If I have one regret about Evie’s series, it’s that I didn’t get to put as much emphasis on the sexuality and relationship dynamics of my main character and her love interest, Micha.
I did address this once, here, but I wanted to revisit it again for Pride month.
As I mentioned last week, it’s hard for me to talk about being asexual because it’s an absence of desire. It’s hard to talk about something that’s not there.
In the Spider’s Web, Evie has much bigger fish to fry than worrying about getting a boyfriend or how she feels about other people. She’s recovering from trauma, depression, and anxiety. She has trouble leaving the house. She can’t look people in the eye.
More than a significant other, she needs a support system. It starts with Izzy, her aunt, and slowly expands to include her friend Adam. As she grows more comfortable in her skin, she’s able to accept Micha, her spiritual companion. He, in turn, is able to help her accept things about her past, her family, and the present that she couldn’t cope with on her own.
It’s really only in flashbacks to a previous life that we see them as a couple. In the flashbacks, they both enjoy physical intimacy with each other, but Micha–who remembers these lives when Evie doesn’t–makes it clear that things do change over time.
Micha is panromantic and grey-asexual. Pansexuality and bisexuality are hotly debated topics in terms of their precise definitions, even in LGBTQIA+ circles. In Micha’s case the definition I’m using is that he is attracted to the person regardless of their gender or sexual identity. So, he was in love with Evie through all of her incarnations, and it didn’t matter to him if she was a man, a woman or somewhere in between (he was joking about the rat thing, though).
This was a conclusion I didn’t come to until I was almost done writing Moreau House, when I realized it explained so much about his character and his relationship with Evie. While I knew he loved her regardless of what form either of them took, it wasn’t until they were both on the same plane that I realized the physical aspect of the relationship meant as little to him as it did to Evie.
Evie is demi-sexual. In previous incarnations, she has been almost every letter of the LGBTQIA+ acronym, but in her current lifetime she has the privilege of being cis-gendered (she identifies as the gender she was assigned at birth), and passes for allo-het (allosexuals experience sexual attraction. The “het” abbreviation refers to heteroromantic, or people who experience romantic feelings for people of the opposite sex). Even when she is finally in a relationship, because it’s with Micha most people assume she is straight and allosexual and don’t question it. She’d probably be a 2 on the Kinsey scale, but I do think that after the Ferrymen she had a bit of a girl crush on Maddie.
The focus of the series, for me, has always been on mental health. It’s always been about coping with depression and anxiety, and still finding a way to save the world, even when money is tight and there’s no side kick and you’d really rather hide under the covers.
Evie and Micha are not the only LGBTQIA+ characters in the series. Her friend Adam is bisexual, and his boyfriend Isaiah is gay. In Moreau House we meet Trojan, Vanity, and Cora, who also all have their own identities, but because their romantic relationships aren’t relevant to the plot and I am not a romance writer, these aren’t explored.
Sometimes, I wish I could write romance, so that I could explore these aspects of their personalities and their histories more, but as someone who is aromatic, the entire concept is rather foreign to me. I’ve tried writing it in the past (both straight and same-sex couples), and the result always feels wooden and forced to me.
For fans of the series, I hope this adds a little more depth to the books. For those who haven’t read it, I hope this makes you want to give them a try. These are truly the books of my heart.