Linnea B. Capps is Here To Smash Your Misconceptions About The Furry Fandom
This queer, disabled furry-fiction writer wants you to know that your voice matters too.
Linnea B. Capps is a powerhouse; a queer, single, disabled mom of one who has loved to write since a very young age and she somehow manages to support her own creative endeavors while helping keep niche-interest communities alive for thousands of other writers. After getting into writing post Guillain–Barré Syndrome-diagnosis in High School, Linnea has gone on to add her voice to a plethora of projects including competitive video games and Pokemon trading but is now a reigning Queen of furry fiction; her first piece of short furry fiction was accepted into the Roar anthology series and later went on to win a Leo Award.
As a niche writer of an often misunderstood topic, Linnea knows that society’s misconceptions about this fandom can hold people down. She wants to share her stories with the world but beyond that, help others to do the same. Whether part of her beloved furry fandom or otherwise, Linnea is the type of person you want in your corner.
On her unique childhood growing up in the circus:
I grew up in Baraboo, Wisconsin aka Circusville USA- the largest home for circuses in history where almost all US circuses spend the winter. I started as a young teen selling concessions but after meeting performers, I learned my own skills such as juggling, fire breathing, and more. I had the weirdest high school job experience that you could probably have but it was wild to enjoy those years and see a bunch of the United States.
On being part of the furry community:
Despite society’s many misconceptions, the furry community is really for anyone who is a fan of anthropomorphic animals and it includes tons of people with lots of different ideologies. There’s a good chance you love these stories already; from Zootopia to The Secret of Nim to Disney’s Robin Hood, all of these classics are anthropomorphic animals. The furry fandom is just a place that loves these types of stories and sometimes we take it to another level.
In the history of our community, furries and fursonas (the furry characters we create for ourselves) have helped us express ourselves, especially when we’re part of a marginalized group. We’re the only fandom I’ve seen that goes far out of their way to keep the community safe and remove bad apples. For example, we refuse to allow Nazi-oriented people in our spaces (a stark contrast to other fandoms such as the My Little Pony community). Our populace is incredibly diverse and welcoming (but of course there’s always more work to be done.)
On society’s furry stigma and misunderstandings:
People assume there’s a sexual aspect attached to being a furry and that’s not true. Not all of us own or have sex in those expensive fur suits like they showed on that one CSI episode. Unfortunately, a lot of the hate for the furry community is thinly-veiled homophobia, despite there being plenty of cis-heterosexual members of the fandom. While it certainly is an open, queer, sex-positive community, the fandom has so much more to offer than just mature content; from music to art to fiction to children’s books, we have it all.
People also don’t realize how charitable the furry community is. 95% of furry conventions are used to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities. That’s something I want to impress on others about our community; how generous people can be
On the art of writing furry fiction:
Some stories are told better when we use animals as a frame of reference; it gives us a unique lens that you can’t have with humans. It also helps people address serious issues like racism that are difficult to examine when having to look inside oneself. We can address lots of different social issues through fiction, and particularly furry fiction, that can lead to some fascinating stories you won’t find anywhere else. For example, the Stonewall Chapbook award recently went to a Furry poetry chapbook.
It’s a very niche market itself and not easy to get paid a lot for it. While some people can make a living doing it, they tend to do so by earning commission on requested stories. It’s amazing that there are now multiple publishing houses that allow hobby writers that would never otherwise have the opportunities to tell these types of stories.
On what to read for furry beginners:
If you really want a large sample of safe-for-work furry stories to dip your toes into the genre, I suggest reading the Roar anthology series by Fur Planet. These are some of the best writers in the fandom providing a wide variety of furry stories from historical fiction to sci-fi to poetry. If you want to dig your teeth into a novel right away, I would recommend “Skeleton Crew” by Gre7g Luterman. This three-book-long sci-fi series will blow your mind. There are also tons of young adult and children’s books about furry characters.
On the importance of coming together:
I’ve been President of the Furry Writer’s Guild for the past year. What we’re trying to do is simply help people who want to write about anthropomorphic animals. From finding venues for publishing to gaining a wider audience or fan base, we want to help people connect with other furry writers and readers. Constantly working to improve our diversity and inclusivity is important to me as well. One of the first things I did as President was to make sure everyone felt safe in their spaces. I get to go out of my way to help people achieve their writing dreams. This is rewarding in ways I couldn’t have even fathomed when I first started writing furry fiction.
On disability and the importance of intersectionality:
There are particular difficulties being both a member of the disabled community and the queer community. The intersectionality of these two marginalized groups is a topic super worth talking about. To be honest, it can be very difficult for me at times. For example, being an amputee prevents me from having certain surgeries that other trans women are able to have. My disability prevents an entirely new medical barrier even for common medications like PREP.
I’m lucky to live in a place that’s pretty wonderful for LGBT acceptance within the medical community but within the general community, I find people like me tend to be ignored. When you’re in a wheelchair, it doesn’t matter what you look like because they don’t want to look down at the chair in the first place. It’s harsh and unfortunate but something people really need to talk about. Additionally, the ADA isn’t really well enforced in the US making it difficult for me to attend certain LGBT events at locations that aren’t wheelchair friendly.
On the future of her furry literature:
Fiction writing is a major part of the furry fandom that doesn’t usually get enough focus and it’s my job to try and change that. I’m currently in the process of working on three different anthology projects that focus on specific marginalized groups within the fandom. I absolutely love writing but doing work for the Guild is especially rewarding because I love being able to help people build things.
I’m very excited to write sequels to my recent book “What Makes a Witch.” It’s a novel for middle-grade readers. I was inspired by my own daughter who I wanted to have access to furry stories made for her. Now, she’s the one begging for a sequel which is why I am so excited to work on it. It’s so great to write a story like this because when I was younger, I didn’t have stories that showed characters like me- young kids discovering themselves as a queer person. I don’t know if a mainstream publisher would be brave enough to let me do that but thanks to the furry community, I was able to. Now it’s doing well on Amazon and even with mainstream readers.
I have way too many stories I still want to tell and thanks to the furry community, I can go wild.