Tell me something that you’ve always wanted to tell the world about the project.
I can’t speak for other authors, but in my case my writing often reflects some idea or desire that my unconscious mind is trying to share with me, but which because I am such an obvious dunderhead fails to slip through to my awareness. As one example, I’ve committed more than half a million words to the story of a protagonist and his alien animal companion (two novels, three novellas, two novelettes, and half a dozen shorts) that turned out to be all about mourning the passing of my first dog. Finally, someone pointed this out to me and I realized that twelve years of missing her was enough, and I went off to animal rescue and got a new dog.
Another such idea that shows up in my fiction a lot is death, or more specifically how the essence of who we are survives our own mortality. Barsk deals with a lot of topics and themes, including intolerance and friendship and prophecy and history, but the notion that something of us lives past physical death permeates all of these other ideas. That’s the piece I wanted to explore, both overtly and more subtly, in this novel. More importantly, and in keeping with the messages from my unconscious, I suspect that what it’s really all about for me is exploring a way to hold on to those we’ve lost.
Like many people, I routinely see and speak in my dreams with friends and family members who have died. In Barsk I formalized this, conjuring up some plausible and vaguely scientific explanations for the how and why of doing this in the waking world. I’m pretty pleased with the result, which in turn allowed me to tell an interesting story. Ultimately, I suppose I find it all oddly comforting to think that my fictional characters are connecting with their loved ones in ways that those of us in the nonfiction universe can only dream about. It holds out the promise that mortality is not the end of our connection with those dear to us.
Lawrence M. Schoen holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, has been nominated for the Campbell, Hugo, and Nebula awards, is a world authority on the Klingon language, operates the small press Paper Golem, and is a practicing hypnotherapist specializing in authors’ issues.
His previous science fiction includes many light and humorous adventures of a space-faring stage hypnotist and his alien animal companion. His most recent book, Barsk, takes a very different tone, exploring issues of prophecy, intolerance, friendship, conspiracy, and loyalty, and redefines the continua between life and death. He lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his wife and their dog
It's kind of a fluke that Through the Veil even happened. I got the original flash of inspiration not long after coming home from an SSF convention where I'd gone to a world-building panel. I only went because I wanted to see one of the panelists. I didn't think I'd need to build worlds from scratch, since I was more of a modern-day, almost-real-world kind of writer. (Yes, that requires world building too, but less.)
Anyway, I thinking about the panel and a thought crossed my mind: If I were going to create my own fantasy world, what would it be like? A moment later, a scene flashed through my mind of a girl in Renaissance-esque clothing running up a hill in tears, looking back at a walled city, and disappearing – then reappearing in a big-city penthouse.
Right away, I knew a lot about her. She was a violinist (like I used to be, but a whole lot better.) She loved the fantasy world and was miserable at home. She used music to cross between the worlds.
I knew a lot about the other world, too. The city she visited was all about order and somewhere in that dimension was a region that was all about chaos. (As a long-time Dungeons & Dragons geek, I'm fascinated by those ideas as well as the difference between law and justice.) Music was supremely important there, and her exceptional talent gave her a special status.
I settled on the name Dedra for kind of a funny reason. A Ouija board once told me I'd have a daughter with that name. It was wrong. But in thinking about a name, I was going over some I'd considered for my daughter, it came to me and I decided it was perfect. So, in a way, it was a self-fulfilling prophesy.
I immediately started writing her story. A few scenes in, back to the fantasy world, I asked myself, "What's unique about this world?" The character was looking over the city at night and I thought about what would be visible in a world without electricity. It came to me – what if music is visible?
I wrote more, then put it away. I didn't have much time to write as it was, and I had, months earlier, started a book that was slowly plodding along.
As it turned out, both projects sat for months until I decided to take a step back from an organization I was involved in that had sucked up all of my time. I told myself that was my year to finally get a novel written or admit that I wasn't going to do it.
I took part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that November to make myself write every day instead of here and there as the mood struck. I read through the earlier project and realized my heart wasn't in it. Then I came across Dedra's story and read what I'd written. It was better than I'd remembered and, even better, I was excited to write it.
I met the NaNo goals and kept going, through December and into January, when I finished it. After lots of editing, it was picked up by Sky Warrior Books. Now I'm polishing up the sequel so I can get it to them soon, and I'm about to jump into the final book in the trilogy.
It's still kind of surreal to me that this book even happened. It makes me realize how important it is to open yourself to different kinds of ideas, even if you don't think they pertain to you.
Adrienne Dellwo lives in Washington state, where she works as a freelance medical writer, writes and produces indie films with her husband, and is raising a son and daughter who keep life magical. She's had short stories published by Alliteration Ink, Local Hero Press, Siren's Call, and DarkFire Fiction. Her first novel, Through the Veil, is available from Sky Warrior Books.
Greetings, and thanks, Jenn, for the most gracious invitation to Tell You… something about my writing!
Most people know the saying “write what you know,” but I prefer another common one: “write what you want to read.”
I read a pretty eclectic mix that crosses almost all styles and genres. And even though science fiction and fantasy dominate, I like to believe my writing includes a great deal of variety that runs the gamut as well. But that doesn’t preclude favorites, or preferences, or recurring themes—nor include some themes and subjects I absolutely avoid.
So . . .
A few things creep into almost all of my stories. Like cats. They’re a necessity, right? Sometimes dogs or horses, or goliaths (look it up, I dare you), or fictional furballs, but—naturally—cats rule. Ahem. All right. Putting aside the aside…
Especially in my science fiction, I infuse it with my love of all of nature.
Two of my series are diametrically opposed in that one shows people who eschew technology; and the other, people who strive to stay on the cutting edge. Yet, even the former appreciate the value of technology, and the latter still cherish nature. For example, they classify their most powerful ships as “apex” and name them after their world’s most powerful predators. Their tiny fightercraft class names: “bee”, “hornet”, and “wasp.”
Which brings me to yet another series that combines both. Exploration, a behemoth ship the size of a small planet, carries a crew of five thousand. Over the hundred-year voyage to another galaxy, that number will grow to five million—or more. Science unequalled in all of history enabled the engineers to construct the fantastic vessel, the vanguard of a fleet of three hundred. That accomplishment pales next to the true masterpiece: The Core.
The heart of the ship—actually, almost fifty percent of the ship—contains something far more spectacular: a wilderness. Almost ten million square kilometers of pristine wilderness teeming with wildlife. Untouched and self-sustaining as if it were on the surface of a planet orbiting a star. And each ship of the fleet will house a distinct biosphere: completely subterranean, or oceanic, or all swirling atmosphere like Jupiter or Saturn.
Peace. Hope. Cooperation. Upward and onward. That mindset resonates with me. Science and technology help and sustain, rather than destroy or run amuck. Combine that with “intrinsic value” regarding nature, not natural “resources.” Those stances resonate with me.
Themes I avoid: nihilism, pessimist, grit, hopelessness. If you want apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic, keep searching. Not that tons of fans don’t love the dark side. Nothing wrong with that at all. But I write more toward humor, and optimism, and pulling together rather than apart.
Not that Bad Stuff doesn’t happen. Without it, no novel. In this case, a very determined group wants to stop the intrepid explorers from even beginning, let alone finishing, their journey. But you won’t find gloom or doom or soap opera. I hope you will find diverse, appealing characters and an exciting, suspenseful adventure.
Fly off to a far-flung galaxy, and take A Little Piece of Home along for the trip. Available in print and eBook editions.
To see a complete bibliography with all the covers, as well as updates on upcoming works, please visit http://BluetrixBooks.wordpress.com
Have you ever gotten out of a relationship and wondered if the other person had been in the same relationship? Or if he had a completely different relationship with you than the one you thought he had?
That was my premise when I started Kill By Numbers.
At the end of The Dangerous Type, the first book in my space opera trilogy, Raena Zacari is free of the Imperial torturer who trained her. She’s left the woman she’s loved most in the galaxy and the man who spent decades believing he loved Raena more than anyone. She’s ready to start a new life on her own.
Then the nightmares attack. They begin as if she’s reliving a memory, then spin off into new directions. Almost every dream ends with her ex-lover trying to save her – and every time, she doesn’t recognize him until after she’s killed him.
So many books are written about when the characters fell in love. I wanted to explore the end of a relationship: How do you recover? What do you owe someone after everything dissolves? What if the memories that mean so much to you meant something entirely different to your other half? What if someone was willing to risk everything to save you, whether you wanted to be rescued or not?
They weren’t questions I was used to seeing in science fiction. We’re all too familiar with the damsel who needs to be saved (I’m thinking of the original Sarah Connor) – or the strong leader who falls in love in the heat of the battle. (That’s you, Princess Leia.) So many stories end with the heroine surviving merely to settle down with the only person who understands what she’s been through. (I’m looking at you, Katniss.) I wanted to spin the tropes so that the protagonist never thought she needed rescuing and the “hero” wasn’t a nice guy.
One of the things that struck me as I was writing Kill By Numbers was the speculation that a nice guy does things not because he genuinely likes a girl and wants to help her, but because if he holds the door for her and makes her dinner and listens when she’s sad and treats her like a friend, she will reward him with sex. Friendship isn’t his goal. It’s a calculated means to an end.
That theory explained so many of the relationships I had when I was younger. It pointed up a fundamental schism in the definition of friendship between two people – and I don’t believe it breaks down simply along gender lines.
So while Kill By Numbers is about learning to fit in after all the rules have changed, and what would happen if the chief stardrive technology in the galaxy has a catastrophic flaw, and an exploration of the responsibilities and integrity of journalists, and what’s it like to recover from years of violence and manipulation to claim your survival as a triumph, it’s also a deconstruction of the end of love.
Because why jam your story into one simple box?
Loren Rhoads is the author of The Dangerous Type, Kill By Numbers, and No More Heroes — the In the Wake of the Templars trilogy — all published by Night Shade Books in 2015. You can find out more at www.lorenrhoads.com.
Today, Kelly Swails is telling me how This May Go on Your Permanent Record came about. Kelly is an excellent author and editor. Silence in the Library does great work. I like the way this novel wormed its way into Kelly’s subconscious.
So one day one of my work friends told me about a guy her college-aged son had heard about. (Yes, this is a “girl who knew this guy who knows this kid” story. Bear with me.) Anyway, the son attended Webster University in St. Louis, and apparently, if Webster didn’t offer the major you wanted, they’d custom-make one for you. Also apparently, a kid at Webster wanted to major in World Domination. [Editor’s note: I really want to meet this guy and see how things turned out.]
As soon as my friend told me this my writer-brain started churning. What would a world domination program look like? Political science, obviously. But also mass communication. And science. And one can’t dominate a boardroom, let alone the world, without a working knowledge of military tactics. So after she and I joked about if this kid’s degree would be a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Art (I’m still not sure of the answer to that), we went about our work day. At least my friend did. I kept thinking about World Domination.
I poked at the idea for a while. Wrote a short story with a college-aged protagonist (if you’re interested, you can read it in Time Traveled Tales). Made a curriculum. Had fun naming classes like "Know Your Nemesis" and "Monologues for the Masses". Discovered the main character (Sally) and her back story (alcoholic mother, absentee father, and a penchant for breaking the law). It wasn’t until I realized Sally wasn’t enrolled in a college program but a high-school freshman at the top-secret prep school named School for Extraordinary Youth that the story really came alive. Oh, and by the way, maybe her dad disappeared for a reason…
Ultimately, This May Go on Your Permanent Record explores power on a few different levels. The lengths people will go to in order to get power. How a secret can control your life without your realizing it. The power of trusting someone enough to call them a friend. You know what, though? To hell with themes and meaning and all that. Mostly, I had a whole lot of fun writing this book, and I’m looking forward to learning more about Sally’s world. One book at a time.
Kickstarter link: http://tiny.cc/SITLfall2015
Spiders, Gods, and Monsters
“What’s your book called?” I’ve been asked a couple dozen times since I announced its upcoming release.
“The Spider in the Laurel.”
“Oh. Is there a real spider in it?” is the inevitable next question.
This is where I get stuck. I want to say, “Yes, there is a real spider in it, insomuch as the gods and monsters we write about in sci-fi and fantasy are real.”
But I see the look. Spiders are creepy. Scary. I’m not buying a novel with a spider in the title, and on the cover, and in the damn book.
So I say, “No, the spider is a metaphor. A part of a fairy tale actually.”
“I like fairytales. Which one?”
Now I’m stuck again. If I say that it’s a brand new fairy tale that I made up, I get a new look. I’ll believe you wrote a hundred thousand word novel. But a brand new fairy tale. Come on, author-man. I’m not buying it.
I take the easy way out. I change the subject. I start talking about the novel’s title. It spent more than half its life being called Genesis Lied. I liked the title. It came out of a spit-balling session with my writers group at California Pizza Kitchen. I like it, but I didn’t love it. I stayed on the lookout for something better.
That something better arrived in the form of a 120 year old Herman Melville poem I found while searching for epigraphs for the book. The line, sort of the poem’s volta, just sang. I snatched it like a six year old pocketing a three pound gummy bear in a candy store – no thought for result or consequence.
The new title vanquished the old. But a new trouble arose. My novel had nothing to do with spiders, laurels, or Herman Melville. I had to take a step back. Re-see and reevaluate.
I’d already built an entire new mythos for the book by reinterpreting Mesopotamian and Minoan mythology, weaving this through Biblical tradition, and tying it to a little-known (at least, little-known outside of Europe) Dark Age relic called the Vase of Soissons.
But the thing about mythology is that it’s macro, by definition. It’s all about explaining origins and defining archetypes. That sense of scale, that aloofness, had pervaded the entire story. It had turned my characters into types, not people. I needed to re-humanize them.
The solution came to me while I was shopping in a bookstore with my wife, choosing which fairytale collections we wanted for our soon-to-be-born (at the time) daughter.
I set to, right away, thumb-typing into my phone’s ‘memo’ app. Fairytales, you see, are the next step in any mythology. They break from explaining the universal, and focus instead on teaching the individual. What better way is there for a parent to teach a child not to judge a book by its cover, or to beware strangers, or perhaps – as Simon teaches his daughter MacKenzie in my novel – to trust her heart most when the danger of betrayal is at its highest.
“Long ago, when it was still good to wish for a thing,” I wrote, “there was a red-haired princess in a kingdom by the sea.”
I wrote the whole fairytale in a day. I gave it to MacKenzie for safe keeping. And yes, there is a spider in it. But it’s only as real as gods and monsters. And when have they ever prevented a good night’s sleep or a happily ever after?
Michael Pogach is the author of the sci-fi thriller The Spider in the Laurel. He began writing stories in grade school. He doesn’t remember these early masterpieces, but his parents tell him everyone in them died. He’s gained some humanity since then, and has been known to allow characters to survive his tales these days. You can find his stories in journals such as New Plains Review, Third Wednesday, and Workers Write, as well as the chapbook Zero to Sixty. He is hard at work on two more novels, countless more stories, and keeping his infant daughter from eating everything she can reach. Michael's website is: www.michaelpogach.com.
Release date for The Spider in the Laurel is Sept 21.
Wendy Hammer is the newest Apocalypse Ink Productions author. She's an excellent writer and a fun person to be around. Here's is what she has to say about THE THIN.
Three Things about THE THIN: Cross Cutting (Book One)
I started the first Cross Cutting story with a clear image of the main character—her personality, appearance, and magic ability. Trinidad’s name didn’t come together until I figured out her history.
That choice started with setting. Her magic is tied to place, but she doesn’t have a permanent bond with one. When I start thinking about stories, contested spaces, displacement, identity, and power, my mind turns to postcolonial theory and literature. I teach literature, so it’s an occupational hazard, I suppose.
My graduate school research had a lot to do with Africa in literature so I turned there first. Then I became interested in the relationship between her magic and island territories, and I eventually turned my attention to the Caribbean. Trinidad, in particular, stood out for its history, culture, and beautiful language. I chose Ireland to pair with it for similar reasons.
Once I could pinpoint where my character came from, the name Trinidad O’Laughlin didn’t take long to come up with.
I like to create music playlists for inspiration. I’ll drive or walk around and listen to that music while I think about character and plot points. I usually have to stick to instrumentals for the actual writing part, but anything goes the rest of the time. The list for the first Cross Cutting novella was a mix of calypso, soca, rapso, chutney, Irish folksongs, contemporary Irish bands, and random songs featuring variations of the word walk. I threw in a few punk songs for good measure—and because I’m a longtime fan.
The inspiration for THE THIN came from walking along the Cultural Heritage trail in Indianapolis. My imagination was fired up by the sight of a bunch of vans parked in a garage at the corner of Virginia Ave and Maryland Street.
Though I fudged a few details here and there, I did use Google Maps’ Street View while I was writing the novella. One of the best surprises was when I noticed that the vans are there.
It gave me shivers. I love that kind of thing.
Wendy Hammer grew up in Wisconsin. She has degrees in English from The University of Wisconsin-Madison and Ball State University. She teaches literature and composition at a community college. Thanks to her job, she's heard all the usual MC Hammer jokes, but figures someone will surprise her with a new one someday. She's mostly cool with that. She writes speculative fiction (fantasy, horror and science fiction) and is an affiliate member of HWA. Wendy lives in West Lafayette, Indiana with her husband.
Ari is a friend of mine and someone who has written for me. He’s a great guy and an even better writer. I’m happy to have inspired him in some small way. I really like the Mick Oberon books.
It's both funny and highly appropriate that I'm writing this "Tell Me" post about HALLOW POINT for Jennifer's web site. See, she doesn't know this—or I guess she does by the time you're reading this, but she didn't before I sent this to her—but in a small way, she's part of the reason that my character of Mick Oberon exists at all.
Real quick, first, for those of you who don't know. Mick Oberon is a PI in Chicago in the 1930s, very much in the model of a Chandler of Mammett protagonist. He's also, however, one of the aes sidhe, and a noble-in-exile from the Seelie Court. The books about him—both the new one, HALLOW POINT, and the first one, called HOT LEAD, COLD IRON—are a mixture of gangland/noir mystery and urban fantasy.
Now, I've been asked before how I came up with Mick, and what I tell people is that he's basically an "Athena character," by which I mean he sprang full-grown from my head one day. And that's true, so far as it goes; he really did just pop to mind. I didn't set out tp envision any such character, nor was I planning to write a noir/fantasy mix. It all just came to me.
But part of the reason it came to me is that I was already thinking about fairy tales. And the reason I was thinking about fairy tales is that I'd just been invited to contribute to an anthology of short stories called HUMAN TALES, a book of "reverse" fairy tales. (That is, where the faeries or other supernatural creatures with the protagonists, and it was the humans who were the monsters or the mysteries.) The story I wound up writing for that book, called "Tithe," had nothing whatsoever to do with Mick Oberon; he wasn't really an appropriate character for what I wanted to do with that project.
He stuck with me, though, and wound up developing into a character and an idea for which I've already written two novels, and hope to write a great many more. It's not quite like anything else I've written, and it's not quite like most of the other urban fantasy out there. These books are their own thing, Mick's his own character, and maybe I'd have come up with him even if I hadn't been contemplating fairy tales that evening. But then again, maybe I wouldn't.
So thanks, Jennifer, for this opportunity to talk to him—and just possibly for spurring me to come up with him in the first place.
Read more Ari at his website: Mouseferatu: Rodents of the Dark.
President, Flying Saucer Media
Project: Stage of Development Kickstarter (stageofdevelopment.com)
I was in my first year as Features Editor for polygon.com when I sat with Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio in Austin, Texas for an interview about their game, Dishonored. The game was coming out in a few months and nobody at studio Arkane or at publisher Bethesda was sure how well it would be received. Tracey Thompson from Bethesda had called me to ask if I would write a thing about Harvey and Raph to drum up interest in the game’s creators (and by extension the game) and I said yes and so there I was.
We had just gotten back for lunch. I’d eaten a small salad to be polite, but I wasn’t hungry. I’d stopped for tacos on the drive down from Dallas, because I’d forgotten to eat breakfast and was starving. This made me late, and Harvey and Raph had looked a little pissed off when I arrived, but these things happen. I think they were hungry. Now we were settled comfortably in a small room at Arkane, Harvey and Raph had finally eaten, and they were starting to talk.
The interview opened with the usual stuff about how they got their respective starts in games, where they first met and so on. It turned out they had an interesting history of casual encounters and similar life circumstances before ever working together. They could almost have been the same person, apart for one being Texan and the other French. I felt like there was a good story there, and kept asking questions and listening to answers.
Then, without warning, Harvey launched into this miserable and sad tale about how he grew up in a nothing town on the Texas Gulf Coast and his mother died of an overdose and his father commit suicide. How he joined the military to escape a dead-end future. How he barely survived both experiences. And how he now channels this tragedies into his video games. I was in shock. I had never heard such a real, raw and emotional story in a video game interview.
I looked over at Tracey as if to ask “Is this on-record? ”
She looked back, eyes wide and shrugged. She had no idea. Maybe?
So I kept the material, wrote it intro the piece and the result is one of my favorite stories about video games of all time. It got a lot of people talking about Polygon, and Dishonored, and a few months later both endeavors would become hugely successful.
But the whole time I was talking with Harvey and Raph, writing that story and publishing it I was thinking, “F- - -, we should have had a video camera in there. ”
A few months later I got the chance to develop a web series based on what I wish I could have done with Harvey and Raph. Human Angle was just that — the human angle of video games. It featured people whose stories were at an intersection of humanity and video games. People of all kinds. We produced 12 episodes, but I always felt like we had just barely scratched the surface.
Stage of Development is my chance to get back to that, and finish what I started with human Angle. Starting with the stories of Brenda and John Romero and Spry Fox, two stories that are a lot alike in spite (or perhaps because of) their differences.
I’ve been following both stories for some time. I’ve been interested to see how John Romero has handled a transition from making big-budget games to more indie stuff. Seeing how his relationship (and then marriage) with Brenda Brathwaite, now Brenda Romero influenced his work, and vice versa. And now how the two of them, with the launch of Donovan Romero’s game Gunman Taco Truck, have truly crated a family business. To be able to capture their passion for family and video games, and — for them — how the two are inseparable was a privilege.
Spry Fox is a different beast. You probably don’t know much about them unless you’ re a game developer. If you are, though, you know they’re one of the most influential studios in the business. Principals David Edery and Dan “danc” Cook are both highly regarded and well known in the industry. Dan especially is considered one of the brightest developers there is. So many people have told me they look to him for advice and guidance, I’ve often wondered why his own company had yet to see a truly blockbuster game.
When I reached out to Spry Fox about Stage of Development, they were just finishing what they called “a little mobile game” that would become surprise hit Alphabear. I genuinely believe their success story is yet to be fully written, and I wanted to be there to capture it.
If Stage of Development fully funds at Kickstarter, these are only the first of the stories we’ll be able to tell.
It began in college. A series of ongoing stories about a wandering swordswoman. My version of Red Sonja.
I read through the first three Ace/Lancer Conan books for inspiration and began preparing the world of my swordswoman. The kingdoms and villages and lands she'd wander. The kinds of magic she'd encounter.
Halfway through the third Ace/Lancer collection I stumbled across Lieber's Fafhrd and Gray Mouser, either from a comment in that collection's introductory essay or in some other reading I was doing at the time. Something about that caught my attention. I can't recall if it was a idea of TWO wandering warriors or something else, but it sent me around to local used bookstores to track them down.
After a few hours of wandering between stores, I finally located the first two story collections of those tales. Over the next week or so, I read through Swords and Deviltry and Swords Against Death and my solitary swordswoman took on a companion. Now I had pair of wandering women warriors. By then I had a vaguely sketched out map of a world, a series of names of exotic fantasy cities and towns, and a rough history of the world. I even had some likely scenarios for my adventuring duo.
But I didn't get beyond that.
As it was, Xena and her sidekick, Gabrielle, were already swinging swords on TV. Warrior women duos appeared to be already taken care of so I shelved the premise for the time being.
Fast forward a few years.
1996, if I remember correctly.
I was reading a Gunsmith Cats graphic novel when the wandering women warrior duo leaped back into my mind and the following train of thought occurred to me: Gunsmith Cats was about a pair of female bounty-hunters working the mean streets of present-day Chicago. Xena was about a pair of female warriors in a Greek-myth/medieval-esque/fantasy world. Then an anime series came to mind: Dirty Pair, about a pair of female agents in the far future.
What about a pair of female warriors in the near-future? In the world of cyberpunk?
Enter Kat and Mouse.
I remember the idea grabbing me by the shorthairs in a vice-grip, yanking me close, and a low, breathy voice saying, "Write me. Write me now."
I then remember diving into my bookshelves for my copies of Neuromancer and Burning Chrome, the Mirroshades anthology, and my dog-eared copies of the Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun RPG manuals, followed by furious scribblings as ideas rushed out in a flood. Movies and anime came to mind. RoboCop. Demolition Man. Blade Runner. Bubblegum Crisis. Appleseed. Akira.
It took another four years before the duo's first escapade appeared in an online zine.
Eight years before I decided to turn it into an online serial.
Since it premiered in December of 2008, I've written somewhere around 150,000 words over 25 episodes and 160-something blog posts depicting the pistol-packing, katana-swinging, butt-kicking escapades of these two Sisters in Arms.
Yes, it may be cliche-ridden, trope-filled, and escapist.
But you know something?
It's the most fun I've ever had writing.
I'm not out to change the world or examine the human condition with these stories.
I just want to take you on a slam-bang, catch-your-breath, roller coaster ride with chills, spills, and thrills.
And if you walk away from reading these tales with a smile on your face and the potential thought of "Hey! Let's ride that again!", then I have done my job.
Abner Senires. Fed on a steady diet of SF/Fantasy novels, genre movies and television, videogames, comic books, Saturday morning cartoons, anime and manga, and role-playing games as a youth, the man who would be king Abner Senires eventually grew up into a wombat a tea cosy a strange little brown man.
He has now waged war on has laid siege to laid an egg writes sci-fi pulp adventure (and sometimes ventures into regular science fiction, fantasy, and possibly horror).
He confesses to being a SF/Fantasy/movie/genre TV/comic book/RPG/anime/manga/weapons/firearms fan.
One day he hopes to become a firetruck. He has never stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.
He lives in his own deranged imagination just outside Seattle, WA with his wife and a pair of rambunctious cats.