Thursday, May 12, 2011

What Say You?

Okay, mah fellow readers. I know there are a few of you out there in the Interwebs who follow this humble blog.

What would you like for me to talk about here?

Leave a comment below.

I wait to hear from all-y'all.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thanks For All The Fish...

Ten years since. Dork Tower seems to say it best.

I salute the man.
RIP, sir.

And thanks for all the fish.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Book Giveaway Winner!

We have a winner!

Matera the Mad will get a signed copy of KAT AND MOUSE!

Congratulations, Matera.

And thanks to those who signed up for the giveaway.

There may be another one later this month so stay tuned to the blog for more info.

Free Comic Book Day Is Tomorrow

Yes, folks. It's that time of the year again.

Check the site for all the details. Then use their Store Locator to find your nearest comic book shop (I'm surprised you don't already know this, but you may have just moved so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt) and head on over.

Go go go!!!

[BEHIND THE SCENES]Mapping the City

We end Release Week Goodness with maps!

Now you can trace the Duo's escapades. Fun for the whole family!

Here's a map of Bay City proper:

Rough, but I'm sure you get the idea.

And here's one of Bay City and surrounding cities:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

CONAN Trailer


The sequence with the serpent in the water reminds me of a Frazetta painting, but that's just me.

As I said before, I hope they don't screw this up.

(via: SF Signal)

[BEHIND THE SCENES]Plotting Sneak Peaks

As part of Release Week Goodness, we present a look behind the workings of the novel and the ongoing serial.

Below, notes on what later becomes "A Family Affair."

Slight changes when compared to the finished story, as is usually the case.

Isabella is no longer a granddaughter but a daughter. And "Antonio Righetti" became "Vincent Righetti."

Here, plot notes on "Price of Vengeance."
The above was a process I borrowed from J. Michael Straczynski, from his The Complete Book of Scriptwriting.

JMS breaks down the writing of a TV episode this way: You take a legal pad and draw an equilateral cross in the middle, dividing the page into four areas. The four areas are labeled "Act One," "Act Two," "Act Three," and "Act Four." Then in each act, you lay out the major beats of the story, roughly five or six per act.

Says JMS:
I've found that if I fill in all the lines in each quarter-page section...it times out exactly right when i get to outline and script.
And there you have it.

As you can see, there are a number of changes from the planned story to what eventually becomes "Price of Vengeance."

Tomorrow: Maps Galore!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

KAT AND MOUSE In London

The Ladies hit London.
Herbrand Street, to be exact.

(photo: PhotoFunia)

[BEHIND THE SCENES]BONUS: Trailer!

As part of Release Week Goodness, we present a look behind the workings of the novel and the ongoing serial.

Okay--not exactly behind the scenes, but a bonus bit.

Here's the trailer created for the serial back when it first started.




Tomorrow: Plotting Secrets!

KAT AND MOUSE In Taipei

The Ladies are traveling the world...


(photo: PhotoFunia)

Another Interview!

Fellow writer Hillary Jacques interviews me over at her blog, Impudent Hatchlings.

Thank you, Hillary.

Soak in the goodness over at her place.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

[BEHIND THE SCENES]Inspirational Material

As part of Release Week Goodness, we present a look behind the workings of the novel and the ongoing serial.

Showcasing the women who had an impact on the Duo's creation.

DIRTY PAIR

GUNSMITH CATS

And, of course, the grand dame herself--

XENA


Tomorrow: Audio-visual goodness!

Thank You For The Buzz Spreading

So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me.

--"Thank You For The Music"

ABBA


Just wanted to take a moment to thank some folks for helping spread the buzz about the book release via blog posts.

CobraMisfit
June
Kricket
DL
Bettie
Boston
K. A. Stewart
The Reverend Truth

Thanks, guys. You are awesome.

To those folks who are spreading it by other means, I'm gonna thank you here, too. Leave a comment on what you did and a link to the spreading and I'll make sure you're on this list, too.

Again--thank you, thank you, thank you.

UPDATE: Added Bettie and Boston.

UPDATE #2: Added K. A. Stewart (author of A Devil in the Details)

UPDATE #3: Added The Reverend Truth

An Interview With Myself

NOTES FROM THE LAIR: We're talking with Abner Senires, author of the new book KAT AND MOUSE, GUNS FOR HIRE. How are you today, Abner?

ABNER SENIRES: I'm fine, Abner.

NFTL: How'd you know my name? We weren't properly introduced.

AS: This is a self-interview. I'm talking to myself.

NFTL: That's often a sign of a mental disorder you know.

AS: Interview.

NFTL: Right. Tell us about the book.

AS: KAT AND MOUSE, GUNS FOR HIRE follows the adventures of Kat and Mouse, a pair of female soldiers of fortune trying to make a buck in 2042 Bay City, California Free State, but who have this knack for attracting trouble. And trouble comes in the form of bikergangs, street gangs, corporate soldiers, cyber-assasins, the Mob, the Yakuza, and whatever else the mean streets of Bay City decides to throw at them.

NFTL: Why did you choose to go the POD route? Why not stick to traditional publishing?

AS: From the very beginning I had two strikes against me. First, the stories originally came out as a web serial so they were technically already published. Just on the web. Second, it's considered a short story collection. Already not looking too good. So I decided to bite the bullet and do it myself.

NFTL: You mentioned the stories first came out as a web serial.

AS: Yeah, a web fiction serial.

NFTL: In episodes. Like a TV show.

AS: Right.

NFTL: So the book is really the boxed set of Season One?

AS: That's right. The first 10 episodes.

NFTL: : What made you decide on that format?

AS: I wanted the stories to come out in a specific order. The typical way of publishing wasn't going to work. Not if Story #1 and #2 come out in sequence but #4 comes out before #3. First, I toyed with the idea of a webcomic and actually did nine pages before it died.

NFTL: When was this?

AS: 2006.

NFTL: : How did that die?

AS: It was supposed to be a page per week. I gave myself a lead time of two months to work on pages--story, artwork, and lettering--and had planned on being at least four weeks ahead of the page that posted.

NFTL: And?

AS: Didn't happen. The artwork bit killed me.

NFTL: So you turned to webfiction.

AS: Yeah. I'd already published two of the stories ("A Family Affair" and "Babysitting Blues") with a webzine and in 2001 I'd written a screenplay of a KAT AND MOUSE movie. So after the webcomic petered out, I decided I'd put it up on the web as a fiction serial. I worked on the stories through most of 2007, outlining the various adventures and the major story arcs. Then for NaNoWriMo 2007, I adapted the KAT AND MOUSE screenplay into prose. That became the story "Easy Money." I spent the next several months revising and polishing. At the same time, I was writing the next story, "Price of Vengeance," and working out other elements of the world of 2042 Bay City.

NFTL: And the site went live in December of '08.

AS: On the 15th of December.

NFTL: Which means the serial is now 2 years and four months old.

AS: It is.

NFTL: Congratulations.

AS: Thank you.

NFTL: And now you have the first ten episodes, the first season, in print.

AS:
And as an e-book.

NFTL:
Kindle?

AS:
Yeah. And the Nook.

NFTL:
And with the book and e-book out, you're still running the serial on the web, correct?

AS:
Correct. We're currently in Season Two.

NFTL:
Going well?

AS:
The season? Yeah, I think so.

NFTL:
One of the reviews I read about the serial compared it to the anime Dirty Pair.

AS: Exactly the reaction I wanted. Dirty Pair was one of its inspirations. Another anime/manga inspiration was Gunsmith Cats.

NFTL: Wasn't Xena part of that inspiration, too?

AS: All three, really. One day I got to thinking about writing a series of stories featuring ass-kicking heroines. Xena had taken care of the ancient/fantasy world. Dirty Pair took care of the far future. And Gunsmith Cats, the present. Then I thought, "What about the near-future? Cyberpunk? The world of Blade Runner, Robocop, and Demolition Man?" And I came up with Kat and Mouse.

NFTL: And is it true Milla Jovovich was the basis for Kat?

AS: While working on the screenplay, yes. I had the DVD of the first Resident Evil on repeat while I wrote. So when I'm writing Kat, I see Milla Jovovich in my head.

NFTL: Which must mean that Michelle Rodriguez is Mouse.

AS: Bingo.

NFTL: Any other mental casting choices?

AS: Sean Connery playing "Ramius" in Hunt for Red October as Revell.

NFTL: Very nice. What writers influenced you?

AS: I grew up reading Asimov, Heinlein, and Tolkien. Those three got me into the genre.

NFTL: What about in terms of your writing style?

AS: I'd have to go with Robert B. Parker. I really liked the tone and style of the Spenser novels and tried to use that in writing KAT AND MOUSE. Terse. Minimalist. I learned about writing concisely when I was working on screenplays and episodic scripts so I pulled some of that in. James Cameron's scripts for Aliens and Terminator 2 are a joy to read just for action and description. Pop culture-infused dialogue and the interplay between ensemble characters I learned from Joss Whedon. There's a bit of that in David Eddings's The Belgariad. I tried to capture those elements in the stories.

NFTL: What about William Gibson? I mean, you are writing cyberpunk.

AS: Oh sure. Especially the stories in Burning Chrome. Also, Marc Laidlaw's "400 Boys" from the Mirrorshades anthology for language and imagery. And Michael Stackpole's Wolf and Raven.

NFTL: Any particular favorite books?

AS: The Belgariad. I re-read the series at least once a year. And my current book-drug of choice is Jim Butcher's Dresden novels and the Gotrek and Felix series currently by Nathan Long.

NFTL: Before we go, any advice for aspiring writers?

AS: Writing means butt in chair.

NFTL: Good advice. So there you have it, folks. KAT AND MOUSE, GUNS FOR HIRE by the talented Abner Senires. Cyberpunk action-adventure for anime, Xena, Milla Jovovich, and Michelle Rodriguez fans. Available in print, Kindle, and Nook editions. Abner, thank you for joining us.

AS: You're welcome.

NFTL: Any closing remarks?

AS: Do I have to put my pants on now?

NFTL: TMI, dude. TMI.

Monday, May 2, 2011

[BEHIND THE SCENES] Origin of the Duo

As part of Release Week Goodness, we present a look behind the workings of the novel and the ongoing serial.

I got the idea for Kat and Mouse while reading a Gunsmith Cats graphic novel one day. I wanted to create something along the same vein. Something that was part buddy movie, part action-adventure, with strong female leads and fun banter between the characters.

So my thought process went something like this: "Xena is set in a mythic past. Gunsmith Cats in modern-day Chicago. Dirty Pair in the far future. What about the near-future? The cyberpunk world?"

Bingo.

Enter Kat and Mouse: Guns for Hire.

It's written on the back of a computer printout dated 1996. As you can see, Mouse had a more "lively" name at the time.

Originally, the duo was supposed to operate as a private security firm: Troubleshooters, Inc. Somewhere in the creation, the private security firm idea got shelved and the duo turned into freelancers.

This next set of notes were probably written out after the above:

Closer to the pair we now know.

Yes, Kat started off having a name. I originally through that it would be a shortened form of her first name (Kat for Katherine). She also chose a new last name (Blackwolfe) after leaving behind her past (O'Connor).

I later ditched that idea and decided "Kat" would be her "handle" and make no further references to her real name. (I know what it is but I'm not going to tell.)

Same with Mouse. Handle, no further references to her real name.


Tomorrow: The inspiration for the Ladies.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

One More Day!

Tomorrow we'll discover
What our author, Abner,
Has in store.
One more dawn!
One more day!
One day more!

(with apologies to Boublil, Schönberg, and Kretzmer)