K. A. Cook

Handdrawn illustration of a green meadow foreground with green pine trees growing against various green-hued mountain ridgelines. Scene is overlaid with the blue/white/pink stripes of the nebularomantic pride flag. The text Aro Worlds K A Cook sits across the image in a black, antique handdrawn type, separated by two ornate Victorian-style black dividers.

K. A. Cook is an abrosexual, aromantic, genderless, autistic, queer adult who experiences chronic pain and mental illness. Ze writes creative non-fiction, personal essays and novels about the above on the philosophy that if the universe is going to make life interesting, ze may as well make interesting art. Ze can be found online at Queer Without Gender and @aroworlds.

Pronouns: ze/hir/hirs (preferred) or they/them/theirs (auxiliary, spoken usage only).

Identity

I am arovague/nebularomantic and idemromantic, as autism significantly shapes and impacts my aromanticism. My abrosexuality includes shifts in the genders to who I am attracted along with shifts in the intensity of said attraction, but I am always multisexual (pansexual, polysexual or trixensexual) and I will sometimes identify as these identities alone.

(I don’t see a difference between autistic-accommodating romantic and platonic relationships/attraction, hence the nebularomanticism. I do categorise certain relationship behaviours and expressions of attraction as romantic based on their neuronormativity, hence the idemromanticism. And since there’s nothing about my aromanticism–or any other identity–not shaped by autism, arovague. I sometimes use myrromantic if I am in want of a single term to describe this experience of relating to several, but aro alone works just as well.)

Bunting image displaying six flags hanging from a brown rope. From left to right, flags are: green aromantic, idemromantic, arovague, nebularomantic, myrromantic and allo-aro.

While I do experience an asexual-spectrum identity in my abrosexuality, I am an allo-aro writer, blogger and community member. I am not aro-ace and do not identify as part of the asexual community.

I am not comfortable with “a-spec” used to describe myself and prefer “allo-aro” or “aro” wherever possible.

I am not sex or romance repulsed, although I am often alienated by the omnipresence of (neuronormative) romance narratives. I am also alienated by the expectation that romance repulsion or negativity is a default aromantic experience and the assumption that all aros love in non-romantic ways. I do, proudly, refer to myself as loveless.

I am transmasculine and agender. I am more comfortable with butch/queer masculine shapes of expression and experience, but I reject the use of words historically associated with a binary gender identity to describe me or my gender identity. I also reject the use of words associating “agender” with “neutral gender” to describe me or my genderlessness.

I also attempt to navigate mental illnesses, chronic finger/wrist/shoulder pain, migraines and a few other mysterious health ailments. I definitely consider myself “disabled”.

Because a good deal of information about me is already available on the internet, I don’t give out my age. I’m not a teenager and I’m older than 25.

If you’d like to know more about me, please see my artist profile.

Interests

I gather stim toys (favourites include squishy plush and Tangles), listen to European melodic metal (favourite bands are Dark Tranquillity, Eluveitie and Kamelot) and consume most things spec-fic (although I’m more fantasy-leaning than science fiction). Favourite mainstream authors include Tamora Pierce, N. K. Jemisin, Robin Hobb and Lois McMaster Bujold; favourite TV shows include Farscape, Dark Matter, Dr Who, the UK Being Human, Warehouse 13, Community and (although it isn’t spec fic) Mythbusters.

(Supernatural isn’t exactly a favourite, but I am a fan of allo-aro Dean Winchester. I also want to discuss Stargate: Atlantis‘s creation of another accidental allo-aro in John Sheppard.)

I scrapbook and collect fashion dolls and Sylvanian Families figurines, for whom I like to sew and craft when my hands allow. (I’ve made handbags, dresses, miniature foods and other small accessory and clothing items.) I also embroider pride-themed flag patches, although I’m still afraid to use my grandmother’s vintage embroidery floss collection. I’m also working on a series of loosely-fantastic/fairy-tale styled clothing for Lori / American Girl Mini dolls, based on a few hopefully-forthcoming book characters.

A photo taken on a blue microfibre blanket depicting a cardboard spiral-bound journal, open with front and back cover facing upwards, decorated with stripes of plain and glittery washi tapes in aro pride flag colours. The cover displays some journal card and scrapbook design pieces depicting arrows, cacti and typography over the tape stripes. Mini aro pride flags, a bead pendant, two bead ring necklaces, a woven bracelet, a gecko bag charm and a Sylvanian Families figurine wearing a handmade aro pride dress, in aro and allo-aro colours, sit on top of the journal.An embroidered, cross-stitch patch sitting on a blue microfibre blanket. The patch is rectangular, featuring the text “ARO” sewn in the colours of the dark green/light green/white/grey/black pride flag against a pale yellow cross-stitched background and a gold hand-embroidered borderI also have training in text design and digital publishing, and have worked on flyers, postcards, magazines and anthologies for both digital and print publication. I do create simple aromantic stock images and flag edits, along with my own book covers, but I’m not a visual artist.

I scribble notes on four whiteboards hanging all over my bedroom, own a notebook collection I can’t use and am possessed of the ability to organise the maximum amount of objects into the minimum amount of space. I like bright colours, the smell of lemongrass, rice, clothes without tags and puzzle erasers arranged in fancy glass jars. I don’t like society’s continual requirement for brevity, sausages, beige, artificial fragrances and most pop music.

Books

I’ve spent years in LGBTQIA+/queer spaces feeling erased because most works that depict my trans, pan and disability identities feature characters in (neuronormative) romantic relationships. The message I learnt is that a romantic happy ending is the only right way to counter the dehumanisation I experience. As much as I believe romance narratives for marginalised identities should and must exist, its omnipresence leaves me alienated from much of the extant representation.

I write original speculative fiction, more commonly short stories and novelettes, about adult (non-YA) queer, trans, disabled, autistic and aromantic protagonists. Please note that while most of my works aren’t explicit, I do include sexual references. Projects like Hallo, Aro specifically depict aromanticism as shaped by allosexual attraction, and I do focus on allo-aro and/or attraction-experiencing characters.

I have posts with aromantic works grouped by categories including allo-aro, aromantic-focused, aromantic and autistic, and aromantic and transgender. Other stories about queerness, gender and autism can be found on my author website’s fiction page.

Five book covers comprised into a single image, all by K. A. Cook. The Wind and the Stars has white type set against tree silhouettes before a full moon; Hallo, Aro has pink casual script type against a blue background surrounded by feathers and leaves; Old Fashioned, with red type, shows a fantasy bedroom scene; Certain Eldritch Artefacts shows a magical market stall; Their Courts of Crows shows a greyscale bird beside a tree.Most of my books can be downloaded for free (even for non-patrons) from my Patreon.

Cover images, downloads, blurbs and other reference materials are also available from my Dropbox.