, who also has PTSD (from combat), a service dog named Kaylee. She’s a German Shepherd Dog who’s a mix, in temperament, of Bucky and Darian. She’s not perfect, but she’s the steady rock that Michael needs to anchor himself as he finds his way in the civilian world — and the reason that he and Josh eventually end up together.

COA tumblr header

In my next book, one of the characters has an adopted greyhound. She offers her human unconditional love in exchange for long naps on the sofa. Really, what more could a person want? And I have plans for a golden retriever puppy to take a starring role in Building Bridges.

My fanfics, whether solo- or co-written, also tend to have pets of various types, whether it’s a pair of ferrets, a basket of kittens, or an over-dramatic saluki.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Remind yourself that art isn’t a zero-sum game. Other artists aren’t your competition — they’re your colleagues. Cheer their successes, because every successful artist brings new consumers into the fold, whether it’s a Big Name Fan writing a breakaway hit fanfic and bringing in new readers who eventually discover your fics or a New York Times bestselling author bringing new readers into the sub-genre in which you write. Yes, sometimes success is a matter of luck, of connections, of timing, but mostly success is a matter of talent and hard work.

Consume other art in your chosen field. If you’re a writer, read all the books you can in your genre — and a few in related genres. For example, I’ve learned a whole lot about writing humor in romance by reading historical m/f romances, even though I don’t think I’ll ever write a historical.

Study the market if you want to turn your art into a career. Learn the formulas and what made the big names successful. Study the fundamentals. Learn all the rules, whether grammar or color theory or whatever applies to your art. You can’t know which rules to break until you have a deep understanding of those rules.

Then feel free to break the rules. Be true to the art you create. You’ll find a market somewhere.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

These days, I come closest to identifying as autochorissexual.

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

I’m fortunate that I haven’t, though I suspect that’s because I’m working with publishing professionals who are from all over the queer spectrum, including an ace senior editor.

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

Any sentence that includes the words “all aces” is bound to be 1) “commonly” believed or taken to be true and 2) actually flat-out wrong.

When it comes to my next book, I’m actually bracing for backlash from outside the ace community from people telling me I can’t write a kinky asexual character because “all aces” don’t like sex and therefore can’t be kinky.

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

A few things:

  1. “All aces” don’t exist. Every asexual person is different. Sex-positive, sex-neutral, sex-repulsed. Kinky, vanilla, or none of the above. Masturbates or doesn’t. Experiences arousal under whatever circumstances or none at all.
  2. If someone tells you “you can’t be ace because…” or “you’re not a real ace because…” walk away and don’t look back. Nobody elected these gatekeepers, and nobody has a lock on knowing everything about asexuality — not even other aces. We all live in a continuous state of self-discovery, from the day we’re born until the day we die.
  3. And that means sometimes you change, whether from biology or circumstance or because you simply learned a new word that comes closer to resonating with who you really are inside. There was a time I identified as het, then bi, then pan, then gray-ace, then demi-ace, then back to gray-ace/aro. It took me something like 43 years to get where I am now, and that doesn’t mean it won’t change again. That’s okay!

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

These days, I tend to be most active on my Twitter, https://twitter.com/jordansbrock/ for original work or pictures of Bucky. I’m terrible at keeping up my website, jordansbrock.com, even though it’s a Tumblr. You’d think it’d be easy!

My Riptide Publishing author page will also have a link to all books I’ve released through them. http://riptidepublishing.com/authors/jordan-s-brock

For fanfic, my work is all available on AO3 at http://archiveofourown.org/users/Kryptaria/works and my Tumblr, at kryptaria, is full of inspirational pictures. These days, it’s mostly Marvel Cinematic Universe. I keep my James Bond stuff at kryptaria00Q and post random writing/service dog bits at anauthorandherservicedog.

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

Interview: Luke

Today we’re joined by Luke. Luke’s a two-dimensional traditional artist who does a lot of printmaking. In their free-time, they enjoy working with different sorts of pens. Luke is a fellow fan of surrealism (yay!) and draws inspiration from artists like Mucha. Their work is beautiful and bright, reflecting a truly wonderful imagination. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Warning: some pictures contain nudity

Al my boy
Al my boy

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m mainly a 2 dimensional traditional artist. I’m also heavily into printmaking which is something I’ve grown fond of in my college career. I work mainly with micron pens, copic markers and several other kinds of pens and markers for my more personal art that I do in my free time. I really enjoy linoleum cuts and etchings when I do my printmaking work. Much of my free time art is fanart as well as exploring different original characters of mine. As I grow into my college career, I’m focusing more on sexuality and gender issues, LGBTQIA+ issues, relating to my current situation of living in Kansas in the middle of the Midwest. I really dug into these concepts this past year when I created art very central to that subject and last semester when one of my pieces was removed from a show for containing non-sexual nudity.

What inspires you?

I have a very large fondness for the work of Alfons Mucha. I love how woman portrayed in his art, especially his sketches, are portrayed with lumps, bumps and curves. Many of them have double chins and large arms. I am also very fond of Chiara Bautista, who is known for her surrealist illustrations, and Peter Mohrbacher who is the creator of the Angelarium series. There are several classmates in my printmaking class who inspire me to create new and unique ideas.

I’m also very in love with the band Radical Face and draw a lot of inspiration from his music.

Ife drawing
Ife drawing

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

I’ve had the capacity to be an artist since I was a young child. I wouldn’t be where I was unless one of my dear friends taught and pushed me to be a better artist. I had a wonderful art teacher in high school who got me interested in becoming an art teacher. However, now that I’ve come to college the idea of pursuing a career as a printmaker has become more and more appealing.

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 use the same signature across all of my work that combines my first and last initial along with the year to keep track of time. As of this year I added the specific date to my work. Beyond that I can forget some of the little details so a special symbol in my work would be too much to remember lol.

Luke and Michael hats
Luke and Michael hats

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Explore different kinds of art if you can. I didn’t get to that point until college, but it was worth it considering how much I’ve fallen in love with printmaking. Also, references, references, references! I have boards on Pinterest devoted to art and character design to keep my mind fresh and looking at different ideas. It’s not cheating to take inspiration from other artists and examine their processes and end products. If you’re into drawing people, finding stock images of figures or look into specific blogs and DeviantArts created to provide stock model photographs for artists to use. Drawing from life and from photographs is the best deal you can really get.

Owl
Owl

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as an autochorrisexual and autochorriromantic

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

Many of classmates are open minded and understand that there are differences in people. There is a lot of casual ignorance and remarks that assume that I’m heterosexual and cisgender. (I am transgender as well: polygender.) I am very open on my college campus, particularly in my art department, so having a certain level of ignorance and misunderstanding is sadly expected. When I do encounter it, I try to educate people the best I can.

Self Portrait
Self Portrait

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

The biggest one came from someone on my campus on an online platform. I casually posted something at an event and checked back on it an hour later to see a whole 50+ comment argument talking about how asexual people are broken, that it’s a mental issue, I should talk to someone about it since it was wrong that I felt that way. (I had in fact been seeing a counselor and I mentioned it once and we didn’t talk about it again since I wasn’t broken to start with.)

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

Asexuality is an umbrella term. I’ve taken this with the idea that words to describe my sexuality don’t have to encompass every detail and nuanced thing about my own attraction or lack thereof. Autochorrisexual encompasses my main and majority feelings of how I experience sexual attraction and lack thereof. Just because you experience sexual attraction once in a blue moon doesn’t invalidate your whole identity. It’s not like you have to be a “gold star asexual” to be an asexual.

Severus and Stone Ed
Severus and Stone Ed

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

I will frequently post my work to my Tumblr: http://he-sgotthebodforthat.tumblr.com/

And to my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lukle_13/

Ed
Ed

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

Interview: Carrie

Today we’re joined by Carrie. Carrie is a wonderfully enthusiastic and versatile artist. She’s a writer, fanartist, and a craft maker. Carrie makes some incredibly beautiful pride jewelry, which is available in her Etsy shop. The bracelets are particularly lovely. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Asexual Kumihimo Pride Bracelet
Asexual Kumihimo Pride Bracelet

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’ve been an artist since I could hold a pencil, drawing mostly animals. These days I mostly draw fanart and my own characters. I also write, mostly fantasy, and I crochet and make Pride jewelry for my Etsy store.

What inspires you?

People. I’ve always been fascinated by people, how they think, why they do what they do. In all my work, I’m always interested in the human aspect, creating characters, writing out interactions. And of course, with my Pride jewelry, I want people to be able to express themselves. I don’t always see a lot of Pride stuff aside from a rainbow so I wanted to make things celebrating some of the other identities.

Bisexual Pride Kumihimo Bracelet
Bisexual Pride Kumihimo Bracelet

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

I’ve always enjoyed writing and drawing but the crafting has been a fairly recent development. I’ve always really loved jewelry and a friend of mine made her own and got me turned onto how easy it can be to make your own. It grew quickly from there and I now have an entire closet full of yarn and beads and jewelry supplies.

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 really love stars and try to put stars on everything I can, but I don’t know that I’d call that particularly remarkable or noteworthy. :3

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Never stop creating what you love. Never compare yourself to another artist because it can be crippling and we’re all on this journey at our own pace, walking our own paths. Not every piece has to be a masterpiece, either.

Demigirl Kumihimo Bracelet
Demigirl Kumihimo Bracelet

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Autochorrisexual.

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

I have actually been incredibly fortunate to have been surrounded by very understanding people. I’ve certainly encountered a lot of ignorance about what asexuality means, or that it even exists, but that was typically from society at large, and not so much directed at me personally.

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

That we can’t have or enjoy sex. It was honestly the same misconception I had for a long time before I realized I was ace. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it because of the way society treats sex. So I’ve tried to be really patient with other people who think the same thing because it took me a long time to grasp that myself.

Pansexual Kumihimo Bracelet
Pansexual Kumihimo Bracelet

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

You’re not broken. I was almost 30 before I realized that I was ace and all the years prior to that in different relationships, I thought sex was just something that you did. I thought people had always oversold it, it wasn’t that great, I could take it or leave it, and I’d always had this massive disconnect with it. I wasn’t present, I was never attracted to my partners that way, and I spent a lot of years wondering what was wrong with me. I really thought I was broken, but I finally realized there were other people like me and that I wasn’t broken. And neither are any of you.

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

For my art and writing, you can find both on my Tumblr page: azuremosquito.tumblr.com

For my Pride crafts, you can find all on my Etsy store:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheChromaticFlight

Transgender Kumihimo Bracelet
Transgender Kumihimo Bracelet

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

Interview: Jen Barry

Today we’re joined by Jen Barry. Jen is a phenomenal performance artist who does a bit of everything: singing, dancing, and acting. It is quite obvious that the stage is where her passion lies and from her interview, it definitely shows. Jen is an enthusiastic artist who loves to perform. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

The best way I think I can describe my art is “Show Choir” and Theatre”. The rest of my descriptors (singing, dancing and acting) fall under those two. I love being able to play a character and portray stories and emotion that I usually don’t get to feel in my every day life. It’s also a good outlet for negative emotion, such as when your character gets to fight with another, you can pretend that person is whoever you hate! Probably not the best outlet but hey whatever. Also, it’s a way for me to express my physical sexuality, but more on that later

What inspires you?

Broadway actors. I aspire to be as great as them and whenever I see a show, professional, at a competition (for show choir), or just at a high school, I immediately get this little kick of “hey, this gives me a huge adrenaline rush, they look like they’re living the best life they can and enjoying so much, this is what I want.”

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

I would say I pretty much always have been interested in performance. My preschool teacher Miss Ellen gave me the jumpstart that I needed when she cast me as a lead in our preschool musical and would constantly have karaoke days.

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 love winking whenever appropriate. Whether it’s just visible to a fellow performer or to someone in the audience, I will find a place. Examples being when walking off stage, when bowing, or more specifically, my boyfriend came to see me at a show choir competition, and one song was its raining men, so when I did a spin, I winked going into it.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Never give up. Find what inspires you, find what you love, find places to do what you love, and keep pushing, practicing, just keep having fun. It makes life so much better.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Autochorissexual, so I am attracted to the idea of sexual activities, but don’t want to engage personally. I describe it as I’m attracted to everyone but myself.

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

I have, just with friends or acquaintances, I just try to keep a level head, and set the record straight (haha straight as if) while cracking as many jokes and making as many puns as possible.

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

That we can’t have healthy relationships, that we can’t love someone, that we can’t eventually have a sexual relationship with and for the benefit of our partner(s). I have a boyfriend, and I do things with him because I know he has those wants and needs. We just make sure to be completely honest in our communication such as when I am not willing to do something.

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

Research, research, research. Not only your personally identity, but other identities and spectrums as well as finding communities where you can connect with similar people. Find your school’s/community’s GSA if that’s a safe option. Just find as many people to connect with as you can, and you will feel happier (and in my case less broken).

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

YouTube I guess? I like posting behind the scenes vlogs, and I will usually link to videos of my performances if they’re floating around YouTube. Sometimes I’ll put clips online of rehearsals and things, and I post the occasional cover as well.

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

Interview: Caren Rose

Today we’re joined by Caren Rose. Caren is an awesome versatile artist and I believe she’s a first for Asexual Artists: Caren does a lot of programming, including mobile apps. Aside from programming, she does a lot of writing and is currently working on a graphic novel. It’s very obvious that she has a lot of passion and drive. We’ll probably be seeing a lot of her in the future. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

character-design2
Character Design

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a writer, primarily. I write realistic fiction and sci-fi, mostly, and both short stories and multi-chapter things (which I suppose could be called novels if I ever finished them).  Most of the things I write would fit in the broad genre of “drama” with some angst and sometimes suspense thrown in for good measure.  I write both original fiction and fanfiction, but with the exception of one story, I write my fanfics as they come – no outline, no thought to where the story may go, just writing whatever I feel like.

I have one series of “short” stories that I’ve been working on for nearly 12 years – I started with one story when I was in high school, and wrote a story 24 pages long (single-spaced!), before discovering that it had several glaring inaccuracies.  By the time I finished the first story, I had an idea for a second – but as I delved into rewriting the first and got to know the main character better, the idea grew to a whole series of stories. Unfortunately, real life began to happen and inspiration struck elsewhere, and I never really finished that rewrite, so I have a grand idea but very few words.  I also have another long-running project, this one fanfiction. In 2009 I began writing a story set in the future of the Star Trek universe.  It is a “Sim story,” a story accompanied by pictures taken from The Sims 2.  I updated slowly for a couple years, until I started school and moved.  Once again, real life began to happen, and I didn’t have the time to dedicate to working on it regularly.

That all sounds like a big apology for not writing as much as I should.  I suppose it is.  But, while those are my two main but inactive projects, I’ve been recently working on a graphic novel.  I hadn’t done much drawing since art class in high school, but when I started again I really got into it.  From there it simply combined with my writing and out came an idea for a graphic novel. In fact, I have two ideas – one original and one fanfic.  As usual, the fanfiction has no real direction, but the characters are fun to draw in all kinds of different situations.

Though not “typically” thought of as art, I’ve also been programming for just over 2 years.  I do a lot of work with websites, but prefer writing desktop and mobile apps.  My most recent projects are an ambient sound mixer program and an Android (hopefully eventually iOS) app for writers like myself, to help them organize their ideas. I’m still in the early stages of both.

What inspires you?

I have what I call a very strong creative drive.  I liken it to sexual attraction, actually – where some people see a person and have a strong desire to be with them, I see a subject or a method of creating, and have a strong desire to see what I can create through it.  It may not be good, if I have no background with that style or medium, but most of the time I’ll try and have fun anyway.

gallifrey
Gallifrey

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

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember.  My mother was very creative, too.  She and my dad would come up with “Princess Lily” stories whenever I asked for one, and every night at bedtime.  One year for Christmas, they created a scavenger hunt for each day leading up to Christmas, and each day I would find one Alphabet stamper marker.  Each day, I would stamp in one more letter in a book until I had all the blanks filled in on Christmas.  It was a Princess Lily story that gave hints to one of my Christmas presents.

I started learning how to code just over two years ago, and found I really loved it.  I knew I wanted to go into the IT field, but wasn’t sure what area.  At my school, everyone in the IT program has to take an introductory programming class, whether or not they are planning to go into programming.  When I took that class, even though it covered only the very basics, I knew it was what I wanted to do.  My first program I created for myself was a simple aspect ratio calculator. Now I write mobile apps in my spare time J

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?

It’s not really a signature, just a recurring thing – nearly every story I write ends up with a character with a neurological disorder.  It’s simply because I’m very interested in neurology that it keeps happening!

Screenshot_2016-04-27-11-24-03

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I’m not sure I’m the best to give advice, considering my track record of unfinished projects 🙂

I’d say, two things:

Don’t worry about turning your art into a career – whether you want an artistic career or not, don’t worry about it.  If you want to, definitely go for it!  It can be rewarding and fulfilling.  Don’t concern yourself with the people who tell you that you’ll never make a living on it.  There are plenty of people willing to pay and to pay well for creative work.  On the other hand, you don’t have to find an artistic career if you don’t want to. Don’t feel like no career will possibly live up to your passion of creating.  Find a career doing something you enjoy (important, because you don’t want a day job draining all your energy!) and devote your free time to your art. Depending on your personality, you may find it more fulfilling than having to create in order to support yourself.

Second, don’t censor yourself.  This is advice I still need to learn, myself.  You don’t have to create perfection on your first try.  Have fun with your art, be messy and be free. It’s all too easy to critique yourself as you go, and critique turns to second-guessing, and you run yourself into a creative block because you can’t find just the right word, or whatever.  It’s okay for things not to be 100% on the first try!  It’s unlikely others will notice what you see as errors, and you can always do a “second draft.”  Similarly, don’t beat yourself up over the quality of old work.  They say practice makes perfect, and it’s true. No matter how good you were for your experience level years ago, if you have more experience now you’ll find things to hate in your old work.  Don’t do that to yourself.  You were good then, and you’re good now.  Your mistakes/whatever you hate were never because you were a “terrible artist,” it was just because you didn’t have as much experience as now.  If you let yourself hate your old work, you invite yourself to hate your current work because “someday it could be better.”  No.  Of course you’ll always be improving, but you’re a good artist RIGHT NOW!

president_of_the_supreme_council_of_gallifrey_by_carenrose-d980sck
President of the Supreme Council of Gallifrey

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual, specifically autochorissexual (a disconnection between oneself and a sexual target/object of arousal), probably grey-heteroromantic, but not really sure about that.

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

I haven’t.  Some of it is that I’m still in school, not really “in my field” for programming.  Many programmers are middle-aged married guys with children – but the stereotype is still that we have no love life.  As for writing … I’m not published (except for posting things for public consumption on fanfic sites) so I’m not “in my field” there either.  I do know that romance, especially sex and romance, gets readers just for being what it is. Sometimes I feel like stories where romance is either a secondary subplot or absent, you have to work harder to get people just to read it.  It may not be true, but I feel like that sometimes.

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

From inside the ace community, that “true” asexuals never have sex. Every time the topic comes up, multiple people show up saying “how can you be asexual if you have sex all the time?” “I’m asexual because I choose not to have sex.” And so on.

There are certainly many sex-repulsed aces, non-sex-repulsed aces who just don’t have sex for any number of reasons (me), but there are also aces who do have sex.

superhero_story_concept___character_design__by_carenrose-d9kc7bw
Superhero Story Concept Character Design

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

You’re not broken, you’re not just a late bloomer. There’s lots of people like you in the world. Meeting those people can be a great step to accepting yourself.

I’m sorry I don’t have much to say to romantic asexuals struggling to find a relationship with someone who accepts them for who they are. The best I can say is surround yourself with good friends, and don’t let things get you down.

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

I’m a little bit all over the internet.

My DeviantArt at http://carenrose.deviantart.com/
FanFiction.net at https://www.fanfiction.net/~carenrose
My section at MoonlightDragon (Sims site) http://moonlightdragon.freeforums.org/carenrose-s-area-f95.html
And my new website (with nothing at all up yet) at http://carenrose.com

sunset_color_sketch_by_carenrose-d9s1yyr
Sunset

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