Member Spotlight: Tempe “Tempo” O’Kun

1. Tell us about your most recent project (written or published). What inspired it?

windfall coverWindfall – debuted at Anthrocon 2015

It’s a cosmic-horror romantic-comedy starring an otter named Kylie who’s fallen in love with her best friend, a husky named Max. The two of them used to be minor characters on a supernatural cable TV show. After the series ends, he comes to visit for the summer and she has find a way to confess her feelings to him as they discover their TV show was actually real.


I also have Nordguard: Tribes of the White Land that came out at Anthrocon 2015. It’s an expansion to the Nordguard card game, with all-new art from Blotch and Chromamancer. A very different means of telling stories, but it certainly helps to have a writing background.

I’m also working on an interactive children’s sci-fi novel called Allison & The Cool New Spaceship Body to teach kids about transhumanism and artificial intelligence. Working on it with me are world-class interactive fiction experts from Ball State University and, as well as actual AI scientists from the Machine Intelligence Research Institute. It also has talking space dolphins who fly around with jet-packs!

You can play through the book-in-progress here:

2. What’s your writing process like? Are you a “pantser,” an outliner, or something in between?

Somewhere in between, I suspect. I toss ideas into “pool” files in Scrivener as they come to me. Sooner or later, enough ideas coalesce to make a plot I can’t resist writing. I use that to develop my outline, then make successive passes at expanding it until it turns into a story. Often I write all the dialog first, much to the despair of my editors.

3. What’s your favorite kind of story to write?

One with a kooky central idea — some bit of trivia or motif that clicks into place with a plot. Love stories are also a plus, since I’m a total sap.

4. Which character from your work do you most identify with, and why?

Each of my characters has a shard of my personality. In Sixes Wild, Blake has my tendency to be a square while Six has my defiant side. We all constructed of contradiction.

5. Which authors or books have most influenced your work?

James Gurney’s Dinotopia has been the biggest influence on my personal philosophy. I’m a big believer in the power of peaceful cooperation, science, and art to improve the world. This optimism pervades my stories.

6. What’s the last book you read that you really loved?

I’m hooked on Steven Brust’s Vlad series (which feature a sorcerer assassin chef). Technically, the most recent book I read that I’m excited about was the new Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Players Handbook. : ) D&D is actually a really cool way to practice storytelling—you get immediate feedback. I’ve used tabletop RPGs before to test out worlds I later write about.

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

I teach writing classes at Bismarck State College — my fursona was the instructor of the semester there last winter. I have skied the longest run in North America. I also enjoy when friends or my girlfriend take me for walks.

8. Advice for other writers?

Write the story you’d want to read. Your enjoyment will show through in the final product.

9. Where can readers find your work?

My published works are available from Sofawolf Press and Furplanet Press, as well as on Amazon.

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Sixes Wild: Manifest Destiny
Nordguard: The Card Game
Nordguard: Tribes of the White Land

10. What’s your favorite thing about the furry fandom?

How it brings people together. In the furry fandom, it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what you look like — what matters is your talent, enthusiasm, and good cheer. In the past month, I’ve been interviewed by furry journalists from Canada, Brazil, South Africa, and Mexico. World peace looks a lot like the furry fandom.

Check out Tempe “Tempo” O’Kun’s member bio here!


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