About Irene Wendy Wode
Hi! I’m technically human, I guess, although a lot of the time I don’t feel like it. I’m autistic, agender, aromantic, and on the asexual spectrum, and there are many human experiences I have trouble relating to. So I’ve studied human behavior all my life, things like social cues, impulsiveness, facial expressions, and romance. I’ve learned these things from the outside in a way most people don’t have to, which I think gives me some advantages when writing them, because I notice so many of the small, vivid details that make up the whole.
So I write about the human experience, but I tend to write about it from an outsider’s perspective. My characters are half-dragons and vampires and shape-shifting aliens. But frankly, they are human in many ways that I am not. They help me find humanity.
I first connected to people through storytelling in college, when I began playing Dungeons and Dragons. The basic formulaic nature of the interactions of my character with the characters of the others in the group gave me something to build off of in forming some of the first real personal connections I ever really felt.
Connecting to people through enjoyment of stories continued through my college career, and especially with my close friend, William Righetti, who introduced me to both the phenomenon of online fanfiction, and his own fictional world in which half-dragons (like the ones in our tabletop games) lived among us, hiding in the city of Philadelphia and around it, in nooks just around the corner from our school.
Webcomics were also a big part of my development both as a storyteller and as a social being, and I wrote and drew several myself over the years, learning to create stories sequentially, until I discovered that for me, art burnout could get very bad, but I never got too tired of writing.
Next I fell into the Marvel fandom, where I both found a passion for writing queer relationships, and learned the art of roleplay storytelling. Roleplay can be at once very personal and very boundary-pushing, and I learned a lot about connection, about characterization and about pushing myself to write quickly and linearly.
I also learned from the fandom community many things that allowed me to cement my own beliefs about the world and what I want it to become, and create messages to put in my stories that I am passionate about, instead of only having passion for the communication itself.
Coming back to William’s world of half-dragons as a much different, more mature novelist was a challenge, but I love what it has led to. It’s started me on my path as a novelist. I’d love nothing more than to continue to write books for the rest of my life.
If you’re still curious, my personal/fandom blog has more about my identities, links to some of my fanfiction, and a lot more of the elements that have shaped me and continue to shape me as an author.
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