that’s a weird name, what’s up with that?
Excellent question. As an agender person given a feminine birth name that doesn’t quite fit my writing, I decided on a neutral pen name. “Aderyn” feels correct. “Pru” is for my best friend and closest writing partner, who passed away from cancer in late 2018.
what’s agender? when did you know that’s what you were?
A person who does not define themselves as having either gender. I see myself as not belonging in either category. Not male, not female. I think I’ve always known, but I didn’t start to come to terms with it until recently. Gender and sexuality are complicated, it’s OK if it takes time to figure it out.
is agender the same as asexual?
Nope! Gender and sexuality are two separate things. You can be agender and heterosexual, agender and homosexual, agender and pansexual, agender and asexual, demisexual, gray-ace…there are as many combinations of gender and sexuality as there are stars in the universe, my friend. Who you are might be complicated, but it’s still valid.
you state that trauma is #ownvoices. what kind of trauma do you write?
I tend to write about trauma relating to loss and grief, especially early childhood death, such as the loss of a parent, sibling, or close friend. Sometimes I write about trauma associated with addiction. Many of my stories include scenes of dissociation, flashbacks, and nightmares. It’s my own experience and also an area of academic study as I have sought to understand it better over the years. As an undergrad, I studied dissociative disorders, trauma, attachment disorders, and prolonged grief. After I graduated, I worked in acute mental health with traumatized adults, veterans, teens, and children. It’s incredibly important to me and close to my heart for many reasons.
will you include content warnings?
Yes. I appreciate both sides of this argument, but as a trauma survivor, I know how critical it is to be informed. I do my own research with the things I watch, listen to, and read, and I know what I can and can’t handle. Readers who need content warnings deserve to be able to decide for themselves what they can handle. Those who do not need content warnings can simply skip them. For some of us, it is not optional. We have to protect our ability to function, and determining what will affect us adversely is a wise, responsible thing to do.
What made you go into psychology instead of writing?
That’s a long story, but the short version is that I took a couple psych classes and discovered tools I needed to survive. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know. I wanted to understand as much as I could, both to help myself and help others. Research and applied psychology are both close to my heart, and it was a very hard call not to continue on to graduate school. I chose to work in acute inpatient, and while working on admissions essays, a story found me and refused to let go. It still hasn’t.
I feel that my calling is to help others. Whether that help comes from my words, a latte, feeding the homeless, or working in clinical settings, the purpose remains the same.
All your novel ideas look pretty dark. Do you ever write anything happy?
It’s nearly impossible for me to write dark stuff without inserting some humor somewhere. Levity is a must in my stories, and there’s usually a character or two skilled at breaking the tension. Some of my favorite scenes to write are funny scenes. You wouldn’t think it from those summaries, but I promise they’re in there.
gimme five books that influenced your writing.
Douglas Coupland, LIFE AFTER GOD; Ray Bradbury, THE HALLOWEEN TREE; Francesca Lia Block, WASTELAND; Edwidge Danticat, THE FARMING OF BONES; Poppy Z. Brite, LOST SOULS.
is that all you’ve got?
For now. Check back for updates later!