1. Tell us about your most recent project (written or published). What inspired it?
My latest published project was Plowed, an erotic anthology I both contributed to and edited about foxes on farms. It actually started as a joke on the days-long drive back from Anthrocon, which then evolved into an anthology with eight authors. I was surprised at how enthusiastic all the contributors were, considering it all started as a joke, but I’m glad we got such stellar stories from everyone.
2. What’s your writing process like? Are you a “pantser,” an outliner, or something in between?
I am absolutely an outliner and a planner. When I’m working on a novel, I tend to plot out the entire thing on a whiteboard before even starting, which helps me stay focused and keep a train of logic going. “X happens, which causes Y,” etc. This certainly can change as time goes by, but it helps move things along. Once I have the subject, scene, or section of the novel I am working on, I tend to write for an hour and see where and how things go, especially when it comes to character interaction and action sequences. Sometimes I will run through an action sequence with someone else on how it would look on film or as a drawn piece of art.
3. What’s your favorite kind of story to write?
I really enjoy writing a story where the characters aren’t confident in what they’re doing. I want them to question if what they’re doing is worth it, if it’s right, and I don’t want it to be easy for them. Getting to the ‘eureka’ moment or the relief after a big decision’s results come through is really fun for me.
4. Which character from your work do you most identify with, and why?
Honestly, probably Carson from All Tied Up in Knotz, because he thinks he’s content with where he is in life, and is scared of change. The character really reflected where I was at the time in my life, and despite how adult the book is, I do think the conflict in that book is one I understood personally, and one I think a lot of other people have gone through as well.
5. Which authors or books have most influenced your work?
I have different inspiring authors for different genres that I write, so I’ll go through them. For everything fantasy I’ve written, probably Tamora Pierce, since not only did I find her stories fascinating and her worlds inventive, hers were the first fantasy books I ever read that had gay people in them, which gave me hope that I could write fantasy books with gay (fox) people in them and that people would read them. For my more slice-of-life and modern stuff, I can say no two authors have inspired me more than Fuzzwolf and Kyell Gold.
6. What’s the last book you read that you really loved?
The Princess Bride by William Goldman. It’s probably one of the most romantic novels I’ve ever read, and definitely one of the most creative uses of a framing story I’ve ever seen. I had only seen the movie prior to last year, when a friend got very angry at me for not reading what she considered a masterpiece. After reading it, I agreed.
7. Besides writing, how do you like to spend your free time?
My big hobbies are definitely tabletop gaming and video games, but probably my biggest hobby is reading manga from all sorts of genres.
8. Advice for other writers?
Read, and read broadly. That’s the single most important tool for gaining experience as a writer. I read well outside the genres I write, just to get a feel of different styles, experience levels, and format. Read poetry, short stories, novellas, and novels. If you write only furry fiction, read more mainstream books as well as furry novels. I definitely recommend picking up anthologies in either case — they will give you a wide selection of writers, which will help guide you to finding more authors you truly love.
9. Where can readers find your work?
Everything I’ve published can be found through FurPlanet and Bad Dog Books, FurPlanet’s digital store. I’m hoping to have more exclusive digital content up soon, but everything that’s currently available as a physical book is also available as a digital title.
10. What’s your favorite thing about the furry fandom?
The creativity really surprises me every day. This is a fandom full of thousands of talented people and the people that love them, and the fandom comes up with new characters, species, art, stories, interpretations of popular culture, and other wonderful pieces every day. I hope it never changes.
Check out Andres Cyanni Halden’s member bio here!