When Claudie Arseneault saw our call for submissions for WARRIOR, she wanted to write about LGBTQIA characters who weren’t romantically involved. In her story Seida the Fairy-Troll, the main character is a lesbian and her best friend is aromantic and asexual.
‘Their respective queerness isn’t important to the plot itself,’ Claudie says. ‘It’s more a case of LGBTQIA characters starring in their own stories.’
When we sat down to plan WARRIOR, we knew we didn’t want all the stories to focus on romance. In many people’s minds, being queer is still something entirely sexual rather than a small part of a larger identity, and this is often how queer characters are represented. But, as rare as it is to find non-romantic LGBTQIA characters in media, it’s far rarer to find characters who don’t feel romantic or sexual attraction at all. And this is exactly why they’re important, according to Claudie.
‘I really wish there had been any kind of asexual or aromantic representation during my youth. Mainstream storytelling taught me that only robots didn’t have desire and that only villains didn’t love. No wonder I found myself rooting for the bad guys so often! No one should have to go through their formative years thinking they’re broken or condemned to tragedy.’
If Claudie could go back in time and give her 15-year-old self the perfect short story, she says it would have to be a tale featuring an ‘aromantic, asexual science girl who solves mysteries based on Québec’s folklore with her winged cat companion’. Besides this sounding like an awesome story, Claudie says a clear aromantic and asexual protagonist could have saved her ‘some serious sads’.
She was attracted to the WARRIOR project because it looked fun: ‘I loved how the call allowed a wide range of stories. I’m a novel-writer by nature, but calls like these are enough to make me set aside the longer form and enjoy myself with shorts.
‘I love being in projects with other writers and editors,’ she adds. ‘Being edited by a skilled editor is always such a joy. You learn a lot from it.’
In addition to writing novels like her post-apocalyptic Viral Airwaves, Claudie is passionate about squids and all other cephalopods, and is a freelance editor. Last year, she edited an anthology of dragon-filled solarpunk short stories with writer and friend Brenda J Pierson. And we are really lucky, because Claudie has offered her editorial skills to you through our Kickstarter!
For the £50 “Warrior of the mighty pen” perk, Claudie will help you with your sci-fi/fantasy short story! In addition to her feedback and guidance, you will receive the WARRIOR anthology as an ebook – for inspiration purposes.
WARRIOR, a collection of LGBTQIA short stories
If you want to support WARRIOR and read Claudie Arseneault’s story, check out our Kickstarter campaign.