These are all my complete and in-progress works featuring allosexual-aromantic narrating protagonists. Most of these pieces are available as free reads, but One Strange Man and Different in Other Ways are currently subscriber exclusives on Patreon.
It’s worth noting that my protagonists are like to be various combinations of trans, non-binary, multisexual, disabled and autistic.
Is it “aay-romantic” or “arrow-mantic”? What if she hears “I’m a romantic” instead of “I’m aromantic”? What if she says “isn’t that just friendship” or “that can’t be real” or, worst of all, “I’m looking for something more”?
Hallo, Aro is a series of flash fiction stories about allosexual aromantic characters navigating friendship, sexual attraction, aromanticism and the weight of amatonormative expectation.
Contains: Dragons, a duchess’s daughter, an autistic who collects pride merch, odd voyages into creative non-fiction, allo-aro werewolves, the power in aromantic discovery and a whole lot of allo-aro feels and experiences.
What if her love is a dull, flickering, rare thing, so insubstantial it makes better sense to disregard it as meaningful? What if her love is quiet and companionate at best while Keiko loves with fairytale passion, a woman who wants and needs to be wanted?
Pretending to be girlfriends while casing an art gallery with Keiko shouldn’t be a problem, but once Jessie realises things have gotten a little too real in the façade they’re showing to the world, the only thing to do is ask.
Contains: A stand-alone, fluffy, contemporary short story about a greyromantic autistic and the beginnings of a QPR.
When Rowan Ross is pressured into placing an aromantic pride mug on his desk, he doesn’t know how to react when his co-workers don’t notice it. Don’t they realise he spent a weekend rehearsing answers for questions unasked? Then again, if nobody knows what aromanticism is, can’t he display a growing collection of pride merch without a repeat of his coming out as trans? Be visible with impunity through their ignorance?
He can endure their thinking him a fan of archery, comic-book superheroes and glittery vampire movies. It’s not like anyone in the office is an archer. (Are they?) But when a patch on his bag results in a massive misconception, correcting it means doing the one thing he most fears: making a scene.
After all, his name isn’t Aro.
Contains: One trans, bisexual frayromantic alongside an office of well-meaning cis co-workers who think they’re being supportive and inclusive.
December isn’t the best time of year for a trans aromantic like Rowan Ross, although—unlike his relatives—his co-workers probably won’t give him gift cards to women’s clothing shops. How does he explain to cis people that while golf balls don’t trigger his dysphoria, he wants to be seen as more than a masculine stereotype? Nonetheless, he thinks he has this teeth-gritted endurance thing figured out: cissexism means he needn’t fear his relatives asking him about dating, and he has the perfect idea for Melanie in the office gift exchange. He can survive gifts and kin, right? Isn’t playing along with expectation better than enduring unexpected consequences?
Rowan, however, isn’t the only aromantic in the office planning to surprise a co-worker. To survive the onslaught of ribbon and cellophane, Rowan’s going to have to get comfortable with embracing the unknown.
Contains: A trans allo-frayro trying to grit his teeth through the holidays, scheming aro co-workers, a whole lot of cross-stitch, another moment of aromantic discovery, and many, many mugs.
Necromancer Mara Hill has waited weeks for the Thinning: the one night the dead walk freely amongst the living. Her wandering great-aunt, Rosie, was wise in the way of magic and the world, and Mara knows of none other to ask. Books and magic alike haven’t restored her fading love, and Benjamin Lisabet is too wonderful to risk losing. Why can’t Mara keep herself from falling out of love whenever the girl she yearns for dares love her back?
She’s sure that Aunt Rosie’s spirit will offer up needed advice. She just doesn’t expect a deluge of deceased villagers set on unravelling everything Mara knows about what it means to love and be in love.
Contains: A sapphic, lithromantic trans witch fearing her shape of love; a bisexual aunt who adores girls; an aro-ace trans brother armed with pokers; a wealth of casual queerness; and a world learning to be bold about its own diverse aromanticism.
After a night of revelations to her dead aunt Rosie and her living brother Esher, Mara Hill must dare another with Benjamin Lisbet. If she’s truly the woman Mara hopes, surely Benjamin will be receptive to a conversation of the “I love you and want to be with you, just not romantically” sort? Surely this afternoon won’t stray beyond Mara’s preparations of a picnic basket, chives, rehearsed speeches and less-rumpled clothing?
Yet her months of searching for magic to refresh her fading love means there’s too much she doesn’t know about Benjamin. Too much Mara needs to know to hold this conversation without losing Benjamin’s friendship.
Mara thought speaking of her fading love under cover of dark difficult enough … but speaking of romance in daylight is another challenge entirely.
Contains: A sapphic, lithromantic trans witch making a misstep in the quest to build a love that honours her nature; an autistic, idemromantic schoolmarm with coeliac revealing her struggles in building romantic relationships with allistic women; and a conversation concluding in utterances of the word “when”.
Suki Lewis has always known what she wants—or, more correctly, what she doesn’t want. She also knows that a good woman of Freehome, deserving of her mother’s uncritical love, wants something she can’t fathom or mimic: a stable, lasting romantic relationship.
She can’t safely stay, but leaving means surviving the challenges of priesthood, her mother’s abuse and the belated finding of a name for her differences: allosexual aromanticism.
Those With More collects four stories showing Suki’s lifetime navigation of her belief, family, community and identity.
Contains: The adventures of a sharp-tongued trans, aromantic protagonist navigating other people in exploring allosexual aromanticism, her priesthood and the pressures of amatonormativity, love, emotional abuse and family.
Lovers’ Day is good trading for a witch who deals in enchantments, ribbons and dyed flowers. For Mara Hill, it’s long been a holiday of tedious assumptions and painful conversations–once best handled by casting petty curses on annoying customers. This year, when a girl asks about love spells, it may be time to instead channel a little Aunt Rosie.
Contains: A sapphic, allosexual, lithromantic trans witch enduring the most amatonormative holiday extant–in a small town still in want of open conversations about aromanticism.
Kit March is a signature away from marrying the man who loves him. He should be delighted, but for reasons he doesn’t understand and can’t explain, his future with Lauri weighs upon him. What is a magician to do when no script extant has words for the confusion he feels?
Contains: A gay, transgender, aromantic autistic struggling with the difficulty of wedding the gay, cis man who loves him.
Leaving Lauri should have freed him from the pressures of romantic expectation, so how does a talented magician end up performing flash magic for buttons and hairpins in Raugue’s worst tavern? Kit doesn’t know and doesn’t care, as long as he can keep drowning guilt in beer and spellworking. As long as he can keep not thinking!
When a stranger offers the word “aromantic” followed by an opportunity to join a dangerous quest to the Gast, Kit may have more distraction than he can survive—and more comprehension than he can navigate.
Contains: A transgender, allo-aro gay man riddled with guilt for fleeing his fiancé; an aro-ace man offering the gift of language; and the prospect of a journey to a place that will forever change Kit and his new companion.
After seven years in Rajad, Darius has fallen out of love with the unattainable and failed to fall in love with the companionate. When the right person offers a romantic relationship and he doesn’t understand why yes won’t grace his tongue, the only thing an autistic man can do is ask the Ravens–and hope he can survive the word they give him in return.
Love in the House of the Ravens is a story about what it means to be aromantic when one is also autistic and the world isn’t accepting of either.
Contains: An unknowing aromantic who isn’t prepared for his friends’ conclusion about his identity; a verbose eldritch entity stuffed in a saddlebag; an alloromantic trans man who will always be there for his queerplatonic partner; lots of casual polyamory; and some of the many ways autism impacts conversation and connection.
When Akash’s former lover refuses to return a family heirloom, Darius knows only one way to help his mate—even if it means ignoring several laws in the process. The magic he mastered in surviving the College and the mercenaries has surprising utility in the art of larceny, at least once he gets past the stomach-knotting anxiety. When Darius makes the mistake of asking Akash why, however, getting caught in a stranger’s third-floor bedroom seems like nothing compared to comprehending the mysteries of romance and friendship.
Contains: A trans, abrosexual, aromantic autistic breaking the rules for the friends he loves; a queer alloromantic trans man and a pansexual, aromantic genderqueer in a QPR; and an acceptance borne from a midnight flight through the streets of Rajad.
More info: A sequel on the subject of aromantic acceptance to Love in the House of the Ravens.
Seven years ago, Darius Liviu met a talking sword belt in the Great Souk, an eldritch being who changed his life forever. In that time, he has learnt something of the sword, mastered strange magic and survived dangerous jobs, but while he has friends in Rajad, he still feels out of place—too divergent to be welcomed and accepted as mercenary and magician.
When an unexpected meeting with potential employers goes wrong, his first instinct is to flee. But a wandering monarch, Efe Kadri, has an offer that might provide the certainty for which Darius has been searching, if only he has the courage to say yes…
Contains: A trans, abrosexual, autistic magician who comes out as aromantic to a terrifying eldritch entity; a cis, bisexual, allistic king who can’t be simply identified as ally or enemy; and the beginning of a quest that will likely end in chaos and magic.
Yuissa is the only partner Adelin wants, but survival in Ihrne requires both girls to keep secret their truth. No matter: they’re only a year away from having coin enough to escape to a cottage in Greenstone, a paradise of vegetable gardens, rescued cats and unrestrained affection. They can survive anything until then, right? Yet when Adelin’s worried mother and grandmother plot to solve Adelin’s unwed state by forcing her to court a male acquaintance, Yuissa thinks a beard the only answer.
Contains: A cis, sapphic, probably-demiromantic shopgirl defying restrictive notions of good; a cis, bisexual, autistic shopgirl defying restrictive notions of abled; two older cishet women enduring and perpetrating misogyny; and a promise of a future possessed of a goodly number of cats.
Nevolin ein Yinne sells books, curses low ceilings, promises his father that he won’t get himself killed and looks a little too hard at pretty men. Men he wants to date, men he can’t date, men–even in Ihrne’s queer underground–who expect a comprehension of romance he doesn’t possess.
Harper Mitzin Seili serves dishes, never removes his gloves, promises his mother that he won’t get himself killed and has no idea how to comprehend an interest in people that won’t stop changing. An interest bordering on irrelevant while he keeps secret the nature of his masculinity.
Nevo isn’t good at pretending to be straight.
Harper isn’t good at pretending to be unremarkable.
Different in Other Ways is a series of sketches and vignettes, prequels to The Eagle Court, about gender, abrosexuality, quoiromanticism, customer service, working-class queerness and friendship.
Contains: An abrosexual trans man with porokeratosis who gives the scaly middle finger to passing; a quoiromantic cis man struggling with the limitations of the small-minded; two parents prone to justified anxiety; and an Iteme prince in disguise.
Prince Paide ein Iteme has lost his father, his family, his people and his home to a conquering necromancer queen and her armies of the risen dead. A last horrific battle sees him forced to discuss surrender, but that conversation is no small amount complicated when said conquering necromancer is his mother. Who might not have been entirely wrong in her overthrow of Paide’s father…
Contains: A cis, pansexual, allistic prince fighting a war on which there’s no right side; a cis necromancer queen summoning the dead for her trans son; and a surrender that doesn’t exactly have a happy ending.
More info: Paide doesn’t here mention his aromanticism, but he does refer to it–without yet using the word–in the following book (below).
Bones interred under the palace, gold given to field-ravaged farmers and Parliament dallying over amendments: war is ended for Prince-Regent Paide ein Iteme. Or so it should be, but returning home to Ihrne in a broken body ensorcelled by a necromancer leaves Paide struggling with politicians who ignore him and servants who condescend to him. What good is a title and purpose when his words and desires have become meaningless to those around him?
Surviving the dismissal of the Eagle Court is harder than facing an army of shambling corpses. How does a dead soldier fight it when he no longer wishes to live?
Contains: A cis, allistic, pansexual, aromantic prince occupying an unnatural position between life and death; an allistic, trans general doing her best to offer solutions and friendship; and a goodly amount of the ableism one faces as a disabled man in an ableist court.
Constance, princess of Blackvale, knows the duty of a summer-hearted heir: wed the prince, birth the child, symbolise her people’s prosperity and fecundity. Love, joyously and passionately, a man even she believes handsome and kind. But what if her heart can’t cast summer’s warmth? What if she feels solely the profane desires of skin and flesh? What if Blackvale’s crops wither and rot unripened because their future queen can’t—and won’t—bow to the nonsensical-seeming rule of seasons?
She knows only one way to avoid catastrophe, falsehood and marriage: surrendering herself to the Forest Witch. Not even for his daughter will the king risk angering the feared but necessary master of briars, protector of forests and abductor of women.
Constance expects a lifetime’s bondage to a dangerous witch, freeing her cousin to inherit Blackvale’s throne. The witch has other ideas…
Contains: A multisexual allo-aro princess who, in the name of duty, wants the witch to lock her away in a tower; and a trixensexual allo-aro witch who sees hope and possibility in the princess seeking hir protection.
K. A. Cook is an abrosexual, aromantic, agender autistic who experiences chronic pain and mental illness. Ze writes creative non-fiction, personal essays and fiction about the above on the philosophy that if the universe is going to make life interesting, ze may as well make interesting art. You can find hir blogging at Aro Worlds and running the Tumblr accounts @aroworlds and @alloaroworlds.