Category: author

Interview: Alexa Baird

Today we’re joined by Alexa Baird. Alexa is a phenomenal visual artist and writer who is so ridiculously creative. They’re a fellow indie author who has self-published a number of novels and novelettes, which can be found on Amazon (look them up and supported a fellow ace). They also has a wonderful webcomic entitled Selfinsertale, which looks absolutely fascinating. Also, they’re a fellow Star Trek fan, which is awesome. Alexa is so passionate and dedicated, 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.

My main art is writing. I write and self-publish novels and
novelettes about a wide cast of characters including humans, robots, and
magical beings, sometimes all in the same book. I’ve even taken to illustrating
some of my more recent novels though I’ve been creating visual art since
childhood. I also like to create comics and started my current webcomic series
in 2016.

What inspires you?

I always like to say that tea helps with my creative-tea,
but a lot of my inspiration comes from conversations with my friends and the
ideas we spark together about our characters, how various characters would
interact, etc. A lot of my ideas come from the desire to see a specific audience
reaction that I test run by sharing these ideas with my friends.

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

Starting in elementary school, my family and some of my
teachers encouraged my artistic pursuits, though growing up I would jump from
visual arts, to crafts, to music, to visual arts again, and also to writing. I
used to hate writing as a result of the standardized tests I had to take when
younger, but after being introduced to the concept of fan fiction and original
characters I started to spend a lot of time in middle school creating my own
stories as a coping mechanism. Over time I stuck with it and created more and
more stories and characters until I got to where I am today with my novels and
comics.

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?

It’s subtle and not always consistent, but in a lot of my
novels or series I try to fit in the word “trek” at some point in it as a
nerdy, small reference to Star Trek.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to try new types of art and don’t be afraid
to change your mind on what sort of artist you are. Maybe you start out as a
writer but you want to try making crafts and find you have more fun with crafts
and don’t want to write any more. That’s fine! Do what makes you happier in the
end. Or maybe you’re a musician who tries painting a few times but end up not
liking it. That’s fine too! You gained experience just from trying something
you don’t normally do. Or maybe you try all sorts of things and have several
different types of art you like and want to pursue. More power to you then,
buddy. Trying new things always gives you more insight, and if you find
something you prefer to do over what you had been doing before then the insight
you gained is one of exploring more about yourself and your desires.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m ace and aro.

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

I’ve mainly seen prejudice remarks said to others rather
than to me directly but it’s always hurtful to see. I find the best way to
handle it is to support those who deal with this ignorance to let them know
they aren’t alone in their identity and to understand that while those who are
hateful may be the loudest, they are not the majority and there are ultimately
more kind people in the world than there are bad.

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

That asexual people don’t belong in the LGBT+ community,
usually due to people insisting that asexual people are actually straight. The
most common misconception I see is that a lack of sexual attraction can let a
person pass as straight, or that it means they actually are straight, and
therefore that we aren’t queer enough to be part this community.

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

Asexuality is a normal and valid thing, and there are more
people out there who are also asexual than you can count. Though the common
statistic is only one percent of the world is asexual, that would still mean 76 million people in this world are also
asexual, and I don’t think this takes into account those who due to societal
norms don’t realize they are asexual as well. There is a large community here
that can help and support you, and even if you can’t reach out to them personally
they are still here if you ever need them and will be willing to help you as
well.

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

You can find my books on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/author/alexabaird
and my webcomic at http://selfinsertale.smackjeeves.com/
and bonus content at my Patreon at http://www.patreon.com/alexabaird

My main Tumblr
and my Instagram username
is allislaughter. And my Twitter is allislaughterEX.

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

Interview: Lauren King

Today we’re joined by Lauren King. Lauren is a fantastic indie author who is working on self-publishing some visual novels. She has also dabbled in some fanart and vocal covers of music. Writing is where her heart lies and Lauren is incredibly passionate about the art of writing, 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 main form of art is my writing, it always has been. I
love to pick apart the English language, finding different forms of expression
through writing. It’s always been fascinating to me.

For my writing specifically, I’ve always had an interest in
character-focused stories, or stories that play with genre or base plots.
Generally my stories will focus more on the tension between people, even those
who are on the same ‘side’ in a conflict. Villains are more there to set off a
story, while most of the conflict comes from human error and all the ways communication
can break down. It’s not always a cheery ride, especially when I deconstruct
story types like the Hero’s Journey, but I’ll always try to bring it to a
cheerier outcome!

My presentation of my writing has changed a lot over the
years. Right now I’m putting my stories into visual novel format, with the
possibility of drawing the images for it myself if I can get my art to the same
standard as my writing.

What inspires you?

Other art, usually. Life is a great place to draw
inspiration for some people, but I don’t really get out enough. Instead, I try
to watch and read as much as I can! When I’m writing I’m almost always watching
something in the background or listening to music in order to get inspired.

Something I don’t usually admit is that a lot of my
inspiration comes from myself, especially when it comes to characters. If you
were to point out any character from any story that I’ve written then I would
be able to tell you what part of myself I see in them. That isn’t always a good
thing, obviously, since I like to write about stressed and depressed people,
but at least it helps make the characters seem more real, even when they’re
pushed to their breaking point (as they often are in my stories).

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

I’ve wanted to be an artist since I saw my first movie, The Wizard of Oz. At first, I wanted to
be a singer. I can vividly remember singing Somewhere
Over the Rainbow
with my mother as we did the dishes. Singing gradually
drifted to acting in musicals, where I became interested in the scripts,
specifically the characters. Wanting to become a writer was a gradual thing,
and deciding on visual novels was even more so. Until this year I was wavering
between writing scripts for musicals, writing books, or just keeping my writing
as a hobby on the internet. I’m glad to have found a way that agrees with me
and my writing style.

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?

This isn’t an intentional thing, but I have a habit of
‘getting meta’. Characters regularly realize that they’re in stories, and that
fact is actually used by some characters in order to manipulate the outcome. It
doesn’t happen in every story that I write, but since almost all of them are
linked into the same story it is always something that could come up.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

People are going to tell you that art isn’t going to pan
out, that only a few people ever ‘get noticed’. That isn’t true. With the
internet, there’s more opportunities for artists at any stage of their lives to
get themselves out there. Find your niche, do something you actually want to
do. Don’t feel bad for wanting to be popular, everyone wants to be noticed for
their art. Just make sure that your love of art is stronger than your need for
attention. And no matter what stage your art is at, whether it’s a published
novel or a few work-in-progress drawings that you haven’t shown anyone yet, you are an artist. Never let anyone say
otherwise.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Poly/pan aro/ace. Sorry for the word-salad label, but it’s
the best way to describe me! I’d just love a big house full of QPRs with no
pressure for sex or romance, but still a close bond.

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

Thankfully, no, though I think that may be because I’m not
very established in my field yet.

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

That asexuals can’t have sex or relationships with anyone.
It’s a stupid assumption, and I plan to write something someday specifically
going against this.

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

Never go into the ace discourse tag. Negativity is
addictive, don’t let youself get pulled in. You are LGBT+, but you don’t have to put yourself in the community if
you feel unsafe. Don’t try to avoid stereotypes, because specifically going
against them is letting them control you just as much as specifically following
them.

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

I have several blogs where I put my work. I have an
Undertale fan-blog at http://undertalebrothertale.tumblr.com/,
a personal blog with general art and music covers at http://lkwriting.tumblr.com/, and a
professional blog and twitter for my visual novel development at https://freefallgames.tumblr.com/
and https://twitter.com/FreefallGames.

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

Interview: Jordan

Today we’re joined by Jordan. Jordan is a fantastic author who currently has a short story out in the world, in the collection entitled Athena’s Daughters. When she’s not writing, Jordan does various crafts and even enjoys singing in a local LGBTQIA+ affirming chorus. Jordan is obviously an incredibly dedicated and passionate artist, 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.

I’m a writer who dabbles in art and various and sundry forms
of crafting. I mainly write curriculum material these days (I’m a high school
English teacher), but I’m a Published Author (all-caps, so official, yes yes)
with a short story out in the world. I enjoy making costumes, knitting, doing
cross-stitch, writing fan-fiction, and baking. Oh! I sing, too. I’m a member of
an LGBT-affirming chorus in my hometown.

What inspires you?

My family and friends, and often, my students. And books!
Good lord, books. I read voraciously, and nothing is more inspiring than
encountering a book that you can get yourself completely lost in for a few
hours. I read a lot of historical fiction, and I’ve been diving into LGBT+ YA
quite a bit since I started teaching. Glorious stuff, all.

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

I’ve always been interested in the arts. Ever since I was a
little kid, I’ve been writing stories. I remember a “series” I wrote when I was
in first or second grade all about my favorite teddy bear. It was called
“Cinnamon: Bear of the World,” and it chronicled the adventures of my teddy as
he saved lives and spread love across the globe. I fell in love with anime in
middle school and started drawing then – I’ve never stopped, really, although
my anime obsession has fallen to the wayside (probably for the best). I was
introduced to Broadway pretty early by my parents who recognized a drama
student when they saw one, and after seeing “Beauty & the Beast” when I was
7, I’ve never looked back.

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 don’t necessarily include them in my “official” work, but
I like to sneak opossums in whenever I can. I always draw opossums when I sign
yearbooks, and I’ve gotten very good at drawing one on the spot in less than 10
seconds.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Do your craft. If you’re an aspiring writer, WRITE! Love art
but not sure if you’re good enough to make it in the real world? Who cares!
Draw! Paint! Sew! Bake! Even if you think your stuff is awful, you’ll never get
better unless you keep getting your work out there and practicing like it’s
your job (and maybe it will be). I look back at things I wrote even five years
ago and I shudder. We’re always developing and growing, learning, as artists,
and that’s OK!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as aro-ace.

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

Not necessarily in my field (although there is plenty of
ace-phobia out there on the Internet, and Tumblr is no exception), but in my
personal life, I struggle to get myself recognized. I’m not “out” to most of my
family, but when I express my desire to remain single and my apathy towards
romance, the most common response is confusion or even exasperation. My parents
are afraid that I’ll end up alone, and it’s difficult to convince them that
having a partner and/or getting married are not the end-all-be-all. I try to
explain asexuality, usually without using the actual word, as simple and
logically as I can. It’s a work in progress.

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

That you’ll “find the right person,” or that you should get
into counseling. I take medicine for my OCD, and my parents have suggested that
I talk to my doctor to get my prescription changed, as if that would alter my
views on romance and sex.

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

You are valid, you are not a freak, you are are not
unlovable or unloved. Just like gender is a spectrum, so too is sexuality. Some
people like girls; some people like guys; some people like both; some people
like everybody; and yes, some people don’t “like” anyone, and that doesn’t mean
you’re broken. Your life can be as full and rewarding as you want it to be:
your worth is NOT measured by your libido. Be strong, loves, and surround
yourself with people who love and accept you for who you are.

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

My short story “As Far as Death This Way” is in the Athena’s
Daughter’s 2 Anthology published by Silence in the Library and can be purchased
in hard-copy or eBook form on Amazon at http://a.co/3fx7mPK

I’m on Tumblr at dozmuffinxc,
Instagram at extermiteach,
and I have a fledgling travel blog at http://www.anopossumabroad.wordpress.com.

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

Interview: Montiese McKenzie

Today we’re joined by Montiese McKenzie. Montiese is a phenomenal author who recently published her first novel entitled Blood of my Blood (congratulations!). It’s a supernatural thriller with a fascinating plot involving a mysterious disappearance and a hidden world deep in the nation’s capital. Montiese’s 2nd novel will be released in January.  It’s clear she’s an incredibly talented author with a great voice and I can’t wait to read what she has in store next. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I’m a writer. I write fiction and just self-published my
first book, Blood of my Blood. I’ve
been writing since I was eight years old, spent my teen years writing stories
instead of paying attention in school. In 2005, in my late twenties, I
discovered fanfiction and began to write for a few different fandoms over the
years. I still dabble in fanfic, it’s always been a great way to hone your
skills. My goal has always been get your stories out to as many readers as you
can, it didn’t matter if it was original stories or fanfiction.

What inspires you?

People. One of my biggest goals in writing is to get to the
center of people. Human beings are so complicated, with more dimensions and
facets than you can count. My inspiration from them is limitless really.
Especially when you add in people interacting with other people, which is what
storytelling is all about. Also, I grew up on soap operas so multilayered
stories with large ensemble casts are my weakness.

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

I started writing at 8, which is pretty young. It was an
assignment in my 4th grade class to write a story. We actually made
our own books, stories, covers, bindings, everything. The only thing I ever
truly wanted to be before that was a nature photojournalist for National
Geographic, which is a pretty creative job. Both of my parents are artists, my
mother wrote stories and my dad is a graphic artist and musician so I guess I
came by it honest.

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?

Even though I was born at the end of the 70s, I grew up on
things from the 70s and before so there are lots of references to those things
in my stories. Television, books, and movies. Most of the characters I write
are older than me so it fits in with who they are as people. But there are
times when I get emails or messages from younger readers who may not understand
a reference. I love teaching people about the stuff I love so it’s cool. Golden
age of Hollywood and 70s television pop culture references are really my
favorite thing.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Hone your skills with lots of practice and school if that’s
possible for you. Don’t let the bad voices shout you down, they will always be
there, but also get used to constructive criticism early. That took me forever
and I still struggle with it because I spent so long not sharing my work, when
I finally did some reactions to it were difficult for me. If you’re a writer,
read as much as you can. There is no lesson more fulfilling than a good book.
Find a creative tribe and help each other grow, learn, and take the knocks life
as a creative can dole out. Never, ever give up on your art if you love it.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Grey ace. I’m somewhere in the middle, which is kind of the
story of my life. I identify as a biromantic gray asexual. I love and
appreciate romance but rarely, if ever, feel sexual attraction. For a long time
I didn’t know what that meant, I think sexual attraction is a hard thing to
measure when you start talking about romantic attraction, physical attraction,
aesthetic attraction; it took me a long time to divide and define those things
and I actually still work on it.

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

Some people have asked me how I can write sex and romance if
I’m asexual. I get that more than I ever expected and it boggles my mind. I’m a
writer, I just make it up though I do try to keep the core of my characters
steeped in the reality of how most humans are. Also being creative allows me to
tap into what a fictional person is feeling or experiencing completely separate
from myself. I’m not writing my life, I’m writing someone else’s.

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

That something is wrong with us. For so long we’ve been
taught that sexual intercourse is a basic need, like food, water, and sleep. So
when people encounter someone who doesn’t feel or experience sexual attraction,
they wonder (sometimes aloud) if it is a mental or medical condition. They
wonder “who hurt you?” They should be more concerned with why the patriarchy
insists sex is a basic need.

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

Get to know yourself and don’t let anyone label you. I didn’t
come out as bisexual until 2009 and asexual in about 2015. It took a long time
to put words to what I experienced and felt (or didn’t feel). I would tell them
to live, experiment, have many different kinds of friends, and do what makes
your body and spirit happy. Don’t be in a rush to declare that you are
anything, for so many sexuality is fluid over a lifetime.

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

I have a blog, montiesethewriter.com,
which I promise I’ll be doing more blog entries on in 2018. My first novel, Blood of my Blood, was self-published
through Amazon in September 2017. It’s currently available in both eBook and
paperback. My second novel, The
Providence of Human Affairs
will be released in January 2018. This is the link
to my first book: http://a.co/6uhzMn9.

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

Interview: Heather Kori

Today we’re joined by Heather Kori. Heather is a phenomenal poet who also occasionally writes short stories. According to the bio on her website, she’s a student at university in Canada and is a fierce intersectional feminist. Heather writes about a variety of things. They’re incredibly passionate and dedicated to writing, 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.

I
am a writer, specifically writing poetry and occasionally short story. My poems
focus mostly on mental health, asexuality, and other things.

What inspires you?

People,
my life, and my experiences. As someone who identifies as mad that greatly
influences my writing. Lately I’ve been writing about being happy from a mad
experience/perspective

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

I’ve
been writing poetry since I was young, my parents got me into it because they
both wrote as a hobby. I always wanted to be an author but I never thought it
would be a possibility though recently I’ve decided to pursue it more
intensely.

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?

Honestly,
if it’s there I don’t know about it or do it purposefully. I think everyone has
something in their work that makes it theirs whether conscious or not.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Do
it. Do whatever it is that you love doing. Pursue it restlessly and you’ll get
something back eventually.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I
identify as demi-grey-asexual with a preference for women and non-binary folks,
as well as demi-greyaromantic. Which is overly complicated so I just use
“queer”

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

Not
yet, but I’m not popular outside of queer circles (my friends, mostly).

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

That
is not a real thing or it is related to my mental health.

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

You
are valid in your feelings, you can make it through this, there are other
people like you, and you will find them. (If you are in the Toronto area
there’s multiple ace groups!)

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

Either
my WordPress (heatherkori.wordpress.com
or my Facebook: heather
kori poetry and writing
). Any likes or follows are appreciated but not necessary.

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

Interview: Casey Ashwood

Today we’re joined by Casey Ashwood. Casey is a wonderful author who recently just published his first ace book. While he mostly writes M/M gay romances, Casey is hoping to bring more ace characters into the romance genre. It’s a great and important goal. Casey is an incredibly dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I’m an indie gay (M/M) romance author. I focus a lot on the
relationship between characters and how they experience intimacy. My stories
tend to have contemporary settings and are on more of the light and fluffy
side. My work does contain adult content because most romance readers very much
expect to see sexy times in their stories.

Although my catalogue currently mostly contains books
featuring gay cis men as main characters, I want to branch out and write more
genders and sexualities. It’s tricky to market anything that isn’t gay cis men romance, but I’m
hoping the audience will one day be more open to other representations of the
LGBTQIA+ community.

I recently published my first ace novel, which I’d love to
get more attention for! It’s called Chase
the Ace
and can be found here on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078BQ14Y5
I really enjoyed writing it and have
gotten positive feedback from it so far. If I can get the novel enough
attention, I’d love to turn it into a series. We definitely need more ace
representation.

What inspires you?

The main drive behind writing what I do is the hope that I
can put out some positive representations of the community, especially as
someone that is LGBTQIA+ myself. I also want to challenge how a lot of
mainstream LGBT romance stories are written. For example, a lot of books really
hone in on homophobic themes. While I also have to include such themes
sometimes just to sell my books, I try not to make it my main focus. Many of us
face that kind of stuff in real life on a daily basis—the last thing we want is
to read it in our books.

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

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and have written stories
since I was a very young child. I always have words in my head and stories in
my heart, as corny as that sounds. Although I’ve bounced around awhile to make
ends meet, I’ve finally been able to focus on being an author as my career. I
hope to be able to keep it that way!

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?

For my latest story, Chase
the Ace
, for those of us that are ace, the title is pretty
self-explanatory. However, the phrase is also the name of a card game. I have a
Newfoundland background, and the game is particularly popular as a lottery of
sorts. The jackpots can become very high!

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

I don’t think I can offer anything that hasn’t already been
said before. All I can say is just work at your craft and give it your all.
Some days will always be more productive than others, so make sure you take
care of yourself (both mentally and physically). On the days that you’re not
feeling so productive, try not to beat yourself up over it. There’s always
tomorrow.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as ace, and have for a good few years now. I
can’t 100% say that I’m not demisexual, but I feel much more contented to
simply use asexual as it is.

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

I haven’t come across any outright ace prejudice or
ignorance in my field yet because I
tend to just chug along and do my own thing. However, it’s very annoying to
feel as though I have to write steamy
scenes in my stories just to ensure it sells. I’d love to be able to showcase
more that you can have a deeply loving, meaningful, and committed relationship
without sex.

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

The most common misconception I’ve come across is the usual
“you just haven’t found the right one” sort of thing. I’m in my thirties now,
though, so I don’t hear variations of it quite as often anymore.

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

You don’t have to choose one label and stick with it your
entire lives. Be fluid. Experiment. If something doesn’t sit well with you, try
something else. Changing labels doesn’t make you a fraud. You’re just human,
and we’re all wondrously intricate.

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

People can learn more about my work through:

My Amazon product page: https://www.amazon.com/Casey-Ashwood/e/B01B4V13HW
My email newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bMA8ir
My email address: caseyashwood@gmail.com

My Tumblr: https://caseyashwood.tumblr.com
My Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/caseyashwood

Thank you very much for your time!

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

Interview: H. Anthe Davis

Today we’re joined by H. Anthe Davis. Davis is a wonderful self-published writer who specializes in a hybrid of dark and high fantasy. She’s currently working on a series that involves plenty of magic, monsters, and body horror. Though she has only been publishing for a few years, Davis already has four books out. She’s very obviously a talented and dedicated writer, 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.

I’m a
self-published writer, specializing in a hybrid of high- and dark-fantasy –
lots of magic, lots of monsters, big dollop of body horror.  I’ve been writing since I was a kid, and
working on this series for…honestly longer than I like to contemplate, but I
actually started publishing the series in 2013 and I now have four books out.

What inspires you?

I am a
voracious reader of fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and science/adventure/disaster
nonfiction.  I’ve always been interested
in the process of building a world, especially in making it internally
consistent and essentially realistic – and to that end, I’m kind of interested
in everything.  Arts, culture, sciences,
religion, politics, psychology – all are important (in various levels) to
building a consistent and convincing world, and the more real it feels, the
more impactful the stories written in it.
I do a lot of background work on critters, maps, mythology and the
like.  It’s a passion.

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

My mother
has always been a big fantasy buff, so I started reading her big stacks of
paperbacks when I was quite young.  Eight
or so?  I have a book report from that
age that I wrote on one of the pulp fantasy series she read back then, complete
with illustrations.  Mom was also a
social worker back then, so I also read some of her psych texts, and got very
interested in the psychology of the characters both in what I was reading and
in the proto-stories I was already spinning.
I never wanted to be anything but a writer (even though I tried to be a
physics major for a while there in college).

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?

Since my
body of written work isn’t terribly large yet, I don’t have anything secret,
but I imagine one or two of my immortal characters will be around in everything
I write, passing by in the background quietly, only noticeable if you’re
already aware of who they are.  There’s
one character who’s been with me since I was about thirteen, who I don’t think
I’ll ever set aside.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Make a
habit of your work – set aside a space and time in your life where you can
consistently create.  Wean yourself off
any time-sucking entertainments; I lost ten years of my life to MMORPGs, gah,
World of Warcraft you were fun but you almost destroyed me.  Chew on criticism, don’t swallow it whole;
I’ve learned a lot from constructive critiques, and used it to fix a lot of
issues with my work, but some criticism comes from people who weren’t paying
any frickin’ attention or who just think too differently to accept what you
were trying to do.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am
asexual aromantic.  I don’t want to be
involved with anyone else’s body or emotions.
Heck, most of the time I don’t want to be involved with my body or emotions – I just want to do
my work.

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

Most
people aren’t aware that I have any preference or lack thereof.  In my Day Job, though, I have been nagged
about my singlehood.  The nags means
well, I guess, but that stiff traditional mindset has caused tension in the
past.  I am a prickly person, so I don’t
know that I handle it well; I think I
usually respond to the tune of ‘naaaah that’s not gonna happen’.  Regardless, I haven’t been nudged about it in
a while, so maybe that was good enough.

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

That it
can be ‘cured’ by the ‘right person’.  I
know that for certain portions of the ace spectrum, that is kind of possible – you grow close to
them and then get interested physically.
Demi-sexual, right?  But that’s
not a frickin’ cure, it’s organic interest.
It can’t be forced.  For me, if
anything, getting closer to someone makes me even less physically interested,
something that two almost-not-really-boyfriends had a hard time accepting.  I know myself better now, and am better at
not putting my foot into that sort of trap.
You can like someone strongly, platonically, without dating them or
being physical.  If they can’t handle
that, it’s not gonna be a good relationship.

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

Don’t let
someone else’s professed need for you overwhelm your own needs.  Don’t date people out of sympathy/pity –
it’s not good for either of you.  Don’t
fall into the cultural trap that says you need another person to complete
you.  You are a complete person in and of
yourself, and only you can decide how you should express any emotionality or
physicality you need – or don’t need.
Finally, your wants and needs can change over time; we’re not our
labels, we’re living, breathing, changing creatures.  Don’t be afraid of that.  Explore it.

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

I have a
website!  https://warofmemory.com/
I am also on Facebook under my pen name, https://www.facebook.com/HAntheDavis/.

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

lunasspecto: lunasspecto: Here’s the cover of my new book of…

lunasspecto:

lunasspecto:

Here’s the cover of my new book of poetry, Dead Monochrome Doggerel available now on Amazon and the Internet Archive at archive.org.

“so here we are / cutting the crap / and i promise you / i mean every word”

In a series of terse, direct poems, Dominique Cyprès guides readers through a meditation on the tensions between the unaddressed injustices of history and the untapped potential of the future, between unresolved conflicts of youth and diminishing possibilities of modern adulthood, between the inescapable fragility of life and the hope of new parenthood. Occupying a space that borders on the personal and the political, Dead Monochrome Doggerel places the poet’s life, and the contemporary social moment, along the long, murky arc of history.

Reading the book on the Internet Archive is free. If you read it, please consider leaving an honest review on Amazon. The list price for the print edition is US $6. I’ll reblog this post with links.

Here’s the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1979211345/

And here’s where you can read it via the Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/dead_monochrome_doggerel

Signal Boost: Book Trailer

Hey everyone!

I have a super awesome book trailer and an announcement concerning the eBooks of my series.

BOOK TRAILER

A while back, I interviewed a fantastic up and coming filmmaker for this site, Britty Lea. I was struck by her creativity and just the fascinating visuals in her short films. I remained in touch with her (she even moderated this blog for a bit). Recently, she started doing some freelancing and mentioned wanting to get into book trailers. I can’t even begin to describe my excitement at hearing this and soon commissioned her.

And man alive, did Britty deliver! Check it out:

If you’re interested in commissioning Britty, and I cannot recommend her work highly enough, check out her personal site (https://www.brittylea.com/) or her Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/brittyleafilm/). She’s a phenomenal filmmaker.

EBOOKS

I’m going to try not to swear, but no promises 🙂

Like
numerous indie authors, I was selling the eBooks of my series through a
site called Pronoun (which was part of MacMillan Publishing).
MacMillan, without any sort of warning, decided to shut down Pronoun
permanently. Thereby screwing numerous indies.

A week into
marketing and I lost my rankings, which are important to indie authors,
because of this. I’ve been forced to move my eBooks onto Kindle. For the
foreseeable future, they’ll only be available on Kindle (I sincerely
apologize for any inconvenience). The paperback distribution will be
unaffected and still widely available.

However, this is a setback and a really frustrating one. People, I really, really need support in the form of reviews and signal boosts. And, of course, I need people to buy my books.

If you’re interested in physical copies, after Sunday, they’ll be available on my Square Store for convention prices (which are a little cheaper than online distributors and the money goes directly to me).

Thanks everybody! 😀

Interview: KC

Today we’re joined by KC. KC is a phenomenal author who specializes in children’s books. She wants to write for older children who don’t like to read, since there aren’t many books aimed at that demographic. When she’s not writing, she also enjoys doing crafts, knitting in particular. KC is clearly a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I knit as a hobby and tinker with water coloring and brush
lettering on the side, but my real love is writing. I’ve always been enthralled
by stories. I wrote a handful of books in middle school and high school, but
they were short, dry, and lacking in substance. Now that I’m in college, I’ve
become more serious about the quality of my work.

I like writing for children, upper-elementary kids in
particular. Fifth grade is typically the age when kids decide if they love
reading or could do without it, and I want to do what I can to hook the kids
that might miss out on what could be a great passion. In my experience, there
aren’t many older children’s books out there for kids who don’t like reading. I
want to change that.

What inspires you?

In life, I’m inspired by the feisty women of history. Anne
Sullivan Macy and Eglantyne Jebb, to name a few.

In my writing, I’m inspired by the people around me. The
kids at my work who have big personalities and even bigger souls, but no one to
take them seriously, are my muse.

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

I’ve loved stories from a very young age. My fondest
childhood memories were spent playing elaborate games of pretend with my
siblings, and weaving epic tales with my toys.

It was The Tale of
Desperaux
that made me want to be a writer. Kate diCamillo lit a spark in
my eight-year-old heart and showed me the true beauty and power of stories. I
wanted to be just like her and spread that spark to other eager hearts.

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?

For the longest time, I always had “green mush” slipped into
each one of my stories one way or another. I’m still deciding whether or not I
want to keep up the trend.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Find a community of artists to surround yourself with. I
wouldn’t be the writer I am today without the constructive feedback and
unwavering support I found in my high school writing club.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Aromantic asexual.

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

I’m not out yet, so I can’t really say for sure.
Interestingly enough, my roommate is also a writer, and one of her protagonists
is asexual, so I’d say it’s actually going very well on that front.

At the moment, the most difficult part about being an aspec
writer is that I can’t write romance. It’s actually really pathetic.
Nonetheless, I know that many haven’t had it as easy as I have, and I don’t
want to play down the difficulties experienced by the ace community as a whole.

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

That we’re cringy loners who made up an orientation to feel
good about ourselves. I’m sorry to say it, but before I knew I was ace, I
bought into this.

The main reason I haven’t come out is because I’m afraid
people won’t take it seriously. I’m afraid they’ll think I found some label in
the deep crevices of Tumblr and now I’m convinced that I’m not straight
anymore. I very much wanted to believe I was straight, but that didn’t help the
horrifying nausea I felt when I was asked out to prom, or the petrifying fear
when the guy I thought I was crushing on texted back.

My orientation is not for anyone to deny, because trust me,
I’ve thought about it a lot longer than the person who asks if I’ve ever had my
hormones checked or the people who say I’ll change my mind when I’m older.

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

Give yourself time to come into your asexuality. Don’t rush
it, just let it happen. I’ve spent way too many sleepless nights with racing
thoughts. Take your time. Maybe you’ll find that you don’t identify with what
you originally thought. Maybe you were right all along. Whatever happens, your
identity is your own. Don’t let anyone define it for you.

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

I have an official author website, but as I’m not out yet, I
won’t disclose it publicly. My inbox is always open at helpful-hardware-folk on
Tumblr, and I’m more than happy to chat about anything, writing and asexuality
and everything in between 🙂

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