Photo courtesy of Steve ‘Warky’ Nunez.

Thanks to organizers of Yaoi Expo, Executive Editor Charlotte Arielle Parker and I were able to sit down and talk with voice actor Steve “Warky” Nunez on Day Two of the event.


Charlotte Arielle Parker: “What are you here to promote?”

Warky: “I’m actually here to promote a couple of things which is good. One is me. The main thing honestly is from Yaoi Press because it’s my tenth year working with them which is a really long time, especially for yaoi in the American industry. Because we’re an American OEL company even though we hire internationally and do all that other stuff. We made a subsidiary two years ago called Y Press Games. We’re advertising for Y Press Games because we want to show people we’re making video games for the yaoi, bara and gay community. It’s not exclusively yaoi. It’s not exclusively bara. We did a hybrid game called ‘To Trust an Incubus’. While we’re advertising that game on Steam, we want to advertise our new kickstarter that we’re running on May 15th called ‘Morningdew Farms’. It’s like ‘Stardew Valley’ but gay. Really gay. Adult gay. Like the Ancient Greeks. It’s just fun.

We want to promote more fun. People are starving for so many things and I feel like Yaoi Press does it best to fill that niche that everyone keeps wanting. A lot of people don’t listen to the fans. We ask them for input. ‘What do you want in this game? We got this and we got that. Do you want this also?’ And they’ll be like ‘Yes. Yes. No. No.’ and we take majority votes and we’ll contemplate if this is going to work, if it’s our demographic. We do it differently because when other companies, they always do a general consensus and it only reaches a small percentage. But with Yaoi, everybody knows each other. You can tell because we’re kinda a close-knit community that loves the same things. So we like to listen to them.

So my biggest promotion is the kickstarter and then Yaoi Press in general and then Y Press Games with our stuff on Steam. We also have a second game called ‘My Magical Demon Lover’. That one is strictly a visual novel. There’s no voice acting in this one. It’s just something to dip our feet in the waters. It’s a hilarious comedy.”

CP: “Honestly, I feel the fanbase and even people that work in the industry are getting sick and tired of tragic gay story and ‘bury you gays’. It’s 2019. We are ready and hungry for lighthearted, happy and positive stories.”

W: “It’s true. ‘To Trust an Incubus’ has 35 endings because we wanted to have all of the happy endings. Yes, we’re gay but it’s not a tragic story anymore. Being gay was really tragic. It’s still worth fighting to get everything else as much as we can. But for the most part with our video games, we’re like ‘Yeah, ok. You have a tragic ending sometimes. But, not really. It’s not even tragic.’ But with the happy endings, they’re happy. They’re heartwarming. We want heartwarming stories. Kind of in the vein of ‘Dream Daddy’ and ‘Coming Out on Top’ but we want done in the yaoi-bara hybrid. Because that’s a niche that appeals to both genres so we combine it. Yamila Abraham writes everything. She is our main writer. Her stories are wonderful because so many people can relate to them and get involved in the story. While it is comedic, there is a real story in there. There’s a full story and it’s wonderful. There’s like 15,000 lines of dialogue that’s fully voiced, even for the main character which you don’t normally have. We wanted to be the first to do that. Plus, I think it makes it sexy and hotter.”

CP: “I think the very first BL game I played that was fully voiced was ‘No Thank You’ but that was Japanese with English subtitles.”

W: “Yaoi Press is like the biggest OEL publisher. That’s what we known for. Being an American yaoi company, we are the one. Other ones licence titles and stuff but we do all original content. It’s really cool that we’ve stayed for so long. I’ve been with Yaoi Press for ten years but they’ve been around longer than that. I’m not sure how long but just a while. I guess I should mention we have a really dedicated fanbase. Thank you to all of our fans.”

CP: “It’s been around for so long. I’ve found out about it two years ago. I ended up buying some books at Wondercon this past year.”

W: “It’s really wonderful that they cater to that. It’s really cool because she hired me for the male demographic to get the insight on that. We had some people tell us, ‘What do you know about yaoi? You’re a girl.’ and that’s so wrong and so awful. It doesn’t matter who you are. You’re going to know about yaoi. Everyone could be an expert in something. She added me on because she needed some input on things. It’s really cool she does listen to both sides. She’s very caring. It’s amazing. It’s such a good company to work with and I will stay with you ‘til death.”


FO: “Before joining Yaoi Press, how did you get into voice acting?”

W: “I was in high school. I was 18 or I guess 17 in the late 90’s. They had a volunteer thing at the library. It said ‘Hey, we need people to read audio books. Read books for the blind.’ through this company in Long Island called Lighthouse. I’m not even sure if they’re still around. My mother was blind. When she could see, she loved stories. Stories were her things and stories were such a big deal to her. Books on tape were expensive but the library decided to get readers and cater to the blind community. So I volunteered and I read a bunch of books. Someone heard me because their daughter was blind. He was a director. I got a part and I got into the video game industry. Randomly. Like all because of doing something kind for my mother which is such a sweet blessing in my life. How cool is that? That’s such a good story. I’m like ‘Oh my gosh! Make a movie people!’ He had heard that so I got into video games.

Then I played video game music on piano. A couple years later we had Piano Squall come onto the scene, Michael Gluck. He did a bunch of piano stuff for conventions. Later on we collaborated and got together to perform. I would sing while he would play piano for some of the songs he did from anime. That how I got into conventions from that and that. But it then began to shift over.

Then at ‘08 to 09’, I met Yamila at Tucson, AZ at Animeland TuCon. I saw her and I said, ‘Hi I’m Warky, I’m a mormon.’ and that was my introduction to yaoi, period. I knew already I was gay and being a mormon was really hard because when you’re mormon and gay, that’s not a thing. So when I saw her I was like ‘Oh you’re the forbidden thing. I can’t do anything’. She showed me ‘Zesty’ this book from Yaoi Press. I started reading it. I was the funniest freaking book I’ve ever read. It was cute. It was shonen ai, wasn’t too yaoi. It was that hybrid; this is how you get into dark corridors, people. I read it and said ‘Wow, that was pretty good’. Then she goes, ‘Here my hardcore yaoi now. This one has penises.’  ‘Happy Yaoi Yum Yum’ which was like a prototype. It wasn’t even released yet. I was reading that and it was graphic but it was so funny. It’s a comedy. She loved it and I was praising it and the writer. And she said ‘I’m the writer’ and then I was like ‘We need to talk’. At that con, we got together so much. We would just play off each other’s laughter. She knew I was struggling with a lot of stuff being gay and being mormon, and how to reconcile with all that. Kinda off topic because that’s how I got into yaoi was with her.

Later on she helped me actually get through a lot of hard idea about being mormon and being gay then to accept myself and love myself. I was getting into a dark time. She was like ‘You don’t have a brightness about you. Look at you. You’re fizzling.’ And I was. I was getting worst, worst and worst and I wanted to be like me but couldn’t. I had this horrible outer shell. Because of Yaoi Press and Yamila, I was able to come out of that shell and break a piece little by little to become me. I don’t think she knows this story. I don’t mind. She can find out.

So I got into yaoi because I met her at an anime convention and she wanted help lettering for manga. So I did lettering like speech bubbles and sound effects. Then she wanted the kindle books and we found a way to make a yaoi book in kindle format. It was brand new at the time. It was amazing. We’re kinda the first for a lot of things. I digitized everything for her and started working for her as a contractor. That’s how it’s been really  but now it’s just ‘You’re involved? I’m there.’ It’s been really good track record. We’ve had a lot of success and a lot of fun. I mean it’s also hard at times with deadlines and stuff. It’s so rewarding.

I never thought of it as rewarding. At the time, it was forbidden porn. And now I realize that yaoi is more than just porn. It’s not just porn, but there’s porn in everything. There’s mormon porn. I mean ‘Really?’ Yaoi is actually such a beautiful thing. I want them to understand it’s not just the stereotypes. Some people have it in their head say it’s gross. Some people say it’s beautiful. Some people say whatever. When you think about it, two people are falling in love no matter the circumstances are. When I look at that, more than anything, it’s why I think a lot of gay people or the queer community can get behind it. Because we all know what it’s like to fall in love or have heart break because it’s unrequited, or people won’t allow it because they don’t see it as love. So yaoi’s a beautiful thing because it opens your heart up. It opens your heart to understand all you wanted was love in the first place.”


FO: “Did you ever played a favorite characters or relatable to yourself?”

W: “I have a favorite character in Camp Buddy. I know, I’m so sorry Yamila! It’s not your game. I don’t know. I loved Arata immensely in ‘To Trust an Incubus’. I did, like I would die for that character. That kind of thing. I loved Arata. But I had so much fun being able to voice Eduard because he is flaming gay. Everything was ‘Oh my god! You can’t be serious!’ and that kind of thing. It was really fun to do that but I loved Arata for different reasons. So I guess it’s kinda a mix between the two.”

CP: “I love that whole bara thing. I love the big boys. I love that the community and the media in general are doing more bara instead of just the smaller high school boys. No, it’s not just teenage girls or teenage boys reading these. It’s adults. So let’s cater to them as well.”

W: “It’s not just barely legal. So that’s what we really like in ‘Morningdew Farms’. We made sure it looks pretty bara. There are muscular guys that are farm boys. It’s really nice because in that game, people are adults. These are people who want to get married. The goal of this is to get married and get a farm but you no one will marry you if you don’t build up your farm. You have to have a sustainable job.”

CP: “It’s like Harvest moon.”

W: “Gay moon harvest. Oh my God, we came up with some many names. There’s so many things. Our kickstarter is going live on the 15th of May and one of of the things we have are these corn on the cob stress balls and then these giant phallic eggplants stress balls. We just have so many jokes we keep on making. It’s such a good game. I can’t wait for people to see it. If it’s not kickstarted, if it doesn’t get the money, then just no. It’s a number one! It will happen! This is going to happen, I promise. It is so good.”


FO: “Is there any more on that game you can talk about?”

W: “There are seven main characters in this one, more than ‘Incubus’. There’s an Indian guy and then two hillbillies. Jeb and Obbie.”

CP: “Are they the twins?”

W: “I’m not positive if they are. They look it. They look like they’re brothers. I don’t know who it works. We have a cryptid. They keep using that word and I’m not sure what it means. We have a furry in the game. His name is Nuzzler, Nuzzler the Furry which you have to do certain things to meet up with him. There’s just a lot of fun characters and comedy. Then there’s Butch a country store manager. He’s a butch guy. Hairy bara daddy. He looks like a ‘Dream Daddy’ guy. A bear. It’s such a good game. I’m reading the demo right now and it will be fully voiced. I know a lot of people don’t do that, but we’re prepping.”

CP: “Those type of games are lot of hard work. You’re hard work does not go unappreciated with the fanbase.”

W: “The fans have told me numerous times how much they appreciate all of the voices and the work that went into it. It was a lot of work. It came with 20,000 lines of dialogue. That’s crazy. That’s like 400 pages or something close to it. But when we undertook that, we got $50,000 or something close from the kickstarter of ‘To Trust an Incubus’. So we made sure we packed it full of everything. ‘No, we’re gonna add this. We’re gonna give you that.’ People just went crazy. They were so happy about it and we got so much support for it. We love the fans. They’ve been wonderful to us. It’s been wonderful to see that. So that’s why we were like ‘What’s the next game you want? Oh? You want ‘Stardew Valley’ or ‘Harvest Moon’? We got you.’”


FO: “Tips for those wanting to get into voice acting, book publishing or even video games?”

W: “First off, have a tough skin because rejection is very prevalent. As an actor, I’ve learned that rejection is part of the job. It doesn’t mean you did a bad job or you’re a bad actor. Sometimes it’s just that you’re not the right type, the right skin color, hair style. Just something so minor. So dumb. And in voice acting, there’s a lot of times like that. You have the voice but it’s the wrong voice to audition for. Sometimes you can get a second audition or get a call back. You hear that one thing and move on. People wanting to get into industry, there is this website called IWantToBeAVoiceActor.com. That is the best resource because it starts from ‘I don’t know what to do but I like it and I think I want it. What do I do?’ and he tells you every step. All the way to professional. I still use that website because it says ‘Well, I’m not getting as many roles, what should I do?’ Take a training class, network with a friend, go to a convention. Don’t have an agent, get one. It tells you everything. Just do it. It even tells you microphone and programs offered on PC and Mac. It’s a wonderful resource.

For people who want to get into publishing, it’s a different thing. A lot of times you go through Createspace. It’s faster and easier and you can self publish. So you can get your books on Amazon and Kindle and Createspace does it seamlessly. That’s one way to do that. I really hope you would try to have an editor, a cover. You still need those other factors.

In the industry, sometimes it’s just sending an email to a publisher you like. ‘Hi, I would like to submit for this. If you’re open for submissions, how would I go about doing that?’ Google search what publishers you want to go with. Books don’t phase out even if they’re digital. Things happen becasue you tried. Things never happen if you don’t. Out of everything, don’t give up.

I have this friend, Savannah and she wrote this story when she was 14. She sent it into a movie house and the movie house said ‘This is really good. Who wrote this? Some 14 year old in high school. What? Are you serious?’ Guess what. Her premiere was last week. She got her movie made. It took her a while, a couple of years. But she did it. The thing is she tried and they told her that it needed some things here and there and a screenwriter helped. Now she has a movie. It’s rated PG. It’s showing now in Utah and Idaho. It’s a wholesome movie called ‘Twice the Dream’. It’s so funny because she named it that because it literally was two times the dream. ‘My dream is this but I want double that.’ Wow, she followed her dreams. It was hard. There was failing, failing, failing. Things wouldn’t work out. She kept at it and she believed in it. Always believe in yourself. You’re worth more than yourself.”


FO: “Did you want to leave a message to the fans?”

W: “Without the fans to support us, we wouldn’t be. Period. Fans are the reason we do things. People who appreciate and love what we do is the reason we continue to do it. Sometimes we’re trying to make a living as well but it’s because we love it. You wouldn’t keep doing something if you hated it unless it was a necessity. But with yaoi, we’re not a necessity. We love what we do and people see that when they see our books or play our games. People feel that we love what we do. And to the fans who do this and support us so much, I love you guys. We love you. Yaoi Press thanks you. Y Press Games is loving the new support and all of your continued support.

Not matter what life when we feel down, we can look back on some of the things and just smile knowing that people cared enough to do this. To even get our kickstarter funded, that’s such a big deal. You didn’t have to pledge. You didn’t have to, but you did. And the fact is that you made us successful. You don’t have to be AAA internationally famous. We have fans like you and that’s enough. You guys are enough.”


Warky will be making appearances later this year at Anime Banzai in October and Daku Con in November. The kickstarter for “Morningdew Farms” will be launching on May 15th until June 29th. For more information, check out YPress Games’s website and also Yaoi Press regarding books and visual novels.

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