Interview: Francesca Mylod-Ford

Today we’re joined by Francesca Mylod-Ford. Francesca is a wonderfully talented author who is currently working on a fantasy trilogy aimed at a YA demographic. It sounds like a fascinating story about life and death. Aside from writing, Francesca plans to study film and hopes to be a full-time film director in the future. She clearly has a very bright future ahead of her, 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 am currently writing a book
trilogy called The Thanatology Series.
I have finished the first installment (The
Trials of Mr. Reaper
) and am now coming to the end of the second novel, On Behalf of the Universe. The third
book is in planning stages, and I will begin work on it soon. Although I am
currently unpublished, I am seeking agents and if all else fails, I plan to
self-publish the first book to gather interest, before sending it and its
sequel to a new set of publishing houses.

The Thanatology Series is, to be blunt, a story about Death. It’s a
fantasy novel, aimed at an adult and YA demographic. The story commences as a
comedy, but as the book progresses, it turns to a darker narrative altogether,
exploring the true nature of life and death … and where we go when we die.

Death – a harassed bureaucrat
with a scythe – has only two desires: to be able to get on with his job, and
for people to stop asking stupid questions. But life (or death) is never that
simple for the Grim Reaper. From stubborn ghosts to the Demon Nicotine,
everything in the universe seems to be out to get on Death’s nerves. The other
three Horsemen of the Apocalypse have forgotten his birthday, the Seven Deadly
Sins have proven to be incompetent beyond belief, and on top of everything
else, Life is determined to be friends with him again. As Death continues to
carry out his duty, he must consider this: What really happens when you die?
And once Life is gone, what will happen to Death?

I am currently studying Film and
Television Production, and in the future, I hope to be a full-time film
director and write in my spare time.

What inspires you?

I have always preferred creative
arts to academia, and being able to write and film allows me to express my
creativity productively. One of the key things that inspires my writing is
wanting to understand the universe around us; to take it apart and try to put
it back together again. What if Death did
have feelings? What if Life isn’t quite the way we imagine it to be? I think
that the best part of writing (and filming, for that matter), is taking a trope
and flipping it on its head.

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

As it happens, I never wanted to
be an author. I thought that you had to write the way they taught us to in
school: beginning, middle and end, carefully preceded and followed by
meticulous planning. When I got older and began experimenting with my writing,
I realised that structured writing belonged where I was taught it: in the
classroom. Now, if anyone asks, I tell them that being a full-time author is my
dream job choice.

My uncle is a director, and
that’s pretty much what got me into the film business. From the day I first
picked up a disposable camera to now, enrolled in film school, I have been
falling down the magical rabbit hole of movies and film. One of my favourite
aspects of film-making is the power to make simple ink and paper leap off the
page and into real life. It’s like having a magic wand.

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?

In film, I have a very particular
lighting style I like to use, but if I told you then I’d have to kill you!
Seriously, though, most of what makes up my work is just pure, solid research.
Nothing gets done without a bit of good-old fashioned book-bashing, I’m afraid.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Practice! It doesn’t matter what
you’re making or how bad it is at first, the more you make, the better it gets.
When I first started writing, it was absolutely awful. But now I write nearly
every day, and my skill increases the more I practice. Be prepared to put the
work in – research is a bitch but trust me, it’s so worth it in the long term. Finally, you need to learn to accept
criticism. If you argue with everyone who tries to help improve it, it’ll just
make you look like a bad sport. There’s nothing wrong with receiving pointers!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I have never experienced sexual
or romantic attraction – I just prefer to have platonic relationships.

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

I have been asked how I can
expect to write/direct sexual or romantic scenes if I have never experienced
either. My answer is this: have you ever been shot? Fallen down a cliff? Had a
concussion? If not, then you RESEARCH IT. I don’t experience sexual or romantic
attraction, but I have plenty of friends who do, and I’ve seen more than my
fair share of rom-coms. Research is the key to literally every artistic
problem.

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

Since I’m quite sociable and
enjoy making friends, people often have trouble understanding that I don’t want
to seek any other kinds of relationships. Many people believe that
asexual/aromantic people are antisocial, or that we’re closeted gay people (not
true!). I’ve also had people tell me that it’s just “a phase” or that it’s a
medical issue.

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

Seek out other asexuals! We’re
here, we’re queer, and we’re always ready to talk to anyone who might be
struggling. Although some members of the LGBT+ community may be somewhat
exclusionary, the asexual/aromantic community is welcoming and friendly, and
there’s always someone ready to talk about dragons. Don’t be shy about who you
are, own your asexuality! And
remember, it doesn’t define who you are: only you can do that. Stay ace,
friends.

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

Feel free to check out my Tumblr (burnt-confetti), or my Twitter
account (at burntconfetti).
Hopefully when I’m published (or when I release my first film!) you’ll be able
to see what I’ve been working on! Have a good one xx

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

Posted in ace positivity, actuallyasexual, aromantic asexual, Art, artist, asexual, asexual artists, asexuality, author, fantasy, film, film director, movies, writer, writing, YA fiction