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.