Today we’re joined by Therin Stapp. Therin is a phenomenal podcaster who enjoys the writing and storytelling involved in podcasting. She co-writes and acts in an audio drama entitled Interference. She is also about to start DMing a D&D play entitled Roll like a Girl. It’s clear Therin is a dedicated and passionate artist who finds joy in creating, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about
I probably consider myself a writer, above everything else.
My main projects right now are podcasts, though, not stories to read. One is an
audio drama called Interference, the
other is a D&D5e actual play called Roll
Like a Girl, which I am about to start DMing. There’s a lot of technical
art to producing audio, but writing and telling stories are my main jam.
I have dabbled in fanfiction (I’ve only published one
story), and I love to knit, and cook. In a general sense, the act of creation
is important to me.
What inspires you?
Lots of things, sometimes weird ones, probably.
Conversations, dreams, and that mish-mash of life experience. Stories I’ve
read. History. The lives of saints. Spite, and anger. The desire to connect and
collaborate. I try to pull inspiration from a lot of places.
Now that I’m writing a lot for an audience, rather than just
for fun or “to get published, someday,” I find that audience to be a huge inspiration,
in the sense that they keep me going. Interference is a strange little project,
and without the response to it, we probably would have stopped publishing it
after a few episodes. We’re 7 months in, now, and we have some really awesome
listeners. We’re finding that a lot of people respond to it strongly because
one of the main characters is a trans woman. People are starving for that
representation. That wasn’t a conscious decision when we began, it’s just our
life; my wife Hazel is trans. But when we realized that people were listening
for that reason, we became very conscious of the way we do it.
What got you
interested in your field? Have you
always wanted to be an artist?
I have always wanted to be an artist, yes, though I haven’t
always focused on writing. When I was very young, I loved to draw and make
comics. I am quoting someone here, I think but… I am not very good, and I’m
very, very slow. I usually collaborate with or hire other artists for visual
But it’s always been about storytelling, and I’m very happy
with words as my medium. As I mentioned, I’ve always been a big reader, and I
can think of no better way to spend my time than by bringing that same 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 designed the logo for the Orc Zone, the lightning eye
symbol. It’s a holy symbol for a goddess in our fantasy setting, where the vast
majority of our stories are written and our D&D games play out. Her name is
Sister Truth, and she is the goddess of magic, storms, and sudden inspiration.
We haven’t really made that meaning explicit anywhere, but it reminds me of our
What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?
Something that people don’t like to talk about is the amount
of non-artistic work involved in building an audience for your art. Networking
with other artists by making friends (and by being pleasant to artists you
don’t like), a good social media presence, and developing a professional
demeanor for commissions/freelance work are all imperative. They can also be really
boring. Since I started doing art in a more businesslike way, though, I’ve
found myself more inspired, more connected, and more successful. The hustle is
worth your time, and so is the effort of getting organized.
And! Always remember that there is nothing wrong with asking
for money for the work you put into your art. It’s how artists have done it
forever, and if you disconnect your craft from the realities of living in a
capitalist society, it makes things harder than they need to be.
Where on the spectrum
do you identify?
I am biromantic, and if we’re getting technical, I’m
probably in the Gray-A or demisexual realm, BUT the word asexual feels good to
me, so that’s what I use.
Have you encountered
any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
All of the podcasters I regularly interact with are amazing.
My main community sprung up around RPGcasts.com.
We have a very supportive, very queer, semi-private discord server, where only
women, nonbinary people, and trans people are allowed. It often devolves into a sharing session where ace and bi members are
talking about how they’ve never felt legit, how we’re pushed aside by other queer
people just as much as straight people. If any of us experience any prejudice,
it’s almost always out of the podcasting community, and that server is where we
vent about it.
What’s the most
common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
I mean… that it doesn’t exist? That’s pretty pervasive.
It took me 30 years to understand that I was ace. I’d never
really heard the word “asexual” used in a serious way before. Interest in sex
is so assumed in society that sometimes asexuality FEELS fake, even though I’ve
always known that sex it isn’t for me. “I
don’t date or get crushes because… um… I don’t know! I guess I’ve seen these
same kids every day since I was five? That seems reasonable.” Then, I fell
in love really young (at 19) and at the time, it felt like a confirmation that
it was just a phase. Everything in culture points away from the possibility of
a person being asexual. And even supportive families don’t understand.
What advice would you
give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their
Yes, actually. Let me drop several nuggets of wisdom upon
you. You’re not alone or broken. Your experience is real. You don’t owe anyone
anything. There are plenty of people willing to love you on your terms. If
someone seems supportive, but tells you being demi or gray or romantic or
aromantic is not valid, ignore them.
And (this one is important) bisexual and gender
nonconforming people are your biggest allies. Treasure them. They understand
what it’s like to live in a world that’s screaming, “you don’t exist!”
Finally, where can
people find out more about your work?
You can find me and my wife Hazel at orczone.com. That’s where we post our two (soon
to be three) podcasts, Interference, Leaf Us Alone, and Legends of Chel. It also has info, Twitter and Patreon links, and
an email address if you want to get in touch.
You can find Roll Like
a Girl, an all-women D&D 5e actual play podcast that I make with my
four best buds, at rollllikeagirl.com. The
site is currently just our audio feed, but we’re planning to open a real site
in the future, and it does link out to our Twitter.
Thank you, Therin, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.