Furry Book Month Publisher Q&A: Fenris Publishing


Fenris Publishing is producing an exciting array of books, comics, and tabletop games. We asked them a few questions about the furry writing community, and their plans for the future. We hope you find their answers interesting, and that you check out their website to see what titles interest you.


Tell us a little bit about yourself, and the publisher you are representing.

My name is Rex and I’m the owner of Fenris Publishing, LLC.  I first became active in the community online in 1998 when I created my character for the Road Rovers fandom and soon transitioned into the larger furry community.  My first convention was Further Confusion 2004 and I’ve been very active in the community ever since.

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom?

My favorite part about this community is how welcoming and accepting it is.  You can be who and what you want to be without judgment.  I find the community overwhelmingly positive, uplifting, and joyful, and we all need more of that in our lives.

What made you decide to get involved with the furry publishing scene?

I got into publishing because I wrote my own tabletop RPG system called Triten and wanted to manage the publication of it myself.  Rather than simply self-publishing and moving on to other creative projects, though, I fell in love with the business of publishing itself and decided to pursue that full time and have been doing so ever since.

What do you believe makes a good story?

For me, the characters are what make the greatest stories, followed by a strong plot.  But primarily, you need to have interesting and engaging characters that I yearn to know more about and follow through their journeys.

What are some of the biggest challenges with publishing in a relatively niche market?

The biggest challenge comes from the business side.  Small, niche markets limit how many books you can sell, and expenses pile up quickly when you’re running a small business.  So, the biggest challenge is reaching a wide enough audience to keep the business afloat.

What are some of the best parts of publishing furry books?

The best part is getting to see all the great stories, characters, and worlds people dream up!  I find great joy in letting a book take me away to a world full of anthropomorphic characters and seeing all the interesting ways various authors craft worlds around that premise.

What is the ideal writer to work with like?

The ideal writer will communicate openly with us and be receptive to the feedback our editors give them.  It’s often a difficult process having an editor go through the work you put your heart and soul into and tell you that certain things need to be changed.  The ideal writer will be willing to engage in that process and be open to making adjustments.

Novels vs Anthologies. Which do you prefer working on, and how do they compare in terms of sales?

We currently are only working on novels and novellas, but we plan to start exploring the world of anthologies starting in 2022.

What do you believe is the biggest misconception about the process of publishing, either specific to furry publishing or generally?

One big thing I think some writers aren’t prepared for is how very slow the process of publishing a novel can be, taking months or even years to complete, especially since most furry publishers and editors don’t (and can’t) do this work full time.  Even just getting through and responding to our submissions can take us months.

It’s always said, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but just how important is cover art to the success of a book?

Book covers are extremely important.  The next time you’re at furry convention, watch how buyers browse at a bookseller’s table.  There can be dozens of titles on the table, and for your average customer, you have mere seconds to attract their attention to something they might like.  Covers need to have sharp art and/or strong graphic design so a customer will even pick it up to look at the blurb on the back.

Is there anything you would like to see more of in furry fiction?

My personal favorite genre is medieval fantasy, so I always want to see more of that.  I’d also love to see more stories with heavier, darker, more mature, and more expansive themes.

What has been your favourite book to work on recently? Why?

Based on my previous response, it’s probably not a surprise that my favorite book to work on recently was Children of Maya by Christopher Vastag, which we will be releasing within the next few months.  The book is a medieval fantasy story featuring human characters who can shapeshift into various feral animals.  The story focuses on how a cruel, tyrannical predator king and those who support him oppress prey species, and it follows a rabbit character on her journey to escape slavery and liberate her people.


One of the biggest strengths of the furry writing community is the healthy selection of publishers. We hope you’ll join us in supporting them during this month – and through the rest of the year!

Our guest tomorrow had a very special day on the weekend, so thankfully we got his answers well in advance. We hope you’ll join us then to see what he has to say.

Furry Book Month Author Q&A: Jess E. Owen


Today we talk to author and gryfon extraordinaire, Jess E. Owen. She has delighted the furry fandom with her gryfons for a few years now (and sparked the endless debate on gryfon vs gryphon vs griffin). So long as we all agree to accept the different spellings of the species, Jess is here to discuss her success in self-publishing, as well as moving on to traditional publishing.


Tell us a little bit about your most recent project (written or published). Was there a particular inspiration for it?

I currently have two writing tracks going! My indie published fantasy world features gryfons and epic adventures, and I am working on the second book in a series sequel to the complete “Summer King Chronicles.” This story is a sequel to “Rise of the Dragon Star.” On the other track I have an agent and traditional publishing deal for two contemporary Young Adult novels (humans ;D ). The book due out in spring of 2022 is “A Furry Faux Paw,” about a young furry artist who attempts to break free of her controlling hoarder mother by escaping to a furcon with her friends. I’m nervous and excited and hope the fandom enjoys it.

The inspiration for the Summer King Chronicles was, at its heart, to write something unique with animal characters, featuring a fantasy species I felt was underserved. There are lots of dragons around, and a few unicorns, but not too terribly many gryphons.

The inspiration for “Faux Paw,” was, obviously, the fandom itself. My original books brought me into the fandom where I’ve found friends and wonderful experiences and a truly unique culture, and I wanted to write about someone in that “world” and so . . . I did!

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom? Why write furry fiction?

I have always been drawn to animal fiction since I started reading. I think there’s a little part of all of us who wishes we could truly transform, have the animal experience, fly, swim, run. Writing furry fiction is a way of exploring that, and as a fantasy writer, it stretches the imagination to inhabit a whole other species and way of being. I think one of my favourite parts of the fandom is the joyous abandon with which people own their creations and share with each other. And after reading so much animal fiction as a kid, the transition to writing it just came naturally.

What is your writing process like? Do you outline and plot, or are you a “pantser”?

After years of writing, I’m still discovering my process! I have found that my stories do best when they’ve had a year or two (!!) to marinate and form in my brain, sifting and picking up and discarding ideas until the real story steps forward. So I really try to pick the story I’m going to work on well in advance so I can obsess and inhabit it when the time comes to write. Then I do a loose outline with a general three act structure, at least a main character arc and so on. I’ve tried various methods and decided I’m a “plantser.” I need a beginning, some fun scenes to pin the plot to, and ending in mind, but otherwise I find much of it as a go, and new things occur to me as I visualize scenes and continue fleshing out the characters.

What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?

I like to think that readers are able to connect quickly with my characters, and that I can draw them into my worlds with specific sensory details. I pride myself on my scene-level pacing and walking readers through a variety of emotions to hit them in the Feels when it counts.

What is your favourite kind of story to write? Does it align well with what you like to read?

I like writing all kinds of things and I think it changes the more I write an explore. Currently I really dig into writing characters with high emotional stakes tied to whatever they’re trying to accomplish, no matter the genre. I realize when I get bored of a story it’s because the character doesn’t have enough inner conflict going on and I gravitate to characters who are conflicted or trying to overcome some pain. I gravitate toward reading fantasy, obviously, but I tried to read across genres and experiences to really have a well-rounded scope.

Which character of yours do you most identify with, and why?

Ooooo so many. In the Summer King Chronicles, I think, even though Shard is the main character, by the end I bonded thoroughly with Caj and Sigrun because they are both just gryfons trying to do the best thing for their family, struggling through difficult and conflicting goals, in a very dangerous and trying time.

Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?

Meredith Ann Pierce was a huge influence, both her Firebringer Trilogy and her Dark Angel series. Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea Cycle had a huge impact on the themes I like to bring to my fantasy—oof, so many!! Those are a top two for sure. I’ll think of a dozen more later.

What is the last book you read that you really love?

I loved “Spinning Silver” by Naomi Novik. It is sumptuous and perfectly crafted.

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

“Free time…?” I draw and paint, I work a day job. My husbird and I have never-ending house projects, and this summer has seen a lot of family obligations. When I have actual free time I try to get out in nature or hunker down in a coffee shop and watch people go by.

Do you have any advice to give other writers?

Never stop learning. You can hear the same bit of advice ten different ways and it won’t help you until one day, someone says it in a way that makes sense to you, and it will change your world and help you level up. Challenge yourself. Terrible at action scenes? Read a bunch write one, keep improving. Finish projects. You learn more from writing more things, new things, than from tinkering with one thing for twenty years. Trust me. And finally: take all advice with a grain of salt and do what works for you! 😉

Is there anything you would like to see more of within furry fiction?

I am excited to see more authors dipping their toe into (or at least expressing an interest in) Young Adult furry fiction. There are so many young people coming into the fandom, as well as people (like me!) who simply enjoy the YA reading and writing experience.

Where can readers find your work?

Well, next year in May/June you’ll be able to buy “A Furry Faux Paw” by Page Street Publishing (cover reveal coming in November!!) wherever books are sold, and the Summer King Chronicles & other gryfony stories are available through just about every online retailer there is. You can start with the first book here: https://books2read.com/u/3JXwvJ and of course my website www.jessowen.com where you can contact me or explore more about my fantasy worlds.


Tomorrow we talk to another one of the furry fandom’s publishers. These people may be some of the newer publishers to the game, but they’re already making great ground in the work they are producing. We hope you’ll join us tomorrow to hear what they have to say.

Furry Book Month Reviewer Q&A: Furry Book Review


The furry writing community is more than just authors, editors, and publishers. Reviewers can also play an integral role in the community. Today, we find out a little bit about why that is.


Tell us a bit about yourself, and the Furry Book Review.

I’m Thiger, a writer, editor and illustrator. I edit for Thurston Howl Publications and Weasel Press and run Furry Book Review and the Leo Awards. The FBR is for furry reviews and the Leos are for furry literature prizes, but both have the same goal: increasing the fandom’s visibility and spreading the good word. Running the FBR is less carefree than it sounds, since most of the actual reviewing is done by my gracious contributors, but it’s still fun! I never expected myself doing it, but the lovely thing about the furry lit world is how it’s relatively small and everything is connected, so a job can take you to another unexpected job and so on.

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom?

I think the furry aesthetic makes reality more approachable, and that can mean all sorts of things, from cultivating a curiosity for wanting to draw by watching Disney films as a kid, to letting you explore your sexuality because bodies with animal heads are less threatening than humans.

What made you decide to get involved in the furry reviewing scene?

I love reading things critically, which led me to editing, which is my current major. So when this position was offered to me, it seemed a natural fit.

What do you believe makes a good story?

I think a novel can have great plot and worldbuilding, but without great prose and characters it can never be called “great.” I consider depth of characters the same as depth of themes or plot, since they carry both of those out.

What do you believe is the main importance of providing formal reviews for furry books?

The furry world is small, but the furry literary world even more so. For small authors, oftentimes self-published, our review can be their first and their first boost of visibility. The blog is a great way of spreading positivity around the community, even when the review isn’t positive.

Are there sometimes any difficulties in providing impartial reviews?

There have been cases where people involved with the blog needed to have their books reviewed, but our network of reviewers is vast, so there’s always uninvolved available to offer an unbiased review with no “conflict of interest.” For FBR’s Leo Awards, we go even further, and try to compose half of the judges with non furries.

Are there common issues you see throughout furry fiction? Is there any advice you would give to furry writers as a whole?

This is a tough question. I’d say a major problem for furry literature is that it’s very niche and it’s very hard for it to sell, so it has to protect itself by merging with other well known genres as cushion, which can result in a proliferation of similar genre books heavy on tropes. Even for more serious furry lit, which is usually called Xenofiction, it’s hard to escape Watership Down’s shadow. On top of that, it’s hard to assert a work’s anthropomorphism without visual aid, which can result in books with “zipperback” characters, meaning they could be replaced by humans with no changes.

My advice for aspiring furry writers would be to consider all these challenges before starting, and to be mindful of tradition. I think knowing who came before us and paved the way is extremely important, and it’s always a good idea to read the kinds of books you want to write, so definitely give the furry classics love. This is common knowledge with human novels, but often overlooked when it comes to furry novels. There’s a canon there, too.

What do you believe furry fiction provides that other genres can not?

What I said earlier about furry being more approachable is doubly true when there’s no pictures, as Kyell Gold proved by publishing Waterways and helping hundreds explore their sexuality. On top of that, literature’s more introspective nature lends itself to exploring how an animal might think more than, say, a furry comic or cartoon, which is as fascinating as reading about any alien civilization.

Is there anything you’d like to see more of in furry fiction?

I’d like to see more innovation and variety. There’s already been some furry poetry books out there, but I’d love to go further and see furry epic poetry, furry postmodernism, furry of all kinds which haven’t been done before or, at least, since the middle ages.

What kind of stories do you wish writers/publishers would send to you?

While we love getting books from the fandom’s biggest names with guaranteed quality, what tends to make me feel warmest is when we can make a small author’s day better. And while the main mission purpose of the blog is to enrich the fandom, I do love when we review things from outside of it like mainstream comics or regular novels with anthro characters, just for the bizarre reactions.

Which book that you have reviewed would you recommend over all others?

Akela, by Ben Goodridge. That book went above and beyond avoiding the pitfalls I described earlier; it did so effortlessly by being an ambitious, sober, sombre book about Australian culture that pulls no punches and depicts a main character with so many dimensions, you’ll find yourself falling in love with him.


We hope that you’ll check out the Furry Book Review site and see what books they recommend. Authors, consider sending your books through to them for review.
Tomorrow we hear from another author – one who has found great success in the self-publishing area, and is now making the transition to traditionally published. Found out more tomorrow!

Furry Book Month Publisher Q&A: Sofawolf


Sofawolf Press is one of the furry fandom’s oldest publishers, and have been responsible for producing some of our most beloved books. Jeff Eddy was kind enough to answer some of our questions about their history and what furry publishing means to the community.


Tell us a little bit about yourself, and the publisher you are representing.

My name is Jeff Eddy, and I am the President and co-founder of Sofawolf Press, Inc. The company was founded in 1999 and we have produced nearly 100 novels, anthologies, periodicals, and graphic novels. We have four people on the board of directors and have had up to ten individuals managing and editing specific projects, but the majority of the day to day work is done by two or three people.

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom?

I love that, as a fandom without a source material and really without a specific genre, people are free to create anything they want. As long as it has some kind of animalistic anthropomorphism in it, it’s “furry”.

The fandom is also great about embracing creators who are furries, even if the things they create may not ultimately be furry in nature. That’s pretty awesome.

What made you decide to get involved with the furry publishing scene?

In 1999 there were not a lot of publications open to the kind of stories we wanted to see told. We felt there were a lot of people capable of writing serious, quality fiction that was neither aggressively sexual nor emphatically general audience. We wanted to explore the vast middle ground (though obviously we expanded our catalogue into the other areas eventually).

What do you believe makes a good story?

There is no one answer to this. You have to balance giving the reader what they expect with giving the reader something new and different; but too many people get hung up on the “new and different” part and forget about giving people what they expect. Obviously, whatever you do it needs to be sufficient quality to keep from pulling the reader out of the story to puzzle over words or structure or logistics. And finally, everything is character-heavy these days, so you have to make sure your characters live and breathe and grow.

What are some of the biggest challenges with publishing in a relatively niche market?

One of our biggest challenges was striving for variety. The fandom is still pretty small, and despite our best efforts we never managed to get much quality from the general writing community. So, it was a significant effort to try to keep introducing new names in our anthologies.

What are some of the best parts of publishing furry books?

When I talk to other publishers, the one thing they always bring up is how easy it is for us to find great artists to work with. Not only in terms of quality, but in terms of enthusiasm for the material they are creating. As a publisher, I can select an artist whose natural style works particularly well for the material, and usually have multiple options to choose from.

What is the ideal writer to work with like?

The ideal writer understands that our job is to help them make their work enjoyable to the greatest number of readers possible. In this, we are often in the position of telling them vastly different things than they have been hearing from the peer editing process they have been going through while creating their final draft.

Novels vs Anthologies. Which do you prefer working on, and how do they compare in terms of sales?

Anthologies require a lot of project management because you are dealing with multiple authors and potentially multiple artists as well. There are a lot of balls to juggle, and a lot more opportunities for things to go wrong. The flat licensing payments make upfront costs a lot higher, and with rare exceptions the sales tend to be lower. So, it takes a lot longer to recover the initial investment on the title.

Novels usually take a lot longer to edit and produce, but most of the time you are dealing with a single author and a single artist, which makes things a lot easier. Unless it is part of an established series by a well-known author, there is always a risk that a new title will fail to sell particularly well. But, since most novels pay the author in annual royalty payments rather than upfront flat payments, it helps smooth out the costs.

What do you believe is the biggest misconception about the process of publishing, either specific to furry publishing or generally?

Oh, that would be the misconception that small publishers are big, evil corporations that make huge quantities of money off the hard work of the writers and artists that we publish. The profit margins on publishing are very slim, and the only way the big publishers make money is by producing at scale and maximum diversification of their catalogue.

This is a labour of love, and no one on the Sofawolf Press staff has ever been paid for their work.

It’s always said “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but just how important is cover art to the success of a book?

This depends a lot on who the potential reader is. People who are picking up a book because they are familiar with the author, or who have had the title recommended by a friend, are less likely to pay a lot of attention to the cover artwork. A nice cover is still important, but not as important as it is to the casual browser.

For the casual browser you often have only two opportunities to make a sale: the front cover and the back cover. The front cover is what makes them pick the book up. The back cover blurb convinces them to read it.

Is there anything you would like to see more of in furry fiction?

This is one of the hardest questions in this list, because creators in this fandom do such a good job with the usual problem areas: inclusivity, sensitivity, elevating marginalized voices, etc… There is always room for improvement, but we’re so far ahead of the curve there.

I think I would love to see more creators exploring Young Adult themes. Some authors have, and have done it well, but there is room for a lot more.

What has been your favourite book to work on recently? Why?

Summer in Orcus by T. Kingfisher (aka: Ursula Vernon) was a special joy for me. Not only was it a terrific story that had resonated with a lot of people at a very difficult time in our recent history, but Lauren Henderson (aka: Louvelex) was absolutely the perfect artist to have agreed to work on the illustrations for it.

The fact that we got to run it as a Kickstarter, allowing us to do some nice reward goodies and produce an excellent cloth-bound hardback limited edition, was just icing on the cake. And having both author and artist named in the Hugo Award Nomination was even better.


Tomorrow, we have an interview that will be a little bit different from the earlier ones, as the focus is not on writing or publishing. Instead, we interviewed a reviewer. We hope you’ll come back tomorrow to see what they have to say about furry writing!

Furry Book Month Author Q&A: R.A. Meenan


Today we discuss furry writing and the writing process with R.A. Meenan. Every writer has a different method of writing, and takes different inspirations from both within and without the furry fandom. Though we are seeing a bit of a pattern emerge with plotting vs pantsing!

Tell us a little bit about your most recent project (written or published). Was there a particular inspiration for it?

My most recent published story is called Some Things Remain, and it’s a story about draft dodgers living in a community during a catastrophic world war. On the surface, it’s setting up for my third novel which is set in that war, but deeper down, the story talks about xenophobia, self-hate, manipulation, and the horrors of war. Since all of these, even war, are big social issues right now, they’re important to touch on and are constant themes in my stories.

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom? Why write furry fiction?

I love the inclusion of the furry fandom! I know it has its issues, but for the most part, I feel like I can be fully myself in this fandom.

As for writing furry fiction, I just find furries more interesting to write than humans, especially for speculative fiction and I write pretty much exclusively spec fic.

What is your writing process like? Do you outline and plot, or are you a “pantser”?

Hoo boy, my writing process is a mess. I do several forms of detailed outlines and then end up just pantsing a lot of it. But it usually starts with vague ideas, then a “big picture” outline, then a very detailed outline based off the Take Off Your Pants method. Though I frequently find that I modify and change outlines a LOT while writing. So I suppose I’m in-between.

What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?

For the process, probably my ability to tell when I need to change something that just isn’t working. I can get a feel for it and just KNOW this isn’t working. For the writing itself, it’s worldbuilding without infodumping. It was a hard-earned skill, but I think I’ve nailed it.

What is your favourite kind of story to write? Does it align well with what you like to read?

I like to write psychologically gritty stories, with a lot of man-vs-self. I also love to write stories with a lot of suspense. The kind that has cliffhangers at every chapter (though with a non-cliffhanger, satisfying ending).

It definitely does NOT align with my reading preferences though, haha. These kinds of gritty cliffhanger stories tend to stress me out while reading and I’ll often skip ahead in them to see if my favourite characters are going to die so I can prepare myself… emotionally.

Which character of yours do you most identify with, and why?

The character I WISH I identified with is Matthew Azure. Idealistic, optimist, self sacrificing, always checking in with himself to make sure he’s doing the right thing, etc. These things tend to bite Matt in the tail – he has a hero-complex and the tendency to overthink things – but overall he’s the person I wish I was.

However, I’m definitely more like Trecheon Omnir. Cynical, pessimistic, mad at the world, sick of seeing racism and xenophobia everywhere, wants to change things, but has no idea how, or feels like nothing he could do would ever be enough, so it stops him from even attempting, etc.

Trecheon and Matt are definitely foils of each other, but as their friendship grows, their good traits tend to rub off on each other. I like to think my husband, who is definitely more of the real-life Matt, has done this for me.

Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?

MCA Hogarth’s Pelted universe was a huge inspiration for world-building for me. Her worlds feel so REAL, both physically and culturally, like you could just pick up and move there.

Jess E. Owen of the Summer King Chronicles is one of my biggest inspirations not only as a writer, but also as a self-published author. She’s done amazing things with her world, and I eat up every new novel she writes. She’s the writer I want to be.

Michael Crichton’s style of character voice, POV, and description has influenced my writing style since high school. He’s fantastic at character voice and the way he jumps seamlessly from one POV to the next with simple section breaks is fantastic.

What is the last book you read that you really love?

K. Vale Nagle’s Eyrie was the last book I read in entirety, and I immediately fell in love with it. I read the whole thing in two days. The world was really fantastic, and I loved the characters. I bought almost all the rest of his books and once I get my next book ready to publish, I’ll be diving in again. I can’t wait!

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

Pretty much all of my hobbies are creative – knitting, sewing, cosplay, etc. Mostly I do art though. I mainly draw my own characters from my books, but I’ll occasionally do fan art too. Beyond that, my free time is dedicated to my toddler… and video games. Mostly Destiny 2 these days.

Do you have any advice to give other writers?

The most common bit of writing advice that you hear from writers is “write every day.” For a lot of us, that’s almost impossible. Many of us have families, day jobs, or even just mental issues that make it difficult to write every day. For me, that’s ADHD. If I’m hyperfixated on art, writing is really hard for me and I have to work through the art fixation before I can think about writing again.

So rather than “write every day” I say “live in your stories every day.” Sometimes that’s having a mental conversation with your characters. Sometimes it’s making art. Sometimes it’s just jotting down ideas or outlines. Sometimes it’s just daydreaming. And it doesn’t have to be long either. Give your stories ten minutes of your time if everything else is too wild. It’ll help keep you focused and give you ideas when you’re ready to write again.

Is there anything you would like to see more of within furry fiction?

More contemporary fantasy stories. There’s plenty of fantasy set in the time of rogues and knights and dragons, but not a lot set in modern or future times.

Where can readers find your work?

The best place to find my work is at Zyearth.com! There’s lots of art, worldbuilding, character profiles, free hidden short stories, and links to all my novelettes and novels.

Thank you for the interview!


Tomorrow we speak to the person behind one of the oldest active furry publishers. We hope you’ll join us for that.

Furry Book Month Author Q&A: Tempe O’Kun


Today, we speak to author Tempe O’Kun, author and writer for the youtube channel Culturally F’d. He has a long history of writing furry stories across multiple different mediums. He happily shared some of his insights to the writing process and the furry fandom as a whole.


Tell us a little bit about your most recent project (written or published). Was there a particular inspiration for it?

My new novel, Marian, is inspired by the Reynard the Fox and Robin Hood legends. I wanted to establish the idea in our society of a bureaucrat hero —a highly-moral politician— who uses her social-skill super-powers for good. Maid Marian was a natural choice because she’s established as part of the ruling class, but also paired with a more action-centric love interest. The Reynard stories add a fun layer of complexity and mischief to both her and Robin.

I also just finished a sci-fi audio series, which is getting posted on my YouTube channel, Culturally F’d. It’s called Puplift and in it I narrate as a dog explaining the future society he lives in. I started it as a reaction against the bleak futures I so often see in sci-fi. While it’s important to warn society away from dark paths, it’s equally vital to show them possible futures we can strive for.

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom? Why write furry fiction?

I really like the equality and respect in the furry fandom. I know that sounds a bit strange when talking about an internet community, but look at it this way: when you pick up a furry book, you know it’s going to present LGBT people in an authentic and empathetic way. The fandom has an enlightened set of values about race, gender, sexuality, economic status, and so on. We don’t always stick to these values perfectly, as nobody can be perfect, but we at least agree what they are—that every person has worth.

As for furry as a genre, I write in it for several reasons. First, it encourages world-building and creativity—how do an elephant and a mouse sit at the same table, for example. Second, it allows us to bypass a lot of the built-in assumptions we make with human characters, so it puts our problems in a new context so we can get a fresh perspective. Star Trek does this with aliens. We do this with animals. Third, it is very global. No matter where you come from in the world, you expect a ferret to fidget, a lion to lounge, and a bunny to bounce. Thus, readers enter the narrative with a head-start on understanding your characters.

What is your writing process like? Do you outline and plot, or are you a “pantser”?

I am about halfway between an outliner and a seat-of-the-pants writer. I research a lot of background info and study up on the genre I’m going to be writing in. That said, I don’t know what exactly will happen in a given scene until I’m writing it. I know the hero escapes the dungeon, but I don’t always know how or what complications will arise in the process.

What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?

Readers tell me I’m very good at shifting genre and tone. Whenever I start a new work, I think about what genre is will fit into and what kind of tone I’m going for. Authors often feel a temptation to say that their work transcends genres, but genre is just part of the dialog between you and your reader. If you are in the mood for a mystery and start reading something that claims to be a mystery, then you want it to be a mystery. I think if it like search tags on websites, rather than a box that constrains your story. So I read works from that genre and check out TVTropes for that genre. I also make a playlist of music that gets me in the correct mindset. To establish a tone, I make a document with “rules” for that story or series. These are things like how characters talk, what sort of sentence structure the narration takes, and even how modern of language to use.

What is your favourite kind of story to write? Does it align well with what you like to read?

I like to write stories with healthy relationships. I am all about friendships, romances, and empathy. That lines up with what I like to read. I quickly get tired of a story if it’s too violent or if the characters are cruel. If I am to spend hours with these characters, they should be people I enjoy. I can get quite enough fuss and misery in real life. I write by the motto of “You have to see it to be it;” meaning you have to know something is a possibility before you can opt to do it. If you have seen lots of good relationships in fiction (or real life), you can be more mindful in how you assemble the parts of your own relationships. In the end, happy fiction makes for happy people.

Which character of yours do you most identify with, and why?

All of my main characters embody some part of my personality. Six has my determination. Blake has my interest in social structures. Kylie has my impulsiveness. Max has my nerdy tendencies. Robin has my passion for justice. Marian has my social savvy.

Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?

James Gurney’s Dinotopia taught me to create the sort of worlds I’d want to live in. Plus, it has talking dinosaurs, so that gets extra points from me.

What is the last book you read that you really love?

The entire Moomins series by Tove Jansson. That world is just so cozy and supportive. It stars adorable marshmallow hippos and most of the cast is anthro. Everybody is living in this cottagecore valley with magic and adventure. It’s a very reassuring place to recover from the horror of the last four years and ongoing the pandemic. For those looking to dive into the series, I really recommend the 1990 cartoon (The Moomins) or the 2019 animated series (Moominvalley). Even the original text has really cool bisexual and poly themes, which aren’t surprising given the author’s life. No doubt I will be writing an episode of Culturally F’d soon about Moomintroll as a bisexual icon.

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

I really enjoy cooking. I bake fresh bread every few days. I also really enjoy fixing things. I often don’t feel like I own an item until I’ve repaired or improved it. I like taking walks. I also like table-top RPGs quite a bit, so I write modules like Ironclaw: The Book of Monsters.

Do you have any advice to give other writers?

I find that my best works are made when I am writing the sort of story I’d want to read. If I want very badly to read a story, to the point of taking it upon myself to write it, then I know it’s something truly engaging. So don’t worry about chasing trends. If you’re crazy about it, that passion will translate through to the reader.

Is there anything you would like to see more of within furry fiction?

If we apply the above rule to my writing, I apparently want to see more female characters of all stripes (zebra and otherwise). I’m also trying to get more stories into the furry canon about stable poly relationships. For all the orgies we write about, we tend to really shy away from orgies with feelings involved! And I’d love to see furry stories from a broader range of backgrounds. So no matter who you are reading this, don’t feel like you have to write the same sorts of stories that anybody else writes. Nobody is more qualified than you to show off your little corner of the world.

Where can readers find your work?

Books: https://furplanet.com/shop/category.aspx?catid=219


Tomorrow we speak to another one of our wonderful authors, so be sure to check back then!

Furry Book Month Publisher Q&A: Zooscape


The furry writing community made an important milestone this year. For the first time, there is a professional-paid venue specifically aimed towards the furry market. That is Zooscape, a quarterly e-zine produced by Mary E. Lowd and sponsored by FurPlanet.
Today, Mary E. Lowd will talk a little about how Zooscape came about, and how important it is to have a professional market in the furry writing community.


Tell us a little bit about yourself, and the publisher you are representing.

Hey, readers, I’m Mary E. Lowd, the founder and editor of Zooscape.  Before Zooscape, I was the editor for five volumes of FurPlanet’s ROAR anthology series.  I actually primarily see myself as a writer and have quite a few books and short stories of my own published.  However, I really, deeply, profoundly believe in the importance of furry fiction (largely because it’s what I want to read), so when I saw places in the furry writing scene where I could make a big difference by stepping up as an editor, I felt called to do so.

Zooscape is the first pro-paying, SFWA-qualifying short story venue for furry fiction.  A lot of us in the furry writing scene had been wishing for a market like Zooscape for years before the zine actually launched.  I hope that Zooscape lives up to those dreams.  From what I’ve seen of the reaction to it from outside the fandom, it seems like it’s performing admirably as an ambassador for furry fiction to the mainstream sf/f community, which was part of the point.  Zooscape’s stories are all available to read for free online, so they’re easy to share with potential new fans of furry fiction.

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom?

I love animals.  I love stories.  I love stories about animals.  So, the furry fandom provides a nexus for two of my absolute favourite things to meet and combine, and it lets me meet and connect with other people who understand those passions.  Before discovering the furry fandom, I had to deal with people asking me, “But why otters?  Why make the characters in your sci-fi book OTTERS???”  After discovering the furry fandom, I didn’t have to fumble for reasons or get lost in self-reflection about why I couldn’t just conform to standard writing practices and make my characters human.  No, I could just say, “Because it’s furry.”  And that is so much better.

What made you decide to get involved with the furry publishing scene?

Teiran at FurPlanet asked me if I would take over the reins for editing ROAR, and I realized that I could see a lot of possibilities for how I could draw on my connections in the broader sf/f writing community to get a wider base of submissions.  It was a chance to really pull writers from inside and outside the fandom together, and so of course, I accepted the editor position.  After a while, I realized that I might be able to provide more for the fandom by founding an online zine, and there were other good editors available to take over ROAR.  So, I moved on to Zooscape.

What do you believe makes a good story?

Otters and spaceships.  But seriously, I’m a big sci-fi fan, and much of what I love about the sci-fi genre is that it’s about asking questions and considering possibilities.  What would the world be like with a new technology?  What if we lived on a different kind of world?  Of course, that kind of mindset doesn’t have to be limited to science-fiction and, in fact, dovetails really nicely with furry fiction.  What would life be like if you had wings or hooves?  What kind of society would otters build?  So, beyond the standard answers of — characters the reader cares about, an engaging plot, and beautiful prose — I think that bringing a sense of wonder and curiosity to a story, infusing it with interesting ideas, helps make it good.

What are some of the biggest challenges with publishing in a relatively niche market?

The main problem I’ve come across with publishing furry fiction is simply that a lot of people don’t know what it is.  Either they’ve never heard of furry fiction, or they have some pre-conceived, overly limited notion of what the term “furry fiction” means.

Furry is a very broad genre.  Basically, it’s any kind of fiction that significantly features an anthropomorphized character — so, for instance, The Last Unicorn and The Brave Little Toaster are both furry.  But a lot of people don’t even realize that Watership Down — one of the cornerstones of the genre — is furry fiction.

If writers don’t know the name of the genre they’re writing, they won’t know to send their stories my way.  And if readers don’t know the name of the genre they love, they won’t know how to find books and stories to read.

What are some of the best parts of publishing furry books?

I love that I get to make writers’ dreams come true by publishing their stories, and I love it when I get to see a reader deeply connect with one of our stories.  That’s the whole point.

What is the ideal writer to work with like?

Ideally, a writer will follow the guidelines we’ve posted on the Zooscape website when submitting their story.  You wouldn’t think that’d be a high bar, but if you do that, you’re already ahead of the game.

Novels vs Anthologies. Which do you prefer working on, and how do they compare in terms of sales?

I could answer this as a writer… but as a publisher, I’ve only worked on anthologies and a magazine.  Those are very similar.  Zooscape releases three to four issues per year, and each issue is like a miniature anthology.

What do you believe is the biggest misconception about the process of publishing, either specific to furry publishing or generally?

If an editor rejects your work, that doesn’t necessarily mean there was anything wrong with it.  That just means the particular piece wasn’t suitable for the particular market at that time.  There are a lot of amazing stories out there, and there simply isn’t room for any given publisher to take every single piece that deserves an audience.  And since editors do receive so many submissions, they don’t necessarily have time to give personalized feedback on… well… almost any of them.

So, good luck, and don’t let the rejections get you down, even when they’re mere form letters.  And find somewhere else to look for feedback, because even if an editor wishes she could give feedback to all the writers who submit, she very likely has to choose between giving feedback and being able to keep up with the sheer volume of submissions.

It’s always said “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but just how important is cover art to the success of a book?

Short stories don’t generally come with cover art, especially when they’re published exclusively on the internet.  However, I find a piece of art to go with each story anyway, because I think it makes them more eye-catching for readers.  Also, as a writer myself, I know how nice it is to see my story adorned with a piece of art that the publisher carefully selected for it.  Getting cover art is one of the best parts of being a writer, and while I can’t capture that full effect for short stories, I think it’s still nice to make sure they each have a little something to go with them.

Is there anything you would like to see more of in furry fiction?

I’d like to see more science-fiction.  Also, more Hugo and Nebula awards.

What does it mean for furry writers that there’s now a professionally-paying, SFWA-qualifying market for short furry fiction?

The hope is that by having a pro-level furry zine, readers and writers outside the furry fandom will begin to take furry fiction more seriously. Those of us who’ve been inside the furry writing scene for the last decade know there’s a lot more to furry fiction than outsiders often realize — it can be so many different things, and yet, there’s still sometimes a stigma against focusing on animal characters too much and definitely against being labelled as furry. Zooscape is trying to change that by showing the mainstream writing scene that furry fiction can be all the things that other types of fiction are — just about animals.

Ideally, Zooscape will pave the way for more furry writers to join SFWA, and it will show writers who are already in the mainstream that it’s okay to share the stories they’ve written about animal protagonists. And even more than that, it’s okay to call them furry. In fact, it may even help them find more of an audience.

What has been your favourite book to work on recently? Why?

Uh… I’ve been really enjoying writing Otters In Space 4… but you mean as a publisher.  So, in that capacity, I just put together the line-up for Zooscape’s December 2021 issue, and while it involved some extremely difficult choices, I’m very, very excited about how it’s turned out.  The December issue will be Zooscape’s first issue paid at the new, pro-level, SFWA-qualifying pay rates, and that’s a pretty big deal.  I’m really looking forward to sharing it with the world.


We hope you have learned a little about Zooscape, and that you’ll check out the December issue when it is released.
Check back here tomorrow for an interview with another of the fandom’s writers.

Furry Book Month Author Q&A: Frances Pauli


Today we talk to author Frances Pauli about what furry fiction means to her, and how she comes up with her stories.

Tell us a little bit about your most recent project (written or published). Was there a particular inspiration for it?

My most recently written work (finished just this morning) is the third Serpentia novel. That world and its characters were inspired by my own snakes, and many years of keeping and admiring reptiles in all their variations. My most recently published book is the Pocket Shot from Goal, called Of Birds and Branches. That one came from one of the weirdest dreams I’ve ever had, and the idea just wouldn’t let me go until I sat down and wrote it out in its entirety.

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom? Why write furry fiction?

My favourite thing about the fandom is its kindness. I am relatively new to the furry experience, having found it only a few years back, but I have been struck from day one by how inclusive, helpful, and fun the furries I meet are. I like a place that lets everyone play, and where everyone is welcome and can find a corner to snuggle up in. I have lived with social anxiety my entire life, and it is often hard for me to feel comfortable or welcome in groups, even virtual ones, but I’ve found that the fandom, of all my communities, puts me at ease the most.

I write furry fiction because I love to read it. All of my favourite books contain animal characters of some kind. Given a choice between a book about people and one with animals in it, the animal story wins every time. I think there is something deeply rooted in our literary history which makes animal stories both comforting and powerful. There’s a rich symbolism and a nostalgic pleasure in reading about characters that could easily have stepped out of our childhood fantasies, our myths and our fables.

What is your writing process like? Do you outline and plot, or are you a “pantser”?

I call myself a reformed pantser because I’ve learned to structure and plan a great deal more than when I first began writing. In truth, though, I rarely outline. My normal process is to create a world and characters and then make note of their pivotal scenes. I line out the major plot points like road signs to keep me heading in the right direction, but in between those goals, I still do quite a bit of “on the fly” plotting.

What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?

Oh, that is a tough question. I mentioned the social anxiety, right? Since I have to answer it, I’ll go with my ability to empathize with the character, to put myself into the skin of the snake, or the spider, or bear (Okay, bear is a little easier) and really imagine what it means to crawl around and experience that life. I like to think (hope?) that that transfers to a believable character on the page.

What is your favourite kind of story to write? Does it align well with what you like to read?

I like to write love stories. It’s cheesy, and I’ve fought with the urge off and on, but a little happily ever after makes me, well, happy. I don’t read much of the romance genre, but most of my favourite books have a strong central love story.  Outside of the romance, I like to write about underdogs, and outsiders, lost children and found family. I’m a sucker for a story about justice and revolution, too. But as a reader, please give me a heartfelt romance along with it.

Which character of yours do you most identify with, and why?

Stella from Queen of Arts. She’s a mama bear like me, and we both have a history of domestic violence and recovery. Stella is a fighter, but mostly on behalf of other people. She’s a little co-dependent, a little too involved in her friends’ business, but she has a lot of love to give, and beneath her shields and boundaries, she’s a hopeless romantic.

Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?

I read a lot of Andre Norton. A lot. I have a shelf devoted to her books, and I tend to pick up one as comfort reading from time to time. I think she’s had the biggest influence on me. I also love Tanith Lee, Patricia McKillip, Christopher Moore, Shakespeare, and I read Mitchener from time to time as a guilty pleasure. He’s terribly dated, but I inherited my mother’s collection, and I think those stories are a way to feel connected to her still.

What is the last book you read that you really love?

I adored Ape House by Sara Gruen. She wrote Water for Elephants which I haven’t read, but which received far more press than Ape House. I loved it so much. It’s about a family of bonobos who are abducted from their language lab and put on TV as a reality show. The apes ‘talk’ in a variety of ways and spend the book trying to contact the scientist who worked with them and is desperately trying to save them. The book was heartbreaking and heart-warming at the same time. Whimsical and tense and just a fantastic read. Also, I’m a sucker for talking apes.

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

If I were dead honest, I’d say talking about writing and thinking about writing, but that really focuses on my obsessive nature. So I’ll stick with the hobbies. I have a lot of pets and houseplants, I am currently breeding my rosy boas and collecting model horses, crocheting, drawing again after many years, and learning how to cook excellent vegan food. I also build fursuit heads and love suiting so much it’s ridiculous. In addition to that I have two amazing children that I try to spend as much time with as possible, playing games, watching shows, and just enjoying them before they go and grow up on me.

Do you have any advice to give other writers?

So much advice, but really, the best thing I could tell other writers is to trust themselves. There are a lot of things in this business that can wear down your sense of self, make you question and feel about as big as a flea. So come at it from a place that is completely selfish. Do it for you, how you want to, and while I recommend listening to those who have come before, I also recommend filtering their advice and focusing on what works for you. Find your own process. If whatever you’re being told to do doesn’t result in you writing and finishing books you are happy with, then toss that advice aside and do what you need to to get there.

Is there anything you would like to see more of within furry fiction?

Sweet romance. Love stories. Stories with females that are strong, individual characters and not props or prizes. (To be fair I want that in all fiction) But what I want to see most in furry fiction is more of it. I want to see furry books landing and sticking with mainstream readers. I want to flood the shelves of Barnes and Nobel with Fox in Starbucks stories and put a Slice of Life furry romance in the Amazon top 100. I don’t even care who writes it. I love this genre, and I want the world to love it too.

Where can readers find your work?

All of my work can be found from my website at: francespauli.com. Many of my furry works are over at Goal Publications, my amazing and supportive publisher. I have books on Amazon and at most e-tailers and free stories on FA and SF under Mammabear. There’s a lot, so if you can’t find something you want, you’re also welcome to email me and just ask.


Tomorrow, we have an interview from an author and publisher who is pushing forward into the fully professional markets. We hope you’ll come and check out what she has to say then.

Furry Book Month Author Q&A: Tagenar

Today, we hear from adult writer Tagenar, who is able to give us a look into his interests and processes as a writer.


Tell us a little bit about your most recent project (written or published). Was there a particular inspiration for it?

Tagenar: “Solid Magic” is the kinkiest thing I’ve ever done. The story is the adult version of a subplot from my alter-ego’s Archeons series: a human ends up sharing a body with a dragon. Because the series is not explicit, most of their relationship happens between chapters. I wanted to see more of their sex life, so I wrote a story about a man who ends up losing his own body and becoming soul-bound to a dragon who happens to be in heat. It ended up being something completely different, with less body-sharing and instead the former human takes on whatever form the dragon desires, but I still got my explicit human/dragon story.

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom? Why write furry fiction?

I have always been more interested in the nonhuman characters who are typically sidekicks or NPCs. I enjoy creating for people who also want to know more about them.

What is your writing process like? Do you outline and plot, or are you a “pantser”?

I used to improvise from start to finish, but after so many rewrites I learned to make a loose outline first and then improvise within that. Saves me a lot of rewrites later. Best of both extremes, but each book is different. For my first three Tagenar novels (Jake’s List, Exposure, and Don’t Call Me Coach), I don’t think I had much of an outline at all. I had a setting and a hook, and I let the story grow out of those ingredients. Still, there came a point at about the halfway mark for each book where I had to stop and figure out what I was doing and where everything was going before I went too far.

For C C S (my newest book in print), I had a plan for each chapter and an overall plan for the whole story, and I improvised within each section. A few twists and developments happened that I didn’t plan, and that’s when writing is most fun. I want to be surprised while writing it. If I am, there’s a good chance the reader will be, too.

What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?

I’m a concept writer, so I think that’s where my strength lies. The big ideas. Probably why I haven’t written very many short stories. Most of my ideas just keep growing. In fact my first attempt at a short story grew into an 80,000 word novel.

What is your favourite kind of story to write? Does it align well with what you like to read?

I prefer stories that have their own sense of internal logic. When a story defines its own rules, you can understand anything, even if it’s outside your favorite genre. I got into Dilbert in the 90s, long before I got my first job, simply because the comic strip does such a good job building the office as a world unto itself. Then I read 1984, and that book spends a third of its pagecount setting up its world. I’ve always been drawn to stories like this, so it’s what I prefer to write as well. My first three novels as Tagenar didn’t do very much with that, mostly because I wrote them to break out of rigid, well-defined worlds I was writing under my real name. Taking a break from that was what I needed, so those books are character/situation pieces. The new books I’m working on very much focus on worldbuilding and big concepts.

Which character of yours do you most identify with, and why?

Garth, from Don’t Call Me Coach, may be the character I feel for most. He’s a take-charge kind of person who discovers that the real world doesn’t always value people like that. More recently, Paul from C C S represents different aspects of who I am and who I wish I could be. I recognized this early on, so I brought it out more. All of my characters have a little bit of me in them in some way, but those two in particular hit close to home.

Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?

I grew up reading the sci-fi greats (Clarke, Asimov, Crichton). They were outstanding at building worlds and trying to imagine how technology will change humanity, even while most of them were terrible at characters. I like to think I’ve struck a better balance. Sci-fi writers are paying more attention to characters these days, so we don’t have to settle for concept stories alone.

What is the last book you read that you really love?

I just read Kafka’s “Amerika.” I enjoyed it way more than I expected, even knowing it was an unfinished novel.

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

Mostly video games, but I took up wine-drinking a few years ago to make myself less boring, and an excuse to get out and explore the city. I never used to go out and do things, but since moving closer to a big city, I want to experience city life as much as I can.

Do you have any advice to give other writers?

Yes. Don’t be in a hurry to show people your work! Social media encourages us to put everything out there as fast as possible, but resist the temptation! Keep your work under wraps until the thrill of creation wears off. Then read it again and see if you’re still thrilled with it. I’m glad not many people saw my early works.

Is there anything you would like to see more of within furry fiction?

Furry has branched out from foxes and wolves, which is a good thing. Now it’s time for the scalies to get more attention!

Where can readers find your work?

I’m on Sofurry and Furaffinity as well as Goodreads and twitter. I use the Tagenar name for explicit works. I save my real name for material that I want to reach beyond the furry community.


Tomorrow we’ll have an interview with another of our talented authors from within the community. We hope you’ll check it out then!

Furry Book Month Publisher Q&A: Armoured Fox Press

The furry writing community is fortunate to have a variety of publishers to provide the community. The past 18 months without conventions and the bulk of their sales have of course been difficult for so many of them, but they are an important part of our community and deserve our support.
Today, we hear from Armoured Fox Press – who can also be found on Twitter.


Tell us a little bit about yourself, and the publisher you are representing.

My name is Tarl “Voice” Hoch. I am a writer and editor both inside and outside of the fandom. I am one of the four hosts of Fangs & Fonts – a writing podcast – , and also write for the online dating sim ‘Hentai Diaries’.
I am the owner of Armoured Fox Press, which is a Canadian small press specializing in Anthropomorphic and Anime fiction.

What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom?

I would have to say the fact that I have made lifelong friends in the fandom. They started out being my friends because they were furries and it was a good introduction, and are they are now my friends because they are good people who I can trust. The fact they are furries is just the cherry on top.

What made you decide to get involved with the furry publishing scene?

After I edited my first anthology (Abandoned Places), I started thinking about what it would be like to be a publisher. I mean, I had been a writer, now an editor, why not publisher? Plus at the time, Canada only had a distribution company and no furry publisher to represent us Canuk furs. What I didn’t realize at the time was just how much work and time it would be…                                                   

What do you believe makes a good story?

Strong, relatable characters with an interesting story hook. It needs to engage the reader and keep them interested. It is said that there are two different kinds of writers, those who are good storytellers, and those that are good writers. Stephen King is an example of a good storyteller, hence his success.

What are some of the biggest challenges with publishing in a relatively niche market?

I think the biggest is that the furry publishing world has to do with a lot of the attitudes of the writers. We’ve seen things like payment and such come up over the years and a lot of people compare the furry publishing world to the big publishers like Tor and Penguin instead of comparing them to other small presses. I think part of that issue is that people don’t realize just how small furry publishing companies are, and because of that, seem to either not know, or don’t care, about the details of how small businesses are run/maintained. That, and most don’t try to publish in small press markets outside the fandom and thus don’t know that most small presses only do contributor copies, if at all.

Furry publishing is a unique thing in the world of fandoms. You don’t have small pubs publishing Star Trek novels, Dr. Who novels, etc. The only other fandoms that come close are the Lovecraft and Anime fandoms, and the Anime publishing world is relatively super new. This is something I think we should be quite proud of.

What are some of the best parts of publishing furry books?

Getting to know the writers. Be it at conventions, during panels, or talking online, there is a level of passion that furry writers have that is infectious. There is nothing more wonderful than talking to someone at a convention while they try to decide on what to purchase. They are like kids in candy stores, and it’s always a pleasure to help them discover a new favourite or talk about ones you sold them last year that they enjoyed.

What is the ideal writer to work with like?

I’ve worked with my share of amazing authors over the years and to me, the ideal writer is one who is open to critiques, and if they disagree, handles it professionally. Most disagreements can be handled with a discussion as long as both parties are civil and understanding. That and patience are really the two things I look for. Publishing is not an instantaneous process, and someone who understands that and is willing to wait (within reason) is a blessing.

Novels vs Anthologies. Which do you prefer working on, and how do they compare in terms of sales?

That’s a tough one. Personally, I prefer anthologies as I find them easier to go through, though the logistics of payment/contracts/etc are more of a hassle. Novels sell far more than anthologies, which is why I think other publishers in the fandom have reduced the number of anthologies they do, but I think it’s a good way to get an author’s name out there and introduce people to their work. Think of it as a business card, literary style.

What do you believe is the biggest misconception about the process of publishing, either specific to furry publishing or generally?

Cost and time. I often get people submitting novel queries and then asking me a day or two later if they are accepted or not. There is a process which we use to go through our slush pile and it can take us a month or two to get back to people depending on what we think of their initial chapters. As for cost, I sort of mentioned that earlier. Basically, there are small things that come into play when it comes to publishing a book that you don’t really think about until you are dealing with it. These can be the shipping cost for contributor copies, misprints, additional staff, etc.

It’s always said “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but just how important is cover art to the success of a book?

Cover art is very important. A good cover with good art can make or break a book. A good example of this was an author submitted a press package to a fairly well-known online news site. They posted the cover as well as the blurb about the book, giving it a little promo. All of the comments were criticizing the artwork (specifically, of all things, the character’s chins). No one cared about the story, all they cared about was the cover art.

Good artwork will draw a reader in, and people have bought books simply because the cover art appealed to them. Certain genres also have certain styles of covers and if you write a fantasy action adventure and have the naked torso of a man on the cover, people are going to assume it’s either romance or erotica.

Is there anything you would like to see more of in furry fiction?

Hmmm… good question. I would like to see animals we don’t normally see all that often, or at all. Also, I would like to see more stories that take place outside of the United States. Some of my favourite furry literature are ones that take place in other countries and explore other cultures. 

What has been your favourite book to work on recently? Why?

A Swordmaster’s Tale. The stories in it are absolutely some of the best I have read and people really have given each story a unique spin. There is something for everyone in that anthology and any person who grew up loving swords will love it I think. There is a real potential for other anthologies along this vein and I look forward to seeing what people bring to the table for those.


Writers and readers are not always aware of the inner workings of publishers, so we hope this has provided a bit of insight into the process. A few other publishers will be pitching in with their thoughts over the course of the month, but tomorrow we’re back to one of the furry fandom’s many talented authors.