Today we’re joined by Cornelia, who also goes by EveandJohnny online. Cornelia is an incredibly productive and talented fanfiction writer from Germany. She has written in a variety of fandoms, both in German and English. She has a great love for the written word, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I am a fanfiction author – at least that makes up the majority of my work. I also have two original long stories (not sure if you can call them novels) and an odd number of original one-shots. But currently fanfiction is what I am encouraged in the most. The fandoms included in my portfolio are Twilight, Harry Potter, Digimon, The Hobbit, Suicide Squad, Zamonia and C.H.I.X. As my native language is German I started to write in German. Some of the German stories I have translated into English respectively I started to write more stories in English.
What inspires you?
In the first place, of course, there are the original stories. For my Original Characters I usually start with imagining me in the particular original universe and what I would do there or how I see certain characters. That quickly develops into the OC taking its own shape with treats and quirks that I don’t have.
Very helpful is music. Depending on the fandom/the original story I listen to Symphonic Metal (Twilight), empowering/feminist music (Suicide Squad), film soundtracks (The Hobbit)…
I also like to take a walk, especially when looking for new ideas.
What also helps me is to write in the library of my university. I don’t really know why but somehow the more “professional” atmosphere encourages the flow of words.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I indeed have long wanted to be a writer. I have an affinity for words since I’m able to read and may say that I am quite eloquent. When I was in sixth grade I started with a fanfiction about the German youth novel series C.H.I.X. (“Die Wilden Hühner”) which quickly developed into a very long going project. Since then I have written rather regularly though I have periods where I don’t have the energy or the ideas to write and periods where I can finish a chapter in an hour or so.
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?
The most common trait in my stories are strong, independent female characters. In the first place it’s probably because I am female myself and so I know what I’m writing about. But in retrospective it’s also a feminist act. All of them are white, I have to admit, but I think that I cannot properly display what other groups of humans feel and think so I would never arrogate to write about it.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
“Never give up” is probably the one you should always remember. It doesn’t matter if you ever get to publish your work professionally and can make a living with it. It’s more important that you believe in yourself and keep doing what you love. I know, it sounds cliché but it’s true. I have received very little feedback, regardless on which platform I look at. But that doesn’t make me retire. When I go back to what I’ve written already I cannot help but feel proud of myself. It feels good to see the amount of pages “piling up” in my digital storages. Because it is also what I love about books. You open a page and dive into something so much different than your own reality. I bet that counts for every other art, too.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Though I’ve never had a partner before I am heteroromantic asexual. I am not sex-repulsed but thinking of having sex myself just seems somewhat unearthly. I can perfectly well live without it. But I am longing for a relationship – just without sex.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
The biggest ignorance is probably that sex is still regarded a major plot device. Maybe that’s also what I want to show in my own stories: I don’t have sex scenes in my plots, not just because my characters are asexual (there is only one OC openly asexual, all the other ones are not or not openly) but because it’s not necessary.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
I have personally not encountered a misconception because I’m not openly out as asexual. The people who know it are queer themselves and although there are restraints against us even in the queer community those people understand or at least don’t harass me or anything. But what I can imagine is that many people mistake asexuality for celibacy.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Despite any negative feedback you get yourself or see in the media or even hear in philosophical discussions in the Gender Studies (I’m studying Media Studies where GS are a major part) ignore it. Some people think they can discuss your identity but they cannot. Your identity is yours. And if you don’t really know who you are – don’t worry. You are no less a valid person just because you’re not really sure who you love and how.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
My stories can be found on archiveofourown.org (here), wattpad.com (here) and fanfiktion.de (here) under my pseudonym EveandJohnny.
My Tumblr is rockthistowninsideout.tumblr.com if you have any more questions.
Thank you, Cornelia, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.