Interview: Anne Bashore and M.E. Wilson

Today we’re joined by Anne Bashore and M.E. Wilson. Anne and M.E. (who also goes by Liz) are two phenomenal indie authors who have just released the first novel in their trilogy entitled The Portal Series. The two main characters are both a-spec as both Anne and Liz are interested in creating literature that gives aces the chances to see themselves in fiction. It’s very clear they’re dedicated artists, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

We’re writers, currently working on a trilogy called The Portal Series. Our protag, Daphne
Seidler, and her romantic interest are A-spec. Our purpose in writing this
series is to create Ace-centered literature that allows Aces to see themselves
portrayed in fiction, and portrayed in a positive light. The focus of the
novels aren’t the sexualities of either character, as we also very much wanted
this to be entertaining. Aces don’t need a swamp of sad literature focusing on
how alienating and terrible the experience can be — we need literature that
shows us as human, and as capable as anyone else is of being happy.

What inspires you?

We draw our inspiration from a lot of places — if you asked
us for an exhaustive list of the things that have inspired just The Paris Portal, it would be quite
long. If you mean what gives us the drive to work through our novels, it’s each
other and our desire to do things better,
for ourselves, and for other Aces.

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

Liz has always wanted to be a writer — they’ve been telling
stories for almost as long as they can remember. The first one that they really
started to write would have been probably around sixth grade. It was never
finished, and suffice to say, it was terrible — it involved griffon races,
bequeathed princesses, and escaping said betrothal, and that was the entire
concept.

Anne’s interest in writing started in 8th grade, when her
first creative writing assignment ended up being 22k words. Surprise, it was
about French people.

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?

We don’t, currently — at this point, we don’t have a body of
work large enough at this time to have a signature, and our next project after The Portal Series is still very much in
the planning stages.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Liz: Get to work, but be gentle with yourself. Burn your
fictional bridges and don’t look back. Ashes make for great soil — use it to
your advantage. Find people who support you in every aspect of yourself, and
who support your work. Anyone who doesn’t want to support you isn’t worth your
efforts, but don’t forget to be supporting of others, too.

Anne: Don’t delete anything, as you never know what you’ll
be able to pick and choose from later. And frankly, it’s always fun to reflect
on how far you’ve come further down the road. However, also don’t hold onto
anything too tightly. Let your characters and projects breathe and grow. Trust
me, it’ll be much more rewarding in the long run. Sometimes it will surprise
even you!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

We’re both Ace.

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

We probably aren’t big enough to attract a lot of attention
quite yet, but there’s always the common sort of discussion about how
asexuality isn’t real or how Ace-spec individuals aren’t a part of the larger
Community.

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

That it’s just a matter of not finding the right person or that it’s a choice — that
I’m not making enough effort to find what I want. That if I engage in sexual
activity of any kind I can’t be
asexual.

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

Liz: Be patient with yourself, be gentle with yourself.
Anyone who doesn’t support you with whatever identity you have, whether you’re
questioning or kind of certain, super certain, or anywhere in between, isn’t
worth investing in. Even if you find out you aren’t Ace later, that’s okay.
Life isn’t about being stable, being stagnant. Everyone will have their
constants, but you are in a state of constant change. Also, people used to
think that uteri wandered around the bodies of those that housed them, so if
you don’t understand yourself, you’re in decent company.

Anne: It doesn’t hurt to ask questions, do research, read
experiences, investigate. You’re better prepared to understand and educate others
the more you know yourself. Also, don’t forget you’re part of a society that,
for the most part, is just becoming aware of and educated about the whole
spectrum. You probably will meet people who don’t know anything–but you
telling them your experience is valuable in teaching everyone else around you.
If you don’t feel comfortable telling a soul, that’s okay, too. Even if you
don’t want to put a label on it, or you don’t have a neat and tidy “name” for
it, do what makes you comfortable. That’s the bottom line.

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

We’re available on most social media sites at BWAuthors (Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Ko-Fi, Patreaon), and we’re always happy
to answer questions wherever you find us! Our first of book, The Paris Portal, is currently available
on Amazon, and the first three chapters are
available for free on Wattpad.

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