Now that we’re hopefully all recovered from Oxfurred Comma, we discuss furry writing with author P.C. Hatter.
Tell us a little bit about your most recent project (written or published). Was there a particular inspiration for it?
Poached Parodies is my latest project. While reading some of my old favourites for inspiration, I thought, what if the character was a tiger? It went crazy from there.
Few people are old enough to remember Mike Hammer, Philip Marlowe, or Sam Spade. If the names are recognized, it’ll probably be from the movies. I love these old greats and wanted to bring the noir detective into the furry realm with a tiger, a husky, and four different lizards.
The job of parodying these old stories required a bit of thought with some updating and context for the modern reader. Not to mention explaining how an anthropomorphic world with multiple species might work.
Private Detective Kaiser Wrench is definitely a tiger with a code of honor, yet still holds onto what society considers barbaric tendencies. While it’s dangerous to be his friend, he’ll be sure to avenge your death.
Lucius Anoraq is a lone Siberian husky who says he isn’t paid to care but is really a softy at heart. Though whether he’ll find the dream male he’ll want to spend the rest of his life with remains to be seen.
The lizards of the last books vary in their professions, but still get sucked into a mystery. From gangsters to diabolical killers and a feme-fatal these lizards need to find the killers while saving their tails.
The original plan went a little haywire with 2020, but with the resurgence of conventions this three-part project is well underway with the first part being completed with the thirteen-volume set of Kaiser Wrench completed and up for sale. Part two contains Lucius Anoraq seven volumes and will be complete and up for sale by November 2021. The third part, Lizard Fifth’s five volumes will be available 2022,
What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom? Why write furry fiction?
Just about everything. My husband and I love the creativity in all its forms. Not just the writing but the artwork, fursuits, music, and more. And everyone is so nice.
Why write furry fiction? Because I love the fandom. So does my husband. He’s written a few adorable short stories. We’re working on the third book of the Kawokee together. It was supposed to be out 2020 but life gets in the way and hope to have it done by 2022.
When you think of it, using a tail wag, ear twitch, or any other thing associated with a particular species is both a challenge and pleasure to bring to a page.
What is your writing process like? Do you outline and plot, or are you a “pantser”?
Process? What process? Yes, I’m the dreaded Pantser. No plan, just an idea driven at sixty miles an hour toward a possibility. Sometimes I’ll dig myself a hole just to see if I can get out of it. Sometimes that requires someone to die first, and they’re usually my favourite characters.
Hubby is the Plotter. This makes writing stories together rather interesting because I keep messing up his organization ideas with my crazy notions.
What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?
Imagination is a writer’s biggest strength. A person can learn to spell or write a coherent sentence even if that requires finding the right teacher who can help you with whatever is holding you back. That’s what I had to do. A person can also learn a lot just by reading. Some things are gene specific, so if when planning to write a certain gene, read. Then sit back and let your imagination run wild.
What is your favourite kind of story to write? Does it align well with what you like to read?
What I like write is about as eclectic as what I like to read. Though I’m better at somethings than others. Science fiction was my first love both in reading and writing. While I like a good cozy mystery, I’m not very good at writing it. As for pure romance, neither reading nor writing it interest me.
Which character of yours do you most identify with, and why?
For this question we’ll have to go back to my pre-furry writing. Kane the main character in Ursa Kane would probably be the one I most related to at one time. Originally, the story was not supposed to be published because it was more divorce therapy than story. But I found it hiding on my hard drive, and my publisher at the time loved it. Grim of Emerald Tears reflects more of a dark time, but for any of my newer works, don’t usually put my entirety into the characters. Except for Purple Cat. The character is not only from a series of fifty-two short stories used on my blog, but also my fursona. Who knows, the collection just might wind up on the table someday.
Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?
For Love of Mother Not by Alan Dean Foster. In fact, the entire Flinx series with its rich worldbuilding had a lot of influence. Piers Anthony and the first few books of his Xanth series was another wonderful author. Without either of these two writers, things would have been quite different.
What is the last book you read that you really love?
For a nonfurry book, that would have to be Dune. Yes, I finally read the book after how many years? Most people can’t pull off such a giant info-dump on how a world works, but Frank Herbert made it interesting.
For a furry works, there are several good authors, but my favourite is still Sylvain St-Peirre’s Death by Predation series for his view of how an anthropomorphic world would work. Then there’s several works by Frances Pauli that I like. She managed to make me like giant spiders.
Besides writing, how do you like to spend your free time?
Dancing, gardening, tatting, RPG, and talking with friends. When not engrossed in reading a book.
Do you have any advice to give other writers?
Write because you love it. Not for the money, there’s easier ways of making money.
Know your audience. If you’re just writing for yourself, you already know the story. If you’re writing for someone else, know and understand what they want or expect.
The author doesn’t come with the book. Make sure the writing is clear and understandable. This is where having a good Beta-reader is crucial.
Not everyone is going to love your stuff. It’s okay. Appreciate the people who do.
Is there anything you would like to see more of within furry fiction?
More safe for work writing. It’s out there, but sometimes it’s hard to find. People have told me they don’t read furry because of the sex and many are surprised when we tell them our books are PG-13. Neither I nor my hubby can write a sex scene to save our lives, but neither are we interested in reading about it. Call us old fogies if you wish, but we’re more interested in the stories.
Where can readers find your work?
Amazon is the easiest place to find the books outside a convention.
The author page is https://www.amazon.com/Stacy-Bender/e/B008GW2OYE
The special edition of Kawokee is available at https://ringtailcafe.com/
To find out about new books or what convention we’ll be at, try the website or blog.
We hope you’ll have a look through those links – you never know, you might find your next favourite book!
Tomorrow we’ll be speaking to one of our publishers, who definitely has a lot to share!