Creative Aces Publishing Is Live!

Publishing news isn’t rare, but making an announcement yourself is, and I’m so thrilled to say I have some news today!

Creative Aces Publishing was a brainchild I first had in 2015, and thanks to other aces over the years we published two community projects: What You See, an art book featuring two dozen aces, and Unburied Fables, an LGBTQ charity anthology benefiting The Trevor Project.

If you heard of us before, here’s how we’ve changed since then. Unlike other indie publishers, we seek to build from a community standpoint. Not only saying we put authors first, but also paying them a highly competitive rate unheard of for a group so small. Offering upwards of 50% royalty, and sometimes even an author advance.

As a full-service publisher, authors can also expect a professional looking cover design, comprehensive editing, a personalized marketing plan, training and support as an author from signing and beyond at no cost.

All made possible by a slow and steady mentality that makes sure you don’t get lost in a sea of other authors. Because of this, we aren’t currently open for submissions, but already have signed authors and will be making more announcements soon.

If you have any questions please contact us at info@creativeacespublishing.com.

Here’s what this means for anyone who knows me personally, I’ve been dealt a hand of cards that allows me to take the project to a level I always wanted and make it a full-fledged publisher.

I’ve been working for various publishers since 2015, and love helping authors. But I also see areas where many barely even get a chance because of factors around their disability or identity. As the company’s co-founder and creative director, I can’t fix the industry as a whole, but I can set a standard I believe in. One who’s core goal takes pride in creating art and supporting those artists.

Dudes Being Dudes (Aces in Fiction List)

Someone asked me for a list of asexual guys in fiction so here’s a wide collection across media times. But first, a warning. This list was made with what I know about the story. Any miscategorization is accidental and will be promptly fixed if you let me know. Some men might have been accidentally excluded because I don’t know enough about the character, the list will be updated when I do. | Masterlist found here | Send updates here

* Denotes I’ve read/watched/played it

Aro Aces (Assorted Media Type)
Daud from Dishonored*
Jughead*
Men of color (Assorted Media Type)
Dionysus from The Wicked and The Divine*
Luffy from One Piece
Lance from The Once And Future Queen*
Dareka/Anonymous from Shimanami Tasogare
Raphael from City of Bones*
James from Dreamland Burning
New Adult Aces
Aidan from The Alpha and His Ace
Trey from Crush
Brennan from All The Wrong Places
Elie from The Life and Death of Elie and Jay
Neil from The Foxhole Court
Cy from How Now To Summon Your True Love
Wes from Mr. March Names the Stars
Regan from Chameleon Moon*
Adult Aces
Casey from How To Be A Normal Person*
Scott from Hello World*
Roman from City of Soldiers
Nick from The Pardoner’s Tale
Young Adult Aces
Kevin from Guardian of the Dead
Tom From This Song Is (Not) for You
Jake from The Asexual Equation
Bran from Coffee Cake
Micheal from Thief of Souls
Manny from Ball Caps and Khakis
Dexter from To Terminator, With Love

Aces on TV
The only one I can fully rec is Todd from BoJack but remember to check the master list for details of more aces who were on television!  

🌹’S ACE COMIC RECS

Jughead

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If you are looking for a fun, silly, read I cannot recommend Jughead (2015) more! Written by Chip Zdarsky, and Ryan North you can see Jughead be a pirate, be a spy, hang out with a burger lady.

The Wicked and Divine

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I love this series but it is not for the faint of heart. There’s a lot of death, and violence and our heroes constantly being in trouble. With that said, it’s an amazing series that has tons of diversity. The main characters are gods incarnate so if you love mythology be sure to check it out!

Moonlighters 

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Another very cute series. Currently online only, but another light fun read about a group of werewolves who solve monsters problems like locating their missing cats.

The Once And Future Queen

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I learned about this comic by quote RT-ing one of the authors with my shock that there was an asexual character and we’ve been friendly since. King Arthur is reimagined as a 21st-century multi-ethnic teen girl, and Lancelot is a black asexual. It’s lighter then Wicked and Divine, but definitely a fighting/adventure story. I’m trying to get a Volume 2 so ask your library for it if can’t afford a copy of your own!!

For a complete list of aces in comics, check out our master list!

Dragon Age, Glowing Hands, and Disabilities

There is a new genre called empathy games. These games have the goal of making you empathize with the main character to show a point. Generally that you aren’t the one in power, but to some small degree I believe all games are empathy games.

I think a lot about representation in fiction, and lately about the representation of disabilities, everything from ‘my knee gives me a lot of trouble’ to those who rock a wheelchair. (I’ve been thinking a lot of legs specifically because mine have been hurting a lot. But, stay tuned maybe I’ll talk about a abdominal pain like I’m a Super Bowl ad.)

I’ve been fairly impressed when it comes to TV characters who have leg troubles. On TV now, there’s Raven from The 100 and Felicity from Arrow. As fantastic as they both are I started to wonder if there was a medium that could showcase the constant struggles better. And after a really tough and unusual boss battle I realized video games are perfect for this narrative.

No other medium makes you face the struggle. Books, TV, and movies are setup so we are empathizing with someone else. But with video games you are living it. Also little needs to be done to make these Triple A titles show disabled characters of all ranges.

Yesterday’s game of choice was Dragon Age: Inquisition so I’ll loosely use it to explain what I mean then you can apply it to your own beloved game.

This whole train of thought started because Dragon Age doesn’t have cure anymore. I’m usually the type of player who likes having a full health bar in order to kick ass, but now that’s practically impossible. After playing for a while I noticed how I played was different. I didn’t get nervous if it wasn’t full, I’d even take fall damage to save me some time. I started to live with that fact that health isn’t going to be perfect. And as someone who now has a chronic illness riding shotgun that’s a pretty good metaphor. You have to live with your “health bar” not being at 100% most of the time. In video games saving the world with very little health left is almost common place.

The game now has barrier instead of heal. Barrier gives you an extra bar that lasts a certain time and protects your real HP. Now it isn’t an exact comparison but imagine this was your self care. Even if you’re a squishy mage or have low health it doesn’t matter as long as you protect yourself in other ways.

Health is less important than it’s ever been before in other Dragon Age games. Your character is undeniably disabled, but no doubts arise because of this from the other characters. You are still their leader.

In Dragon Age you are given a party of four. In the real world asking for help can be tricky, but the game encourages you to have the help of others. You could play solo, but parties are actively rewarded.

And in video games in general, starting all the way back with Doom, you learn to keep fighting even with a busted up and bleeding face. If you or the NPCs get knocked out they get up for the next battle. All really important life lessons.

Yesterday, I had three mages and a rogue face a boss that had 39 times more health than my whole party combined. It was horrid planning on my part, but the party made me happy and now we were stuck. I had to shake things up and literally bring the fire. By taking my time and breaking the problem into smaller bits I was able to win.

So even if your real life “health bar” isn’t what others have, you just need to plan and take your time in order to knock down really any beast in the world. In Dragon Age Inquisition that sometimes means the boss and sometimes means the day because your glowing hand is acting up. I’d love to see games actually incorporate their graphic interfaces to show disabilities in a real way because no other platform can show it like they can.

Love and Sex in Literature

A guest post by amazing Cait Spivey

I learned sexual desire from books and film.

At least, what it looked like. What it sounded like. How it is discussed. With that accumulated evidence, I got very good at acting out “desire,” even though it was at best boring and at worst, deeply uncomfortable.

When I came out, there was a lot of, “But you seemed interested in sex before!” As always, it’s difficult to explain, to those who don’t feel displaced by it, the pressure of constant messaging that seems to declare this is how normal people are, you are messed up, something is wrong with you. I learned and demonstrated sexual desire because I thought I had to, because it was expected, because it was bad enough that I kept falling in love with girls but at least I knew what that was.

I learned desire from books; I never learned that desire isn’t mandatory.

This is something I want to rectify in my books. In From Under the Mountain, it must be said, there’s not explicit representation—I was limited by both the setting (in which our modern terminology feels jarring) and by the pace and focus of the story. Only Eva and Guerline have time for a romantic relationship, and not much of it at that. But you can take me at my word when I say that canonically, Theodor Warren is panromantic asexual, and Aradia Kavanagh is aromantic asexual, and Guerline herself is a demisexual lesbian (something that gets explored more in the sequel).

[As an aside: last week, I tweeted a bit about how I love writing large casts, and I encourage readers to explore for themselves and fill in things I don’t put on the page. Some secondary and tertiary characters have canon attached to them that I may never get to share—for many, I haven’t had a chance yet to fully explore their lives. So many stories live in this world, and if you know them, by all means tell them.]

In most of the media I’ve consumed, sex scenes just seem like set dressing. Perhaps this is the point where my ability to empathize with allosexual people ends, but I’ve never seen a sex scene that feels powerful or necessary to the story, because sweaty bodies getting fluids on each other isn’t meaningful to me. It seems to me that what’s meaningful is all the emotions leading up to and following that—affection, vulnerability, passion—and one doesn’t need to bump uglies to get the most out of that cocktail. And even if that’s something one wants in real life, it’s not going to aid the storytelling (unless, as in certain genres, that’s the kind of story being told).

“But Cait,” you say, “You included a sex scene in From Under the Mountain!” Yes I did. But I’m the first to say it’s not necessary. I wrote it in because there was some hang time in the narrative, and I wanted to give Eva and Guerline their moment. And, as an asexual woman married to a sexual spouse, it was more than a little vicarious—what must it feel like from the other side? Surely it’s transcendent—surely it’s not just a sometimes pleasant sensation, akin to curling up in front of a fireplace? I’ll have to rely on others to confirm the level of my success.

It’s honestly funny to me how resistant some can be to writing asexual characters or, in fandom, theorizing that a character could be asexual. I get that desire must be powerful to those who experience it; I can understand that many view sex as some kind of Important Rite without which love is just really intense friendship, or something. I mean, they’re wrong about that last part, but I understand how they came to that conclusion.

But in these stories, the sex isn’t what makes us love these characters—right? It’s the characters themselves, and the relationships between characters that draw us in. Romantic relationships, friendships, family bonds. Sexual desire, contrary to popular belief, is not inherent to romantic love, and romantic love is not the only compelling kind of relationship.

There are many, many books, films, shows, out there that present love without sex, but the sex is always assumed—by fans, by creators, by a society that presupposes the universal importance of desire. My question is, why? Kisses, sex, they’re actions that, like all our actions, have only as much weight as our emotions give them. I’m as happy as anyone when my favorite ship finally kisses for the first time, but the kiss isn’t the only thing that can make me happy. I want Dean to kiss Cas because I know Dean is a sexual person, but I felt the same giddy rush when he said I need you.

I struggled to find a way to end this post, because one should at least try to put forth a solution when bringing up a problem. The problem is that the heavy focus on sexual desire in relationships erases a lot of people. It makes us doubt ourselves, it makes us submit ourselves to what is expected, it threatens us with these expectations.

How, then, to solve this?

I’ve decided to start a new feature on my blog called A+ Ships, to highlight ace characters and their relationships, gush over the connections and the moments that fuel them. With any luck, this will give us a space to celebrate our identities, and spread the word about how awesome we are.