Interview: Clara Quinion

Today we’re joined by Clara. Clara is a phenomenal science fiction writer who is quite prolific. To date, she has written three novels, a number of short stories, and some poetry as well. It is quite apparent that she has an incredibly bright future ahead of her. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I write science fiction. Also bits of art, photography, and craft.

What inspires you?

Everything. I’m a highly sensitive introvert with synesthesia. I take in more sensory impressions than most people, spend a long time mulling them over, making connections, and come out with some interesting thought-experiments.

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

I used to draw all the time when I was a kid. During my teens I got more into photography, and thought that would be my career. That didn’t work out. I got into writing by serendipity: having failed to get into any arts courses at university, I applied for a bunch of other creative courses through clearing, and got into an English with Creative Writing degree.

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 write in a multiverse called The Sustained World: all worlds capable of sustaining intelligent life lined up, separated by the Void, yet transversible. The denizens of The Sustained World are called Eltoids, which is a wider definition than humanoid, and means creatures capable of intelligence, communication, and manual dexterity, the symbol of which is a three-noded triangle. I’m also working a lot with black crow imagery: in The Sustained World, the Reapers who take the spirits of the deceased to the Void take the shape of crows.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Do your own thing. Not what’s popular. Not what you think will sell. Not what everyone else is doing. Your own thing. You don’t have to be the best at your medium. Being authentic is much more important.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual and biromantic/panromantic. And queer, as far as I think that gender roles are arbitrary rubbish.

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

Nothing comes to mind. In the past I haven’t actually spoken much about not wanting to have sex. Just kept quiet and nodded along when people bring such things up. I have a pretty filthy sense of humour and I don’t mind talking about sex at all, but I always get uncomfortable if I see sexual imagery.

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

Not directly, but I feel that it’s been indicated to me that being sexually active is like a further step in developing towards adulthood. Probably by the same sort of people who think getting drunk is a sign of maturity. Knowing yourself and what you like and don’t like is a great step in your development.

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

There is nothing wrong with you. Sex is not a fundamental need like eating and sleeping. It’s more like an interest. I have no interest in sex just as I have no interest in sports. We are all different, and that’s what makes us beautiful. Do your thing, and don’t let anyone tell you that you’re wrong because you don’t like what they like.

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

http://thesustainedworldatransverse.tumblr.com/ and www.facebook.com/ClaraQuinionWriting

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

Interview: Lily Zynn

Today we’re joined by Lily Zynn. Lily is wonderfully enthusiastic writer who writes both original work and fanfiction. Aside from writing, Lily also loves to crochet and sketch. She has so much passion about writing, 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 short stories and fan fiction. I’m also currently working on the second draft of larger project! I enjoy crocheting, sketching, and photography as well. I dream about travelling the world and pairing writing with photography when I grow up. I want to use my art as a way to express myself and change the way people view the world.

What inspires you?

I’m really inspired by poetry, books, and Broadway musicals. I love the Bronte sisters, Virginia Woolf, JK Rowling, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson, Erin Hunter, Robert Cormier, and Anthony Doerr. I listen to Broadway sound tracks while I write, and look at pictures of nature when I have writers block.

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

I’ve always loved reading and writing, but photography is pretty new. I grew up around huge stacks of library books, and when I wasn’t reading I was filling notebooks with story ideas. I wanted to be a nurse for most of my life, and I still plan on going to college for that. I want to balance my art with work when I get older.

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 a pseudonym (Lily Zynn) with all of my work because I don’t think the people around me in real life would be very accepting if I told them about my dreams. They’d probably think that they were too far-fetched to ever happen. I also try to have diverse characters in all of my stories, because making sure that everyone is represented in art is very important to me!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t give up! It’s hard to balance your art with school and family, but you can do it and it will be worth it in the end! Don’t let anyone tell you that your dreams aren’t achievable. Believing in yourself is really all you need to succeed!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a sapphic asexual. I’m romantically attracted to girls, but sexual relationships aren’t something I’m interested in. Sometimes I refer to myself as queer.

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

Some of my old friends would tease me and bully me when I told them that I was asexual. They believed I was just kidding myself and that when I found the ‘right guy’ I wouldn’t feel that way anymore. I’ve never told anyone in real life that I was attracted to girls. Some people online can be nasty about asexuals because they believe that we aren’t really LGBT and that we don’t experience as much prejudice as other LGBT people do, but I just block them. Other than that, the majority of people who know I’m asexual are very supportive! I find that getting into arguments with ignorant people doesn’t help at all, because they won’t listen to your side and you’ll just end up feeling worse than before. I recognize the problem and then move on with my life/art.

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

Some people say that asexuals need to be ‘fixed’, or that we aren’t really LGBT. They also tend to believe that we don’t get discriminated against like other LGBT individuals.

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

I would suggest to accept the fact that there are bad people out there that don’t support you, and move on. Keep showing your pride and self confidence through your art, and don’t let the haters stop you from living life to its fullest!

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

I write some fan fiction on archiveofourown.org under the username lilac26. You can also check out my Pinterest (Lily Zynn) to see the stuff I’m inspired by. I’ve been meaning to use my Tumblr account (lilac2621) to post more of my work, but I’m too busy at the moment. Hopefully within the next few weeks I’ll be posting more online!

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