'Heat 9' interview: contributors Kyell Gold and Nimrais
Isiah had the chance to interview most of the contributors to annual adult anthology Heat 9, published by Sofawolf; some could not be reached. Related interviews: Whyte Yote & Alastair Wildfire – Camron & Vantid – Alopex – Huskyteer – Kandrel & Scappo – Tempe O'kun
Nimrais: Good evening, it's a pleasure to talk to you two!
Kyell Gold: Likewise! Thanks, Isiah, for setting this up.
Isiah Jacobs: Obviously, you two produced content for Heat 9 this year; a story called "Rewind". Before we discuss the story itself, I'm just curious. Have you two heard of each other before this?
Nimrais: Yes, I did know Kyell's work before I did the illustration work. I got to know his stuff through some of the awesome illustrations (i.e. by Blotch) that were made for his work. Though due to lack of time, I'm not really into reading. So unfortunately I never read more than an excerpt of Kyell's work before.
Kyell Gold: I did not know who the artist would be until late January, I think, when Alopex showed me samples. Nimrais posted part of one to FA a short time later. I don't know if that counts as "early on," but maybe a week before everyone else did?
Nimrais: I think it was mid December last year. I was given sum-ups of 3 stories, so I could pick my most favorite one. Seems Kyell got to know about me as the illustrator of his story a bit late,r when I already had done the sketches. :)
Isiah Jacobs: What made you choose Kyell's story?
Nimrais: First of all, I really liked the species (dhole / sangai) of the characters a lot. There was another story that sounded interesting to me, but the "semi-supernatural ability" thing and the choice of species made me decide upon "Rewind" in the end. The summary of the third story simply sounded too kinky for me (it featured an uncommon fetish).
Isiah Jacobs: Have you ever heard of dholes and sangais before?
Nimrais: I knew of dholes before, they're beautiful animals and somehow look like a mix of a dog and a fox. I even drew one before, because I know someone with a dhole-character. Though I think I've never heard of the very endangered sangais. It's hard to draw one, because everyone will think it's a regular deer. The most distinguish feature of a sangai deer is their large ears and the beautiful orange-ish fur color with the light markings in the face. (which of course is hard to depict in greyshades)
Isiah Jacobs: What made you choose these species, Kyell?
Kyell Gold: I wanted to choose something a bit more unusual, and since I was writing about superpowers, I thought that I might someday connect this story to my League of Canids universe. Therefore, I wanted Rev to be a canid, and I had never written about a dhole, so I chose that. Then for his partner, I looked for a native Indian species, preferably a herbivore (to accentuate the conflict with the more aggressive canid), and found the sangai, a species of deer very specific to India. It gave them a commonality that could explain their relationship, and a conflict (carnivore/herbivore) that underlay it.
Isiah Jacobs: But why a dhole? In fact, how did you find out about dholes? Why not any other of the countless canid species out there? And why decide on a species native to India?
Kyell Gold: First of all, the number of canid species is not countless. It is in fact a pretty easily countable number. :) The League of Canids already has several fox and wolf species and a couple coyotes, so I wanted to go with something different because I wanted this guy to be sort of an outsider. When you remove wolves and foxes and coyotes, the number of canid species is even more easily countable.
Isiah Jacobs: Okay, maybe not countless, but there are a lot of canid species out there. I meant greyhounds, beagles, dachshunds, dobermans, Aussies, shepherds, huskies, etc.
Kyell Gold: Well, those are technically all one species, one subspecies even: Canis lupus familiaris. That is actually relevant to the question, because in my worlds in general (there are some stories that are exceptions) I use only animal types found in the wild as the sentient species. There are domesticated cows and sheep and pigs, but they are no more sentient than they are in our world. However, there are wild bulls and Dall sheep and boars, and they can be characters. Same goes for Canis lupus. There are wolves, and wild-type subspecies like arctic wolves, Mexican wolves, etc. But no domestic dogs. No greyhounds, no beagles, no dachshunds, no dobies, Aussies, sheps, and no huskies.
The reasoning is that I can posit that my furries would have domesticated other animals for food and maybe companionship (though pets are mostly lizards and birds), but who would have domesticated sentient wolves to turn them into huskies? Or, conversely, who would have domesticated the ancestors of sentient wolves to turn THEM into huskies that would then evolve sentience? I know it's probably over-thinking a small part of the world, but it's necessary to me to keep it consistent in my own head.
Isiah Jacobs: Why did you decide on this story? What's so special about it?
Kyell Gold: I was thinking about how we make mistakes and would like to erase them, to go back and make everything perfect, and how love is a great motivator for that. But we aren't perfect, and though the mistakes are sometimes terrible and tragic, other times they form the basis for the parts of relationships that bring us closer together. I think that's something that is often overlooked, and so of course I had to write a story about it.
Isiah Jacobs: Well, thank you both so much for your time! Always looking forward to having you both back in the future!