Interview: Lauren Hemphill

Today we’re joined by Lauren Hemphill. Lauren is a wonderful author whose novel, Viridis, is available for pre-order. She has created a sci-fi narrative revolving around an aromantic asexual character, who is supported by numerous LGBT+ characters. Lauren has written the characters that she wished she had growing up. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate author with a bright future, 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 work is primarily fiction writing, specifically sci-fi
and fantasy. I focus on themes such as gray morality, loyalty, and friendship.
I also tend to write LGBT+ characters, with a focus on aro-ace orientations.

What inspires you?

Music tends to be what inspires me most, with instrumental
songs from various soundtracks being what I write to most. Excellent
storytelling by fellow writers also pushes me to do better, be it T.V. shows or
other novels. Seraphina, Orleans, and The Uglies being some of the novels that have inspired me
throughout my writing career.

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

Since I was a child, I have always been telling stories.
Originally, I sought to be a painter, where I could tell stories through the
canvas. As I grew, though, I found myself drawn to writing, and amazed by the
use of words and style to make a world come to life. The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld was the first novel that ever hooked
me, and is what ended up inspiring my road down writing.

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?

A common theme in most of my written work is the graying of
morality. I tend to enjoy playing with the idea that not everything is black
and white, that good people do bad things, and vice versa. I seek to show the
world as complex in my writing as it is in real life.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Advice I would give fellow artists is this: not everyone
will believe in you. Throughout my time as a writer, I have had many people
doubt my ability to be published and be successful. In those times, remember
how far you’ve come, remember that you need to be your biggest fan. All the
best things in life are hard to achieve, but I would encourage all of you to
continue your art, because there are people out there that need it more than
you could ever know.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m an aromantic asexual.

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

Luckily, I have seemed to dodge most prejudice within the
writing field. I’ve found a good group of friends and writers who support what
I’m doing, and haven’t had to face writers being ignorant of the orientation. I
have encountered people in the outside world who have disliked my inclusion of LGBT+
characters and believed asexuality to be a phase, but writers themselves have
come across as inclusive and kind in my experience.

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

I’ve heard most often that asexuality is a phase, or
something that will pass when I get older. As I have held no interest in any
gender in either a romantic or sexual sense for over twenty-four years now,
however, I don’t see legitimacy in the claim.

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

I would tell my fellow aces that it’s okay to not be sure,
and it’s okay to take things slow. You should also know that you’re not broken.
I know that’s common rhetoric within the community, but please believe all of
us that you’re truly not broken. It can be hard accepting your orientation when
it’s different than what the world would like to accept, but there’s a
community where you belong, and there’s a community that will support you as
you figure yourself out. Take your time.

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

My first novel, Viridis,
featuring an aro-ace lead and a cast of LGBT+ characters in a sci-fi universe
is for preorder now on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble! Searching my name on
either website will bring up my novel, or you can follow this link:

http://a.co/6fHcDAC

My website, winter-publishing.com,
is occasionally updated with writing WIPs and various other projects, and my
YouTube channel, TheKnightmare,
is a place where I review indie animated series. You can also follow me on
Twitter at knightmarelair and
DeviantArt at knightmarekm.

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