Today we’re joined by TC Doherty. TC is a wonderful fantasy author who has just released her first novel (The Ghost, part of the Celestials series) with a sequel on the way. TC loves the fantasy genre and her books are all LGBTQ+ friendly. Like many ace authors, TC wants to write the diverse narratives she wishes she had access to when she was younger. Her book sounds fascinating and definitely one worth checking out. It’s clear she’s a talented and dedicated author, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about
I write fantasy novels, both middle-grade and young adult.
My work is aggressively LGBT+ friendly. I’ve loved the fantasy genre my whole
life, so I really try to take advantage of it to write the sort of diverse
narratives I wish I had access to growing up.
What inspires you?
My roommates more than anything. I can’t tell you how many
stories have been written just because of jokes they make. Other media too, especially
fairy tales! Real life, and sometimes dreams.
What got you
interested in your field? Have you
always wanted to be an artist?
Jack London’s Call of
the Wild. No, really. The book had such an indescribably profound effect on
me. Upon finishing it, I knew that I wanted to be an author too. And I’ve been
writing ever since!
Of course, I loved reading from a very young age, so perhaps
it was inevitable.
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?
Well, I’m passionate about fairy tales, mythology, and
legends. Many of my books have these types of story-telling elements and motifs
in them. Other than that, I really love gryphons and I think they’re criminally
under-used so I put them in as much of my work as I can get away with (so
really…almost all of it).
What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?
Forget about inspiration. If you want to be a hobbyist, then
it’s your buddy, but if you want to go farther than that, inspiration does more
harm than good. Learn how to work even when you don’t want to – later you won’t
be able to tell the difference between work you did when “inspired” and work
you did because it had to get done, and no one else will either.
There’s no such thing as a perfect first draft. Or a perfect
second draft. Don’t let fear of imperfection stop you from creating, or from
reworking as many times as you need to.
Where on the spectrum
do you identify?
I refer to myself as a homoromantic asexual.
Have you encountered
any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
In my field not really, but in real life certainly. I’m very
open about my orientation and so I run into a comparable amount of ignorance.
For people who are curious and want to learn, I’m happy to share and answer
questions. For those on the rude side, I ignore them. It’s not worth the fight
trying to convince someone who doesn’t want to see you as human.
What’s the most common
misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
There are two I see with equal frequency. The first is that
asexual people are broken, the second is that we’ll change our minds when we
meet the right person. Both are harmful in different ways, but especially the
narrative of “brokenness”.
I didn’t learn about asexuality until I was already eighteen
or nineteen, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t know something was up. With no
positive examples in media, and no one even admitting it existed, I couldn’t
help but think of myself in terms of “what’s wrong with me”. That’s something I really want to change.
What advice would you
give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their
There’s nothing wrong with you. Don’t let people pressure
you into doing things you don’t want to do. Surround yourself with people who
accept you for who you are. There’s no shame in taking time to figure yourself
out, or to find the perfect lifestyle for you. And you don’t have to be a
“gold-star” asexual to be welcome among us.
Finally, where can
people find out more about your work?
Thank you, TC, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.