Interview: Sayle Owen

Today we’re joined by Sayle (pronounced
Say-lee) Owen. Sayle is a phenomenal author who is just starting out. She has already accomplished quite a lot. Sayle has won several awards and has completed two novels and two novellas. It’s clear she’s an incredibly passionate author with 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.

My “art” is the words, specifically in English. Currently,
I’ve got several Scholastic Awards to my name (three of them Silver Keys), and
have completed four (with a fifth to be finished by July) books, three novellas
and two full-length novels. The two novels are called Elemental and Tamer,
132,000 and 51,000 words respectively. The two complete novellas, The Vanished Princesses and The Silver Flame, are both around 20,000
words. The fifth book, a novella, is not yet complete and nameless, but I
estimate it will also be around 20,000 words. All of those books (in addition
to lots of other uncompleted ones) are part of one extended universe I call the
Elemental Spiral (with Elemental and
its sequel being the main series and the other books being side stories). And
since this interview is about Ace creators, I feel it appropriate to mention
that the two lead protagonists of Elemental,
Selene and Klaus, are both ace themselves (though I didn’t realize that until
over a year after it was finished, as I discovered my own aceness after it was
completed and it wasn’t until I was editing Elemental
I realized it. Additionally, I’ve written a handful of short stories and poetry
that I’m willing to share.

What inspires you?

The entire world around me. Literally, anything I see, hear,
or do may become a part of a story. But specifically, Tamora Peirce is
literally my writing hero. She is a goddess among writers and I adore her work
to no end (and may or may not own every book she’s ever written).

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

I’ve wanted to be a writer since second grade, when I first
read the Harry Potter series.
However, it wasn’t until my freshman year of high school (after discovering
Tamora Peirce, with the addition of having the most amazing Honors English
teacher) that I became serious about my desire to be an author by actually
starting to write. My draw to it is a couple of reasons. Mainly, I love
creating something that is different from my reality. Being able to control the
details (control being used loosely, as characters really do have a mind of
their own) and craft stories to entertain others (and myself) is such a
wonderful feeling.

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 honestly work with a lot of color symbolism in Elemental, specifically with the colors
of silver, gold, and other colors like bronze, copper, and violet. I do have
one symbol, a specific kind of six-pointed star (with a very set pattern to
create it) where each point has a certain element it represents—air, water,
fire, earth, spirit, and soul. Additionally, I like working with different
kinds of magic within my universe of the Elemental Spiral.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

It won’t be easy. There will be times when you can crank out
thing after thing and then it will be followed by a month of inactivity. But
don’t give up. If you’ve got a lot of WIPs, choose the one that is most
important and stick with it. Sure, start other things to get them out of your
head, but keep going back to the one. There’s very little that is more
satisfying than finishing something that took you two and a half years to complete
(*cough*Elemental*cough*). It’s so
worth it.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

As far as I can tell, 100% ace. Not necessarily repulsed,
but just totally not interested. Of course, I could be grey-ace, but I’ve never
found a guy who would make that come to light. So until then, if it ever
happens, I’m Ace to the max.

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

My dad and stepmother don’t believe it’s a thing, and the
few times I’ve tried to bring it up its lead to long conversations (read: them
talking at me) about how it’s natural to have a sex drive and how I shouldn’t
be emotionally cutting myself off and whatnot. But I just stopped bringing it
up. It’s not like being ace really affects anything (not that I’m straight,
highly religious, conservative, that fact that I love writing) other than
making me come off as more mature than other people my age. I’m comfortable in
my asexuality, and my parents (though my mom does know and just doesn’t care
much) not believing it’s real or of the devil or whatever doesn’t really change
that. It’s all about having confidence that you know yourself better than
anyone else.

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

People seem to keep confusing it with Aromantisicm. Like, I
can still feel plenty of emotional/romantic attraction, but I have to explain
the difference between love and lust a lot. Like dude, I’m ace, not aro.

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

Don’t feel obligated. You are the one who decides what your
orientation is. In the long run, the only reason it matters is so you can feel
more comfortable with yourself. For me, I discovered that I was ace literally
the day before my senior year of high school (Labor Day 2017). I heard someone
talking about it and (writer that I am) decided to research it. Suddenly, a lot
of things about myself made sense—how I thought/acted growing up, the lack of
caring about sex most teens seem to think about, etc. It’s not an obligation to
figure it out. Sure, it’s nice having a name for things, but if you think
you’re ace or not, it’s up to you.

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

Unfortunately, I don’t have anything truly published yet (I
want to complete more of the Elemental
Spiral
before I try and publish it), I do have a website. It’s a portfolio
thing I made for freshman Honors English and have kept up since then. Please
note that it does need a pretty major redo in design for my things from last
year, but a good majority of my stuff (school English portfolios, a list of my
scholastic award winning pieces), save things from the Elemental Spiral, can be found there. Hopefully, I’ll get the Elemental Spiral published…eventually. http://sayleowen.wixsite.com/writing-portfolio.

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