About the author

My neurodiverse ass spent a lot of time and energy in life on trying to pass as neurotypical.

But I’m just not.

I’ve got a brain that’s wired a little differently thanks to my autism, but you know what? Different is my middle name! Okay, not literally, but you get the idea.

My unique perspective on the world may cause me to see things from a different angle than most folks, but I’ve come to embrace my quirks.

Who wants to be normal anyway?

I was the kid that was weird and different growing up.

I was bullied for my niche interests (like reading and storytelling) and for not giving a crap about the social things most maturing humans spent so much energy on (make-up, climbing social rank, having a large social sphere, partying and drinking).

My idea of fun was watching movies and documentaries, reading books, playing games (board or otherwise) and talking about them!

As a child I was sent to psychologists to have my “anti-social behaviour” evaluated, because I had ✨really✨ deep focus and loved books and movies that made me feel like I left my body and my life behind to become someone else for a little while.

Apparently that was cause for concern. I was just having fun 🎉🪅🎈💃🥳

Of those evaluations, I remember being given paper and pens and being told to draw while the psychologist would ask me questions. But the fact that I got to draw made me happy (I loved to draw) and so I was always happy to go to the psychologists as long as I got to draw.

I still love to draw. It’s one of the best things I know.

Getting to draw and have an intimate conversation about me and the things I thought about was an awesome thing when you’ve got a brain that’s like a little thinking factory, pushing out thoughts 24/7/365.

As I got older, school got harder and harder.

I started struggling to appear normal when the workload got really big and there stopped being an emphasis on learning, and it became all about memorising for the sake of memorising.

My stark distaste for false authority didn’t help.

Like when I ended up dropping out of uni because when I asked my teacher what edge the school I was in would provide upon graduation over other schools pumping out the exact same professionals, she had no answer. I walked out of that class and never went back.

But I digress.

Before I dropped out of uni, I dropped out of college (that’s high school to any Americans reading this). I’d gone into college after being pressured by student councillors, parents and society at large, to apply to a school – any school – rather than get a job.

I applied to graphic design school. I tanked the entrance exam and didn’t get in.

So, I went to college despite knowing it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I did fine in most subjects, excelled in languages and literary studies, and struggled with my old arch nemesis, maths.

My Spanish teacher abhorred me because I skipped every class I could without failing the course and then came in to ace the exams. “How?!” she’d practically shout. “How is this possible? Do you know what you could do if you only applied yourself?”

One fateful afternoon I walked into a physics exam and after having looked through the questions on the exam paper, walked out of the exam. I didn’t know the answer to a single one of those questions and had better things to do than spend two hours sitting in that exam trying to pull creative-but-incorrect answers out of thin air.

Eventually, I ended up in performing arts and found a second home on the stage.

Though, not before my academically achieved step-grandmother had a chance to look down on me for not going to a “real school”. When I excitedly told my grandfather I’d gotten into a performing arts degree, my step-grandmother leaned in (we were in a rowing boat when this conversation took place, but that’s another story) and gave me a disdainful look, “So, what will your title be when you graduate this… school?” she asked me.

“My professional title will be ‘dancer’,” I replied, feeling embarrassed, so I tacked on, “And I’ll be majoring in contemporary dance and modern ballet,” as if that was going to somehow convince her it was a meaningful pursuit.

Crickets. Or well, the buzz of the little motor attached to the rowing boat and the prow of the boat cutting through the water. But the woman was silent for a heavy moment.

Then she leaned back with a dismissive, “Hmph” and said nothing more on the topic.

Embarrassed, but undaunted, I loved school.

In performing arts school I finally found something that challenged me and where I could apply myself. It never got boring. And working for the good grades was meaningful.

And it allowed me to explore storytelling on a whole other level. I still remember the final work I did in my second year, which was a collaboration between a dancer (me) and an actor about how a person goes insane.

Or appears to go insane to the rest of the world, but to herself, it’s the rest of the world that’s spiralling into insanity. And during that whole process she was haunted by the ghost of her “sane” self – chiding her for not being as young and beautiful and obedient as she once was – as well as the ghosts of the people she had loved and lost.

I did the sound design and was the one who insisted on including a scene where the audience sat in total darkness for 3 minutes listening to the sound of a heartbeat.

Even in rehearsals, it was jarring. Haunting.

It made people cry because it hit deep. From remembering a dying grandmother’s last hours to the memory of a miscarriage to having a return-to-the-womb-like experience, it brought out all kinds of feelings in our audiences.

I don’t recommend trying it unless you’ve got some serious mental fortitude and are in a good place mentally.

It wasn’t for the feint of heart.

I’m still not, so if you don’t like someone going on about seemingly unconnected topics that turn into granular deep dives that occur at random or dredging up feelings you thought you’d forgotten about, don’t read my stuff. It’s not for you.

I love reading, watching, and listening to stories. And I love to talk about them.

I also like to take all the thoughts my brain, that’s working at 120% at any given moment, comes up with and distil them into stories.

I love writing capable and confident characters that thrive on finding their agency.

And obviously having a long, convoluted journey getting there!

Medium to slow burn is the name of the game, and I’m a research heavy writer because it’s important to me to get things not too hot, not too cold, but juuuuuust right.

Nothing aggravates me more than when a character is done dirty (looking at you Modern Family and Game of Thrones season 8 👀).

Fantasy and sci-fi are my main jam, though I do have some forays into contemporary settings as well. But I’m not a pulpy writer, so you can expect me to write many frowning reviews about pulpy books I read.

My characters are sex-positive, polyamorous pansexuals, so consider this your warning: my content is mature, explicit and gay (in both meanings of the word).

With her gift for language and written expression, she injects her stories with a sense of beauty and poetry. Their writing is deeply emotional, and she never forgets to have fun.

– One of my copywriting clients

So, what do you want to read?

After having spent the last two decades in marketing, I’m only getting started with this creative journey into writing stories in book-form.

You can read this sci-fi romance short for free when you sign up for my emails.

When Sasha Barrett gets bitten by a snake on a mission, her squad captain’s quick actions not only save her life, but also make her realise something she may have known all along…

Check it out here!

Want to get more out of reading books? Grab this 👇 FREE guide on how to start a reading journal, complete with review templates and reading bingo sheets. Get it here.

You can see my books and I’ve got some shorts and things available for Patrons.

Or if you’d like to get to know me better, you can dive right in at the Meet Cute.

TL;DR Author Bio

Starsheep (also known as S.T. Arsheep) has been a professional writer for over two decades and has won big, fat imaginary awards for her work. She has worked as a copywriter and communications expert (writing fiction only in secret, shhh!) long before trading slinging ink in marketing for verbal carpentry in book writing. Now she writes spicy adult sci-fi & fantasy. A Scandinavian non-binary queer, this elder millennial is descended from Vikings and one Polish horse thief. She’s bicultural and trilingual, as well as fluent in sarcasm, and has analysis as her love language. She’s also obsessed with a good tiramisu. In her writing, she lives for witty banter, a good dose of adventure and catching the feels. When she’s not writing, she’s plotting how to take over the world. No, not really; just how to start an alpaca farm.