by Patch O'Furr
Welcome to Jess E. Owen, author of noblebright fantasy, and optimistic contemporary Young Adult writing (as Jessica Kara), whose book A Furry Faux Paw caught the notice of Dogpatch Press with a 2022 Ursa Major Award for Best Novel. It’s the story of a teen girl artist with a hoarder mom, facing isolation and family complication with the promise of a forbidden trip to a furry con. It stood out for reaching outside a typical insider science fiction/fantasy audience, with gateway appeal by using fandom as a setting for character building. It stood out even more as a furry teen story in the face of conservative backlash at books. A Furry Faux Paw was seen on a mainstream channel, before it was obvious that she was a furry insider — that’s well-rounded exposure! In fact, she laughed about her pen name maybe being too successful at separation from her best known fantasy series starring gryfon characters, The Summer King Chronicles. Here’s a creator worth interviewing about how her work gets around, one you might see soon at Anthrocon 2024.