Chasing Colton’s Tail now available in Ebook and Paperback

This should have been one of the first places I announced this…I actually managed to forget I made an author landing page! Probably thanks to Patreon being my main focus lately, but without further ado,

I finally launched my first furry book!

I’ll take a chance here, and rather than post a blurb I’ll just put links…because let’s face it, if John Nunnemacher’s awesome cover didn’t get your attention then the chances are my blurb’s got no chance anyway…but do feel free to click on one of my links.

You can buy this book at in ebook format at:

Amazon

Kobo

Apple iBooks

B&N

Smashwords

Playster

For paperback format:

Currently available at Amazon through KDP Paperbacks

 

Advertisements

New Banner and Launch of my Patreon Page

Hey everyone,

If you’re new, welcome. I’m a furry and I write books and stories. See those two guys up there in that awesome looking banner? They’re my two main characters, pictured not long after their coming of age, and yeah, they’re ‘friends with benefits’ – and of course I don’t just mean that Colton gets to read books over Todd’s shoulder!

I write mostly gay coming-of-age stories under my furry pen name, Todd Aldrington. My stroies will give you a glimmer of hope just when the world seems awful…or so I like to think. There’s something really fun about doing stories that feel serious but have furry characters to add a slightly alternative element to them. The idea of identity becomes an interesting one when the main characters aren’t human. Certain things that seem ordinary in a real world society suddenly get a whole new angle when you throw anthro animals into the mix.

So, news and thanks.

Let’s have a shout-out to the artist who drew me that banner, the brilliant GingerThea- if you want to look at her work, or enquire about a commission, the best place to visit is her Twitter feed.

Main news to shout about at the moment is that I’ve started a Patreon page. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a bit like the Netflix subscription model – for a certain amount each month, you subscribe to a creator or artist you like. So in my case, your ‘pledge’ as they call it gets you access to my writing. If that tempts you, you might like to know that the starting rate to subscribe to my page is just $2 per month…less than a pint of beer, right? If you find you like my stories, there are higher tiers you can pledge to that get you access to more reading material.

Have a look at the page right here to see what you get for signing up.

Patreon is also where my main blog-style content is going to go, and it’s part of the $2 tier. This site is going to serve as a place for me to direct people there, post the occasional update, free post, and story teaser, and to advertise my ebooks. Speaking of which, lets have:

An update on my ebooks: I’m a self-published SF author already, and I’ve announced on here before that I’m going to turn this knowledge to self-pubbing my furry writing as well. Yes, you can subscribe to me on Patreon to read the books in advance, and read my chapter drafts as they’re serialised, but for those who’d rather not support me with a subscription, I will be publishing the finalised books on Amazon, Kobo, Apple, and several other platforms.

The first one, Chasing Colton’s Tail, goes to my editor next week. I’m also in discussions with a quite well known and accomplished artist about getting a cover commissioned for this book.

The funds I get from having a Patreon page will all go towards the cost of self-publishing these books. It’s the dream of many authors (me being one) to have ebooks on sale that pay for themselves and then make a profit. Patreon is really a kind of start-up fund, or if you like, it’s an advance on the books paid for by the fans who like me enough to be generous. There will hopefully come a day when I keep it open only for fans who still wish to be generous, and my main author income is off the sales of my catalogue.

In the four years I’ve been self-publishing, I’ve plugged around £2000 into cover design, editing fees and advertising, and not yet turned a profit from it. This is fact rather than a complaint: I’ve learned loads from doing this, and it’s the kind of business it can take twice or even three times as long as my four years to get any financial success out of. I have a back catalogue I’m proud of and now I have a fun, furry side to my hobby as well. But it is a business to me too.

Would I like to make more money than just my day job salary? Sure! Who wouldn’t? Money doesn’t buy happiness but it does buy options. I want to be able to travel more. I want to be able to take my latest date to a more fancy place than they might have expected. I want to write on a Mac and not a knackered old laptop where I’m constantly asking ‘Will it last another year?’ I’m not going to pretend I don’t have a materialistic side, I do, and always have. It does colour my writing in some interesting ways too, but more than wanting things, I want success. All that stuff doesn’t come over night, but hopefully this is a step in the right direction.

 

A writer who wishes he could draw. One last try?

See that sketch book in the photo above? I bought that at the weekend, along with some pencils, a couple of erasers, and a copy of a book called Draw More Furries.

This site is going to be showcase for what (so I’ve been told) I already have something of a talent for: writing. Yet when people ask me why I write, my clever answer is always ‘Because I can’t draw.’

Would I give up writing even if I could draw? Well, no. But the writing I’ve done lately did make me recall someone many years ago who told me ‘Don’t die thinking “I wish I’d done that.” ‘ One of mine might just end up being ‘I wish I’d at least tried to draw instead of complaining that I couldn’t do it. Because is it really something you can only do if you’ve got a natural aptitude for it?’

I’ve heard that said about writing before: ‘you can either do it or you can’t.’ Okay, here’s a variation: you might be able to get good at it, but you have to want to. And you have to work your butt off at it. You might not be the next Shakespeare in the same way an artist might not be the next Escher. But that doesn’t mean don’t try. And if you try hard enough, maybe you can kick some major butt just by doing this shit the way YOU do it. And not go out one day wishing you’d tried.

And by the way, relax. There’s nothing wrong with me. That thing about ‘don’t die wishing…’ is not a loaded line. As the name Athlete Raccoon might suggest, I’m fit as a fiddle. Last time I even had to go to the doctor….actually, I think the last time was two and half years ago, when my mum persuaded me because I was pretty seriously depressed.  It was a pretty heavy conversation, along the lines of ‘I’m not suicidal but I feel like I’ve given up on my life because nothing seems worth it anymore.’

But that was back then.Strange to think now that I was in that place once. And lucky that somehow I beat it when other people sometimes don’t. What I do remember though is that I knew I didn’t want to kill myself because I was thinking about stuff I still wanted to get out of that dark place so that I could do, and hopefully enjoy it. I don’t think learning to draw was on that list. I wonder why not. So before I kill the mood of this post totally…

This landed in my inbox this morning, an icon of my fursona Todd that I commissioned from an artist called Tsaiwolf:

 

That’s just awesome, right? I knew it would be. I’d have commissioned this guy to do a complete picture of him if I hadn’t been a little broke this month, but forget about that; this is the first pic of Todd I’ve had drawn, and I couldn’t be happier with it. I look at it and see so many of the sides of him that I’ve written into my stories so far. Although I’ve started his story with him at 18, and when I look at this pic I see him in his mid to late twenties, perhaps when he’s grown into himself a bit more. Because he actually looks a little charming. The smile really does that. And to be honest, that’s not a side of him I think I’ve shown yet. Hmm…food for thought.

So could I draw like that one day, if I put in the kind of work that’s earned me five star reviews for writing? Maybe. If I can find the time among everything else I’ve got going.

So here’s the other idea behind this blog: document the journey. Even the very basics, like just starting off from page one of that Draw More Furries that talks about basic anatomy and shapes and just sketch that. Rinse, repeat.

And if it’s a total disaster and I never improve and there’s no good signs and I hate doing it, I’ll jack it in and just stick to writing. And spend some of my royalties on more commissions.

Or this could end up being brilliant, and being a diary of how I got somewhere with something I always thought I’d suck at.

Who knows? I’m looking forward to thinking of this post in a year or two’s time already.

 

The further I go…

…the more I want to keep doing this! And that’s officially the worst play-on-words I ever came up with in my life. Not all my writing is that awful, honest! Actually, I’ve been told some of it’s pretty good. So much so that this whole furry thing has become a bit of a new hobby.

Anyway, you can call me Todd. That’s my raccoon fursona’s name. Should I say I’m new on the block? Well, I’m not exactly. I’ve known about the furry community for over ten years but just never joined up.  I used to write Sonic fanfiction, in a couple of quiet corners of the internet where I had a few fans. None of that stuff’s available anymore (to be honest I cringe at most of it now) but it did teach me a LOT about the craft and staying power of writing.

Recently,  one person who remembers me from back then sparked my interest in all things anthro again…

…but I’d graduated to ‘serious’ writing, and become a reasonably experienced self-published author, with some decent reviews under my belt and a regular day job and all the rest of the stuff you get after you graduate from university and get out into the world a bit. Was I seriously going to start writing anthro stuff again?

Well why the hell not? I was burnt out with the serious stuff anyway. And who was I kidding, I’d always been kind of taken with the idea of having a fursona, and always thought wearing a suit and going to a furcon might be all sorts of fun too. Hell, the whole thing appealed to me in ways I’d kind of admitted but not admitted. Why had I not done it yet? Because I felt kind of shy and embarrassed about wanting to secretly be a fur?

Well, life’s too short to worry about all that. Besides, really, who the fuck would care anyway? So I wouldn’t tell Mum and Dad and people from work about it. Maybe that’s the whole idea! A great big escape, where real life and all the shit that comes with it just gets dumped aside…

So I wrote a few sketches. One became a short story about a raccoon called Todd, about to graduate high school and go to senior prom, who fancies an edgy, badly behaved fox called Colton, and instead ends up dating his twin sister on prom night. And dealing with the fallout when Colton commits a little grand-theft-auto.

My friend read it and said ‘And you’re not a furry. Riiiight.’ Come on, I signed up, didn’t I?

And it sort of reminded me of a conversation I had with myself about ten years ago, when I first tried my hand at real-world writing, where I sat at my desk, looked at certain things in my recent work and said ‘So, you’re not gay. Riiiight.’

So here was another moment of ‘Get comfortable with yourself, because you like doing this, and all sorts of stuff about who you are and the random shit that’s in your head are coming along for the ride already, and maybe it could go somewhere brilliant if you just dare to run with it and see what happens…so get your trainers on!’

Six weeks later, and over 100,000 words worth of material, I don’t think I’ve been that productive or that oddly obsessed/driven by my own imagination since my fanfic days. And what the hell, I now knew a fair bit about how to get a book/story out there and get readers to notice it, and even better: these stories were actually getting good feedback from the readers on SoFurry.com. Should I consider a furry pen-name and actually make this a whole project on the side?

Hell yes! This whole thing felt like it was giving me a whole new lease of life creatively. The ideas just won’t stop coming to me. Of all the things I didn’t expect to discover this year, getting such a boost from writing slightly bonkers furry fiction just about tops them all. Embrace the unexpected!

This site will become a place to showcase my stories as I publish them. If you’re curious, head to SoFurry.com and check out my profile where you can find my stories. The published ones with a price-tag will be revised (and hopefully improved) versions of them.

(Just be warned: my stories all contain strong language, sex, and a scuffle between furs here and there.)