1. Tell us about your most recent project (written or published). What inspired it?
My most recent project is Learning to Go. It’s a story about a tiger coming to terms with the idea that his relationship isn’t as healthy as it seems, and that maybe it’s time for him to move on. It asks the difficult question of “Whose responsibility is your happiness, and what’s okay to sacrifice for it?” It’s a story for people who are kind and maybe being taken advantage of, a way of helping them process that and give them an argument for putting themselves first sometimes. They deserve it, after all.
2. What’s your writing process like? Are you a “pantser,” an outliner, or something in between?
I generally have a good idea of where I want my story to go. When I have a novel burning in my brain, I tend to write 2-3 times a day and think about it during the rest. I pull in little experiences I have, little anecdotes and insights. I generally have a good idea of an outline in my head, but I’m not afraid to diverge from it if the story demands it.
3. What’s your favorite kind of story to write?
Anything with determined, manipulative (or sociopathic) characters. They don’t have to be the main character or the antagonist, but those sorts of characters tend to be the most fun to write and tend to give the plot the most fuel. They tend to make stuff happen.
4. Which character from your work do you most identify with, and why?
I identify with all my characters to some extent, and if any author tells you they don’t, I’d say they’re either lying or have some boring characters. You have to understand the points of view of a character to effectively portray them. That being said, the one I most identify with is Logan, a pig from an upcoming novel. To me, he’s the most bland major character I’ve written, which is a pretty good sign he’s the most like me.
5. Which authors or books have most influenced your work?
The Redwall series is probably the number one, since that’s what made me realize I liked furry material, but that’s so obvious I’ll give another answer. Life of Pi really hit home for me and made me realize just how beautiful and inspiring a medium text can be. I strive for that level of absurd realism used as a tool to expand the philosophical depth of my stories… and fail miserably. But I keep trying!
6. What’s the last book you read that you really loved?
At the risk of sounding narcissistic, I’ll say the work I’m editing right now tentatively titled Tempest In a Bottle. It’s not that I think it’s anything particularly special, it’s just… it’s exactly what I want to read. That’s why I wrote it, after all. If you want to know the last book someone else wrote that I really loved, then I’d have to go with Kyell Gold’s Out Of Position. It’s what got me back into both reading and writing.
7. Besides writing, how do you like to spend your free time?
Playing too much Dota 2.
8. Advice for other writers?
Listen to other people’s advice and thoughts about writing, understand why they recommend what they do, and know when to ignore it. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes… you should have beta readers to catch those. Listen to them and interact with them with respect and appreciation!
9. Where can readers find your work?
My non-published works can be found on FurAffinity, as can samples of published material (http://www.furaffinity.net/user/dandin/). News on upcoming publications can be found at my Twitter (https://twitter.com/FridayDandin).
10. What’s your favorite thing about the furry fandom?
Easily how open and friendly it is. I wish more communities learned from it!
Check out Nathanael “Friday” Gass’ member bio here!