Furry Book Month Author Q&A: Kyell Gold


Kyell Gold is arguably one of the most successful names in the furry writing community, and he is always happy to share his knowledge with the community. At Oxfurred Comma, he discussed the importance of a supportive writing group. Today, he answered some more general questions about furry writing.


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

I recently finished a first draft of my fantasy novel The Price of Thorns, which has been kicking around in my head in one form or another for probably a decade. I can’t think of a particular inspiration for that first idea, but when I started seriously writing it last year, one of the things I added was my love of fairy tales and folk tales. This world is one where magic exists, but fairy tales and folk tales still serve the same purpose, of teaching people lessons about the world. The tales in this world just might happen to be a little more true than they are in ours.

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

Those are two separate questions, really. My favorite thing about the furry fandom is the community and all the people in it, who are 99% fantastic and fun to know. I’ve met my partners and many of my best friends through the fandom and I love being part of it. So I guess I write furry fiction partly to give back to that community, but really I write furry fiction because I love to think about anthro critters. That’s all.

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

I have drifted toward outlining and plot since I started writing novels and now do that for most of my projects, though there are occasional “pantsing” projects. Even for those, though, I usually have an idea of where I want the story to go.

What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?

My work ethic.

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

I don’t know if I have a favorite! I love fantasy, I love contemporary stories, I love historical fiction. The Dangerous Spirits series blended all those with supernatural stories, which I also love, so maybe those are my favorite. I like strongly character-focused stories in general, and those are also what I like to read, although I also like non-fiction and mysteries (which tend to be less character-focused). My favorite stories from childhood are all fantasy and maybe that’s where my heart is, but as long as I can relate to the characters, I can lose myself in a story.

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

They’re all part of me in one way or another.

Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?

Stephen King for sure. Madeleine L’Engle. Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising series. Kazuo Ishiguro, specifically The Remains of the Day, A Pale View of Hills, and Never Let Me Go. David Mitchell’s work is all influential.

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

David Mitchell’s Utopia Avenue.

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

Doing more writing. Failing that, I hang out with my family, read, watch movies/shows, and sometimes do database work for fun.

Do you have any advice to give other writers?

Make sure that you are making a story that you are happy with, and if you are happy with it, don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. (But do be receptive to constructive criticism, and always be learning.)

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

If there is, I usually tend to go ahead and write it.

Where can readers find your work?

Most of it is on sale through Furplanet.com and Sofawolf.com (print), and BadDogBooks.com (e-book). I have a website (kyellgold.com) and a Substack newsletter (kyellgold.substack.com) where people can read about books I have out and books coming up.


Tomorrow we speak to another one of our fantastic writers. We hope you’ll come back then!

Furry Book Month Publisher Q&A: Thurston Howl Publications


Today we speak to Cedric G! Bacon of Thurston Howl Publications. As always, the publishers of the furry writing community are able to provide a different perspective compared to the authors. We hope you’ll give this all a read to discover what Cedric thinks of the community.


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

My name is Cedric G! Bacon, in some fandom circles I go by “Batced”. I’ve been writing for many years but maybe for the fandom I’ve been writing for just a little over five years, first appearing in the anthology Furry Trash. The publisher I represent is Thurston Howl Publications as the chief or head publisher in charge of things yonder there.

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom?

I think it’s the communal aspect of the furry fandom, where everybody helps each other out in terms of creating fan-driven works. Its sort of like how I imagine the early science fiction scenes in the 1930s first developed and worked towards making that a much larger fandom than it was at the very beginning. And I feel like that with the combination of the different writers, artists, fursuit makers, musicians, and everything else I’m probably blanking on, they all do like the Beatles and come together and make this beautiful, loving thing that entertains others and inspires others.

I’ve been one of those writers who loved getting my words in a book and even getting a contributor copy was well enough for me. I looked at it as great practice because everyone involved in publishing might not have been professionals per se, but everyone involved were veterans who knows what they’re doing and I figured if I was ever going to send something in out of the fandom and into the mainstream to be looked at, I felt more comfortable getting that practice and learning the mechanics and getting the confidence and I feel like the fandom publishers have been very good for that.

Making money is great and all but I think I prefer making sure I’m good enough to get to that next step as a professional writer and can put my mouth behind those words instead of making demands. And the fandom presses are very good for that, because everyone I’ve ever worked with since coming into this have kicked my butt every step of the way, making sure those words would be good enough and there are times when either the editor or the publisher personally said to me to make changes because sometimes I would write something extreme, I took it as advice that would help me. The small nature of the fandom is very good at sharpening some great creators and that’s something I wouldn’t change for the world.

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

I sort of fell into it. I wanted to always help out Thurston Howl since I was typically in contact with them and wanted to help get books out there and released. But in truth I always wanted to be involved in some way with publishing, always hoping to one day get on up to be employed by DC Comics or Marvel, or even Tokyopop or Viz Media.

None of those came to pass so even with helping out with a small press publisher in the furry writing scene, it was still important and I felt like I was able to learn about organizing, how to commission covers, working with writers, editing especially, and even learning how to work with others and be on that end of creating good things.

This last I was always so nervous about because I’d be the first to say that I am always pretty nervous when even talking with close friends and having to be the bearer of bad news. Occasionally it has been to my detriment and as I discovered there’s no easy way of balancing it, but at the end of it I just realize the best I can do is my best.

What do you believe makes a good story?

Solid characters and something resembling a storyline if that thing we call “plot” is absent. It is possible to tell a tale without following the standard procedure of a plot, especially if you’re weaving something that has events happening to the characters. One of my favorites that did this was a story from Alice “Huskyteer” Dryden entitled “Little Sun” that appeared in Werewolves Versus Space. While the “plot” is all about the discovery that a little stray dog is more than she appears, there are exterior forces that happen to every character that changes the force of the story across each turn (this story I ridiculously love and encourage everyone to seek it out) without hitting the reader over the head with details.

Another one is Kyell Gold’s “Don’t Blink”, which I suppose is part of his Forester universe (since the League of Canids first appeared in Waterways but please feel free to correct me on this anyone!) which has a small plot but the focus is all about young superhero Blink Coyote and his relationships and worries that he’s a lot less than he really is, and its just a really lovely story that showcases low stakes, but important events to the characters that will change and shape them by story’s end.

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

Perhaps the struggle I’ve discovered is finding a way to generate interest, hold vested interest, and reach newer readers. Sometimes that means looking out beyond the niche market and dipping a toe into the scary realm of the mainstream, and with some of our THP titles there’s a fair few that I think would provide some interest to readers outside the bubble. But I think there is also the risk of explaining what furry is to those who only know about it because of what they saw on CSI or Aqua Teen Hunger Force some fifteen, twenty years ago, and that’s the perception they have whenever anyone mentions the word “furry” in a conversation meant to be taken seriously.

And I have to spotlight a lot of hard work from those like Mary E. Lowd (publisher of Zooscape magazine) and my predecessor at THP, founder Thurston Howl (who shepherded and edited the Furries Among Us trilogy of essays that feature conversations about the fandom and topics that involve the fandom) for making furry far less of a joke and something that can be spoken of when breaking out into different markets.

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

As much as I spoke about that fear of hurting friends’ feelings when it comes to publishing, the part that I do enjoy is that creation process. That’s showing them what all has been happening on the production end, getting feedback, working with them on shaping the book, finding out ways of reaching potential new readers, and even working with them in terms of the marketing. But I think it’s the satisfaction of seeing them happy and satisfied at the end of it when the book is realized and released, and they are happy. That makes me happy and makes all the stress, anxiety, insomnia, and worry worth it at the end.

What is the ideal writer to work with like?

Truthfully, any writer that is like a tag partner with the editor or publisher, working with them each step of the way and offering up ideas they may have is ideal for me. I always look at it as a team project, a saga…a journey even that we all have to take together and it just makes it harder if there isn’t wide communication, understanding, compassion, and patience because none of this can get done in a day, but it goes faster when we’re all working and doing what needs to be done.

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

Probably novels, which is ironic for me because I’ve cut my teeth (to use the old, esoteric phrase) doing anthologies but novels, being a linear expression of a singular author’s idea and voice, allows me to explore things to really bring the best out of the work. In terms of sales, there’s no easy way of saying what sells better or worse, as there are a lot of outlying factors like genres, specific authors connected to the book, and even times of the season. One book could inconceivably sell better than the one that is expected to be a huge hit, and there’s usually no logic to why. But the bottom line for me is I always go in hoping for the best with each title, putting in 110% in production and believing each one is going to be a hit with readers, and even when they aren’t, if one person really likes it and it speaks to them, that is a hit to me.

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

The big one I’ve encountered makes me think of the old saying “All hat and no cattle”. It means talking boastfully as if they are some Waldo P. Emerson Jones (reference to an old song from the cartoon band the Archies) and engaging in no action whatsoever, and it pertains to those who believe that publishers in the furry fandom are just like the big type publishers and command and pull-down huge amounts of money annually off the backs of writers. And to that I say its quite easy for them to say all that sitting on the sidelines but for those who are actually on the field getting tackled every day with many issues they encounter with things such as production, formatting, time, help, and printing. All of which is coming more out of the publisher’s pocket than those who criticize tend to realize, calling it all “vanity presses”. It’d be vanity presses if, say, publishers were well-off like John D. Rockefeller and could just throw money at everything.

There was one particularly vocal critic who was trying to whip up static by claiming fandom publishers were “predators” for paying writers less than their worth and making it sound like writers needed to charging more for their value and time, which I feel like any publisher in this fandom badly wishes could happen and there are many efforts to make it so, but the individual did not seem to want to be sympathetic, as calling everyone involved in publishing a “predator” and just generally being insulting to folks who ran presses for many years that did have to give it all up made me wonder if this critic had ever interacted with or even worked on that business end to really know the stresses and how difficult it is monetarily on anyone.

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?

Very! I truly have the hardest time imagining what would be the most appealing to the eye and sometimes I ask the writer what they imagine. I know personally I judge many covers and then flip over to the back for the synopsis, which also to come across very well to make me make that final leap to the checkout lane and bringing a new book home.

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

I’m a big fan of superheroes so I would love to see more of that. Hopepunk (which I discovered recently, which is all about keep going no matter what!) is another that I more writers discover and write about.

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

Change In The Midnight Rain by Kageichi Kagi (illustrations by Jiroh Kinoshita) because it ticked off a bunch of things I always liked: anime/manga, light comedy, romance, historical fiction, and there was a good carrythrough throughout the novel about it not being who or what your family is, as long as there is love there because at the end of it, like the Beatles said, all you need is love.


We hope you’ll check out Thurston Howl Publications, and the great books they publish. (Or their Bound Tales imprint). They have a great range of books with a particular focus towards erotica and horror.

Tomorrow we speak to one of the most successful furry writers. We hope you’ll come back and see what he has to say.

Furry Book Month Author Q&A: P.C. Hatter


Now that we’re hopefully all recovered from Oxfurred Comma, we discuss furry writing with author P.C. Hatter.


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

Poached Parodies is my latest project. While reading some of my old favourites for inspiration, I thought, what if the character was a tiger? It went crazy from there.

Few people are old enough to remember Mike Hammer, Philip Marlowe, or Sam Spade. If the names are recognized, it’ll probably be from the movies. I love these old greats and wanted to bring the noir detective into the furry realm with a tiger, a husky, and four different lizards.

The job of parodying these old stories required a bit of thought with some updating and context for the modern reader. Not to mention explaining how an anthropomorphic world with multiple species might work.

Private Detective Kaiser Wrench is definitely a tiger with a code of honor, yet still holds onto what society considers barbaric tendencies. While it’s dangerous to be his friend, he’ll be sure to avenge your death.

Lucius Anoraq is a lone Siberian husky who says he isn’t paid to care but is really a softy at heart. Though whether he’ll find the dream male he’ll want to spend the rest of his life with remains to be seen.

The lizards of the last books vary in their professions, but still get sucked into a mystery. From gangsters to diabolical killers and a feme-fatal these lizards need to find the killers while saving their tails.

The original plan went a little haywire with 2020, but with the resurgence of conventions this three-part project is well underway with the first part being completed with the thirteen-volume set of Kaiser Wrench completed and up for sale. Part two contains Lucius Anoraq seven volumes and will be complete and up for sale by November 2021. The third part, Lizard Fifth’s five volumes will be available 2022,

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

Just about everything. My husband and I love the creativity in all its forms. Not just the writing but the artwork, fursuits, music, and more. And everyone is so nice.

Why write furry fiction? Because I love the fandom. So does my husband. He’s written a few adorable short stories. We’re working on the third book of the Kawokee together. It was supposed to be out 2020 but life gets in the way and hope to have it done by 2022.

When you think of it, using a tail wag, ear twitch, or any other thing associated with a particular species is both a challenge and pleasure to bring to a page.

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

Process? What process? Yes, I’m the dreaded Pantser. No plan, just an idea driven at sixty miles an hour toward a possibility. Sometimes I’ll dig myself a hole just to see if I can get out of it. Sometimes that requires someone to die first, and they’re usually my favourite characters.

Hubby is the Plotter. This makes writing stories together rather interesting because I keep messing up his organization ideas with my crazy notions.

What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?

Imagination is a writer’s biggest strength. A person can learn to spell or write a coherent sentence even if that requires finding the right teacher who can help you with whatever is holding you back. That’s what I had to do. A person can also learn a lot just by reading. Some things are gene specific, so if when planning to write a certain gene, read. Then sit back and let your imagination run wild.

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

What I like write is about as eclectic as what I like to read. Though I’m better at somethings than others. Science fiction was my first love both in reading and writing. While I like a good cozy mystery, I’m not very good at writing it. As for pure romance, neither reading nor writing it interest me.

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

For this question we’ll have to go back to my pre-furry writing. Kane the main character in Ursa Kane would probably be the one I most related to at one time. Originally, the story was not supposed to be published because it was more divorce therapy than story. But I found it hiding on my hard drive, and my publisher at the time loved it. Grim of Emerald Tears reflects more of a dark time, but for any of my newer works, don’t usually put my entirety into the characters. Except for Purple Cat. The character is not only from a series of fifty-two short stories used on my blog, but also my fursona. Who knows, the collection just might wind up on the table someday.

Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?

For Love of Mother Not by Alan Dean Foster. In fact, the entire Flinx series with its rich worldbuilding had a lot of influence. Piers Anthony and the first few books of his Xanth series was another wonderful author. Without either of these two writers, things would have been quite different.

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

For a nonfurry book, that would have to be Dune. Yes, I finally read the book after how many years? Most people can’t pull off such a giant info-dump on how a world works, but Frank Herbert made it interesting.

For a furry works, there are several good authors, but my favourite is still Sylvain St-Peirre’s Death by Predation series for his view of how an anthropomorphic world would work. Then there’s several works by Frances Pauli that I like. She managed to make me like giant spiders.

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

Dancing, gardening, tatting, RPG, and talking with friends. When not engrossed in reading a book.

Do you have any advice to give other writers?

Write because you love it. Not for the money, there’s easier ways of making money.

Know your audience. If you’re just writing for yourself, you already know the story. If you’re writing for someone else, know and understand what they want or expect.

The author doesn’t come with the book. Make sure the writing is clear and understandable. This is where having a good Beta-reader is crucial.

Not everyone is going to love your stuff. It’s okay. Appreciate the people who do.

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

More safe for work writing. It’s out there, but sometimes it’s hard to find. People have told me they don’t read furry because of the sex and many are surprised when we tell them our books are PG-13. Neither I nor my hubby can write a sex scene to save our lives, but neither are we interested in reading about it. Call us old fogies if you wish, but we’re more interested in the stories.

Where can readers find your work?

Amazon is the easiest place to find the books outside a convention.

The author page is https://www.amazon.com/Stacy-Bender/e/B008GW2OYE

The special edition of Kawokee is available at https://ringtailcafe.com/

To find out about new books or what convention we’ll be at, try the website or blog.

https://www.stacybender.net/

http://www.blog.stacybender.net/


We hope you’ll have a look through those links – you never know, you might find your next favourite book!
Tomorrow we’ll be speaking to one of our publishers, who definitely has a lot to share!

Furry Book Month Author Q&A: Copper Sphynx


Oxfurred Comma may be over, but our celebration of furry authors is not! We have so many interesting voices in the furry writing community, and today’s author is no exception to that!


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

My most recent project is a furry slice-of-life/rom-com graphic novel. The inspiration came from a rumor when I was in high school during the 90s. The rumor was so intriguing that I kept it as an idea, started to draft it in the early 2000s, but kept putting it down to start anew. 2018 is the umpteenth time but I now consider an official draft. I also returned to my Tabber the Red works, what I call my Cat Fantasy/Sword & Sorcery short story series.

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

The fact I can have serious discussions with folks from all walks of life about one of my favorite genres is one dream come true I did not see happening. When one grows up as an 80s child, there wasn’t a lack of stories as cartoons, both weekdays and Saturday mornings, that did not involve talking animals and anthro animals as protagonists. I write furry fiction since these were many of the stories that touched me as a child and inspired me as a pre-teen to tell my own stories “when I grew up”.

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

I’ve gotten better with outlining and plotting over the years but I still consider myself a pantser by the fact that I get an idea, a scene, or a conversation, write it out, and if the story progresses, I begin to outline further into that scene and/or conversation. I plot and subplot for the overall story itself.

What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?

Dialogue. Monologues. Conversations within a crowd. Readers often tell me it is my internal monologues or dialogues between characters that pull them into my stories. It’s why if I’m doubting myself or I can’t figure out a particular scene, I start with dialogue.

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

The underdog, the social outcast, or the pariah as the protagonist. I enjoy reading stories outside my cultural and faith background. When I read multicultural stories, I don’t feel so lonely in the world. I also like stories where the feminine is not derided but celebrated. I love and respect the Romance genre and like that it’s cropping up in more Speculative Fiction. I also enjoy Adventure and Comedy. Though I can’t stand real-life political machinations, politics make the world go round and I enjoy stories when political situations are woven well into the worldbuilding.

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

I often identify most whatever I’m currently working on. In one of my non-furry science fiction series, two published by Kyanite Press/Publishing, I identify strongly with my human psychic, Catriona, who shares my initials but cultural background. She is intuitive, introverted, and socially awkward though, unlike me, she’s a successful business person. In my current work-in-progress graphic novel, my furry protagonist, Yanina, shares my artistic and writing background. She was bullied back in school, yet, like me, books and her creative life saved her.

Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?

First, comics, comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, and webcomics from the US and abroad. Dell Yearling(middle-grade novels) imprint, Harlequin Romances, Tor Books, Del Rey SFF, Avon SFF and Romance, and organized crime books.

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

Toritan by Kotetsuko Yamamoto, a duology manga about a 20-something gay Japanese man working as an investigator who ends up doing odd jobs for his neighbors and community. He’s able to understand birds and talk to them! There’s also a first-time romance in the story. I love how the local birds interacted with him and had different personalities!

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

Cartoons, animations, classic films, SFF movies, sitcoms both here and overseas, Anime, Asian and Asian-American media. Right now, I’m reading even more webcomics and ebooks because of the pandemic. I also enjoy Japanese movies and South Korean dramas. However, if I’m able to watch shows and movies from other regions such as Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle-east, and Eastern Europe with the help of subtitles, I don’t complain.

Do you have any advice to give other writers?

Read broadly, read widely, and read outside one’s comfort levels. I’ve seen my writing and storytelling grow because I tried out books I might not have read otherwise. It’s why, though Furry, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Romance, and comic books are my go-to’s, I can read other genres comfortably. Also, try out the prompts, the challenges, and keep journals/notebooks/diaries. One never knows that a past idea scrap may solve a future plot hole or get that next story idea.

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

A spec-fic writer asked for more than just the Hero’s Journey in his science fiction. I offered a blog by another spec-fic author with a Jewish-Korean background. On her blog, she mentions how Korean storytelling differs from Western storytelling. She also gave other cultural storytelling examples. I’ve been doing myself a favor to read more myths and folklore from as many cultures as I can find and access. Also, and I *think* I mentioned this on my blog, but my first published piece, which was my FIRST Furry story “Su Ling” was influenced a Tang Dynasty short story. I want for Furry fiction as for other favorite genres: more writers from different cultural backgrounds/experiences  which may bring more variety in storytelling structures and more cultural coding in furry characters.

Where can readers find your work?

You can find direct links to my writings and official publication list at The Angry Goblin @ – http://theangrygoblin.wordpress.com and my website at Tabber the Red @ – http://www.tabberthered.com


Check back tomorrow for an interview with another one of the many great writers in the fandom.

Furry Book Month Author Q&A: KC Alpinus


We hope you keep tuning in to Oxfurred Comma, but also check out this Q&A from KC Alpinus, who you may have heard in her two panels this weekend. Have a read of what she has to say about furry writing here, and catch up on the recordings if you missed her earlier!


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

There are two most recent projects that I’ve worked on: the first is for the Hades Game. It was a fanzine for the character Ares, and I wrote two pieces of SFW/NSFW stuff for them. As for the inspiration for them, eh, there was a little inspiration looking at the personification of war and how the individual may devote their life to war and conquest, but unless they’re extremely influential, they’re rarely remembered.

My second piece is something that I’ve been persuaded to probably flip around into a novella. I wrote it in about 3 hours while dealing with my condition, so, naturally, I thought it was going to be hot garbage. Thankfully, my peers thought it was pretty good. It chronicles a dragon who loses her ability to fly, when flying is her defining feature. There actually is some inspiration behind this that deals with recovery and not only accepting disability, but working through that acceptance without people trying to turn you into “disability/inspiration porn”.

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom?

The fantasy and escapist elements. I was the quintessential nerd through my primary school years, so braces, glasses, love of books, and highly intelligent (read: “socially awkward”), which automatically put a bullseye on me because I was “weird” to my peers. I wasn’t interested in the things like clothes, make-up, and boybands, but I loved collecting animal figures and creating stories for them. I then moved to wolf roleplays and found the fandom through them. I just loved the idea of being able to think of anthropomorphic figures with unique stories or dressing up as a tiger, a dragon, or a dhole and getting into that headspace. Now, this isn’t to say that the fandom does not have an issue with BIPOC people and women, but that’s a discussion for a different time.

Why write furry fiction?

Why not? I mean, yeah, there are some stories where I want to write humans, as in the case of my nerdy-but-streetwise necromancer teen Jazz, but other times, I want to explore some themes with anthropomorphic animals, like a dragon or an ancient saber-toothed goddess who needs to learn to let go of the illusion of control.

What is your writing process like?

I need to write like I need to breathe. Stories are always coming to me, whether I’m planning to write or whether I want to or not. So, my writing process usually starts with an idea, like “what if an ancient creature is transported to a different land and wreaks havoc there? What if the creatures being terrorized were rabbits? What if these rabbits could wield swords?” So, after I start brainstorming, I get these questions down and begin coming up with the right character. Depending on the story I want to tell, I also sketch out their flaws that will add some tension and conflict to the story. For example, when I wrote “Scorned” in Inhuman Acts, I wanted to create a PI who was a drunk and not the kind of character that you would necessarily root for, but you could kind of understand why they were so rough around the edges. Thus, Maltese, my maltese tigress was born. “Malty” has been through the wringer with her cases, but she fit the type of story that I was trying to write. So once I have a character and a pretty abstract idea of where I want the story to go, or at least the ending, I begin “talking” to my characters. I visualize them in my mind and I get a feel for their personalities and try to see how they feel about their experience. I try to really get inside of their heads and move from there. The more alive they feel to me, the more in-depth I can make their stories. I try to make them come as alive for my readers as they are for me.

Do you outline and plot, or are you a “pantser”?

I’m a “plantser” in that I will create the bare bones of an outline and plot because I tend to wander and take forever to finish a story if I don’t, but as far as interactions, emotional beats, and all of that good stuff, I like to go wherever the character and spirit of the plot take me.

What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?

Emotional impact. I like writing stories that have things that will stick with the reader long after they’ve put down the anthology because they emotionally resonated with them.

What is your favourite kind of story to write?

I love stories that are fantastical and happy, but the ones that I seem to excel at are the bittersweet ones. I like my stories to end on a sad but hopeful note.

Does it align well with what you like to read?

Come to think of it, it actually does. The stories that come to mind are Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, Alistair Reynold’s “Zima Blue”, Ken Liu’s “The Paper Menagerie”, Ursula Vernon’s “Poccasin”, or Bruce Coville’s “The Passing of the Pack” or his entire anthology, Oddly Enough.

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

Taisa, my little pitbull puppy in “No Dogs”. She’s a combination of myself and my niece. Sometimes, I do wish that I was a bit more like Asthar, my saber-toothed hunting goddess.

Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?

Patricia McKissack’s The Dark Thirty, specifically “The Conjure Brother” and “Boo Mama”, K.A. Applegate’s Animorphs, L.A. Banks Neteru Series, Bruce Coville, Eden Royce, and more recently, Ursula Vernon’s short stories. (She also hugged me when I presented her with a Leo Award at Anthrocon 2018 and signed a book for my niece, so that was pretty cool.)

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

Are you good furs really doing this? It’s like asking me to pick my most recent favorite sunrise (everyone that I see) or favorite grape (cotton candy or Moscato). But if you really want me to pick one, it would be Blood Like Magic, by Liselle Sambury. In Sambury’s world, witches of Voya’s family are given a task by their ancestors once they come of age. Once that task is complete, they are rewarded with a peculiar magical ability, which is often proportionate to the difficulty of the task. Voya is tasked with destroying the person that she loves to complete her task and she struggles with her decision.

This story hit home on so many levels because there is a lot of Black Girl Magic, but more importantly, her family has roots in the Southern USA but immigrated to Toronto. My family hails from Georgia and I moved to Calgary a few years ago for better opportunities. Also, now, during this time of great loss to me, it has been comforting to think that my family members and ancestors are still looking out for me and my family, as well as knowing that those I’ve lost will always be near to me. (Love you always, Mompard.)

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

When I’m not writing, I’m usually reading. I’m a bit slower at it because my chronic illness and chronic pain slow me down, but I love to read. I am also an avid video and board gamer. My current games are Spiritfarer and Gloomhaven, respectively. When I’m not doing those, I can be found painting mini-figures, putting together Zoids models, and traveling. Oh, and being a class clown with my brother. We’re pretty silly together.

Do you have any advice to give other writers?

Yes, keep reading and writing. Also, don’t let rejection or fear of rejection stop you from writing. It takes tough skin to keep going, but the world needs to hear your story.

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

Definitely more fantasy and non-cis male characters. I love cis-male characters, but furry literature has had a lot of cis male characters represented and I’d like to see others featured. Same with other sexualities that include bi, pan, aro/ace, and everyone else.

Where can readers find your work?

My work can be found on Goal Publications website (please drop them a line and pick up some good books. They employed me when no one else would), Furplanet, Armoured Fox Press, and possibly Sofawolf. I believe I’ve worked with or had a story published by every major furry publisher, so just ask for the red dhole!

Ta-ta for now!

Pet dholz, drink mead, and save the dhole.

Like please, save the dhole. 😀


Tomorrow has no more Oxfurred Comma content, but it does have another author Q&A! So please come back then and continue to support the wonderful furry authors.

Furry Book Month Author Q&A: NightEyes


Take a short break from Oxfurred Comma by having a read about what NightEyes has to say about furry writing – and don’t forget to come back tomorrow to hear his panels!


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

I run where things take me sometimes, especially with short fiction. The last story I wrote for Patreon is called “The Forgotten God” and is based on an encounter a character I play in D&D had. I wanted to explore the concept of a god left alone for a long time, so I wrote my own version of the event. It didn’t turn out how I thought it would, but it was fun to explore the concept and the Dungeon Master enjoyed it.

My next short story is based on an offhand comment I made about space junk and an idea that came to me. I’ve been fitting that in while working on novel edits.

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

I enjoy the uniqueness of the fandom and the fact it lets you do your own thing in a way you define. Plus, it’s a welcoming queer space. I write furry fiction because animals fascinating me, and I love telling stories.

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

For short fiction, I’m a panster, but I realize there’s a limit of how far I can go with that. I can take a rough idea and knock out a quick story, but if it goes over 10,000 words, I need to use an outline. I have pantsed an entire novel, and it took me almost a decade to pull that into a coherent story.

I’m not saying there aren’t people out there who can pants a novel, but I can’t. With long work, I need to find some cohesion, and I’m planning to write a novella soon in Scrivener using an already written outline.

What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?

That’s hard to say. I used to think I was a good plotter, but that might be me being overconfident. Persistence is what I’m aiming for, and that’s what I hoping I’m developing. You can always fix plotting or character issues in editing, but you can’t do that if you’re not getting yourself working.

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

I enjoy exploring, so I’m not sure I stick well to a specific genre with my writing. I will say my work is gayer than what I usually read, but I also try and read in the genre.

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

I’ve created a lot of characters at this point, but I think Zayn from the novel I plan to release next year is my favorite. He goes through a lot in the book I haven’t gone through, but I also have always identified with the internal struggles he experiences. There was a period of my life where I went through some intense isolation similar to what Zayn has experienced, and that’s always given me a connection to the character. Zayn also has to work to overcome that, just like I did in my own life.

Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?

Reading White Fang and a Call of the Wild by Jack London greatly influenced me as a kid. One of the first things I tried to write as a kid was a story similar to those. Reading Watts Martin’s Why Coyotes Howl as an adult was a seminal moment for me as a writer. I had read short stories before in school, but this book helped fix the idea of what short fiction I would like to write could be like.

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

I thoroughly enjoyed A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by Ursula Vernon which I read earlier this year. There’s a lot to love about this book, and Ursula’s work is sheer joy to read.

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

I’m a fan of board games and D&D. I do some video gaming, but not as much as I used to. I also read, which is important for any writer to do.

Do you have any advice to give other writers?

I’m not sure there’s a single piece of advice I can give that’s useful to all writers. I’d suggest listening to the advice others give, but it’s important to realize that how you work may be different. Be cautious of anyone who tells you there is a set way of doing something because there seldom is. That’s the beauty of fiction. You can make it what you want it to be.

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

The publishing market has gotten tighter due to the pandemic, and I’d like to see that stabilize and grow. How to approach that issue though, I don’t know.

Where can readers find your work?

I have a website, nighteyes-dayspring.com that I try and I keep up to date with information. I’m also on Twitter as @wolfwithcoffee where you can find the latest about what I’m up to. I’m also on Patreon, Fur Affinity, and SoFurry.


Tomorrow may be the last day of Oxfurred Comma, but we’re only halfway through our Q&As! Tomorrow we speak to another furry writer – who will also have a couple of panels this weekend!

Furry Book Month Publisher Q&A: Goal Publications


Today we hear from Goal Publications. This interview took place before their recent news about their potential closure at the end of the year.
We hope you’ll have a read about what they think makes a good furry story, and what they have enjoyed about publishing furry books. Please consider supporting Goal in what may be their last few months – as any support to them will also help the wonderful writers they publish.


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

My name is Sean, and I’m the owner of Goal Publications. We are a queer-owned press located out of Connecticut, USA, and have published authors from five continents. We tend to focus on furry stories where the fact that these characters are animal-people makes some sort of difference in the story. This can be anything from a change in social customs, to clothing, to physical traits and abilities.

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom?

The creativity in this fandom has never ceased to amaze me, whether its through writing, visual media, music, or something else entirely.

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

I’ve been editing freelance for over ten years now, starting within the furry fandom. From there it was a natural progression to working on editing anthologies, which turned into starting my webzine, which turned into starting a publishing house to contain that zine when it turned physical. That transition happened in 2015.

What do you believe makes a good story?

This is a hard question, because it’s such a subjective thing. That’s why so many of our decisions come down to “is it right for our market?”

As for something more tangible than that, a good story should first have something that establishes the setting, a main character, and some sort of stakes, all within the first few pages. More established authors can get away with a longer setup, but newer authors will need to earn the trust of their readers first. Give them something that lets them know they can expect some sort of payoff in the end.

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

The biggest hurdle is the number of readers in a community that values visual media exponentially over written media, and thus the lack of sales. This forced us to be a lot more cautious with the books we do take, and the risks we take with it. Every financial decision we make is a gamble, from what book we take, the cover art we commission, the convention we choose to attend or not, etc. Any one of these decisions could be what forces us to close, all because reader-base isn’t guaranteed.

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

I think this is where the niche market shines. We are able to more directly interact with the authors, editors, and readers than a larger market. It allows us to share how passionate we are about the titles and how proud of our authors and editors we are. It allows us to get to know our readers and be able to personally recommend titles. And it allows us to have more casual interactions with writers that could one day write a book for us.

What is the ideal writer to work with like?

An ideal writer for us would be one that both is open to criticism, while at the same time is willing to defend the parts of their work they feel strongly about. It creates a dialogue that, in the end, really does create the strongest story, and instils the most amount of trust between us.

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

Novels all the way. With only one or two exceptions, novels far outweigh our anthologies in sales. They are also a lot easier for us to work on. Working on five 6,000-word short stories takes longer and is more draining for us than working on a 120k word novel, just because of the hard stops and starts involved (due to the different writing styles, different plots, just the different stories as a whole). Add this to the extra contracts and multiple authors… Team novel for sure.

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

In general, the biggest misconception seems to be that authors send us in our stories, and we rake in all this money while authors are getting pennies. I can probably name the number of books we have on one hand that we aren’t underwater on.

Within the fandom, because we have a lot of authors not experienced working with editors, one of the biggest misconceptions I find is that authors think editors are there to take over their story—sometimes to the point of stealing it. That’s just not true, and those editors that try such a thing should flat-out not be editors.

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?

Covers are huge. Potentially customers are typically not even going to pick up a book to read more about it if they don’t find the cover appealing. It needs to fit the theme of the book, needs to attract the eye, and most importantly in this community, it has to have some sort of furry character on it. No furry character, and it’s very difficult to get those walking by at a convention or browsing the online catalog to stop and go further.

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

Furry fiction has become a lot more well-rounded in genre and general story styles than it has a few years ago, but one thing that has always been lacking is a larger spread of marginalized voices. This issue has been slowly progressing over the last year or two, but we need submissions more Black and Indigenous authors, more trans and non-binary authors, and more!

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

We’ve been working on the sequel to Frances Pauli’s Throwback, currently called Primal, and it’s a super fun book. More than that, Frances is definitely one of the best authors to work with. Having a good working relationship with authors is honestly just as important to us as working with a good book, because with that good relationship, even an okay book can become a favorite.


Tomorrow we start up with Oxfurred Comma, but we’ll also be featuring another one of our wonderful writers (who will actually be doing a couple of panels on Sunday!) We hope you’ll join us for both the next blog post and Oxfurred Comma.

Furry Book Month Author Q&A: Domus Vocis


Today’s author in the spotlight is Domus Vocis, who has plenty to share on furry writing – both what he enjoys to write and what he likes seeing from others. Check out his thoughts below.


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

I am currently writing two projects, one of which will be published into a duology when the right time comes. The first project is a dystopian gay romance titled “Maverick Hotel”, and it is a Patreon story series about two resistance fighters living in a theocratic dictatorship called The Devout States of America, set in an alternate 2019. The second project is separate from the first. It’s a homoerotic neo-noir thriller novel titled “Cherry”, following a wolf contract killer and his lover, an ocelot male prostitute nicknamed ‘Cherry’, who is being targeted by a mysterious serial killer whose modus operandi involves tricking or bribing others to commit murders. For “Maverick Hotel”, I originally started writing it in the middle of the Trump era to help vent my frustrations, only for me to gradually enjoy writing about the main characters, the setting and even the lore. As for “Cherry”, I have neo-noir comic books and movies to thank for inspiration, such as Frank Miller’s Sin City, the John Wick franchise, and especially furry comic books exploring dark, gritty, erotic themes like Heathen City by Alex Vance or The Dread Fall by TheVale. I think Heathen City played a huge steppingstone for influence regarding one of the characters in “Cherry”, which will be one of two books to be published within the future.

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

I love how diverse and incredibly creative the furry fandom can be. As a furry author, I enjoy reading and writing in an artistic medium that can provide endless possibilities. Furry fiction has the same infinite potential as any story genre, but what makes it stand out is how it is more than a sub-genre, but an aesthetical appeal that can range beyond genres or even other communities.

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

LOL. I don’t know what a ‘pantser’ is exactly, but my writing process is mainly about outlining and planning the plot. At least, when it comes to complicated stories. It can honestly be tricky for me not to think too much of what I write down on paper. It’s in my nature to make each product the best thing for a reader to enjoy.

What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?

My biggest strength, according to some of my dedicated fans, is balancing characterization and worldbuilding. Sometimes, I can prefer one over the other, but not to the point it is too distracting for most readers.

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

Oh, that is a tricky question to answer. If I had to break it down to just one kind of story, it would be ones that I have never done before. I love writing stories that are new territory for me or challenge me either personally or professionally. While I also like reading stories I can predict sometimes, it is also refreshing to not know where the plot of a book is going to go. It can be very fun sometimes, being in the dark and not knowing what happens on the next page.  

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

Again, another tricky question. If I had to choose, it would be a tie between Adam Grimwald, the protagonist of “Maverick Hotel”, and Peter Gray, the protagonist of my debut novel, “The Adventures of Peter Gray”. I always identified with Adam because of the struggle between his religious beliefs and his homosexuality. My personal relationship with God is…complicated now, and most of the turmoil I experienced in coming to terms with my own sexuality can be found in how Adam feels in balancing his acceptance of his sexuality with firm beliefs in an Almighty. Granted, it wasn’t to the same extremes that Adam went through, but I can still see it in the inner arguments he has with himself, not knowing if his attractions were wrong, second guessing everything his leaders taught him, falling in love for the first time, and eventually coming to terms with who he is.

As for Peter Gray, I identified with the scrappy young wolf urchin for his sense of optimism, despite how isolated he feels. Growing up on the autism spectrum led to me not making as many meaningful friendships until college. Looking back and rereading “The Adventures of Peter Gray”, I just want to hug Peter. I want to tell him he doesn’t have to keep feeling alone. He doesn’t have to hide his loneliness behind a bright smile, that he can be vulnerable around others. It makes him (dare I say it?) human and genuine.

Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?

Outside of the furry fandom, those honors must go to authors like Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Lois Lowry, as well as young adult authors such as Scott Westerfeld, Marie Lu, and David Levithan. In fact, David Levithan’s novels helped me personally throughout high school when it came to my sexuality and writing non-heteronormative characters in my stories.

Within the furry fandom, my primary influence for writing furry fiction all came down to Kyell Gold. Believe it or not, his “Waterways” novel happened to be the very first furry book I ever read going into my senior year of high school. It’s kind of embarrassing how much I loved reading it, but to say it didn’t influence me to write furry fiction would be a big bold lie. “Waterways” can be best described as my gateway into the fandom.

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

“Change in the Midnight Rain” by Kageichi Kagi, about an adult blue bunny named Ameya as he’s raised in a male brothel during the Meiji Era in Japan, and the blooming friendship he forms with the foxy daughter of a retired ninja. Simply put, “Change in the Midnight Rain” turned out to be so good that I read halfway through it in one sitting when I just expected to quickly read the first chapter. The next chance I could, I finished the rest of it late into the night. It is honestly the first complete novel that I’ve ever read through in less than two days.

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

Whenever I’m not reading a random book or going for a bike ride when the Midwest weather permits me, I love watching various movies, films, YouTube videos, and documentaries. I am a self-proclaimed history buff too. I’ve also gotten into doing some digital artwork.

Do you have any advice to give other writers?

I’m not the first person to say this, but it really does help; do not overthink it. I’ve seen and known writers who focus more on planning stories and their original characters instead of taking the time to write down the actual story. Jotting down their likes/dislikes, backstory, hobbies, theme songs, job occupations, relationship statuses is fine so long as it leads to more than a profile description.

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

I wish to see more examples of furry fiction that don’t just have anthropomorphism as an aesthetic. Instead, have the anthropomorphism worked into the lore, worldbuilding, settings and especially characterizations. I’d like to see it incorporated more into settings in a way justifying the protagonist being a tiger, wolf, husky, etc. Sometimes, these kinds of stories won’t even work more of animal mannerisms beyond a mere mention of fur colors or what kind of animal the characters are. If I had a dollar for every contemporary slice-of-life story that could easily trade its furry characters for human ones, my wallet would burst from its seams.

Where can readers find your work?

Readers can find my content on the following websites.

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/domusvocis

SoFurry: https://domus-vocis.sofurry.com/

FurAffinity: https://www.furaffinity.net/user/domusvocis/

I can also be found on Twitter as @HoppNate and on my After Dark account as @DomusVocis_AD


Tomorrow we return to one of our publishers who have recently shared some unfortunate news about their future. We hope you’ll join us tomorrow and share in some positivity with them.

Furry Book Month Author Q&A: Killick


Today we speak to Killick (who just got married recently, so he might not see this until after his honeymoon! Congratulations!). Before his big day, we asked him a few questions about how he goes about writing, and what he enjoys reading. I think it’s fair to say he’s quite vociferous in recommending a particular book. Read on to find out what!


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

My most recent project is something I’m still currently writing. It’s not my first attempt at a novel, but my first where completion (and hopefully publication) is a very real possibility and I’ve been working on it for a little over five years to the exclusion of almost everything else. I’m actually having trouble remembering the most recent finished thing, because it’s just been so long since I’ve focused on something that wasn’t the novel.

So anyway, the novel, ‘Neon’. ‘Neon’ is about love and trust. Two crucial aspects of a successful relationship. It’s also about listening and being there for one another. Sounds all mushy wushy, doesn’t it? Well it’s also framed in a world of superheroes and villains, of action, explosions and lasers. Bryce Bolton, a fox superhero with the ability to teleport, has successfully kept his hero identity a secret from his rabbit boyfriend for three years. But when things start to go wrong in the superhero world, it starts to strain their relationship and threatens to tear them apart.

Weirdly enough, ‘Neon’ was not inspired by the current slew of superhero movies (although I absolutely love the Marvel films and have definitely looked to them for sources of structure and tropes within the superhero genre). I was actually inspired by a card game called “Sentinels of the Multiverse,” a co-operative game where the players build up hero powers to defeat a villain deck. I was playing with some friends one day, and thought ‘Hey, this game is playing out like a really cool action scene. I wonder if I could write that.’ And then I did, and it spawned a whole heap of ideas and characters that just dominated my mind for the next few years.

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

I really don’t know what attracted me to furry characters and the fandom. I just think they’re neat. Maybe it’s the enormous amount of art and creativity that comes out of the fandom. I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember, so writing about anthropomorphic characters after I joined the fandom seemed like a natural step to take.

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

I’m definitely still figuring out my writing process. Some of my earlier short stories were a bit easier because they focused on a single concept, one idea that I could just write. I sometimes would need to work out ‘this needs to happen, then this, then finally this,’ but that’s the most basic of road maps in regard to plotting.

With previous novel ideas, I’d have characters, I’d have worlds and situations, but never really a solid through-line. I would write scenes because they seemed cool, rather than having purposes. The current superhero story started a bit like, random scenes jumbled together in completely discordance, but I’ve managed to lasso them into what I think is a good structure.

My next book idea will definitely involve a lot more preparation. Maybe that will work better for me, maybe it won’t. All I can do is try and see.

What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?

My ability to steal my enemies’ words, leaving them in terrified perpetual silence. Wait, no, not that. I’d like to think I can write good snappy dialogue, but I’ve never really had someone come to me and say “Hey, your dialogue slaps. What a bangin’ conversation those characters had,” so I don’t know that for sure.

I can tell you about probably the best compliment I’ve ever received for something I wrote. Earlier this year I met a new friend online, and I learned he liked reading short, shall we say “satisfying” stories online. I told him that I’m a writer, and that, like many other furries, I post my more, um, erotitastic works on FA. I pointed him to a story of a particular, erm, interest that aligned with his *cough* interests, and asked him to give me any feedback he had. Two hours later, he sent me a message gushing about how good the story was and that he had, ah, “finished” so hard that he’d passed out for half an hour.

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

I love to write a good, fun adventure. I’ve written about superheroes, swordspeople, magic casters, pirates, nazi-punching spies, and aerial dragon combat. For me it comes down to what is the most fun and exciting thing that can happen? That’s what I want to write. Maybe it’s an escape thing, where even the most complex problems can be solved with a few well placed laser blasts. Maybe I’m not emotionally ready to explore deeper ideas, or maybe I do already and don’t even realise it.

That’s usually what I read as well. I mostly read various flavours of fantasy and sci-fi, but I also like to dip into other genres such as horror, romance, literature, and crime.

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

At this point, I probably identify most with the boyfriend of my protagonist in ‘Neon’. Simon is a rabbit, clueless to his partner’s superhero shenanigans, and just trying to hold everything together with a tolerable job, mounting bills, and too many chores to do. I identify with Simon, because he’s just trying to make things work with what he has, and sometimes that’s enough. But sometimes it’s not.

Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?

Terry Pratchett is a huge influence on me. I write fantasy and sci-fi, so I feel like this is the most bog-standard, obvious answer, but he’s influential for a reason. He’s a master of the turn of phrase, he approaches ideas and concepts from clever angles, his sentence to sentence writing is consistently interesting, and on top of all that he’s funny. It’s his books that really made me want to be a writer.

I also have to mention Carl Hiaasen. Hiaasen writes environmentalist crime comedy novels that are pure gold. Do yourself a favour and read “Native Tounge” – it is one of my favourite books of all time. Pratchett may have inspired me to be a writer, but Hiaasen is the writer I aspire to be. He is a master of taking the grounded, often grey reality of the real world and stretching it to such ridiculous lengths that the mundane is left in the dust in favour of the absurd. His characters are incredible, often wacky, but there to grab you by the scruff and drag you through the plot. And he has a real talent for writing these long asides that for most other authors would be dull exposition dumps, but in Hiaasen’s hands they are some of the funniest parts of the book.

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

I can only pick one? How dare you. I shall resist. A recent book I read that is already generally pretty well known and loved is ‘Pet Sematary’ by Stephen King. It was my first King book, actually, and it was great! I loved how the horror didn’t come from what was happening, but from the potential of what the characters might do. You mutter at the page, “Louis, my dude, don’t do it. Don’t even think it! You’ll lose so much more if you try to fix that,” but all the while knowing that the protagonist is going to end up doing it anyway. Sometimes I find myself randomly thinking about the final image and final word of the book, so it definitely left an impact.

Two more recent releases that I loved were ‘Upright Women Wanted’ by Sarah Gailey, and ‘Wanderers’ by Chuck Wendig. I adored ‘Upright Women Wanted’ – about a bunch of queer librarians (including some great non-binary representation) travelling across the USA after the cowboy apocalypse, trying to get to the safe state of Utah where it isn’t illegal to be gay or gender non-conforming. The book has a hopeful message that you should be free to be who you are, but sometimes you have to fight for that right, sometimes you have to throw a few punches, and sometimes you have to pull the trigger.

‘Wanderers’ by Chuck Wendig might just be the best book I’ve ever read. It’s hard to talk about this book without giving too much away, because the first third of the book is a mystery, with a second act reveal that dramatically changes the nature of the story. America wakes up one morning to discover a flock of “sleepwalkers” trekking across the country on a mysterious, unstoppable journey. The flock is made up of normal, average people – teenagers, teachers, bus drivers, scientists – but they cannot talk, cannot respond, and cannot be woken up.

‘Wanderers’ doesn’t have subtext, it mostly just has text. It has domtext. The author took a lot of things he is obviously and rightly angry at, and rolled them into one big apocalyptic journey. Global warming, over-reliance on pharmaceuticals and antibiotics, distrust of science, gun control, capitalism, religion, bigotry, xenophobia, and of course white supremacy. I first read this book in 2019 when it was published, and it weirdly predicted a lot events that happened in the temporal trash fire that was 2020. I re-read it a few months ago in 2021 and it definitely hit a lot different.

Please, for the love of dog, read ‘Wanderers’. I desperately need someone to talk to about it.

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

I work a 9 to 5 day job and try to write every evening, so free time is something I find less and less of as I take my writing more seriously. I really enjoy cooking and baking, and I know a lot of people think of that as a chore, but I am more than happy to spend a couple of hours in the kitchen tending to a sauce. I actually find it extremely relaxing.

A friend recently got me into model painting, so every now and then I’ll just sit and bring some colour to all of the grey fantasy miniatures I’ve managed to amass over the years.

But what I really love is just sitting down and watching movies. It’s how I recharge. These days I try to watch things I’ve never seen before, but there are times when I just need to watch Back to the Future for the fiftieth time.

Do you have any advice to give other writers?

Finish your shit. Everyone’s good at writing beginnings because we write so many of them. Writing an ending is its own skill but it is just as important. So choose what you begin carefully, put some real thought and preparation into your characters and your direction to give yourself the best chance at completing it.

Also, make time to touch some grass and look at a tree. You’d be amazed what that can do to clear your head.

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

I honestly don’t know. We create such a wide swath of genres and ideas that we have a lot of ground already covered. From fantasy epics featuring intelligent mythical creatures, to sci-fi starring genetically engineered animal people, to modern day romance with completely unexplained anthropomorphic animals. We do it all. I’m not even the first person to write a furry superhero story. Not by a long shot.

Actually, I’ve just thought of something. Fat protagonists. I’m tired of slim foxes with glistening abs. Give me a saves-the-day hero with some heft to them. The furry writing scene always strives for progression, inclusion, and recognition in important areas like BIPOC and LGBTIQA+. Let’s slip in a bit of body positivity as well. As a treat.

Where can readers find your work?

You can find a combination of my all-ages adventure stories and adult work at SoFurry and FurAffinity.

I have four short stories currently in print in various anthologies: ‘Three Minutes To Midnight’ published in Gods With Fur; ‘Shells On The Beach’ published in Dogs Of War; ‘Ibis Hotel’ published in Furry Trash; and finally ‘Le Chat et la Souris’ published in The Jackal Who Came In From the Cold.

I also have a non-furry blog, Scribbled Cakes, which I update semi-regularly.


Have you got Wanderers yet? Or perhaps one of the anthologies in which Killick appears? Furry Trash is a fun one! (Disclosure: I edited that anthology.)
Come back here tomorrow for another furry writer sharing their experiences as we build up towards Oxfurred Comma on the weekend.