Lauren Jankowski, an openly aromantic asexual feminist activist and author from Illinois, has been an avid reader and a genre feminist for most of her life. She holds a degree in Women and Genders Studies from Beloit College. In 2015, she founded “Asexual Artists,” a Tumblr and WordPress site dedicated to highlighting the contributions of asexual identifying individuals to the arts.
She has been writing fiction since high school, when she noticed a lack of strong women in the popular genre books. When she’s not writing or researching, she enjoys reading (particularly anything relating to ancient myths) or playing with her pets. She participates in activism for asexual visibility and feminist causes. She hopes to bring more strong heroines to literature, including badass asexual women.
Her ongoing fantasy series is "The Shape Shifter Chronicles," which is published through Snowy Wings Publishing.
Describe your desk
Lots and lots of pens, loose papers, a spiral (somewhere), sticky tabs. I think my iPod and a paperweight are buried under here too. Oh, and of course my laptop.
When did you first start writing?
I've been writing practically since I first started reading. I started to consider seriously writing after my fifth grade teacher read my class "The Book of Three" by Lloyd Alexander. It was the first time I ever encountered a strong girl character who went out on adventures with the boys. After years of Disney princesses, Eilonwy was a breath of fresh air. For years afterwards, I searched for other strong heroines in the fantasy stories I loved so much.
By the time I got to high school, I had enough with the stereotypical girl characters. In fantasy stories, it seemed like women were there solely to further the stories of the men. Worse, they almost always wound up falling in love and having families. It was so boring and cliche. I decided if no one else was going to write the book I wanted to read, I'd do it myself.
After a tragedy, the Four are forced into a tenuous alliance with a notorious guardian trickster, Eris. As they hunt for a long hidden artifact, Eris' frequent unpredictability makes their journey more perilous than anyone ever expected.