He is an amazing and succesful writer inside and outside the furry world, and his work has impressed many of us. Author of works read by thousands and that have changed the way the furry world was percieved, Kyell Gold has offered an exclusive interview for Red Furros. Enjoy it. We are very honored to share his words with all of you.
Red Furros: Who is Kyell Gold? (a little bit about your background, your hobbies, etc)
Kyell: I’m a California writer. That’s not how I started; I grew up in a number of different places across the U.S., and I’ve traveled internationally quite a bit as well. My career background is a mix of many different paths as well, but I’ve been writing since college. So I ended up here on the U.S. West Coast, devoting most of my spare time to writing.
I’ve been with my mate Kit (a wolf) for a decade now, and he is my inspiration and motivation. He’s so supportive of my dreams and encouraging of my adventures that I really feel I would not be where I am without him. He’s my First Reader and he gives great feedback that helps make my stories better. Apart from writing and storytelling, Kit and I love to travel, we love to explore different places to eat, we go to movies and spend time walking and staying fit, and we love best being able to do all those things with good friends.
More after the break
Red Furros: How did you begin to write?, what made you do it?
Kyell: I’ve been writing in one form or another for as long as I can remember. But it wasn’t until college, when I met other science fiction fans, that I started writing stories of my own. I found furry fandom around the same time, and my stories reflected that. I’d started a novel in college and abandoned it, then started a furry novel and got about halfway through it. And then I met the guys behind Sofawolf Press, and they were very encouraging, as was Kit. With their backing, and a few more writerly friends in the Bay Area, I started taking some classes and really working hard to improve my writing. I love it: not just the storytelling, but the craft, all the challenges of getting a story out there that people can relate to.
Red Furros: Why did you choose the furry theme for your works?
Kyell: That’s a question with many layers. What draws any of us to the fandom? It’s that connection that we all find so difficult to explain to outsiders. We love the concept of animal-people, and it’s that attraction that draws me to fill my stories with them.
From a literary standpoint, furry characters allow readers from any background to identify with the characters and the story. Whatever your ethnicity, you can imagine yourself as an otter, a fox, a wolf. It makes the story more universal.
Besides that, furry characters carry with them a few stereotypes that are fun to play with. Foxes are supposed to be clever; wolves are fierce and loyal; lions are lazy but dangerous when roused; otters are playful and energetic. You can create a character that matches his species type, or one that contradicts it. And I just like imagining the world these animal-people would inhabit.
Bridges, By Kyell Gold
Red Furros: Is there anything special that inspires you or do you think that is the daily and disciplined work that makes a novel writer?
Kyell: As I mentioned, Kit inspires me. The fact that I’ve been lucky enough to find such a wonderful partner makes me want to write romantic stories, to inspire other people to believe in love.
I’ve also been inspired by the fight for gay civil rights, and a lot of my stories touch on or treat the theme of coming out, of the place of a gay couple in society, and the reactions of friends and family to a gay relationship. I like to treat gay relationships positively in the stories when the gay aspect is not the focus of it, because I hope for a world where gay relationships are no more remarkable than straight relationships.
But I’m also motivated to write by the pursuit of the craft. I like the idea that the next story I write will be better than the last, and so I want to keep writing them. As I get ideas, I’m obsessed with finding out how they come out, and to find that out, I have to write the stories!
Red Furros: Do you think is there any other person that had any decisive influence in you in your career as a writer?
Kyell: There have definitely been a few. Stephen King, whom I discovered in college, is a great guy for telling a gripping story, and he knows a lot about writing. Two authors I’ve grown to admire greatly are Kazuo Ishiguro and David Mitchell, for different reasons; I can only hope to approach the level of skill they exhibit in their work.
In the furry community, there are a collection of writers I admire as people as well as for their work. My good friend K.M. Hirosaki, which whom I host a writing podcast for furries interested in bettering their own prose; foozzzball, who writes and edits at a professional level; Rikoshi (Kevin Frane), a fellow novelist whose books I quite enjoy; Ryan Campbell, David Cowan, and Watts Martin, who write well and have been invaluable in helping me improve my prose and my stories.
Red Furros: Have you got any awards or nominations for your work? What do they mean to you?
Kyell: I’ve won eight Ursa Major awards (the furry fandom’s own awards), two Rainbow Awards (for gay fiction), and been nominated for a WSFA Small Press Science Fiction Award (the winner will be announced later this month).
All the awards and nominations are very flattering. The Ursa Majors will always be special to me because the furry fandom is my community. When Volle was first eligible back in 2005, I didn’t think there was any way an adult novel would win the Ursa Major. I didn’t believe that the sequel, Pendant of Fortune, would be able to win as well. Both did, and those and all the other awards represent to me the support the furry community has for my work, which is greatly appreciated. I write the books primarily for you guys, after all.
The Rainbow Award was a complete shock. Elisa Rolle (elisa-rolle.livejournal.com) organized them as a way to reward the outstanding titles she reviewed over the course of a year, starting with over five hundred books and coming down to about a hundred in the final round. The last cut was reviewed by readers and editors, several for each book, and Elisa compiled their grades to award the top books.
She had read a couple of my books and liked them a lot, so she asked me to submit “Out of Position” to those awards, and it ended up in a tie for best novel overall, as well as winning best fantasy novel outright. I was just amazed by that, because I didn’t really expect non-furries to take to the books as well as furries have, but I started seeing comments like, “you’ll be amazed how hot anthropomorphic sex can be,” and lots of people outside the fandom picking up on “Out of Position.” So it’s been a nice validation that my writing appeals beyond just the “furry” factor.
And the WSFA nomination was another shock. I wrote a non-adult short story for Sofawolf Press’s New Fables in 2009, which was submitted to the Washington Science Fiction Association. They review all the submissions from small press publications in the science fiction world, and they chose eight titles as finalists for their award. Seeing my story in that list was yet another tremendous moment for me, recognition in yet another world beyond the furry fandom and outside of gay romance, even.
But ultimately, the best award is the ongoing correspondence I get from fans and the love they bestow on my books. Going to conventions and meeting people who’ve read and enjoyed the books really gives me a great thrill. The awards and nominations are nice, but knowing I’ve brightened someone’s world or helped them through my writing is really what I prize.
Red Furros: In your work you talk very often about gay relationships. Is Kyell Gold a GLBT activist?
Kyell: Not as active as I would like to be, but I have donated to causes and I try to raise awareness about LGBT issues as best I can. Most recently, there have been several suicides of gay teens due to bullying and harassment, which a couple projects are trying to help: Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better,” and The Trevor Project (Google them for more information). I’m also following the California and U.S. gay marriage battles with great interest, as a California resident.
Red Furros: Some people are afraid to admit they are furries to others. Do you think the furry community is “coming out”?
Kyell: I do think that the mainstream’s perception of what furry fandom is has changed. Ten years ago, all they knew were articles in magazines that talked about how sex-focused the fandom was. Now, we’ve been around for so long that people recognize us for just another group of weird people with a weird hobby. We’re not quite as accepted as Trekkies yet, but I think we’re on that path. It’s becoming easier for people to explain what “Furry” is to non-furries, because it’s all over the Internet, we’ve been on CSI, we were mentioned on “30 Rock,” and a number of other media. People are still a bit wary of the fandom, but I’m hearing more and more stories of kids telling their friends or parents about furry and getting back simply a “Oh, okay,” reaction.
Red Furros: What message do you want to deliver to all those furry gay kids out there who are still afraid of what they are.
Kyell: Just this: you have the power to decide what you are. Don’t let society twist you into something you don’t want to be. As long as you’re not hurting someone else, there’s nothing wrong with being either furry or gay, or both. That doesn’t mean you have to tell your friends or your parents, if you think they won’t understand, but it does mean that you are allowed to look for friends who will understand you. If you’re living at home, you might have to wait a few years to fully embrace who you are. Be patient. You can wait.
I have a lot of non-furry friends, who know about my furriness to varying degrees. But they all know I’m gay, and most of them have met my partner, Kit. I know I’m biased, living in California, but I believe that the more gay people someone knows, the more likely they are to understand that being gay is just another part of being a person. Allow yourself to be a whole person.
At the beginning of “Waterways,” I wrote a dedication which I’d like to share here (I’m doing this from memory):
To all the gay teens who feel like they can’t keep their head above water: remember, you’re an otter. You can swim.<URL=”http://www.amazon.com/Waterways-ebook/dp/B001R4BYNU/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_2″>
Red Furros: Do you have any final words you’d like to share with the furry community?
Kyell: Just a very deep and heartfelt thank you, for all the love and support over the years. This love of animal-people has created a caring, creative, vibrant community, and you should all be very proud of it. I have met hundreds of fans at conventions across the world, and met thousands more furries, and I never cease to be amazed and delighted by the warmth, the friendship, and the inspiration they–we–share.
It’s such a strange thing, this furry fandom. It’s part hobby, part community, part religion. It means wildly different things to different people, and yet we all crowd together and laugh, and cry, and share. Furry conventions have become, for me, like family reunions, a chance to catch up with people you don’t see all that often, to greet newcomers and mourn the departed, to show off the wildly varied and beautiful answers to “what have you been up to lately”? There’s the branches of the family a little removed from yours, but you all have this one basic thing in common, like a last name or a common ancestor, and it binds us together in a way that I think the mainstream still doesn’t really get.
Appreciate your community. Contribute to it, share in it, and make it yours. I look forward to seeing what your creative vision is, and to meeting you at a future convention.
Oh, and also: Please don’t send me your stories to read, unless you don’t want me to have any more time to write my own… 🙂
We want to deeply thank Kyell for the oportunity for this interview and we really look forward to hear more about his success and works very soon. ??Congratulations Kyell!
The easiest and quickest way to get your copy of the books is electronically through the Kindle Store in Amazon. You do not need a Kindle reader for these versions, you only need to download the kindle app for your device and just purchase the books through the kindle store. The Kindle reader app is available for PC, Android, Blackberry, Ipad, Iphone and Mac.
Also, don’t miss visiting Kyell’s website at www.kyellgold.com where you can find the latest news and where you can read some sample chapters of his books.
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Kyell Gold on Wikipedia
Kyell Gold on Wikifur
Kyell Gold’s Official Website
Kyell on Amazon