An asexual’s view of love

I’m going to use this blog now and then as a normal blog, not just related to specific excerpts or art pieces to share but also about some thought processes that are central to me as a person or writer. I hope no one minds. A week ago Sonny mentioned a blog post he was writing about tropes vs reality and said he wasn’t sure how to conclude it, because tropes don’t always work out the same way in reality. I wrote the below post but then forgot about it in the holiday rush. Today he wrote a post about what descriptions or exposition to use in a diverse cast (read here), and through the ensuing conversation I was reminded of this post. Everything below is what I originally wrote. The question of tropes vs reality got me thinking about the romance genre (regardless of whether it’s straight, LGBT*QA, or something else) and how it seems to me it’s a fetishization of love. You might have seen me mention in the past that I’m semi-asexual. There is a specific list of terms I can call myself that gets at what I am but I don’t really go by that. Basically, I’m not often attracted to other people, and when I am it’s usually first for their personality, and then I’m only interested in other women. But most of the time, I have no romantic interests in anyone. As a result, I’ve spent most of my life seeing the idea of “love” from the outside. Throughout high school, I couldn’t understand why all my friends seemed obsessed with constantly cycling...

Q&A: The politics of ICoS/Geopolitical influences

This is taken from our Santino & Ais Goodreads group. When we got this email, we both talked about what the answer would be. Santino’s much better at articulating specifics of history so he ended up writing the email. Below is the post he put on GR explaining it and the answer that was sent back. A few weeks ago, we received an interesting e-mail from a mysterious individual who asked us some pretty specific questions about our inspiration for the geopolitics in the ICoS universe, whether our views have changed in the current political and global climate of 2014, and whether we think there could be a major armed conflict in our world like there has been in the past (and like there was in ICoS before the series started). Some readers asked me to post my response, so here it is! I’m not including language from the original e-mail since I do not have permission to do so. Paraphrased questions are in bold. Warning: May contain spoilers! Dear Mr. [REDACTED], Thanks for e-mailing us. It was certainly one of the most analytical and thought-provoking messages we’ve gotten in a while! Out of curiosity, did you read the full series or did you start out with the newly edited Director’s Cut? I’m curious because the conflict leading up to the world our characters live in has changed very slightly in the newest edition. The heart of the conflict is the same, but the sides are more streamlined. I apologize in advance for this lengthy reply. Did you change your views of whether an institution like the Agency has...

ICOS Character Inspirations

Over the years I kept watch for any characters who might make good representations for aspects of ICoS characters. Of course, I often would identify someone and then later forget who it was. Luckily, eventually I got smart and kept a list. I already did a post on Baby Boyd. This is a collection of videos and pics of the other characters who caught my eye as good representation. Keep in mind: the characters don’t necessarily look like the people I have marked as representative of them. More often, it’s the way they act or other aspects that put them on this list. ****VIVIENNE BEAULIEU**** Jenny Shepard, NCIS The best– and honestly, only– character I have seen who represents any part of Vivienne is Jenny Shepard from NCIS. Jenny is a woman in charge of their agency, and while attractive she can also be cold. I like the way she has a poker face so often. At times she is kind of mean, but mostly she is certain she knows what is best. She also deals with a lot of the same things Vivienne does, like being a woman in charge in a male-dominated field and sometimes being looked upon harshly for that. I imagine a version of Jenny that is a bit less emotive in her intonations, and not quite as nice. Or rather, I think Vivienne’s guards are far more entrenched than Jenny’s ever were, but Jenny still makes a good representation. I wanted to find clips of her interacting with other characters but mostly only found music videos of her, and a single clip I’ve included...

Q&A/FAQ: Co-Writing for a Decade

You can find this blog post at Sonny’s site as well at http://www.santinohassell.com/. NOTE: if you didn’t see us at Boys in Our Books, visit to find the exclusive cover reveal for Evenfall’s volumes, the interview that inspired this post, and Susan’s series review. SONNY: Recently, Susan interviewed Ais and me for the new blog Boys in Our Books. The interview got super long so some cuts had to be made to keep the focus on the series, but we thought one of the questions was excellent and is one that comes up from time to time about how we interact, communicate and how we’ve stayed friends for so long If you’re interested, our original answers are below with several additions. We broke the question down and answered bit by bit in more depth to take into consideration other questions we’ve been asked over the years.   How did you meet? AIS: Sonny and I met through a mutual friend named Nitid, back in our Gundam Wing days. He was volunteering for a GW yaoi review site she owned and Nitid had recommended one of my fics. I think she knew we might click. Most people had taken the fic seriously when it was supposed to be satirical, but one of the first things Sonny said to me was how funny it was. I realized at that moment that he was on my wavelength, which I appreciated since I’m used to being the odd one out. When she had to leave, Sonny and I were left alone in the chat room and talked for hours. I still remember one of the first questions...

Q&A: Titles

Over the years, we’ve been asked a couple of times about how we came up with the titles for the series/what meaning they have. On April 8, 2012, Chaos asked on our forum and I wrote the answer below. There are possible semi-spoilers for the series in the answers, mostly in the themes. Q: Question from Chaos: I’ve been wanting to ask about the story titles for a while now. I’ve wondered about the meanings behind them, especially of the series name In the Company of Shadows and Evenfall. I can see the meaning behind Afterimage and Fade, or at least some of it. With what Sin goes through in book two and the early information we find out in book three, some of it is obvious while maybe some other meanings may be more elusive. I finally decided to look up the word “shadow” and garnered many results, some of which I hadn’t thought of. 1. darkened shape of something in light: a darkened shape on a surface that falls behind somebody or something blocking the light 2. darkness: relative darkness in a place that is being screened or blocked off from direct sunlight Part of the room was in shadow. 3. hint of something: a slight suggestion or hint of something 4. ominous gloom: a depressing or ominous gloom 5. threat: an ever-present threat or blight 6. dark area under eyes: a darkened area of skin under the eyes usually caused by fatigue 7. overshadowed state: a state in which somebody is always overshadowed by another person 8. somebody always following after another: somebody who constantly follows another person around wanting to be with the other person 9. person secretly trailing...