It’s February, and in honor of Black History Month we would like to feature some of the black authors that are members of the Furry Writers’ Guild. Today we’ll be sharing an interview done with PJ Wolf! He’s soon to be featured in the NSFW anthology “Give Yourself A Hand” and has written many other stories. Without further ado, let’s get to the interview.
FWG: Tell the guild and our readers a bit about yourself.
PJ Wolf: Ah, hello everyone! I’m PJ Wolf and I’m actually a bit nervous to be doing this because, well, impostor syndrome is real and I’m dealing with it right now. Moving on, I’ve been in the fandom for a while, and have been toying around with ideas in various formats and hoping to put out a novel at some point. I don’t exactly know when or if I’ll get there, but until then, the words do demand I write them. And so I shall.
FWG: What is your favorite work that you have written?
PJ Wolf: I think it’s actually a tie between Secret and Swap Meat, both of which can be found on my SoFurry and FA pages. Secret because I know I absolutely nailed the character voice for the main character and narrator of the story, and he was so fun to inhabit, and Swap Meat because that story got me into RAWR (which was a fantastic experience that if you have the ability and wherewithal to go to, I highly recommend it) and also I took a negative reaction to something and made it into what I think is a pretty solid story.
FWG: What do you think makes a good story?
PJ Wolf: Characters. Characters, characters, characters. A half-done character will probably ruin a story for me, a character that’s a blank slate doesn’t have me intrigued.
FWG: How long have you been in the guild, and what changes have you seen with regards to how writing is handled since joining?
PJ Wolf: I don’t know! It has been a while and I honestly forget how long it’s been since I’ve joined. But if we’re talking in general, it’s been extremely gratifying to have such a helpful community that is writing-focused and also incredibly interested in helping out one another get better.
FWG: What does Black History mean to you?
PJ Wolf: I think it means perseverance in the face of great odds. My ancestors were rounded up from Africa, put onto crowded ships where some died due to starvation and disease, and sold off as slaves. And even though they lost their individual cultural history, they created one with one another in similar straits. Black accomplishment is often defined by what folks have had to overcome in order to be seen as people, and just about every Black child has heard their parents tell them that they have to work twice as hard for half the credit. Even so, Black folks have indelibly put their mark on history, and recognizing the specific achievements of Black folks this month, I hope, leads to our society being more whole.
FWG: Do you feel that your Blackness has affected your writing?
PJ Wolf: Yes, in ways great and small, in ways that I may not even be fully aware of. We all take ourselves into our creative works, since they are a method of self expression, and I think some of the stories that I want to tell are absolutely affected by my being Black.
FWG: Do you feel like the issues that affect the outside world affect your writing within the fandom or not?
PJ Wolf: I would be hard pressed to find a way that it wouldn’t.
FWG: Do you have favorite Black authors and has their literature affected your writing in the fandom?
PJ Wolf: I’m ashamed to say no, I don’t have a favorite Black author. If it’s one area of fiction that I’ve been neglecting, it’s that put out by Black writers.
FWG: If you could convince everyone to read a single book, what would it be?
PJ Wolf: Kismet, by Watts Martin. The world feels so alive, and particularly the politics in it. A (to my eyes) libertarian dystopia where if you don’t like the rules where you live, you can (assuming you have the money, natch) move somewhere else down a system of space borne platforms called the River that is supported by the openly more progressive and sustaining Ceres Ring that provides the water everybody else uses to live on? I would hate to live there, but I have read that book several times over and love it every time. I even actively hate one of the supporting characters’ political philosophies but I count it as a point in Kismet’s favor because it’s so fully developed.
FWG: Any last words for our readers and guild members?
PJ Wolf: It’s okay to not write everyday. But nor should you allow yourself to only write during ideal conditions. Sometimes you gotta force things, and even one word is one more word toward your goal, regardless of whether that word survives edits.
We hope you found this interview exciting and informative as we hope to feature more black authors this month! If you are a black member of the Furry Writers’ Guild and would like to be featured, please contact our public relations officer here. Until next time, may your words flow like water.