Black History Month Spotlight: Ryuukiba

Hello again everyone! It’s February, so in honor of Black History Month, the FWG wanted to feature interviews with Black authors, publishers, and creators within the furry fandom. Today we’ll be interviewing Christopher Weartherall, known in the fandom as Ryuukiba.

Ryuukiba is a wusky writer living in Denver who has been a part of the furry fandom for eleven years. His love of word building what a society would look like if it were ran by anthropomorphic animals lead him to begin writing stories in his own world called Fauhna following the fuzzy creatures that live there.

With the introductions out of the way, let’s get on with the interview!

FWG: What do you think makes a good story?

Ryuukiba: In order to create a story that is moving and impactful, a writer must find ways to creatively express the dynamic nature of experience. Whether the tale is wholly fantasy, or driven by realism, each story is defined by the novelty and intensity of the experiences of it’s characters.

There are many ways to foster a level of dynamism that makes a story excite and enthrall the reader. Some authors focus on gathering experiences from reality, while others focus on conceiving experiences that transcend it.

FWG: What does Black History mean to you?

Ryuukiba: The history of Black communities is varied and expansive. Around the world there are many microcosms of black experience shaped around different cultures and environments. While the spread of our communities about the world was initially involuntary, a hallmark of black experience is how our people take what we are given and find way to make it our own, to make it better. Throughout history, Black communities have pioneered groundbreaking advances in art, science, and social reform, no matter the adversity we have faced due to discrimination and oppression.

The study and appreciation of black history should be focused around this ability, and not the lamentation of past transgressions. Black history month is a grand opportunity for those outside our communities to acknowledge and embrace the power black people wield. Through this acceptance others can recognize the black community as something more beyond the myriad misconceptions that have been developed over the centuries.

FWG: Do you feel that your Blackness has affected your writing?

Ryuukiba: There are many elements of my experience that influence my writing, such as my status as a furry, and my experience as a member of the LGBT community, but my Blackness is not typically at the forefront of my mind when going through my creative process. I focus instead on cultivating stories that explore different realities from many perspectives, seeking to highlight the diversity of experience and the beauty of individuality.

FWG: Do you feel that issues in the outside world affect your writing in the fandom?

Ryuukiba: Most definitely! Although our experience’s in the fandom distinguish us from the rest of society in a way, a key element of the fandom is finding ways to exploit and reform elements of the outside world to suit our own purposes.

Furthermore, I find it exciting to use my writing as a sounding board to conceptualize how the issues we currently face will affect the times to come. Through the furry lens I can explore modern conflicts from a perspective unlike our own, mirroring it, or warping it to reflect my own idealized future.

FWG: Tell us a bit about your book. What was your favorite moment when writing it?

Ryuukiba: Sheath and Felix is a Novel about two gay floofs who fall in love, only to be unwittingly dragged into a conflict of unfathomable proportions when Sheath learns that he is the son of the creator of the universe and it is his destiny to save all of creation from imminent doom.

I started writing the tale as a series of short stories on DeviantArt in 2011 and over the years the vignettes added up to become a novel. I quite enjoyed the process of worldbuilding for the tale. The extended multiverse I ended up creating around it is filled with fantastical elements such as luminous beings borne from mysterious crystal, an occult society that makes sacrifices to an interdimensional leviathan, and an insane twin deity so powerful it could destroy reality in the blink of an eye. Using these and other elements I plan to intertwine future writings with the tale and its sequels.

FWG: If you could convince everyone to read a single book, what would it be and why?

Ryuukiba: Brave New World, by Adolus Huxely is an intriguing exploration of human motivation. It paints a picture of a world where everyone’s purpose is known from the moment of birth and society has reached a state of near perfect design. Alongside this utopian fantasy exists a world where some cling to the traditions of the past. Either out of personal desire or obligation, these “savages” have little comprehension of the “perfect” world outside their borders, and when one of them is introduced to the brave new utopia it is realized that true contentment may not be found in indulgence, peace, and purpose alone.

FWG: Do you have any projects incoming you’d like to tell people about?

Ryuukiba: I am currently in the process of writing the sequel to Sheath and Felix, in which Sheath continues his journey to discover his true potential and avert near certain doom amidst a civil war that has broken out amongst the people of his world.

In addition to this I am working on worldbuilding for a series called NeoTerra which will focus around the version of earth found in my multiverse. The series will tell the tale of an intergalactic war which happened between the Fauhnans of Fauhna and the Humans of Earth from the perspective of Octavia, a Transfemme professor of History living in the year 12822.

FWG: Any last words for our readers?

Ryuukiba: There are many elements to human experience that are combined in various ways to create each and every individual in existence. For as long as history has been written, we have found reasons to spark enmity over differences small and large. Now, more than ever, it must be emphasized that it is through the shared embodiment of our uniqueness that we can excel most as a civilization. If we continue to distract our minds from discovery and creation with enmity and strife, we will lead ourselves on a path to near certain doom.

Each and every one of us must make room in our experiences to express our own uniqueness and accept the uniqueness of others. through this exchange of our personal gifts we will foster a culture of admiration and acceptance that will lead us into a new era of curiosity and discovery.

We would like to thank Ryuukiba once more for sitting down to chat with us. Readers can learn more about the book by visiting the official Sheath & Felix website. Be sure to visit next week for another Black History Month interview. Until next time, may your words flow like water.


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