Interview: Sarah Viehmann


Today we’re joined by Sarah Viehmann. Sarah is a phenomenal author whose debut novel, Unrooted, is scheduled to be released this winter. Unrooted is a retelling of Snow White that features two protagonists on the ace spectrum. When she’s not writing novels, Sarah frequently blogs about fairy tales and sometimes about asexuality. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate writer, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.


Please, tell us about
your art.

I am a novelist writing adult fantasy, a series of fairy
tale retellings beginning with Unrooted,
debuting Winter 2018 with REUTS Publications. The first book retells the “Snow
White” fairy tale and features protagonists on the ace spectrum, along with
other LGBT+ characters, disabled characters, and characters of color. Unrooted is the first in a series of
five books called The Iridia Series.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the human impulse that drives us to tell
stories. How do we use stories to communicate deep needs within the individual
and the community? How do stories changes based on who is telling them? How
have stories changed and how will they continue to change in the future? My
fairy tale retellings seek to explore, if not answer, these questions.

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

When it comes to fairy tales, I was introduced to them by my
father reading me Three Billy Goats Gruff
and similar fairy tales before bed at night. I also frequented the local
library and always went directly toward the 398.2 section where fairy tales are
housed. As for writing, I tend to joke that I’ve been writing since I could
hold a marker, but that really isn’t too far off from the truth! I’ve always
been inventive and a lover of words, so combining those two things into writing
seemed to be incredibly natural for me.

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?

Oh goodness … I’m not sure how to best answer this. I
think the themes that appear most frequently in my work include mother-daughter
relationships, women who have lost and regain their voices, and attention to
language. There are also many elements from my academic study of literature
that appear in my work, such as structuralism and mise en abyme (the mirror in the text), and those who might be
familiar with such ideas should be able to pick them out.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Do it, and do it for yourself. Disregard any thoughts of
“what if no one likes it?” It’s yours to
like, and what other people think only matters once the work is done and/if you
decide to share it. Don’t let the input of others affect your creative process,
because then the work won’t be true to you.


Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as asexual and grey-biromantic. The latter part
of that is more nebulous for me and I slide around a lot. I tend to find
cis-women and nonbinary people more aesthetically attractive than cis-men, but
that could be a matter of circumstance than anything else!

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

Yes. I once pointed out amisia in a very popular book series
that appeared in the preview a few days before the newest book release. I spent
a weekend fending off aggressive anons on tumblr telling me I’d read it wrong
and I shouldn’t be upset by it. It’s difficult being in the minority of writers
and readers who can and do point out things like that in published writing (and
that’s not the only example). I still find it very important to point these
things out so readers and writers alike learn, but it’s always a little
uncomfortable having to be That Person. In addition to that, I try and model
positive ace and aro representation in my own writing as a model for what I as
an ace and grey-ro person would like to see in writing.

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

Recently, I think it’s the idea that ace people don’t like sex or are disgusted by it. That’s
not the experience of all ace people, and it shouldn’t be a stereotype. That
said, the experience of those who are sex-repulsed
should be respected.

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

It’s okay to try on labels to see what fits. You’re not
betraying anyone by adjusting the label over time to figure out what fits you
best. I had to play around with my romantic orientation a lot before I decided on one, and I’m still not wholly committed to
it. Also, seek out other ace folks, because on the whole I find we’re an
incredibly kind and welcoming community willing to help you figure things out
if you have questions.

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

My official website is,
but I’m most active on Tumblr (
and Twitter at SarahViehmann.
You can also find Unrooted on
Goodreads! Please stay tuned for its release and other exciting things leading
up to the release date!

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

Hello everyone! I’ve been so busy the past couple of days I forgot to share this awesome interview I got to do over at @asexualartists! Thanks so much for hosting me, Lauren! 

Sarah Reviews: Let’s Talk About Love


Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.

Publication Date: January 23rd, 2018

Date Started: February 4th, 2018

Date Finished: February 9th, 2018

Recommended By: MANY people, especially the ace community!

Content Warnings: Racial microaggressions, acephobia, brief sexual harassment

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

The Good: HALLELUJAH, asexual representation! It was so lovely to see someone who was not just asexual, but also biromantic, navigating her experience in relationships and life. The conversation surrounding Alice’s asexuality, and the way she reckoned with it, was very well-written and I related to a lot of it being ace myself. The characterization was really strong in this–it was very easy to go along with Alice and get in her head, and the characterization of the supporting characters was also interesting. It was also just a very cute and fluffy read, so it was certainly a nice change of pace from my reads last month. 

The Bad: I wasn’t a huge fan of the prose. This felt like it should have been written in first person, but instead it is written in third person with an excessive amount of parenthetical statements that didn’t need to be parenthetical. I get that it was a deliberate style choice, but it wasn’t one I agreed with all that much. It made it a bit frustrating to read sometimes and didn’t make me want to dive back in when I put it down. I also that that there was something a bit off about the pacing–it felt like some things were given way more attention than other things that could have shared space on the page. There were also several things that were hinted at about Takumi’s past/family over and over again that were never really given closure–while I understand the whole “earned trust” thing, I though the narrative teased a lot that it had no intention of ever actually addressing. I’ll also admit here that while the characterization was strong, I didn’t love Alice as a character–I found her a bit grating at times. None of these things were enough to ruin the book for me, but they did come to mind as issues for me.

Representation: The representation in this book is fantastic! For one thing, the main character represents lots of different intersections–as she states, “Black, female and queer.” She’s biromantic asexual specifically, and it might be the first time such an orientation has ever been part of a main character in a book! The love interest is Japanese, and there are some great moments where the two of them discuss the intersections and microaggressions about their individual identities. One of Alice’s best friends is Filipino, so there’s even another form of representation. The topics of microaggressions, racism, and other elements of identity are discussed with a great deal of grace, and I thought it was really well-handled. I definitely recommend it as an example of a wonderful diverse book! 

Favorite Line: “I won’t feel good until I at least attempt to eat my feelings.”

“Isn’t that why I’m here?”

“Do you really think you’re capable of going head-to-head with a milk shake? Let me repeat that: a milk shake.”

Check Out My Patreon for an Extended Review!

Hey Sarah! I’m in the midst of writing a novel and I had a kind of complicated question for you, if that’s alright? One of my POV characters is asexual and I’m not quite sure how to convey that. I’d placed him in a romantic relationship earlier in the plot, before I’d figured this out about him, and it’s sort of become essential to the storyline. Is it alright to keep that and, as an asexual person yourself, what is a good way to portray his arc in writing? Thanks!

Hi! Thanks for the question! I actually have a few posts about writing asexual characters here and here. Here’s also some advice written by swankivy. 

But in short, your character can still be in a romantic relationship and be asexual, so that’s totally fine! Just allow your character room to explain his orientation and/or feeling either in the narration or in a conversation so that it’s clear that’s what he is. I don’t know what your genre is, but it’s always nice to see ‘asexual’ on the page. That’s up to you, though! 

Let me know if you have any other questions after looking through those posts! 

Hello! Some weeks ago I left you an ask with my frustration and insecureties, about people who say “that person is hot” while actually meaning “I feel attracted towards them”, and how this fueled my inner struggles. Anyway, I want to thank you for your response and your clear information on the different types of attraction. Over the weeks I’ve started referring to myself in thought as asexual and this has soothed my worries. Especially after being asked out (twice!) by a guy and learning (1/?)

(2/?) that the group I hang out with (he was part of it, then changed his study course) were “shipping” us. This made me extremely uncomfortable because two people didn’t stop making comments until a week and a half ago. To wrap this up, I don’t feel abnormal anymore with me lacking sexual attraction. Another thing I want to thank you for is about writing. Your tips and advice to me and others give me so much courage to start plotting and writing the story I have had in my head for over five

(3/3) five years now. So thank you for your excellent advice and kind, encouraging words. I’m so glad I’ve stumbled upon finding your blog, because it’s wonderful and you’re truly a kind-hearted and inspiring person. I can’t thank you enough! Thank you! ❤

Hi there! Thanks so much for coming back to update me. I love hearing from people to know how they’re doing. I’m so glad that you found my answer helpful, and if you ever have any other questions about being ace, my inbox is open! I’m also sorry that you were put in such an awkward situation. I think it’s inappropriate for people to “ship” anyone in the real world. That behavior ought to be for fiction only. It’s also a form of acephobia, when people refuse to recognize or respect your preferences. It sounds like the situation is almost resolved, but for the lingering frustration, I wish you the best. I also can’t wait to see what kind of story you bring into the world–I’m excited that you’re encouraged to give it a shot! Thank you so much for the very kind note, and know that you’re welcome here any time. ❤

Let’s Talk About Asexuality | Day 4: Q&A with Authors on the Ace Spectrum

I participated in this awesome interview for Asexual Awareness Week, along with some other kick-ass writers with whom I’m honored to share space. Check it out!

Let’s Talk About Asexuality | Day 4: Q&A with Authors on the Ace Spectrum

im so sorry if im bothering you but how did you know you were asexual? i have been questioning for a few months now and im just so confused thank you ❤️ also im really excited to read Unrooted !

No, you’re not bothering me at all! I figured it out because of a Transgender Literature class I was taking, which made me realize I had never felt sexual attraction. I dug around on tumblr and was introduced to the term ‘asexual’ and found out it fit. If you browse my ‘asexual’ and ‘asexuality’ tags, you might find them helpful!