1. Tell us about your most recent project (written or published). What inspired it?
I can’t go into too much detail about my most recent project, as it’s in the midst of being published and I don’t want to say something I shouldn’t! What I can say is that it is the first adult piece I’ve ever written, and thus coincidentally the first adult piece of mine to ever see publication. The piece wasn’t necessarily inspired by any one thing, it started off as a personal exercise — trying something new and seeing what I could do with it — and evolved from there.
2. What’s your writing process like? Are you a “pantser,” an outliner, or something in between?
I generally don’t have a specific writing process, so I’d say I’m mostly an in-betweener. If I am specifically writing for an anthology or a certain theme, my process would more reflect an outliner, whereas if I’m writing a story I was personally inspired to write, I more or less build the story as I go. It may not be the most efficient, but it’s what works for me!
3. What’s your favorite kind of story to write?
It’s hard to say with the (what I consider) limited experience I’ve had, but as of now I definitely have enjoyed writing sci-fi the most. It’s also the genre I want to explore more, and rightfully so considering how unpolished I’ve felt my previous work in that genre has been.
4. Which character from your work do you most identify with, and why?
The work itself is long gone from the public eye, as it hasn’t met my standards I set for myself in a long time. But, I most identify with the character Garrett from one of my older pieces since taken down from FurAffinity. He was very much an amalgam of my own life experiences with a healthy dose of fantasy mixed in. Some of his struggles were things I dealt with, and some were inspired by things I’ve dealt with.
5. Which authors or books have most influenced your work?
Outside the fandom, the work of Philip Pullman and his His Dark Materials series was one of the earliest works I can recall that drew me into the concept of anthropomorphic characters. Within the fandom, the work of Kyell Gold was what showed me what could be done with adult scenes in a story, and how they could matter to the plot. Some other books (in no particular order) that have influenced me were: The Society of S by Susan Hubbard, Blasphemy by Douglas Preston, and Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.
6. What’s the last book you read that you really loved?
I’m currently in the process of reading John Dies at the End by David Wong, which is a really refreshing read for me. Horror is something I generally don’t read (thought that’s starting to change!) so something so incredibly odd is an incredible departure from what I typically read.
7. Besides writing, how do you like to spend your free time?
These days, my time is mainly occupied with school. When I do have free time, it’s either occupied relaxing with video games or squeezing in some writing. I’ve also recently developed an interest in origami!
8. Advice for other writers?
It might not mesh well with what other writers will suggest, but my personal opinion is be willing to NOT write. The worst thing to ever happen to my writing was when I forced myself to write a story I didn’t want to write. Don’t get caught up in the idea that you MUST write for x amount of anthologies, or write x amount of stories. Write what you want, not what you must. I tried the whole “I’ll write for this anthology and that one and this one and this one too!” spiel, and it got old, quick — and in the end none of those stories got accepted. My heart wasn’t in the words, and they ended up poor quality. So that’s my advice, don’t force yourself to write a story you don’t want to.
9. Where can readers find your work?
At the moment, you can find my story “Sugar Pill” published in Tales From The Guild, Music to Your Ears, published by Rabbit Valley and edited by AnthroAquatic. As I said, I also have a story being published that I can’t get into too much detail about at the moment, but I’ll be sure to make an announcement when I can!
10. What’s your favorite thing about the furry fandom?
My favorite thing has been what it has done for me, honestly. Were it not for certain people in the fandom, I would not be where I am in life or anywhere near the life I live now. And honestly, I don’t know if my life would be nearly as enjoyable if that were the case.
Check out Mars’ member bio here!