Signal Boost: “Albenzauber“

Hello all!

I’ve got a special signal boost today. Carmilla DeWinter is an author who did an interview with Asexual Artists a while back (Tumblr & WordPress). She’s got a new book out entitled Albenzauber. Carmilla is also going to be doing a reading on April 23rd in Mainz, Germany.

Here’s all the information about the book:

“Albenzauber” (Elven Charms) is about the elf Nives, who has raised her prince Cir in the human realm after saving him from a coup. When she accidentally uses the elven charm on a young human male, thus driving him out of his mind, she and Cir return home to find a cure. There they find out that the usurper, beautiful and power-hungry Noctuola, is preparing a war with the humans. Cir is determined to save his heritage and asks a seer for help: They will have to find a human being, neither man nor woman, who is immune to the elven charms. This seems highly unlikely, until they meet the androgynous human mage Heilika. Heilika does agree to help them, while forcing Nives to question everything she believes about herself.

You’ll meet two aces, one of them genderqueer with female pronouns, plus everything a sword and sorcery adventure needs.

Unfortunately, only available in German.

Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.de/Albenzauber-Carmilla-DeWinter-ebook/dp/B06Y5CLPQ1/

Albenzauber 1200pt

I’ll be reading an excerpt on Sunday, April 23rd, in Mainz, Germany. (Link for more info: https://carmilladewinter.com/2017/04/09/lesung-5/

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So if you’re in Germany, please go show a fellow ace some love!

Thanks, everybody!

Interview: Taylor Cruse

Today we’re joined by Taylor Cruse, who also goes by Triscribe. Taylor is a wonderful up and coming writer who also does some visual art as well, including character design. She has recently become really interested in world building and has begun to create her own fantasy world, where her novel is set. She has this admirable love for art and the written word in particular, which makes for an engaging interview. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Crant - Wolfen's Rage Cover
Crant – Wolfen’s Rage Cover

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Hold onto your hats, then, ‘cause this might take a while!

To start, I’m both a visual artist and a writer, as the two are often intertwined with me. A lot of my stories start out as drawings of characters who then receive names, backstories, places to live, adventures to experience, so on and so forth. I consider the world-building to be just as much a craft as the physical art of sketching and coloring my characters or planning out plots – having a wealth of little details to be able to include in even simple dialogue can be so important to making the story come alive for my readers. This holds true even in the realm of fan fiction, where I also spend a fair amount of time.

I’m also proud of how my recent experiences in college have opened my eyes to greater realms of diversity for my characters to take part in – not just visually, as I’ve done in the past, but also mentally, emotionally, and of course, romantically. When my Stories from Sarant, starting with the Turning Point trilogy, are published, I want them to be a beacon to marginalized categories of readers – the ones eager to read books with asexual main characters who don’t need romance to fulfill their plot, female leads who are strong in more ways than just being able to punch the bad guys, and characters of color who get to be more than the sidekick or comic relief. (Point in fact, the mainest of the main characters in my above-mentioned trilogy, Crant, is all three of these things, and also goes on to become a hero to everyone in her war-torn and race-divided world. She’s the greatest of all my creations, and I hope when the book eventually comes out that readers adore her just as much as I do.) This is the kind of art I’m eager to share, because it’s the sort of stuff I’d have loved to see more of when I was younger, the kinds of things we need more of nowadays too.

What inspires you?

What doesn’t inspire me? The mountains surrounding my college campus, the utter insanity of family stories I hear from my mom and her mother, even the amount of time my dad poured into his World of Warcraft blog, Need More Rage, when I was younger.

It’s quite common for me to create a new superhero character based off of a friend of mine, or incorporate something funny I heard in ordinary conversation into a story scene. Even my pets will gain representations of them in the things I write, especially my wonderful golden retriever, Athena – she’s an inspiration all by herself, even if my animal-drawing skills aren’t enough to do her likeness justice!

I’ll also mention the more famous figures I’ve been inspired by: J.R.R.Tolkien, first and foremost, because that man went and built an entire world for his books, starting with the languages and working outward. Pretty obvious how he’s influenced me, yeah? The other big author was Anne McCaffrey, simply because of the sheer volume of fantasy stories she wrote, taking place at all different times and places. That’s what I want to accomplish as an author – I might be starting small with a single trilogy, but I’ve got more than fifteen other books I plan to write that happen all throughout the 70,000 years of history I’ve crafted for my world of Sarant, and then all my other projects of high, modern, and science fiction fantasy.

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

Heh, well, you see, my parents were big on bedtime stories when I was little, using them as enticement to get me to want to go to bed rather than fight to stay up longer. Dad did an especially great job reading them, using all different voices, and went for a wide assortment: everything from Dr. Seuss classics to the Chronicles of Narnia to a children’s version of The Odyssey (Mom gave him a few weird looks over that last one, but then I became a huge fan of Greek Mythology and she gave up trying to interest me back into Amelia Bedelia).

As for my becoming a writer/illustrator… Apparently, at four years old, I wanted to get down some of the adventures I imagined during playtime. I dictated them to Mom, who dutifully wrote down every word in these blank booklets, into which I then drew all the corresponding pictures. I’ve still got a few of them in a box of old toys, and occasionally go take a peek to remind myself on the bad days that, yes, I do have greater writing and drawing skill than a four year old.

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?

Three! Literally, the number three finds its way into most things I work on. (Once again, I blame all the Greek myths I read as a child.) The leader of my Jr. Team superheroes is called Trihunter; when it comes to coloring my black and white sketches, I usually incorporate at least three colors, whether they’re all different or just varying shades of the same one. Even my signature makes use of all three of my initials, TRC, rather than a first initial and last name.

Although, really, I think I don’t use that other option because I happen to have the same initial and name as my grandpa Tom… Was very awkward on the occasion when a friend of my grandmother’s visited their house, saw a watercolor of mine hung of on the wall and signed ‘T. Cruse,’ and asked in a startled tone if my grandfather was following Grandma into being an artist, as she makes and sells oil paintings for fun. After that, I decided it was a necessity to develop my own symbol, which I sign nearly all my art pieces with.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t. Stop. Practicing. Seriously, I’ve compared recent pieces (whether drawings or short stories) to stuff I made as recently as a year or two ago, and can see marked improvement because I spent so much of the time in-between getting in as much practice as possible. And feel free to mix it up, too! Dedication is good, but not to the point you become sick of the material you’re working with. Writing for superheroes and fantasy characters sometimes get stale, and I feel so much more invigorated to keep going after taking an hour’s break to write a journal entry or jot down some insane piece of family history from my maternal grandmother’s days as a professional juvenile delinquent. Same goes for visual art – when I can’t stand sketching one more skin-tight outfit or piece of armor, I take a while to go sit in my campus cafe and draw some of the people I see, or head partway the local hiking trail to paint the landscape around me. It all goes a long way to restoring my frayed sanity, and I highly recommend the same to anyone else dealing with the same issues.

Self portrait, color pencil
Self Portrait, color pencil

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual panromantic, I think? Or perhaps lithromantic. I never had much in the way of romantic feelings or experiences growing up to gauge by, though I would every now and then develop what I thought was a crush on a friend of mine. To be honest, learning that asexuality was A Thing in my senior year of high school was a wonderful blessing I blindly clung to like a liferaft, and didn’t really start looking into all the different types until I came to college and got to meet great friends of all sorts of genders and sexualities. Even now, I’m much more content to spend evenings in writing alongside my fellow ace roommate, a previous interviewee by the username of Knightlychika, rather than attempt to define my unique brand of something-nice-to-daydream-about-but-not-to-the-point-I-want-to-do-anything-to-act-on-it attractions.

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

Heh, yeah, my mom had no clue what I meant last winter break when I told her I was ace. She listened to my explanation and even did some research of her own, coming to the conclusion that I was becoming My Own Person – which is all she’s ever wanted anyway, regardless of what form it took. I did make a point of telling her I wasn’t averse to the idea of eventually adopting a kid of two, in case she was watching any dreams of having grandchildren to spoil go down the drain, but Mom said she wasn’t anywhere near as worried about that as knowing I was happy and content.

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

“Oh, that’s just a phase, you’ll grow out of it.”

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

Don’t feel guilty if you meet someone that makes you decide you aren’t asexual after all. For some people, maybe it was a phase, a defense mechanism against the world of dating and hooking up that becomes unnecessary. It’s fine – you absolutely ARE NOT justifying the ignorant people who think it’s a phase for all of us.

Every person is unique, with their own identity made up of all sorts of different factors, and while you can find groups of others with whom you share one or a few or a lot of those factors with, there’s no one you’re identical to. And if some of your factors change over time? That’s perfectly acceptable, normal, and doesn’t invalidate anything you were at an earlier point in time.

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

I have the same username, Triscribe, on Tumblr, DeviantArt and FanFiction.net, where you can find old and new art, snippets of my current original projects, and of course stories written in all sorts of fandoms (Star Wars, the DC Batfamily, Harry Potter, and Voltron LD being some of my more popular favorites). Hope to see you there!

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

Interview: Sarah Pickard

Today we’re joined by Sarah Pickard. Sarah is a phenomenal writer who specializes in genre fiction. She writes a variety of genres and has a wide array of LGBTQ+ characters populating her work. Her passion and enthusiasm shines through in her interview, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

IMG_2008

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

While I’ve been published for poetry, I mostly work writing LGBT+ genre fiction. In my experience as a reader, too much of LGBT+ media is focused on the coming out process, so I try to fill a niche of writing fantasy, steampunk, cyberpunk, etc. novels that has a full LGBT+ cast. There’s none of the angst that comes with the discovery or coming out process. Instead we have a cast with a full range of gender identities and sexualities who are out living their lives, commanding airships or working in underground street-racing teams. When you already had to live through the experience, sometimes you just want to see a lesbian punch a dragon.

(I also have a personal pledge to only ever write one straight character, which to this day I’ve maintained.)

What inspires you?

I think every comment about ‘pandering diversity’ or ‘if you want representation, go out and make it’ fuels me to take these genres that have been traditionally very heteronormative and queer the fuck out of them. For anyone who widely reads fanfiction, the transition back to reading traditional literature is always a jarring one as you remember how white/straight/cis everything really is. And there’s no reason it has to be! Diversity breathes life into plotlines – not stifles them. Why close yourself off to possibilities? I mean, when we add nonbinary people to high fantasy, think of all the curses/prophecies that get foiled. And why deprive yourself of all the puns? Yes, that’s it. I’m inspired by all the pun-possibilities.

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

I’ve wanted to be a writer…always. Honestly, my first written work was dictated to my grandmother at the age of four. And in some ways it’s terrifying to have no idea who I’d be without writing, but I count myself very lucky that I found my calling at such a young age. There was never any specific moment or event that triggered it. I probably came out of the womb this way.

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?

Yes! So, I basically write my own novel length AU fanfiction. That is, I have a set cast I work with in all my novels and genres, and the fun comes from exploring how they and their relationships grow and change and develop under different circumstances and settings. And most of my readers find comfort knowing that just because their favourite character died in one novel doesn’t mean they won’t survive the next. How many works can boast that?

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If you really love something, do it. Do it in every free moment you have. If you wait for inspiration, you’ll never be inspired. Writing is hard work (no matter how easy Stephen King makes it seem) and it never gets any easier. Most of the time it gets harder as the years go on! You start worrying about sentence structure repetition and never using the word ‘was’ and staying in the active voice and before you know it you’ve rewritten the same sentence ten times because something’s wrong with it and you can’t figure out what. Yeah, some days words will fly off the keyboard like little fairies with minds of their own, but most of them time you’re going to slog through it one word at a time.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual, and I have no idea what my romantic orientation is.

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

While I haven’t personally encountered any writers who are against asexuality, I have run into the old rhetoric of asexual characters being boring to write about. But honestly, if you need sex to move your plot along, you have a pretty terrible plot?

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

That we’re all either Childish, Sociopaths, or Geniuses instead of actual people.

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

Right now, Tumblr is probably the worst place to be if you’re struggling with your asexual identity. Nearly every LGBT+ space I’ve encountered in person has been warm and welcoming and accepting. So just forget all the bullshit about whether or not you’re a part of the community – because you absolutely are – and figure everything out on your own terms. Also aromantic heterosexuals and heteromantic asexuals are 100% queer (no take backs) and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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

I’m afraid I don’t post any of my work online. I’m soliciting my first novel right now and it can’t be previously published – and some publishing companies consider posting online as ‘previously published’. But if anyone wants to Beta any of my work, they can contact me at reallifeisfiction@gmail.com. I’m always happy to get feedback and constructive criticism!

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

Interview: Kit

Today we’re joined by Kit. Kit is a wonderful writer who writes a bit of everything. She writes a lot of speculative fiction with queer characters and aspires to be published one day. When she’s not writing, Kit enjoys fanart and dabbles in cosplay. She’s got an incredible love of her craft, as you’ll read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Well, I write speculative fiction of just about every kind you can think of — high fantasy, urban/contemporary fantasy, occasionally sci-fi or Twilight Zone-style horror — with plenty of queer characters. I have been known to write the occasional fanfiction, and I cosplay as well! I love making cheap/DIY and “closet” cosplays. In this picture I’m playing DC’s John Constantine, with an embarrassingly bad temporary dye job.

What inspires you?

Everything. I’ve gotten sparks of inspiration from everything from my own day-to-day life, to History Channel documentaries and Wikipedia rabbit holes, to binge-watching Shadowhunters. I believe in actively seeking inspiration from the world around me, because it really has so much to offer!

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

I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since I started reading, which was at the age of 3. It took a little longer before I learned how to write, but in the meantime I made stories with crayon drawings and Little People dolls. I’ve always been a storyteller.

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?

All of my main characters have some kind of physical scar or injury. I’m a self-harm survivor, so showing characters with scars that they don’t hide, that they consider part of their story, is really important to me.

Also, this is more of a recurring theme, but I love writing “roguish” characters — “outlaws with hearts of gold,” as the saying goes. Characters whose hearts and intentions (and hair) are good, even if sometimes they do bad things. I’m a sucker for guys/gals/NB pals like that.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just go for it. Seriously. You will think, “Oh, I’m not good enough,” “Oh, no one’s going to read this/like this,” “I’m just going to get rejected,” etc, but don’t listen to that. Yes, you’re going to write stuff that isn’t good, you’re going to write stuff that no one likes, you’re going to get rejected, but you’ll also write stories that people love. That will make it worth it, believe me, and you’ll never get there if you don’t JUST START.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as demisexual (I go back and forth between that and greysexual, I’m still questioning, but for now I think demisexual fits best) and bi-romantic.

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

I wouldn’t consider it prejudice, or even ignorance, but there is a very pervasive, and kinda frustrating, idea in modern publishing (especially YA) that a story isn’t ~interesting enough~ without romance, and the sexier the romance the better. I think it’s important for both ace and allo readers to see that, first, you can have a perfectly good story with no romance, and second, you can have a perfectly good romance with no sex!

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

A surprising number of people — including my parents! — don’t really “buy” that I don’t experience sexual feelings (or, more accurately, don’t experience them outside of people I already have romantic feelings for), because I’m a teenager and aren’t all teenagers always thinking about sex?? (Well…no, actually. I have to go with no on that.)

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

No one gets to define asexuality for you except you, just like no one gets to define your romantic orientation, gender identity, etc. Whether you’re completely sex-repulsed or you still want to have sex one day, whether you consider asexuality a huge part of your identity or NBD, whether you experience romantic attraction or not, you are ace and aces totally rule, ergo you totally rule!

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

I write under the name K. Noel Moore at https://www.wattpad.com/user/K_Moore13, most stories there have also been published on inkitt.com, and I sometimes post flash fiction on my personal (well, my only) blog at http://gayamericanoutlaw.tumblr.com. I’m also working on selling my first short story (a ghost story set in the 1930s with a gay narrator), so if you follow any magazines in the vein of Apex or Nightmare (by which I mean fantasy/sci-fi/horror-centric stuff) keep an out for me!

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

Interview: Jo

Today we’re joined by Jo. Jo is a fantastic young writer who is just starting out. She writes fantasy and YA, most of it dedicated to fighting stereotypes. It’s very obvious she’s incredibly enthusiastic and dedicated, 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 writer, mostly in the fantasy and young adult genres, depending on the topic. My topics and characters are oftentimes designed to fight certain stereotypes and beliefs and to normalize things that aren’t talked about as often as they should be.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired both by experiences I’ve had myself in the past such as dealing with depression and things that I don’t necessarily have experience with but think deserves a spotlight. My friends who are incredibly supportive help me stay inspired and motivated.

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

I haven’t always wanted to be a writer. I can’t put an exact time on when the interest arose, but I would estimate around age fourteen (it’s been two years). There have always been books that inspired a yearning in me to create something as meaningful and timeless. What really pushed me to write, though, I think, would be that I wanted to create that which I wanted to read, but couldn’t. For the most part, I only ever saw sexuality and romance given one very specific narrative in literature, and since I was such an avid reader, I wanted what I was reading to reflect me in ways that the books I was reading just didn’t. In the past I looked for validation of who I am by finding myself in the characters I fell in love with, but I never found it. When I became more confident in my identity, I wanted to write them myself, both for myself and for others, so they can see themselves succeed and be happy in literature too.

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 have anything of that nature.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep doing what you do, even if you suck. It’s okay to suck at first. Work on your art even when you don’t feel like it, or you’ll stop altogether for a long time, and that’s a hard hole to crawl out of.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m heteroromantic asexual.

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

Not really. I’m young and not published. Perhaps that will change if I ever publish a story idea I have where asexuality and accepting it in oneself is the main topic.

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

For the most part, I’ve only come out as asexual to a group of close, very accepting close friends. The only negative comment I’ve gotten about it, a friend telling me I’d grow out of it when I was fourteen, didn’t bother me a whole lot.

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

It’s okay. No, really. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re not going to be single forever if you don’t want to be because of this. There are days it will absolutely suck to not “get it”, but there’ll be a day when you’re so comfortable with who you are that it won’t bother you at all.

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

Right now, I don’t have anything published or a website. I’m presently working on my first novel, having started in late December and hoping to have the rough draft completed by the end of 2017, at which time I’ll hopefully be able to get beta readers. When I need them, I’ll likely post a request on my Tumblr, blackholeunderyourbed.

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

Interview: Nikki Hasselhoff

Today we’re joined by Nikki Hasselhoff. Nikki is a phenomenal author who has published two novels, which have ace characters in them. She enjoys writing scifi and fantasy. When she’s not writing, Nikki is also a concert-level pianist and an actor. She also dabbles in visual art as well. She’s an incredibly passionate 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 write sci.-fi./fantasy novels, draw (mainly fanart of my favorite books and shows), am a concert-level pianist, and act for both film and stage. I’ve published two novels, played live in open communities, and played the lead role of Cinderella in Game of Tiaras by Don Zolidis.

What inspires you?

I’ve always had a natural drive to create—or to do something productive in general. I love the beauty in art and the freedom of expression that accompanies it. My inspirations come from music, my favorite actors, my favorite shows, visiting new places, and experiencing life in general.

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

I’ve always loved art. Art is inspirational and beautiful and creative. Art molds our culture and can change the way we think. For instance, if I represent L.G.B.T.P.Q.I.A.+ characters in my books in a positive light, that representation encourages real people to treat our real community with dignity.

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?

As a person who loves symbolism, I encourage those who view my art to dig for the deeper meaning, not just the textual. Certain numbers, color schemes, and word choices often have double meanings. For instance, if I make a character wear purple, black, gray, and white clothing, that character is asexual.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

There will always be people whose art seems “better”. There will always be people who brag about certain styles of art. Don’t be discouraged. Continue to do what you do because you will improve. It took me years to get the hang of my skills, and only by determination and not procrastinating can you achieve the level of skill you desire.

Be patient with yourselves. Nobody is instantly perfect. Some art pieces turn out badly. Some turn out amazingly. Take the good and the bad.

Consider how you represent groups of people in certain lights. Avoid misrepresentation and nonrepresentation.

And last, don’t worry about what other people think. You are who you are. Your art is what it is. Nobody can take them away from you.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Aplatonic Autochorissexual Aromantic

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

The most common form of prejudice I’ve faced is the denial of asexual issues. As an asexual, I have been told “you just haven’t found the right one yet” and “you’re just gay and waiting to come out”, just to name a couple of phrases.

The worst has been the denial that asexuals belong in the L.G.B.T.P.Q.I.A.+ community. One of my idols said that “ace problems aren’t gay problems. Therefore, ace people don’t belong,” which is ludicrous because gay problems aren’t lesbian problems, lesbian problems aren’t trans problems, trans problems aren’t pan problems, pan problems aren’t bi problems, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. All non cis/het identities belong in the L.G.B.T.P.Q.I.A.+ community. To say that “certain identities don’t belong” as exclusive as the homophobes. It’s elitist, hateful behavior, and I call people out when I see them doing it.

I also keep a very friendly environment around me, discussing with the loving parts of the community who know that asexuals are part of the spectrum and that we have our own set of problems, too.

I remember that everyone experiences intersectionality. For example, a person may be heterosexual aromantic, but that person still belongs in our community and should be welcomed because that person will experience discrimination on the basis of being aromantic. It’s like how a white person can experience prejudice for being lesbian, but not for being white. We all must be aware of our privilege and our oppression.

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

That asexuals “haven’t found the right one and are being celibate”.

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

There are whole communities devoted to helping you. If you’re having a hard time discovering your sexuality, don’t be afraid to reach out. We are here for you. There are artists like myself who are creating art to represent the L.G.B.T.P.Q.I.A.+ spectrum to reject our heteronormative society and make life easier for non-cis/het identities.

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

My first book: https://books.pronoun.com/dragon-realm-chronicles-volume-one-the-amulet-of-the-green-dragon/
My second book: https://books.pronoun.com/dragon-realm-chronicles-volume-two-the-silver-key/
Facebook page for my books: https://www.facebook.com/DragonRealmChr/
My artwork: https://www.instagram.com/nikki.hasselhoff/

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

Interview: Danae

Today we’re joined by Danae, who also goes by halfcrazedauthor. Danae is an incredibly versatile artist who hasn’t met a medium she doesn’t like. She’s mostly a writer, though she also dabbles in digital art and has made comic strips about asexuality. Danae also enjoys crafts and does a bit of knitting and sewing. She’s a very passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

matt-murdock
Matt Murdock

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do quite a bit of different types of art- I like to consider myself an author primarily, but I also do some drawing, knitting, sewing, and other crafty things (as well as music, singing, a bit of acting and other fun artsy things)! I love to write fantasy above most other things, but I also enjoy poems and short stories. One day I hope to make money from my craft, but until then, it’s just something I do for fun. I have written one full novel, and have two in the works along with many short stories and tons of poems. I also love to draw and paint, especially digital art. I’ve been working on illustrating my poems and making asexual themed comics, but I also love to draw other things.

What inspires you?

Sooooooooooo many things inspire me. Honestly, a random comment can send my brain into a creative spiral. My poem “Frozen Bubbles” resulted from a classroom discussion on a man who blows bubbles from his window. When I’m actively looking for inspiration though, I usually go to music. Music is an incredible tool that touches souls and minds in a glorious chorus. I can “tap into” music to find the emotions I need for my writing, or to separate myself enough from reality. It is one of my greatest tools.

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

I remember the moment I realized that writing was for me. I was young, probably about eight or so, riding in a car with my mother. I made some sort of comment about the closing of a store I liked, bemoaning the end of my favorite place to shop. My mom told me, “You can write about it being open. You can do anything you want when you write.” She had no idea how much that simple idea affected me. Writing became my control, my way to keep hold of my world. Now, years later, I love writing. I’ve learned that I have certain gifts that allow me to write well. It’s more than just an escape for me- it’s a world that lives in me and wants to be shared.

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 really have a specific signature, although I do have an odd fascination with eyes and eye color. I’ve used eye color as a kind of motif in more than one book.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Cheesy as it is, my advice is to keep going no matter what. Quite often, art is better than the artist believes. At least, that’s what I’ve found. You will always see all the mistakes in whatever art you create, but that’s not what viewers see. Keep going. Always keep creating, because you have something no one else does.

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Self Pity

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I currently identify as demisexual, although I’m not entirely sure I’m not completely ace. It’s irritatingly complicated. I am sure I’m somewhere on the spectrum, it’s just a question of where exactly I fall.

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

I haven’t really encountered any ace prejudice, but I also haven’t been very “out” about it before now. I’ve had this knowledge about being “different” for years, and even started to explore labels at one point, but I hadn’t been very open about it until recently.

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

I think I would say that the most common misconception I’ve encountered revolves around demisexuality. So many times, I have heard people say “isn’t that how it’s supposed to work?” Even one of my friends, who is definitely not asexual, didn’t understand until we had a detailed talk about what asexuality really is. I’m sure I’ll come across more misconceptions as I live in this label.

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

I guess I’ll give the advice I wish I had when I was younger.

You aren’t broken. You are different, and it’s alright to be different. You actually do see things differently. The other people you are around feel different things, experience different things. You are wonderful the way you are and there is nothing you need to fix. There is a whole community around you, one you are a part of because of how you were made. Accept it, enjoy it, believe it.

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

I post my work on Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, and WordPress under the names halfcrazedauthor and artofapoet. I love to interact with my readers/viewers, so feel free to message me!

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Asexual Issues Plant Ending

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