Charles Read Academy Library and Furry Titles


We would like to shout out to Huskyteer for helping to organise this.

The Charles Read Academy in the UK was seeking new YA titles for their library, with a particular focus on queer/LGBTQ+ content. Huskyteer helped arrange things with both Goal Publications and FurPlanet to get a number of furry titles included in this library. By all accounts, they have been a great success so far! The school library wasn’t even able to share a picture of all the books because they were being checked out so quickly!

Not only is it a wonderful thing to see a school library actively seek queer books for their library, but it is great to see young readers enjoying reading them as well. Thank you to the staff at Charles Read Academy for doing this, and thank you to Huskyteer for ensuring that furry fiction has been included.

https://twitter.com/CraLibrary/status/1455597392129110017

The furry titles included are:

  • Nexus Nine – Mary E. Lowd
  • The Tower And The Fox – Tim Susman
  • Huntress – Renee Carter Hall
  • Kismet – Watts Martin
  • Koa Of The Drowned Kingdom – Ryan Campbell
  • Beyond Acacia Ridge – Amy Fontaine
  • Of Birds And Branches – Frances Pauli

FWG Monthly Newsletter: November 2021


October certainly was a busy month! We hope you all enjoyed the content throughout Furry Book Month, and that you have been able to find a few new favourite authors and stories to enjoy. If you missed anything during the month, we have our recap here.
Otherwise, this will only be a short newsletter, but if you think we have missed something important, do let us know!

In addition to Furry Book Month, the news broke last month that Fenris Publishing has acquired Rabbit Valley Comics. We’re looking forward to how the Rabbit Valley name moves forward into this new future for them, and have every faith in Fenris Publishing to keep that history intact.

For some people, November means NaNoWriMo. Good luck to everyone attempting the 50,000 words this month. If you have other targets that better suit your writing habits, then we hope you are successful in them all.

Of course, not everyone is looking for a novel in a month. Instead, they’re after some short stories. Thankfully, we have some open markets to aim for!

If instead you’d like to spend the month reading instead of writing, then we have some newly released books and pre-orders from some of our members to check out.

A Swordmaster’s Tail, edited by Tarl Hoch. Released October 1st 2021.

A Wildness of the Heart: Limerent Object and Other Stories, by Madison Scott-Clary. Available for pre-order. Released November 1st 2021.

Resistance, by J.F.R. Coates. Available for pre-order. Released November 5th 2021.

Heretic, by J.F.R. Coates. Available for pre-order. Released November 5th 2021.

The Bee’s Waltz, by Mary E. Lowd. Released November 7th 2021.

Winter Wonders – an anthology featuring guild member Alice Dryden. Available for pre-order. Released December 1st 2021.

C.A.T.S.: Cycling Across Time And Space: 11 Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories about Bicycling and Cats – an anthology featuring guild member Alice Dryden. Available for pre-order. Released February 8th 2022.

For one final time, thank you to everyone who contributed to Furry Book Month and Oxfurred Comma, as well as those who supported us by reading the Q&As and attending the panels. Without the furry writing community, there would be no purpose to the Furry Writers Guild.
Enjoy NaNoWriMo if you’re attempting it.

Stay safe. Keep writing!
J.F.R. Coates

Furry Book Month 2021: Recap


Furry Book Month is coming to an end for another year. Thank you again to all the people who have contributed to the content we have put out over the month – it has been a great experience for us, and I hope that you have enjoyed the interviews, books, and of course, Oxfurred Comma.

Of course, the month isn’t quite over yet, so if you were still looking for a new book to read then there are still a few ongoing deals and sales until October is over. Check out this page here to see what offers are available.

Over the month, we also put out a number of Q&As with the authors, publishers, and reviewers of the furry writing community. In case you missed one, we have a complete list of those posts here:

Of course, just because Furry Book Month is coming to a close, doesn’t mean we stop our work in helping to further furry writing. If you’re using social media, use the #furrywriting hashtag to get our attention, as we regularly check this for some of the latest news and updates from the writing community.

We hope you have enjoyed Furry Book Month 2021. Keep reading, keep writing, and most importantly, keep supporting the furry writing community!
We’ll be back tomorrow for our regular monthly newsletter.

Furry Book Month Publisher Q&A: Rabbit Valley Comics


The final Q&A for the month comes from Andrew Rabbitt of Rabbit Valley Comics. Andrew has a long history in the furry publishing and writing community, and has plenty of insight to share. Note that this interview was done before the recent news that Fenris Publishing has acquired Rabbit Valley Comics.


Tell us a little bit about yourself, and the publisher you are representing.

Hello, Andrew Rabbitt here representing Rabbit Valley® Comics.

Since 1997, Rabbit Valley Comics – then known as Another Rabco Disaster – has been serving the furry community through the distribution and publication of artwork, books, comics, magazines, novels, and more. Our Vast Catalog of Other Good Stuff™ has been available online and in print since the late 1990s. Rabbit Valley Comics started out as a distribution company focusing on the comic Associated Student Bodies by Lance Rund and Chris McKinley. ASB has been available for sale in many formats over the years including individual comic issues, a hardcover collection, a digital download, and most recently a softcover collection. In the early 2000s Rabbit Valley Comics started publishing works including Circles and Spooo Presents; both of these titles are still available to this day. At Rabbit Valley Comics, we’re focused on bringing the best in anthropomorphic literature to market.

Personally, I joined the team as a helper in 2000 and became a full partner in 2004. If you’ve placed an order from Rabbit Valley after 2000, chances are I picked, packed, and shipped it. Outside of the store I enjoy camping, cooking, and cleaning.

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom?

My favorite thing about the furry fandom is the diversity and creativity. On any given day there are thousands of images shared on social media and video streaming sites as well as furry owned and operated image boards and other media platforms.

Our community excels in creativity. If you can think it, a furry is making it – for the community. A short list of things created for furries by furries would include:

  • Writing
  • Artwork
  • Costumes
  • FurSuits
  • Shirts, Sweatshirts, and other outerwear
  • Adult Novelty Toys
  • Adult Diapers
  • Underwear
  • Stickers

The list goes on and on…

In every major industry you will find furries. Doctors, lawyers, dishwashers, and truck drives…furries can be found in all walks of life and at all socioeconomic levels.

The Furry Fandom transcends politics, religion, race, and gender.

The Furry Fandom is a cultural melting pot where all are free to express their ideas, creativity, and desire to belong.

All this and more is why I love the fandom. Picking a favourite aspect would be impossible.

What made you decide to get involved with the furry publishing scene?

Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s there wasn’t many options for a comic artist or writer to distribute their works to the fandom. There were three publishers all still getting their feet wet – so to speak. The fandom was smaller then and 1000 people at a convention was a big deal. I got into publishing to help creators get their work into the paws of adoring fans.

It’s been a very satisfying twenty+ years.

What do you believe makes a good story?

What makes a good story? That’s a good question. I guess, for me, a good story can be boiled down to relatability. Can the reader relate to what is going on in the work? I personally find that if I can relate to a work, then I can safely call the work good.  Sure, spelling, grammar, firm plot, resolved/unresolved conflict, character development, scene setting, etc… are important in story crafting, but that doesn’t mean the work is good – to me.

One can have a perfectly literature rule-following story that just falls flat on its face because it’s not relatable to the reader. Again, to me, a story has to be relatable in order for it to be good.

I don’t need perfect grammar or spelling to decide if something is good. I don’t need consistent subject verb agreement or exacting prose to make a story work. ALL that can be fixed in editing.

What are some of the biggest challenges with publishing in a relatively niche market?

Over the years I’d say the biggest challenge has been in content curation. There are many, many works out in the furry fandom that are ripe for publication and distribution.

From a business standpoint the challenges we consider are saleability, quality, audience, market share, price, and time investment. Of these I’d say that, from my point of view, saleability is the most critical.

One can pour a lot of time and pay a premium price to make a work the best that it can be, one can use marketing to promote the work, but if it isn’t saleable – the is no market for it – then all that effort is wasted. This doesn’t mean that the work is bad, just not right for our market.

Over the years we’ve had a few works fall flat due to not resonating with our customer base. We’ve learned to review works based on what our customers want. This has help us avoid investing heavily in works that are better suited for another market.

What are some of the best parts of publishing furry books?

The best part of publishing furry works for others is helping creators get their works into the paws of readers.

We spend a lot of time and resources making each piece the best that it can be – helping authors with their writing process, artist with anatomy, pointing out flaws and ways to correct them…we invest in our contributors so that they can grow in their craft. To me, that’s the best part of being a publisher.

The other side of the coin is that we’re also distributors. The best part of being a distributor is having a vast catalogue to pick from when a customer asks for a recommendation. Connecting contributors with content is a perk of the job.

What is the ideal writer to work with like?

I’ve never worked with an ideal writer. I enjoy working with writers and editors who accept feedback and work it into their process. As long as an author is willing to see beyond what they’ve written and accept that there is always room for improvement, we’ll have no issues.

Novels vs Anthologies. Which do you prefer working on, and how do they compare in terms of sales?

Novels. It’s much easier to work with a single contributor than a group.

That said, anthologies sell better.

What do you believe is the biggest misconception about the process of publishing, either specific to furry publishing or generally?

Biggest misconception in the whole publishing process is that us publishers are out to take money from creators. We’re not. Many of the furry publishers are doing this as a labour of love. We’re not getting rich on the backs of our content creators.

Rabbit Valley® Comics has always been a passion project to help put content into the paws of readers. Back in the late 90s when Associated Student Bodies had no distribution network,  we stepped up and partnered with the creators to get their comics into the hands of gay critters the world over. After ASB ended we jumped into publishing to fill the void left behind with Circles. We then started publishing novels, anthologies, and other series. Following that we launched the first furry digital book store in March of 2013…

It’s always said “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but just how important is cover art to the success of a book?

Cover art looks good on a webpage, looks good on a table display. It’s what piques the curiosity of the reader. It’s important.

Back when I was in school most of the books didn’t have decent cover art. My copy of The Hobbit is hardcover, leather bound, and only has the words “The Hobbit” on the cover. Nothing else…

Here, in 2021, I think cover art is more important in showing the reader what’s inside than back when I was in school.

I never liked the phrase. Cover art is important.

Is there anything you would like to see more of in furry fiction?

I’d like to see more works from under-represented groups.


This is the last of the spotlights for Furry Book Month 2021. We hope you have enjoyed these insights into the furry writing community. Perhaps you have found a new favourite story or authors amongst all of these. Perhaps you have learned something new about the writing process, or found that spark to write again!
Thank you for reading these and for supporting the furry writing community.

Furry Book Month Author Q&A: Renee Carter Hall


Our final author for the month is Renee Carter Hall, who also has plenty to share about furry writing and her own processes. Please do have a read through – and perhaps click through to her essay on writing anthropomorphic characters.


Tell us a little bit about your most recent project (written or published). Was there a particular inspiration for it?

Right now, what I’m most working on is trying to get some momentum back with my writing generally. I’ve been in a dry spell for a few years — no One Big Reason for it, just a lot of things, external and internal — and, along the way, questioning what I really want to write and where I want to focus my efforts. So I have a handful of furry short stories that have been in the works for a long time that I’m trying to finally finish and send out, because I really love some of these ideas and characters.

My other big project at the moment is a middle grade novel (aimed at ages 8-12), a contemporary fantasy about a boy whose favorite comic-book superhero shows up at his house and ends up revealing that the comic books weren’t always telling the whole story — and that they weren’t always necessarily the hero. That’s still in the early drafting stages, but I’m planning to eventually query agents once it’s done and try to publish it traditionally.

My writing career sometimes feels like a Venn diagram of three circles with only a little overlap — fantasy/science fiction for adults, furry fiction, and children’s fiction — so it’s hard sometimes to figure out what to prioritize.

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom?

I’m always impressed by the sheer amount of creativity in the fandom, whatever form it takes, and the fact that so much of it is focused on creating original content and not just replicating or re-purposing something from mainstream media (though there’s room for that, too). I forget who said that, basically, “furries make their own stuff to be fans of,” but I appreciate how unique that is.

As an author, I also appreciate that there’s a place where I can share a serious story starring an animal character without worrying that it’s going to be automatically dismissed as weird or juvenile. As much as I want to see furry fiction grow its audience beyond the boundaries of the fandom, and receive its due credit and respect for the speculative art it is, it’s reassuring to know that that supportive space is there for my work.

Why write furry fiction?

Years ago I would have written you an essay for this answer. (Well, actually I guess I did write an essay: “On Anthropomorphic Characters,” the foreword for Will Sanborn’s furry anthology Different Worlds, Different Skins Vol. 2.) 

These days, I suppose I’d boil it down to the fact that storytellers in all eras and all media have always used nonhuman characters to explore what it means to be human. Furry fiction is part of that.

Besides, nobody questions why children like stories about animals. Why are we supposed to outgrow them?

What is your writing process like? Do you outline and plot, or are you a “pantser”?

A bit of both, depending mostly on the length of the project. For a short story, my version of an outline is pretty loose, usually a few pages of notes and brainstorming, maybe lists of key scenes and elements, things like that, and then I jump in and see where things go. For a novella or a novel, I tend to want the plot a little more concrete before I really get going, in hopes of not having to discard so much along the way.

What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?

In terms of the actual prose, probably dialogue. I love writing dialogue. But also, bigger picture, I like to think I’m good at taking a premise that might otherwise sound pretty absurd and crafting an emotionally moving story from it. (My readers can have the final say on that, though.)

What is your favourite kind of story to write? Does it align well with what you like to read?

I’m most at home with fantasy of one kind or another — some hint of wonder or magic — and I like adding a touch of humor where I can. My reading is fairly eclectic, though, so I do read a lot of genres that I don’t typically write, like contemporary YA, horror, and historical.

Which character of yours do you most identify with, and why?

There’s a lot of me in Leya from Huntress— her longing, her drive, her perfectionism, and her questioning. Sometimes, though, I also like Dinkums from Real Dragons Don’t Wear Sweaters, wanting to be taken seriously as a fearsome creature of legend despite being pink, fuzzy, and cute. Whenever I wish I could write some kind of edgy, complex, epic tome that will win prestigious awards; whenever I feel like all I’m doing is writing silly, shallow little stories that will never really matter — yeah, that’s Dinkums.

Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?

Some of my biggest influences aren’t actually authors, even though they’re all storytellers. I grew up on the creative works of Jim Henson, Chuck Jones, and Steven Spielberg, to name a few, and I can sometimes see little glimmers in my work of the same type of humor or warmth or an ordinary character thrown into an extraordinary situation.

For furry fiction, books like Bambi, Ratha’s Creature, Watership Down and the Redwall series shaped my love of animal fantasy. And though I know them only as a byline, I’ll always feel a certain debt to furry author Todd G. Sutherland, whose story “Wings” inspired my own “Dog Days,” which became my first story published within the fandom.

What is the last book you read that you really love?

Probably Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker. It’s a middle grade novel that’s made up of these spooky intertwined stories being told to a group of fox kits, and it’s kind of fun that you can look at the situations either from the animal characters’ or the human reader’s perspective — like, there’s a story that’s basically a zombie story, from the fox characters’ point of view, but as you read it, you realize it’s also describing the effects of rabies. The tone of the book is so deliciously creepy and atmospheric without being relentlessly dark — there’s also bravery and hope — and it just really opened up a new perspective for me in terms of what you can do in middle grade animal fantasy.

Besides writing, how do you like to spend your free time?

I’ve always been an avid reader, and it’s pretty rare for me to go more than a day or two between books. I also have an amateur’s appreciation for animation and film in general. Beyond that, I’m kind of boring, really — with the full-time day job, writing is about the only hobby/side hustle I have time and energy for these days.

Do you have any advice to give other writers?

From a craft perspective, and especially if you’re just starting out, take advantage of whatever resources are available to you to keep learning. When I started out writing for publication in the late ’90s, I learned mostly from how-to books and magazines (and of course, from reading fiction), but now there’s a whole lifetime’s worth of podcasts, blogs, communities, videos, and online courses to explore, available from anywhere with an Internet connection, and much of it free. I guess that could feel overwhelming to a new writer now, but to me it’s just an amazing buffet of opportunities.

From a process perspective, know that there’s no right or wrong way to be a “real” writer, whether it’s in terms of how often or regularly you write, how fast or slow, short stories or novels, etc. We’re all starting from the same blank page, and someone isn’t more legitimately a writer than you are simply because they work in a different way or produce more or less. It’s hard not to compare yourself to others, and I struggle with that daily, but do what you can and try to forgive yourself on those days you fall short. 

Is there anything you would like to see more of within furry fiction?

I’d always like to see more stories from women and stories that feature female characters. Thankfully, there are many more female furry writers now than were visible when I first came into the fandom about 20 years ago, but there’s always room for more of a presence on both sides of the desk.

I’d also like to see more YA, especially since it seems like the fandom keeps getting younger (or maybe it’s just me getting older!) and there’s not a whole lot of animal fantasy published in the mainstream at that YA level.

Where can readers find your work?

The hub for everything is my website, http://www.reneecarterhall.com, where readers can find links to all of my books, and the best way to keep up with new releases is to sign up for my mailing list.

As far as social media goes, I’m most active on Twitter, as @RCarterHall. I don’t spend as much time in fandom spaces as I used to, but I’m still on FurAffinity as Poetigress, and there’s plenty to read there.


That is the last of our author spotlights for the month, but we still have one more Q&A to come tomorrow. Check back here then for our final Publisher Q&A of Furry Book Month 2021.

Furry Book Month Author Q&A: Mog Moogle


For our penultimate author of the month, we speak to Mog Moogle, author of arguablythe most infamous parody story ever published in the furry writing community – but don’t worry, we aren’t here to discuss TBAGS! Instead, Mog is here to discuss his more conventional stories and how he goes about crafting them.


Tell us a little bit about your most recent project (written or published). Was there a particular inspiration for it?

I recently wrapped up a YA fantasy novel. It was an underdog coming-of-age story. The setting was a lot of fun. An order of knights that ride dragons. The main character has a disability that doesn’t allow him to telepathically link with the dragons, so he’s forbidden to actually be a dragon rider. If I had to pin it down to a particular inspiration, I would probably say that Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Riders of Pern was an influence. I know there will be similarities, but it wasn’t a direct one-to-one.

Also finished edits on the urban fantasy noir novella, got it to draft 2, as well as edits on the medieval fantasy, taking it to draft 2. Both of those are distinctly furry, unlike the YA fantasy that has humans and sentient feral dragons.

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom? Why write furry fiction?

I like the people. I like interacting with them and my best friends are furry. It’s a tolerant place, a safe place, where I can be myself. That’s something that just kind of seems lacking in most of the rest of the world. I do miss the conventions a lot. I would do writing panels almost all day at conventions. I miss helping other writers in that in-person way.

Why do I write furry fiction? That’s a question and-a-half, isn’t it? I suppose the simple answer would be I really enjoyed reading it, and decided I wanted to try and write it. I found of all the creative things I have attempted, writing has been what I’m best at and enjoy the most.

What is your writing process like? Do you outline and plot, or are you a “pantser”?

My writing process usually starts with an idea. Cliché, I know, but that idea is just something that pops into my head and I have to write it down quickly or I lose it. I have a text file of one line sentences that are the ideas that pop into my head. That gets a little more fleshed out if it’s something I am particularly obsessing over.

When it comes to larger projects like the novels, I do outline. It’s very basic, usually has the key points I want to hit, but I am very much a pantser in letting the characters get to them on their own. I like that, because I surprise myself often, and find that I’ve accidently foreshadowed when I’m reading back. That’s all done subconsciously, and it tickles me to read back and see I accidently a good. Also, letting the characters take charge and move the story without me tightly regulating them leads to interesting developments. In the medieval fantasy, two rivals fell in love. When I was writing that, I remember thinking, ‘well, I didn’t see that coming.’

What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?

Characters. That’s not something I can objectively say from my own observations, because I am attached to each of them in my own way. My opinion would be biased, I’m sure. But, time and again, one of the biggest compliments I get are how my characters seem relatable and people get invested in them. I am really grateful for that, because I do invest a lot of myself in them. I am normally a very empathic person, so conveying those emotions that I feel with them to the reader is a huge compliment.

What is your favourite kind of story to write? Does it align well with what you like to read?

I like to write the stories I would like to read. The urban fantasy noir story, for example, I had not scene that mix of genres. I’m sure it exists somewhere, but I thought it would be interesting to read one, so I wrote it. I would say it does align well with what I like to read, because I find myself reading a lot in the genres I most often write. Right now, I seem to be on a big fantasy kick. All three of the last big projects have been a flavor of fantasy. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the last novel I read through was a steampunk fantasy, and before that, it was Koa of the Drowned Kingdom by Ryan Campbell.

Which character of yours do you most identify with, and why?

I don’t think I can narrow that down to one character. Some of me goes in all of them. There are characters I really enjoy writing, some more than others, but to nail it down to a specific one would probably be impossible. I guess I could cheat and say that the self-insert character of Mog, (not Professer Mog, (yes that’s misspelled but it’s supposed to be,) in a few stories I wrote for a friend would most directly be identifiable to me.

Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?

Wow, that’s also hard to pin down. I suppose if we are going back to the very beginning, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien and The Giver by Lois Lowry are what made me fall in love with reading. By extension, that means I fell in love with writing a little later down the line. Andy Wier with his light hearted but techy sciencey writing has been a fun inspiration of late. That lets me know a story can be goofy and accurate.

In fandom, two of the biggest influences would be Faora Meridian, of which I really enjoyed Cold Sleep and his Blood and Water stories. Ryan Campbell for his fantastic worldbuilding and vivid imagery while having an amazingly approachable writing style with an economy of words. Several friends in the various writing groups and organizations like Jaden Drackus, T.J. Minde, NightEyes Dayspring, Slip Wolf, Ocean Tigrox…and many many more. Tim Susman and MCA Hogarth on the more mainstream side of things. Rukis was an early inspiration. Yeah, I could go on for a while and still not name all the authors and works that influenced me.

And, I certainly don’t want to forget to mention Dwale. It was my go-to for anything related to poetry, and my Leo for Top to Bottom is definitely partially credited to it.

What is the last book you read that you really love?

Hmm…would it be pretentious to say Piety of the Damned by Mog Moogle? I mean, that was technically the last book I read that I really loved. But if we’re talking about something I didn’t write, then it would have to be The Martian by Andy Wier. I was hooked from the opening line.

Besides writing, how do you like to spend your free time?

Pina coladas and walks in the rain? No, not really. Don’t like pina coladas and walking in the rain just gets me wet. I used to BMX a lot, but since I tore the ACL, there is much less of that. Occasionally, I’ll get hooked on a video game and feel the need to play through it. I do like stuff outdoors. Recently cowboy camped on the river. Sleeping on rocks isn’t so fun, but being so far out that you can see the Milky Way is always a treat. I like to walk around the falls not far from me. But, these past few months, a lot of my free time has been writing, reading, or thinking about writing. Hammered out two novel drafts in three months.

Do you have any advice to give other writers?

There is one thing I say at almost every panel I’m on, because it is very universal. The only incorrect way to write is not to write. Writing is like any skill. Sure, you can call it talent, but what most people mistake for talent is actually hard work, dedication, and thousands of hours of practice.

Is there anything you would like to see more of within furry fiction?

I had to think about this for a long time. Things are moving in good directions overall. I do wish there would be more calls for submissions, but the past few years have thrown wrenches in about everything. So what I finally came up with is I would like to see more of us getting mainstream crossover. Ursula Vernon, Tim Susman, Watts Martin, they’ve all done so and shown we’re just as good, and in a lot of cases better, than some fairly big mainstreamers. So it would be nice to see more of that for sure.

Where can readers find your work?

Well, I’m around here and there. I recommend doing a search on Furplanet’s, SofaWolf’s, and Weasel Press’ websites for Mog Moogle to see the various anthologies I am in. As for something more direct, there’s my SoFurry page, which is the most up to date public releases and one-off works.

https://mog-moogle.sofurry.com/

I co-host a furry literary review podcast called Up Fur Review. (I promise we’ll get back to releasing episodes soon,) and I do that with TJ and Jaden Drackus. You can find us on twitter @UpFurReview

I recently started streaming the writing, and that has been loads of fun with a lot of great interaction and co-working with others that watch the stream.

https://www.twitch.tv/mog_moogle

Links to everything can be found on the twitter, along with writing updates, stream notifications, pictures of food, and other twittery stuff @Mog_K_Moogle


Tomorrow we speak to our final author, and after that we shall be concluding the month with another publisher. Please do come along for both of those as we bring Furry Book Month to a close for another year.

Furry Book Month Author Q&A: Mikro Goat


Mikro is primarily a visual storyteller, and that comes with different methods in order to best present the story you wish to tell. See how Mikro goes about his process here.


Tell us a little bit about your most recent project (written or published). Was there a particular inspiration for it?

I’ve been writing and illustrating a gay comic called “Spotting Basil.” It’s about an overweight pig who falls in love with a gym instructor that doesn’t believe his species should lose weight. My background is in video games and television writing (which I do professionally,) and really felt like I wasn’t allowed to represent gay characters in the industry other than flaming “twink/twunk” stereotypes. If you’ve seen the trailers for Q-Force, you know what Hollywood wants from us. Working in comics has all the advantages of being a visual medium while also allowing for the independence and zero-dollar-budget to create something hyper specific. I’ve struggled with weight and self-hatred. In the gay community there’s an expectation to look a certain way. Heck, even in the bear side of things, there’s the reverse expectation. I find the way health intersects with body positivity to be extremely important to me; I see both as valuable. After reading Beastars, it inspired me to use furry as a way to explore nature vs nurture while examining the subject of body types and sexuality.

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom? Why write furry fiction?

Furry instantly puts allegory into your head. You think “ah! This is like the real world, but not exactly,” and you start to consider what the story is saying more deeply. How are species paralleling real world people? In the case of my comic, does nature versus nurture play into things? Are the characters really like this because of nature, or nurture? Are both important, or is one more important? Zootopia really used furry to address race, Animal Farm totalitarianism, Beastars Japanese sexuality etc. To me, furry isn’t just an escape from our boring world as it exists – though I very much like it for that reason as well – it’s a lens to view our world through and highlight certain things about our lives.

What is your writing process like? Do you outline and plot, or are you a “pantser”?

First, I create a logline – a one sentence pitch for your idea. The sentence should present your character, setting, core conflict etc: “A young F.B.I. cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer.”  That’s the logline for Silence of the Lambs. It presents the protagonist through their occupation (and thus implies the world,) and what the core conflict is. I create a logline for my own stories like this, then I try and expand it into Aristotelian four act structures. Aristotle speculated that all stories boil down to four “acts,” which can be classified as “Present a problem…escalate the problem…create a crisis for the problem…resolve the problem.” It’s not a rigid structure at all and it serves as a framework for the most basic principle of writing: conflict. I write four sentences that correspond to each of those four beats with my story. From there, I build out the backstory for the character/s and what makes them tick psychologically and try to come up with want versus need conflicts for all the characters in the story. If a character wants something very badly, usually what they need for true happiness is the opposite of the want – this is the arc they undergo. For instance, in a character driven film like Moonlight, the protagonist thinks that closeting himself as gay black man is how he’ll attain happiness, but in reality (the want/middle act goal), he should be doing the opposite – accept himself for who he is and find love. The point is that a character who is after something is after it for a flawed reason and has to realize that thing they were after is flawed – thus becoming a better, more learned person by the end. If the character doesn’t get their need (but does or does not get their want,) it’s usually a tragedy. So, after collecting the logline, the four act beats, backstories and the wants vs needs, I finally begin to write. 

What do you find are the key differences between writing for written media, and writing for visual media such as games and for screen?

A screenplay or teleplay is structured in a way that’s different from writing a book. It de-emphasizes prose altogether, and while there are plenty of writers in film and TV that add it, it’s not usually considered good form. You’re making a design document for a director and should be as blunt and straightforward as you can with how you describe scenes. The page count matters in film and TV too. As long as you’re distributing dialogue and character action evenly, a single page in a screenplay is going to be approximately one minute of watch time, so you have to consider how long your work is to fit in a block of programming or how long you think your audience is going to be patient with you sitting in a theatre. In books, you also have a voice of a narrator to consider – but apart from stylistic films (such as noir) that use voice over, this isn’t important. All that gets dedicated to the way we consider a character moving through their environment, what the sets look like, what the character is saying. Even if a director changes your script, you imagine and write it out like it were a final product visually. Videogames are a different beast entirely. It’s a new medium and writing for a game is still the wild west. In a way, videogames first acts are incredibly short (this would be a tutorial,) and the vast, vast majority of the game is going to be the second act where the goal/want is super important. As such, the overall structure will be typical but you have to consider how the gameplay intersects with the narrative. Take a game like Dark Souls for instance, once you’re out of the Undead Asylum, your goal is to fulfill your destiny and kill Gwyn to take his place and you resolve that in the final act. But through the writing and lore, a concept like “hollowing,” which is where your character becomes a mindless zombie from despair, becomes integral to its themes and message. Dark Souls is a game about the human will to persevere. Your character never goes hollow because you’re still playing the game, and as long as you beat the game, from a meta level you’ve preserved. The difficulty, tone and characters all supply theme here. I think that’s the biggest difference between a movie/book and game – that your job as a writer is create a theme using the gameplay and support it in whatever way you can.

What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?

My biggest strength is probably how I write endings! I always find my endings to be quite good because of all the planning that goes into my work. As such, I think it’s just the ability to follow through on arcs. You’ll have to see what I mean by that when my comic finishes! Inversely, I think my biggest weakness is to write prose. My prose skills are completely hamstrung by not having to write it very much.

What is your favourite kind of story to write? Does it align well with what you like to read?

Don’t make me pick a genre! Those are my babies! In all seriousness, I’ve been finding myself writing romance lately. I do love myself some romance, but I mostly like to consume horror of all things.

Which character of yours do you most identify with, and why?

From the work in the fandom I’ve written, definitely Abe from my comic, but I can’t tell you why because it’s a giant spoiler. In the meantime, all I’ll say is don’t judge me until I can justify why that is in the future!

Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?

In terms of videogames, Toby Fox (Undertale), Hidetaka Miyazaki (Dark Souls / Sekiro) and Yoshiyaki Koizumi (Mario Galaxy / Majora’s Mask). In terms of movies, Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind / Adaptation), Joel and Ethan Coen (Fargo / Blood Simple), and I’m really starting to find myself pulling from Alexander Payne (Election / Sideways). In terms of books, William Golding (Lord of the Flies), Alice Walker (The Colour Purple) and Alexandre Dumas (The Man in the Iron Mask / Count of Monte Cristo).

What is the last book you read that you really love?

The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain. I thought it was a very eerie and unique take on a fantasy. It definitely blended coming of age and a kind of horror in a very unique way.

Besides writing, how do you like to spend your free time?

You mean besides drawing? I do like to draw as a hobby. I also like to consume whatever media I can. However, it’s important to get out and live life to pull experiences from too. I like going to the beach and swimming as well as look into true crime (I’m weird).

Do you have any advice to give other writers?

Learn structure! Read as many books on it as you can. Read Pamala Douglas’ book on TV writing, Save the Cat, whatever you can google and scrounge up. Rules can be broken, but you should know what they are before trying to break any. I consider art and writing to be very similar. You will get better if you learn the fundamentals, and finding your own style comes after mastering the basics.

Is there anything you would like to see more of within furry fiction?

I read a lot of gay comics and I want to see two things from people who write gay furry literature. One, please write women characters better. If a woman gets added into a story, she’s either the gay guy’s best friend who gives him advice and has no arc or issues of her own. Worst case, I read a comic that fridges a woman after having no development for the sake of the gay lead. Secondly, I’d like to see other stories besides closet stories. It’s a universal LGBTQ experience, but at least for homosexuality it should be hung out to dry. Most gay stories I read in the fandom are just closet / coming out stories and there’s so much more to tell in the space of being gay.

Where can readers find your work?

Best bet is to look through the folders on my FurAffinity. https://www.furaffinity.net/user/mikrogoat/


Tomorrow we hear from another furry writer – The Best And Greatest, one might say. Check back in tomorrow to see what our penultimate writer of the month has to say.

Furry Book Month Publisher Q&A: Khaki


Khaki is someone with a distinct voice in the furry writing community – and not just because of his Voice of Dog podcast! He also has a long history with furry publishing, and has a lot of very interesting things to say.


Tell us a little bit about yourself, and the publisher you are representing.

I’m Khaki, but back in the day I went by Alex Vance. I founded Bad Dog Books, which later became an imprint of FurPlanet, before the brand was re-purposed for FurPlanet’s e-book store. A lot can happen in 15 years!

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom?

Relentless creativity. The fandom is a community of makers and doers first and foremost, it’s absolutely incredible. Everybody’s making stuff, whether it’s art or music or stories, or characters or jokes, or performances and dances, or events and communities. I’ve never known a furry who just quietly consumes things — I’m sure they’re out there, but I’m also sure they’ll all catch the bug sooner or later and try writing a story or develop a character or volunteer at a con!

What made you decide to get involved with the furry publishing scene?

I’d just submitted my very first story to a publication, Sofawolf’s Heat magazine. I was a budding young writer with more dreams than experience, so when I hadn’t heard back from the editor within a week I started looking into what actually goes into publishing an anthology, to better understand what I should expect as a submitter. “Hey, that doesn’t seem *too* hard,” I thought, once I discovered print-on-demand technologies were mature enough that you could publish a book without having to lay out ten grand to get a few thousand copies printed first.                                        

What do you believe makes a good story?

Big question. I think the most important thing (and the thing I struggled with the most, when I was still a writer) is that the writer has to understand what the story is about. It’s not enough to like the characters or the world; the story has to achieve something, some change or realization in the characters or the reader, and the writer has to know what that is. It’s why I don’t consider myself a particularly good writer; I had a lot of fun creating vivid and exciting scenes that could be really enjoyable to read, but I didn’t really interrogate what I was trying to achieve.

I contributed a story to Kyell Gold’s “X” anthology, based on the Ten Commandments. During the editing rounds, Kyell’s primary editorial note was that I should clarify the central conflict, which was when I realized that I didn’t really understand what the core of the story was. That was immensely insightful of him!

I find the things I’ve struggled with the most are the easiest to spot in other people’s writing. Does your protagonist have enough agency? Does the reader understand the purpose and structure of the story? Do the characters feel alive, and do their relationships feel earned? Does the plot feel logical, yet surprising?

What are some of the biggest challenges with publishing in a relatively niche market?

Making money. That seems like a flip answer but it’s not; it’s really, really hard to make money, for everyone in the chain. Publishers operate on far narrower margins than most businesses could accept, writers and cover artists get a lower rate than in other markets and editors generally don’t get paid at all.

On-demand printing is great at reducing risk, because you don’t have to pay for books to be printed if they don’t get sold, but the cost per unit is very high. A typical paperback that you find in the bargain bin probably cost a dollar to print, about 10% of the cover cost. FANG, which was a pricey book at $19.95, cost anywhere from $6 to $9 to print back in the day, so there was a much lower percentage of revenue to recoup the writers’ fees with.

What are some of the best parts of publishing furry books?

The passion. Hands-down. There are vanishingly few people out there for whom furry writing and publishing is their full-time employment and for the rest it’s all driven by a desire for something cool to exist.

Prestige is a far more valuable currency than money, in furry publishing. Publishers strive to show their belief in the value of furry writing by putting out well-edited, professionally laid-out books that furries can be proud to show on their bookshelf, and writers can be proud to have their name on.

Everyone hopes to push the envelope, to broaden the market, because with more readers come more sales, and higher sales volume means both lower prices for readers and more profit for writers and publishers.

What is the ideal writer to work with like?

A good communicator who respects that the editor and publisher are responsible for the whole book. Editors don’t have perfect judgment and they can make mistakes, but their first responsibility isn’t toward a particular story or writer, but the book as a whole. That’s a lot of work, and it’s about a lot more than whether a story is good or not.

I once rejected a truly stellar story because it was too similar to another story, which had fortuitous parallels with a couple of other stories, that together would make for a terrific reading experience. The story I rejected might have been better than the one I picked, but it wouldn’t have elevated the book as a whole.

Novels vs Anthologies. Which do you prefer working on, and how do they compare in terms of sales?

Personally I prefer anthologies! Short stories have a focus and energy to them I really enjoy. Novels are intensely rewarding as well but they require a lot more attention during the editing process. Even if you work on a per-chapter basis, both you and the author have to keep a lot of plot details in mind across the full span of the book.

One novel I worked on involved a long travel sequence on horseback, where the author realized he was falling into the “magic horse” trope, with an inexhaustible steed, and that the world was better served and visualized by replacing the horse with a sea-plane. Which was great! Except several chapters later, the hero greets a local leader with a bow and “the horse bowed too”. The horse was so magical, it just appeared out of nowhere!

In my experience, novels were more profitable and a look at the current market suggests that’s still the case.

In furry publishing there was a “Gold Rush” of anthologies. It started around FANG Vol. 4 in 2012, the first volume to be based on a theme rather than a genre, with a one-book editing team. This proved to be a highly successful model; while it’s always been hard to find recurring editors for anthologies, many authors were very interested in overseeing and editing one anthology, as part of a series or one-off, and dozens of really great anthos were published on a variety of themes.

But few of them were really profitable, so by 2015 the boom started to ebb, as publishers focused on their most profitable offerings. Novels, and established series like FANG and ROAR. That sounds mercenary or dismissive, but even when the editor works for free and there’s no cover art, it’s still a gamble whether an anthology will break even.

Thurston Howl has spoken on this topic, how they produce their wealth of anthologies almost more for the authors than the readers, and I respect that immensely. They put tons of work into these books out of a desire for them to exist, and that’s fantastic.

What do you believe is the biggest misconception about the process of publishing, either specific to furry publishing or generally?

The meaning of “profitability”. As I mentioned earlier, most furry publishers have focused more on profitable titles, but it’s wrong to imagine them as cigar-chomping executives that care nothing about art, only about the fancy new swordfish they can buy for the piano-shaped pond in their third home.

When I ran Bad Dog Books only FANG Vol. 1 had been profitable within a year of publication, and that profit wasn’t enough to cover the first-year losses of the next two volumes, let alone ROAR Vol. 1. FurPlanet can produce those books much more efficiently, since they can do their own American sales directly, and they also decided to start adding cover art, which improved the sales of FANG and ROAR measurably.

But nobody’s getting rich. The recent news from Goal Publications is case in point. Everyone in furry publishing could make more money if they used their skills somewhere else, but they stay because they genuinely, honestly care about furry fiction.

It’s uncommon for publishers to be included in writers’ guilds, but in furry that’s almost unimaginable. The people most passionate about furry fiction are often publishers — because why else would you get into furry publishing?

So when a publisher weighs whether a project will be “profitable”, they’re thinking about all the projects they’ve already worked on, where they worked for free and paid more money to authors than they earned from sales. They love profitable projects, especially reliably profitable ones, because that allows them to raise their pay rates, first for writers, then for editors and artists.

And they have! I started FANG with a rate of 0.1 cents per word back in 2005, and I think I went as high as 0.2 or 0.3 cents by 2012 (those books didn’t turn a profit, remember). Nowadays FurPlanet’s rate for FANG is now 0.5 cents! That’s really, really incredible. And it’s a credit to the writers, editors and audience — and to the publishers.

It’s always said “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but just how important is cover art to the success of a book?

When FurPlanet started commissioning art for FANG and ROAR I was astonished at the effect on sales, and I’ve become convinced of the value of high-quality, attention-grabbing cover art. When a reader is considering their next book purchase, the cover definitely plays a role. Good cover art shows that the publisher or author invested in it — that they considered it worth investing in.

Is there anything you would like to see more of in furry fiction?

The fandom is more diverse than ever, and the world of furry fiction is rapidly catching up to that reality. We need more of that, and faster. We need to hear more voices, from women, trans and enby and GNC people, BIPOC people, Native people, neurodiverse people, younger and older people, . We need to hear about other experiences, other cultures and religions, other ecosystems and economies.

What has been your favourite book to work on recently? Why?

It’s been a while since I’ve been in publishing, but since I started the short story reading podcast The Voice Of Dog I’ve been involved in the furry writing community again, and one of the authors whose work I read on the show hired me to record the audiobook for his upcoming debut novel.

It’s called “The Quantity of Desire”, by Payson R. Harris, and it’s a fascinating fantasy story …about a minotaur who’s stolen from his homeland as a child and sold as a slave in the human world. Two major phases of his growing-up are under the “ownership” of a wealthy industrialist, and under the loving guidance of an earthier, more vivacious man. He has to resolve and synthesize their very conflicting worldviews in order to become his own kind of leader, to protect people from a growing supernatural menace.

It appealed to me because of the clear vision the author had of the story he was trying to tell: yes, there’s monsters and magic and archers and trials and politics, but it’s about growing up. How do you take everything you’ve learned and blend that with who you’ve become, and use the best of all of that to succeed?

There’s a fun, diverse cast of characters across gender roles, genders and personalities, with gay, bi, poly and enby people and relationships that just… *are*. I had tremendous fun reading it and I can’t wait for it to come out! [FWG Note: Because of the delay between when this interview was done and now, this book is already out – click here!]


We hope you’ll check out Voice of Dog – there are so many wonderful stories masterfully narrated by Khaki and other readers.
Tomorrow we speak with a writer who also delves into the more visual side of storytelling.

Furry Book Month Author Q&A: Huskyteer


Reporting for duty today is Huskyteer, lover of all things spies and subterfuge – and of course, furry fiction! With nearly 10 years of publication history behind her, Huskyteer has plenty to say about furry fiction before embarking on her next mission.


Tell us a little bit about your most recent project (written or published). Was there a particular inspiration for it?

I’m currently working on a collection of spy and action stories, some based on certain movie and TV franchises, some original. Basically, I’m writing what I like to read, and hoping other people like it too.

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom? Why write furry fiction?

Finding other people like me, who’d spent their childhood pretending to be an animal and never quite let that go. I’d love to live in a world filled with cute, huggable anthros – and writing about that world is the next best thing.

What is your writing process like? Do you outline and plot, or are you a “pantser”?

Hahahahaha, ‘plot’. Pants all the way!

I usually start with an idea for a scene, a character or a snippet of dialogue, and build from there. Often I have a beginning and an end in mind but no clear idea of what goes in the middle. I’ve heard it called the ‘headlights’ method of writing: when you’re driving at night you can only see a little of the road ahead, but keep going and eventually you complete your journey.

What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?

Humour. (It’s always risky to declare yourself a wit, because other people may not agree, but never mind.) There are lighter moments in even my more serious stories. I think fiction, and the world, needs more funny bits.

What is your favourite kind of story to write? Does it align well with what you like to read?

My favourite furry stories to read and write are slice of life, with furries in a realistic, contemporary setting, and historical, similarly realistic but set in the past. I’m fonder of character-driven pieces than of complex world-building, though I admire people who can do that!

Which character of yours do you most identify with, and why?

The title character of ‘Gerbil 07’ (ROAR #6). A cute, ridiculous little animal who thinks she’s James Bond.

Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?

A lot of my notions about how humour works come from P.G. Wodehouse and Douglas Adams. I’d give anything to have a writing style as unique and outstanding as Tom Wolfe’s, or Ray Bradbury’s gift for description.

What is the last book you read that you really love?

I’ve just finished the four books in Dave Hutchinson’s ‘Fractured Europe’ series of near-future espionage/sci-fi novels, set in a world where Europe has split into countless tiny nations. The feel of a Cold War thriller, brought up to date.

Besides writing, how do you like to spend your free time?

Well, this implies I enjoy writing, when a lot of the time I’m tearing my fur out over it…

I’m a motorcyclist – I love travelling and exploring by bike. I also do karate, which is hard work as I’m not particularly coordinated. Or fit. Or aggressive.

Over the last year, when my usual hobbies couldn’t happen, I’ve got very into open water swimming (you can do a lot of thinking about writing while you swim) and making model aeroplanes.

Do you have any advice to give other writers?

Read books, watch films and TV shows and cartoons, visit places if you’re able. You don’t write in a vacuum; let the things and people you love inspire you.

If you get stuck, talk to someone about your story. They don’t have to be a writer. Sometimes they’ll come up with a brilliant solution for you, and sometimes you’ll work it out for yourself as you talk.

Is there anything you would like to see more of within furry fiction?

Huskies, obviously ^.^

Where can readers find your work?

You can find a list of published stories on my website [huskyteer.co.uk/bibliography.php]. I’ve been bad about maintaining my SoFurry [https://huskyteer.sofurry.com] and Weasyl [https://www.weasyl.com/~huskyteer] accounts lately, but check them out anyway! The best place to come and have a chat and see what I’m up to is my Twitter, @Huskyteer.


Tomorrow we speak to a former publisher who has moved onto a new project with a distinctive Voice in the furry writing scene. We hope you’ll come back then to hear what this Dog has to say!

Furry Book Month Author Q&A: Madison Scott-Clary


Madison provided several informative panels last weekend at Oxfurred Comma. This interview provides a more in-depth look at her thoughts on furry writing in general, as well as a discussion about her upcoming works, which is to be released at the start of next month. Have a read and learn a bit more about how Madison approaches her craft.


Tell us a little bit about your most recent project (written or published). Was there a particular inspiration for it?

It’s a little funny how inspiration works! Many of my contemporary furry fiction stories take place in a broader universe which parallel to ours, in that they all live in a town in Idaho, in the US. Beyond that, many historical people from our universe exist in theirs such as Rainer Maria Rilke and, now, Meister Eckhart.

As I was thinking about this, I realised that a lot of history would have to take place in order for the US to exist, which means that large institutions would also have to exist, such as governments and religions. Small things differ (Telegram is called PostFast, Uber is called GetThere, etc.), but a lot of the big ones have to exist.

To explore that, I started toying with the idea of a Catholic coyote trying to process some failings in his life through the lens of his faith. I don’t share that faith, so it required a lot of really fun research, and has been very rewarding to write. It also includes a few other things that are very interesting to me, such as a focus on a therapist character and the idea of limerence – those crushes that are so strong they almost hurt. This is the origin of the novella Limerent Object, which will be published on November first, in a collection with a few other short stories. I’m really excited about it, but also quite nervous, given the areligious leanings of furry as a whole. I hope that folks will see it as an interesting story all the same!

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom? Why write furry fiction?

I love furry. Not only does it provide a great social scene, but it also provides a very fulfilling creative space. The very idea of furry characters automatically implies a lot of questions: how does grooming work? How about scent? How about tails? This is the inspiration for a lot of writing and art out there, and even if the core plot of the story isn’t about answering one of those questions, that you get to address them as part of worldbuilding to make for a more fully fleshed-out world.

In addition to this, having different species in the world provides a means for investigating interpersonal dynamics on a much deeper level. Is there speciesism? Is there competition between the species? How do predator-prey dynamics work? How are interspecies relationships treated? Is there hybridization? It gives you so many stories right out of the gate!

Beyond that, having spent so long in the fandom, especially in roleplay-heavy spaces, I struggle to write non-furry fiction at times. I miss the snouts and paws and fur!

What is your writing process like? Do you outline and plot, or are you a “pantser”?

It’s a bit of a hybrid, I’d say. I begin by pantsing a portion of the story, and then if I feel it has legs, I’ll start coming up with an outline. For instance, my last book, Qoheleth, started with two somewhat related ideas, so I just started writing a few chapters of each, and once they were starting to really catch for me, I sat down and outlined loosely. The more I wrote, the more I refined my outline.

Not all stories work this way, however. A recent short, “Jump” followed the outline provided by the lyrics of a song I love from the get go. It helps to be flexible when ideas come at you!

What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?

My biggest strength is probably language usage? I really, really love words and all the myriad ways you can put them together. Sometimes I worry that my prose purples, but I just can’t help it. Writing and playing with language just feels so satisfying. A well-written sentence is like a delicious bite of food, and a story full of them like a satisfying meal.

What is your favourite kind of story to write? Does it align well with what you like to read?

I love love love writing contemporary fiction with a focus on the characters’ inner worlds. The concept of what makes a ‘self’ is fascinating, after all. Because of that, I write a lot of contemporary stuff surrounding difficult internal – mental and emotional – problems rather than necessarily external situations.

It’s weird, though. While I do enjoy reading that sort of stuff, I wouldn’t call it my favorite genre. I really enjoy science fiction and that certain brand of horror/fantasy that is New Weird, but I have a much harder time writing it than the other stuff. I keep promising myself I’ll practice sci-fi more, then go and just write more contemporary lit instead.

Which character of yours do you most identify with, and why?

Because of the genre I write in most often, this is a surprisingly difficult question. I write about characters interrogating their concepts of self, and so I wind up putting a lot of myself into them. I guess that means I intentionally create characters that I identify with. I identify with the main character of “Disappearance” for her overwhelming desire to get out of her current life without being able to put her finger on why. I identify with Dani from “Overclassification” because there are ways in which one’s personality completely and totally pervade one’s life, and that informs almost everything about me. I can’t come up with just one, alas!

Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?

This is difficult to answer! I really love a lot of authors and works for different reasons. I would say that Max Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar’s This Is How You Lose the Time War, Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy, and Robert Charles Wilson’s Spin really influenced my use of language and the way in which talking around an ineffable thing to describe its boundaries can be of use. I credit Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice, Neil Stephenson’s Anathem, and Dan Simmons’s Hyperion Cantos for a lot of ideas on how to structure longer plots.

Above all else, though, I think I’d say that William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition kicked me into writing. The writing style all the way from the macro structure of the plot to the micro sentence structures and word choice, the reliance on emotion and the complexities of the self, the slow reveals of information important to both the reader and the characters, all of these have influenced the way that I write and approach writing.

What is the last book you read that you really love?

Oh gosh, interesting question. I am re-reading Dune in preparation for the Villeneuve movie’s premiere, but I have read that book probably dozens of times, so I’m not sure that it really counts. The best fiction book I read recently that really grabbed me was Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi. I am always a sucker for epistolary works – in this case, a published diary – but if you add in unique character voices and place names and a strange sense of the numinous, something much larger than what is actually at stake, and you’ve got me sold.

The best nonfiction book was one I read ages ago and recently reread while researching “Limerent Object”, Sarah Vowell’s The Wordy Shipmates, which is about, on the small scale, the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but on a grander scale, the religious roots of the founding of America which even today, even in the most secular of spaces, remain.

Besides writing, how do you like to spend your free time?

Lots of things! I love cooking, I love tea, I love video essays, I used to love programming and occasionally that happens now and again. I even enjoy just sitting and thinking or meditating or whatever you want to call it. It’s a great time to just pet the dogs or the cat and let go of structured thinking. I guess I’m a little boring, but I’ll talk your ear off about absolutely any of these.

Do you have any advice to give other writers?

I have a stable of advice that I like to give, but I’ll keep it to two items:

1: Never delete any of your work. Instead, if you start a story or project and decide that you don’t actually like it, move it to a scraps folder and then move on with your writing. A decent chunk of my book Qoheleth was written back in 2016 and abandoned as wandery and undirected, but a bolt-out-of-the-blue idea struck me one day, and I was able to dust it off, rewrite a lot of it, and then spin that out into a novel. Many projects that I started however long ago and abandoned are still on the table for revisiting. To help with this, I keep all of my writing well organized in a wiki (which essentially boils down to a set of well-named folders), so I can browse and start writing whenever.

2: If you are blocked, you still have options. If you are stuck on a story in progress, I strongly recommend taking a walk, painting a picture, drinking a cup of tea while staring morosely out a window, just anything to break context, preferably away from your computer or notebook. As much as writing feels like it takes place on the page or screen, the vast majority of it takes place up in your head, and even when you are not sitting at the keyboard or with pen in hand, you are still writing. If you are blocked on everything, I find flash fiction to be super helpful. Write 200-300 words of nothing. Just a snipped of conversation or a description of a place or how you feel about your ridiculously ugly drapes that the previous owners of the house left up. You may never do anything with it, but you’re building the habit of writing, and hey, you can toss it in your scraps folder!

Is there anything you would like to see more of within furry fiction?

I would love to see more works that play with form and format. We are good at writing scifi epics and romances that tug on the heartstrings, but, as I mentioned, I’m a sucker for epistolary works. I want to read a collection of letters between two people in the early stages of a romance. I want to read an extensive. nonlinear, and perhaps slightly deranged notebook of someone planning a revolution. I want sprawling hypertextual worlds! I want metafurry works about furries-qua-furries rather than just anthro animals! The fandom is full of boundless creativity, and we can do so much with it.

Where can readers find your work?

You can find all of my work at https://makyo.ink! I release all of my stuff for free, one way or another, though I obviously appreciate when folks purchase paperbacks or ebooks! I have five books out now, with the sixth coming out November 1, so there’s plenty to choose from, from contemporary furry lit to poetry to scifi to fictive memoir. If you would like to support my writing as well as get early access to everything, plus early drafts, notes, and outlines, I release much of that on https://patreon.com/makyo . If you just plain want to get ahold of me and talk writing, my contact info is all up at https://makyo.is


We’re coming towards the end of Furry Book Month now, but we still have a few more great people to talk to. Tomorrow we’re back with another author, so be sure to check back then!