The original title of this story was ‘Puss Noir’, which was changed due to getting disappointed people seeking porn. That was a confusing few months when the hit meter was going up by thousands a day.
This story was borne out of an idea Jean Cabot tossed out while trying to inspire someone.
That someone turned out to secretly be Mae Treesbane, which led to the story By Design as well, but that’s another anecdote.
Each year there’s a story exchange called Yuletide that Mae and Jean try to participate in as much as possible. That year, 2013, Jean asked for a Puss in Boots story. An alternate universe take, and he listed off a bunch of different ways it could be different, including tossing in ‘noir’ as a joke.
Mae asked, ‘can you even do a noir Puss in Boots?’
And so Jean wrote the first few lines. Then Mae wrote the next. Soon they’d written an entire story.
Then, of course, they had other ideas.
When they first developed this, they hadn’t really decided on what anyone looked like. It wasn’t until the second story that Bill even had a name, and it would be a while yet before it was used. Slow burn, this story development.