Interviews
- Mike Bullock (Lions, Tigers)
- Shadowhawk team
- Jason Moser (Ellium)
- Kerry Conran (Sky Captain)
- Derek Watson (Wonderland)

- Brian Denham (Darkness)
- Nate Piekos (Atland)
- Walt Simonson (Elric)
- Bob Elinskas (15 Minutes)
- Benito Cereno (Bully Pulpit)
- Jim Valentino (ShadowHawk)

- Josh Fialkov (Western Tales)
- Courtney Huddleston (Decoy)
- Kazu Kibuishi (Daisy Kutter)
- Carmen Treffiletti (Forsaken)
- George T Singley (Chimaera)

- Azad (Sammy)
- Ben Templesmith (Singurlarity 7)
- Rusty Gilligan (Arbor Prod)
- B Clay Moore (Hawaiian Dick)
- Sean O'Reilly (Arcana)

- Jason Rand (Small Gods)
- Kevin J. Anderson (Dune)
- Erik Larsen (Savage Dragon)
- Andie Tong (He-Man)
- Jay Faerber (Dodge's Bullets)

- J. Torres (Teen Titans Go!)
- Marc Bryant (Shangri-La)
- Ben Templesmith (30 Days)
- Norm Breyfogle (Batman)
- Yvonne Craig (Batgirl)

- Jason Henderson (Soulcatcher)
- David Rivera (Top Cow)
- George T Singley (Hellhounds)
- Todd Nauck (Wildguard)
- Fred Reyes (Spartans)

- Rob Zombie (Spookshow)
- Robert Kirkman (Invincible)
- Sandy Collora (Batman film)
- Steve Rude (The Moth)
- Myatt Murphy (Fade from Blue)

- Scott Kurtz (PvP)
- Khary Randolph (Spider-Man)
- Dan Berger (Gutwallow)
- Ty Gorton (Runes of Ragnan)
- Niveque Storm (SKUMM)

- Mitchell Breitweiser (Agent X)
- Sanford Greene (Galactic)
- Mortal Coils (artists)
- Mark Brooks (Led Heavy)
- Skottie Young (Led Heavy)

- Sebastien Clavet (88mph)
- Parker Smart (Cici/Spilled Milk)
- Val Staples (MV Creations)
- Ryan Bodenheim (Wolverine)
- E.J. Su (Tech Jacket)

   

 

 

Kevin J. Anderson Interview

So Ed calls me up and in the course of our conversation he tells me he has a few requests for interviews sitting in his email box and asks me if I'm interested. The third one he mentioned was a Kevin Anderson. Hell yes I did and I jumped at the chance to interview him. I have been a fan of Kevin and his work since my senior year in High School and it was a thrill to get the chance to ask him about his work past, present and future.

So without any further delay, I give you my interview with Kevin J. Anderson.

Ian Ascher: Let's start early in your career for a moment. In 1988 you had your first novel titled "Resurrection Inc." published. What did it feel like to get that letter from the publishing house after having tried to sell your work since high school?

Kevin J. Anderson: In 1987, I was twenty-five years old. I had been struggling to become a professional writer for many years. I'd had a few short stories published and I had written one fantasy novel that didn't sell, and then I tried something completely different with Resurrection, Inc. I had secured an agent on the basis of my short story credentials, but I was still working a full-time job because the money wasn't coming in enough to support myself. I remember I had gone on a business trip while my agent was diligently trying to submit the Resurrection, Inc. manuscript to various editors. I came back from the trip to find a blinking light on my answering machine with a message from my agent saying, "Hi, Kevin. I sold your first novel. Please give me a call."

I was so excited I ran up and down the halls telling people about it -- in those days it was an old-fashioned answering machine with a cassette tape in it, and I was too stupid to take out the tape before I got back to my office. In the meantime, someone else had called with a perfectly trivial message, so I lost that wonderful recording for my scrapbook. But even without the keepsake, of course, the news was enough to keep me jazzed for quite a long time.

IA: How long did it take you to work on Resurrection Inc. from idea to final draft?

KJA: Because I had a full-time job, I had to squeeze in time for writing Resurrection, Inc. in the evenings after I spent all day writing and editing at work, and in my free time over the weekends. It still only took me a year to finish the manuscript of the 105,000-word novel. Before that, though, I'd had the idea for some time and had even written it into a short story that was published in a small press magazine, but the characters and the plot kept going and eventually filled up an entire novel.

IA: Having been your first novel, do you still look back at that work for inspiration or do you view it as a learning experience and just move on to the next project with out much thought?

KJA: Even though I'm very prolific -- which some people erroneously think means that I whip everything off and never pay attention to the quality -- I have not published anything that I haven't been proud of showing off when it was printed. Resurrection, Inc. has a fond place in my heart and it still remains the favorite novel of some of my fans. It was my "angry young man" book, and I think it's filled with energy and ideas and is still worth reading. I know it's available on fictionwise.com as an ebook, and has also been reprinted in a special anniversary edition by the Overlook Connection Press.

IA: While you were writing and publishing several other novels it seems fate was going to step in very shortly. In 1993, just five years after your first novel, Timothy Zahn published the first set of all new Star Wars stories approved by George Lucas and re-igniting the passion and enthusiasm in the whole Star Wars franchise. You followed Zahn's work in 1994 with the Jedi Academy Trilogy. How were you approached by Lucas to write a series of Star Wars novels?

KJA: It's funny that you say, "fate was going to step in." By that time I had collected several hundred rejection slips and I had never stopped submitting stories, articles, and novel manuscripts. I'd published six original novels and worked with two different editors and publishing houses, always delivering my books on time and being easy to work with. I was aware of Timothy Zahn's big Star Wars deal, but I hadn't actually read the first book he published when one day I came home from work on a Friday afternoon to find an answering machine message -- it seems as if answering machines play important parts in my writing career! -- from the editor I had worked with at Bantam, asking me to call her about something very important. Unfortunately, since I lived in California and this was the end of the day on Friday, I couldn't call the editor until Monday morning, so I stewed all weekend wondering what she wanted.

When I finally got in touch the next Monday, she asked, "Kevin, do you like Star Wars?" I said, "Of course I like Star Wars, everyone likes Star Wars. What did you want?" Then she asked if I'd like to write three sequels. I hesitated and pondered deeply for about a nanosecond and then agreed. It obviously proved to be a very important turning point in my career.

IA: With the success of Zahn's trilogy was their an added pressure while writing these novels to make sure they lived up to the standards he set?

KJA: When I started writing the Jedi Academy trilogy, Tim had published only the first book, so I had to read Book 2 in galleys and Book 3 in manuscript. However, considering the huge legacy that George Lucas had created with his films, I was far more concerned with living up to those expectations than to following the standards Tim Zahn had set. I talked to Tim on the phone so that we could plot and brainstorm our books concurrently so they fit together well. But from the very beginning I knew I was a different writer than Tim. We emphasized different parts of the Star Wars saga, so my Jedi Academy novels weren't just carbon copies of his books. Obviously we were both doing something right, since as time has shown, his books and my books remain the most popular among all of the many Star Wars novels that have been published.

IA: Everyone has heard various stories about how it is to work for Lucas and the strict limitations that were placed on how his creations were handled. What was your experience in working on all your various Star Wars projects like and did you ever find it constricting to have to work on someone else's ideas yet still be original and creative enough to craft a good story?

KJA: Star Wars is a big universe with lots of characters, planets, alien creatures . . . and possibilities. Anyone who finds it too constraining to tell a story inside that broad landscape doesn't have much of an imagination. Considering that I've worked for many established media franchises as well as novelizing several films, I'm familiar with the need to play by the rules. Lucasfilm was one of the best groups to work with, though. They were flexible and sensible, and as long as I kept my stories within the broad general parameters, they were very cooperative and supportive. Many times, in fact, they would call to ask me questions about another author's work to make sure all the details fit in. I had an extremely good working relationship with them -- which is probably obvious, otherwise I'd never have done fifty-four projects with Lucasfilm!

IA: In addition to writing for the Star Wars saga you also got to edit for them as well on a series of three anthology paperbacks. The "Tales" series were some of my favorite stories published at the time. What was it like to guide other authors that were undertaking a similar path to one you had just taken with great success and was there a favorite story or two that still sticks in your mind?

KJA: Trying to keep all these authors in a single framework telling a broad "round robin" story was like . . . I think the metaphor of trying to get a large group of blindfolded cats to march in a straight line is an appropriate comparison. However, all of the authors I invited into my three anthologies were people whom I respected and considered friends. I spent more time on the phone interacting with these authors to make sure all of the stories fit perfectly together than I did in writing my own novels. Editing these anthologies was a huge amount of work, yet in compensation the results were very effective, I think. I can proudly claim that my three Tales books are still the three best-selling science fiction anthologies of all time.

As for favorites, I obviously like them all or I wouldn't have accepted them. But one example is rather interesting; a new author that I had briefly met named M. Shayne Bell wrote me from out of the blue having heard of the Cantina anthology and asked if he could write a story. I was fairly full, but he sent me samples and I liked his work. However, I didn't really know him and I was reluctant. Finally I talked to Shayne and said he would only be allowed to write a story for the Cantina anthology if he could write the best one in the entire book. I think he did -- "The Moisture Farmer's Tale." That's why I put it at the end of the volume. If you check, you'll see that I invited Shayne to contribute to the other two anthologies as well as my War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches anthology. He remains one of my favorite authors.

IA: In between your you work for Lucas you also managed to put out other projects, most notably a series of three X-Files hard covers. How did writing novels based off a current hit television series differ from writing for a trilogy of classic movies that were close to twenty years old at the time?

KJA: Actually, in addition to Star Wars and X-Files books, I always made a habit of writing an original novel of my own every single year, so I have quite a backlog of standalone novels that aren't connected to any movie or TV series at all. My three X-Files hardcovers were extremely popular. They won awards and hit higher on the bestsellers lists than most of my other work, even Star Wars. I got offered the job (as I learned later) because Chris Carter from the X-Files had read some of my Star Wars books and enjoyed them. I received a phone call from my agent asking if I liked the show -- I did -- and if I wanted to write an original X-Files novel. I ended up doing three.

The major difference between writing for Star Wars and X-Files was that Star Wars, based on twenty-year-old movies, was fairly established. The movies were set and as long as I didn't contradict the other novels concurrently being written, I had an open playing field. The problem with the X-Files was that it was ongoing and developing, with new episodes being written and shot every single week, so as fast as I could write, the parameters were changing. I'm a fast writer, but even at my top speed I couldn't go more quickly than a weekly TV show. I found at some points that details I had carefully laid out over a month of writing were suddenly contradicted by a new episode of the show. Working for the X-Files made me learn to be faster and more flexible, to roll with the punches and figure out how to change things on a moment's notice.

IA: Star Wars and X-Files both gave you an opportunity to work in the comic book industry. What was it like to switch over from the free form prose of a novel to the more script like quality of a comic book? Did you find the structure of comics to be more constraining or limiting in any way?

KJA: I've always been a comic book reader, and I enjoyed the unexpected opportunity to learn how to work in the field. I started with Star Wars when my Jedi Academy books tied together with Tom Veitch's Tales of the Jedi history. Tom and I proposed a series together and he was my first mentor, teaching me how to write comics. It's a completely different field, although telling stories is still the same. In comics you have to be conscious of physical details, such as whether a panel falls on a right or left page, and constraining yourself to some rather rigid limitations -- i.e., 22 pages per month, making sure you don't have a two-page spread that falls on an odd and even page. In novels, of course, you have all the room in the world and can describe things and work on inner thoughts. In a comic, you are limited to specific images. Of course, the old adage goes "a picture is worth a thousand words," so you can do a lot in a single panel.

The problem was trying to make both categories do the same job. In one of my X-Files projects I converted my novel Ground Zero into four issues of a comic. That's where I realized such a fundamental difference. It's not easy to take a story that's written for prose and turn it into a specific number of pages, panels, and captions. I think it's best when a comic story is written specifically as a comic story, but virtually every time the artists I've worked with transcend the medium and produce something that literally blows me away.

IA: You recently made a return to comics after a short break with Grumpy Old Monsters (co-written by your wife Rebecca Moesta) for IDW and Veiled Alliances, a graphic novel by DC/Wildstorm that serves as a prologue to your Saga of the Seven Suns series of novels. Tell us a bit about both projects?

KJA: I did quite a few comics years ago -- Star Wars, X-Files, Predator -- but then the field shrank and I found myself extremely busy with other novel commitments. My wife Rebecca Moesta and I did a major and exciting fully painted Star Trek graphic novel, The Gorn Crisis, with art by Igor Kordey. That was my first large comic project in a couple of years, but I had never lost interest in the field. Igor, in fact, was my concept artist for the "Seven Suns" series. I hired him to design my ships, aliens, planets, and cities before I started writing Hidden Empire, the first novel published by Warner Books. There will now be at least six novels, so this is a large canvas that had to be mapped out.

When Igor turned in his sketches, though, it became obvious that this would be a wonderful property for comics. I suggested it to my editor at Wildstorm, with whom I had worked on the Star Trek graphic novel with Igor. He and his boss decided the Seven Suns graphic novel would be a good project -- we hoped we could get the readers of the science fiction epic novels to pick up the graphic novel and vice versa. In fact, the companies even exchanged ads, which is practically unheard of in the publishing business. Veiled Alliances, with art by Robert Teranishi, based on all of Igor's sketches, tells a separate story that's connected to the novels, so it can be read as a standalone volume. It's a prequel that introduces the major events, places, and characters. I hope that fans of the series will want to read both.

Grumpy Old Monsters is an idea that I've had for years, but couldn't get any comic company interested. Not too many publishers are looking for humorous projects that can be read and enjoyed by all ages, although those are the ones that have the most potential for breaking out internationally and to be converted into, say, an animated movie or TV show. Grumpy Old Monsters is the story of the retired old movie monsters -- the Mummy, Wolfman, Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, the Invisible Man -- in the "Rest in Peace" retirement home, relaxing in their twilight years. But when they learn that the evil Van Helsing Corporation intends to tear down Castle Frankenstein so that it can build a group of luxury condominiums, the retired monsters decide they need to break out of their nursing home and go save Castle Frankenstein.

Jeff Mariotte, my editor at Wildstorm, had always liked the project, but couldn't get the higher-ups to go for it. When Jeff changed jobs and began to work for IDW Comics, he called me up and asked if I still wanted to do the book. At the time, Rebecca was also interested in co-writing it with me and we very much wanted to pursue the project. Jeff found a fabulous Spanish artists, Paco Cavera, and his partner Guillermo Mendoza, who exactly captured the feel I was hoping for with this series. All four issues are now out, with a collective edition coming late this fall. I think it's the funniest thing I've ever written, and I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

IA: Word is you also have a Justice Society mini series set for a summer launch from DC Comics with art by Barry Kitson and that makes use of author pulp author Jack Williamson and the Amazing Stories magazine. How did the idea for this story come about?

KJA: I've always felt that the best place and time for the Golden Age superheroes was in the 1940s. It's a nostalgic time with echoes of Indiana Jones in the midst of World War II when all of the super-powered Justice Society members were unable to go fight the Nazi threat because Hitler held the fabled Spear of Destiny. My six-issue "Justice Society" miniseries, Lord Dynamo, brings the Golden Age JSA members -- including Hawkman, the Allen Scott Green Lantern, the Jay Garrick Flash, Wildcat, Doctor Fate, Starman, the Atom, the Spectre, Sandman, Star-Spangled Kid, and other favorites -- into an adventure that seems straight out of the pulp magazines. And using that as a launching point, my main character is the real grand master pulp science fiction writer Jack Williamson, who teams up with aspiring author (with unfortunately no talent whatsoever!) Johnny Thunder to write the stories of the JSA superheroes for Amazing Stories magazine.

The real Jack Williamson is now ninety-six years old. His first story was published in Amazing in 1927, and he's since won practically every award the field has to offer. He was very popular in those days, and I got his permission to use him as a character -- in fact, he's quite excited about it because he claims he always used to read the adventures of the superheroes in the old comic books. I also tracked down the man who owns Amazing Stories magazine and got his permission to use the name and logo of Amazing. This is an extremely poignant and interesting story, centered around a new pulp-era villain -- Lord Dynamo -- a cross between Captain Nemo and Lex Luthor who travels across the skies in a giant lightning rod-studded zeppelin and a host of henchmen reanimated from corpses found on the worst battlefields of World War II.

The day before I did this interview, I just received twenty pages of pencils from Barry Kitson. This is the best part of working in comics for me when I receive the first artwork from the penciler. This time, though, I took the pencils and ran to show Rebecca, exclaiming, "Now this is why I write comics!" Barry has captured the nostalgic feel and the grandeur of the timeframe, making the superheroes as powerful and impressive as they should be, the villain as nasty looking as he has to be, and the entire background as detailed as if the reader is really there.

IA: Are there any other comic book projects on your plate right now and would you prefer working with traditional superheroes over established film properties like Star Wars, Star Trek, X-Files and Predator?

KJA: I'm always interested, but I have to say that within the past six weeks I have sold three more volumes (seven hundred pages each!) in my Saga of Seven Suns novels to Warner Books (US) and Simon & Schuster (UK), and four more Dune books with Brian Herbert for Tor (US) and Hodder & Stoughton (UK), and Rebecca and I just sold a three book hardcover young adult fantasy series to Little Brown. So my plate is fairly full. I love doing comics, though, and I'm always keeping my eyes open for projects that interest me.

The problem with picking up an established superhero book is that I'd be saddled with years, possibly decades, of continuity, which makes it a daunting prospect. I am working on a project for Marvel right now, and I have some original proposals out to various companies. There's an original Manga-style graphic novel Simon & Schuster and i-books will be publishing, a humorous fantasy story with art by comic's legend Alex Niño that should be out by the end of this year. But the kid in me, though, would love to be the author of some of the comics that I used to read myself when I was much younger.

IA: Backtracking on something for just a moment, I mentioned you co-wrote one of your comic book projects with your wife Rebecca Moesta. This of course isn't your first collaboration with her on a project. What is it like to co-write a novel, let alone with your significant other? Has there ever been any nights spent sleeping on the couch because of arguments over plot twists or character development?

KJA: Rebecca has always been my business partner and my brainstorming partner, and even when her name isn't explicitly on the cover of a book, she's almost always done an important part of the editing, rewriting, or plotting. We wrote all fourteen volumes of the Young Jedi Knights series together, and a handful of other books, short stories, and comics. We have different writing styles and writing habits. I'm sort of a dynamo, wanting to write every second of every day because it's what I love best. Rebecca is less obsessive. She prefers to "have written," but she has extraordinarily good ideas and a lot of imagination. She always helps me to see when my characters are doing unbelievable things. I tend to be a morning person and she likes to stay up late. I tend to write with loud music playing and she needs the quiet, so we have offices on opposite ends of the house and several spare bedrooms. So just because one of us sleeps on the couch doesn't necessarily mean we've butted heads on a chapter. Not necessarily. But we've written about twenty-five books together and we've been married for 12-1/2 years, so I suppose we've managed to work out our methods.


IA: Continuing on the co-authors tangent you have also been working very closely with Brian Herbert. For those who don't know, Brian is the son of Frank Herbert who created the classic Dune saga and the two of you have landed a new deal that not only promises more stories set before the original book but a final chapter based on Franks own outline and notes. Was Dune one of the books that you read as a child and pushed you towards writing?

KJA: Yes, Dune was a great influence on me when I was a younger reader. I recall first reading it when I was about twelve years old, and it had a huge effect on me. I had been reading many classic science fiction books, but Dune was the first that carried plot and politics and world building to a whole new level. Frank Herbert became my favorite author and I read every single one of his books. When I was a freshman in college, God Emperor of Dune, newly released, was the first hardcover book I ever bought in my life. Frank Herbert's "wheels within wheels" plotting, his second- and third-order consequences of a single idea helped me focus the way I learned how to write. I always wanted to create books like Frank Herbert did, and now I actually have the chance to do that.

IA: What is it that is so compelling about Dune and the writing of Frank Herbert that drives you to continue the saga so many years after the original books were published.

KJA: Frank Herbert wrote six novels in his original "Dune Chronicles" and the last one published before his death, Chapterhouse: Dune, ends on a cliff-hanger. As a fan and a reader, I always wanted to know how the story ended, but because Dune is such a vast concept and a vast universe, it really doesn't have a beginning and an end. Every time Frank Herbert developed and explained one aspect of his galactic society, he raised new questions and opened new doors. Brian Herbert and I found many different avenues to explore other pieces of the puzzle to fit together and new stories to tell. Now finally, after doing such detailed research and publishing two trilogies of prequels, we are ready to tackle the next major challenge -- writing the grand climax of the saga that Frank Herbert left in his original notes sealed in a safe deposit box.

IA: How did the chance to write the Dune novels come about? Was it in a similar fashion to how you landed the Star Wars novels?

KJA: Back around 1997, more than ten years after the death of Frank Herbert, I had managed to build a fairly successful career of my own, not only working in Star Wars, X-Files, and other shared universes, but also gaining critical acclaim and awards nominations for my original work. One day while I was out on a long hike alone in Death Valley -- an appropriate Dune environment if ever there was one! -- my mind was wandering about doing more Dune stories, particularly finishing the tale left uncompleted at the end of Chapterhouse: Dune. I didn't know Brian Herbert at the time, but I was able to track down his address and send him a letter out of the blue, asking if he intended to write the end of the story, if his father had left any notes or if he had any plans. Brian called me up and we started chatting, and we immediately hit it off. My wife says within five minutes we started speaking another language entirely, completing each other's sentences, and picking up on obscure details from long out-of-print Frank Herbert titles.

We decided we might want to do more Dune stories, but Brian said we'd have to make them up on our own, because his father never wrote an outline and did not leave any notes. I visited with Brian in his home in Washington State and we brainstormed what would eventually become House Atreides, House Harkonnen, and House Corrino. Mere days after I had returned home, and after we'd already decided what we wanted to write, the Herbert Estate lawyer called Brian, saying he had found a key to a safe deposit box that he hadn't known was in Frank Herbert's files. They opened up the safe deposit box and found inside the full and complete outline for "Dune 7," the final installment in the epic saga.

Later, when Brian was cleaning out his garage, in the back he found a Xerox box filled with over three thousand pages of Frank Herbert's other notes, background material, and character sketches. We felt very gratified now that we had a roadmap, and it also seemed that Frank Herbert was giving a nod to us to do the projects. We sold the three House books, which became international bestsellers and multiple award winners, and afterward we turned to the story of the Butlerian Jihad, the great war between humans and thinking machines that establishes the framework of the Dune universe. The last volume in that trilogy, The Battle of Corrin, will come out this September, and it reveals many of the secrets of the history of Dune, including the cause of the great feud between House Atreides and House Harkonnen.

Brian and I have just sold several more Dune books, including The Road to Dune, a compendium of our own short stories in the Dune universe as well as many of Frank Herbert's unpublished chapters that were cut from early manuscripts of Dune and Dune Messiah in addition to other interesting notes and developments. It'll be equivalent to the SILMARILLION for Dune. Then we will write the two volume grand climax as was outlined in Frank Herbert's detailed notes for "Dune 7." It's such a huge story we had to break it up into two volumes. After that, we plan to write a trilogy called, "Paul of Dune," which fills the gap between House Corrino and Dune: in other words, the younger years of Paul Atreides and his friendships with Duncan Idaho and Gurney Halleck interwoven with the story of Paul's Jihad, which fits between Dune and Dune Messiah. We both find this universe endlessly fascinating and continue to challenge ourselves to do better and better with each novel.

IA: What did you think of the mini series produced by the Sci-Fi channel and how do you think it compares to the original version of the movie from 1984?

KJA: Many people love the David Lynch version of Dune. It's a classic and has a huge fan base. The art design, the sets, and some of the scenes are unforgettable. Lynch's movie created an indelible impression in the public's mind about what certain parts of Dune looked like. The Sci-Fi Channel miniseries had much more room to do justice to the full scope of Frank Herbert's novel. They were able to portray all of the scenes and flesh out many of the things that simply couldn't be included in Lynch's far shorter version. John Harrison, the scriptwriter and director of the "Dune" miniseries, is one of the biggest Dune fans I know and treated the material with the utmost respect. He also wrote the script for "Children of Dune." "Dune" and "Children of Dune" were two of the three highest-rated programs ever to be broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel, and they gained a huge new audience of readers for Frank Herbert's original novels as well as my prequels with Brian.

To me, anything that gets more people to read the original classic novels is a good vehicle. Some day, if we get to see a feature film remake of Dune created by the Sci-Fi Channel production company -- New Amsterdam Entertainment and scripted by John Harrison -- given the budget David Lynch had: now that would be an awesome film!

IA: Looking back at your body of work and the work you have lined up are you satisfied with everything you've done? Is there a project that you still haven't had the opportunity to touch because of the path your writing has taken you on?

KJA: Since I've done close to ninety novels and almost that many comics, looking back at my body of work practically requires a telescope. I feel that it will always backfire on you if you allow something to be published that you're not satisfied with. Many readers have a "one strike and you're out" attitude, and if they happen to pick up something sloppy from me, they'll never read anything else. Occasionally, because of extremely tight deadlines or unrealistic constraints imposed by licensors, I'm not able to do everything that I can, but I'm still proud to have my name on all the things that I've published. As for projects that I haven't had an opportunity to touch -- I keep getting offered so many amazing things it's hard for me to think of a novel or comic I'd like to write that I couldn't do. Mainly it's a problem of not having enough time. However, something I've always been interested in is writing big Shogun-style historical novels. My minor in college was Russian history, and I'd love to write a grand Russian epic. I have a western I've been researching off and on for many years, but because historical novels require so much background, it'll take me a while to get to those, and then I'd probably have to publish those under a pseudonym just because my name is too inextricable from science fiction. At the moment, though, I have more work than I can handle, so I'm not crying too much about the lack of opportunity.

IA: Has the chance to write a screenplay or television script ever come up with all the work you've done on other properties? Would you want too and would it be one of your own creation or someone else's?

KJA: I've toyed with the possibility of writing screenplays and working in either television or film, but that's really a whole different skill -- sort of like the difference between brain surgery and heart surgery -- and it would mean working with a whole group of people who don't necessarily know my writing background. My friend Steven Sears (Xena, The A-Team, Swamp Thing, Sheena: Queen of the Jungle) and I have been looking for a project together for some time. We've pitched shows and ideas to several networks and we're developing some projects, but in Hollywood nothing ever seems certain. It's a crazy business out there. But we'll keep trying and maybe someday the opportunity will arise. I think it would be entertaining, and I'd really like to see some of my work brought to the screen because that would introduce a whole new readership. However, as I said above, I'm not exactly strapped for opportunities at the moment.

IA: Parting thoughts… is there anything you would like to mention or touch upon that we haven't had the chance to discuss?

KJA: It should probably be apparent that I really love to write. No matter what I'm doing, at least some part of my brain is always nonstop spinning and thinking and creating, coming up with ideas. I love telling stories, I love writing them, and I love reading them. This is my dream job, and I hope to keep doing it for a long time to come.

Oh yeah, and please mention our websites, www.wordfire.com and www.dunenovels.com.

IA: Done. Thank you very much for your time as well as your insight.

--
Ian Ascher is a freelance Writer/Creator.
Any publishers that would like Ian Ascher to do an interview, please feel free to contact him or you can contact Ed Dukeshire on the contact page

--
Any statements made, expressed or implied on Digital Webbing are solely those of columnists or persons interviewed and do not represent the editorial position of the administration, who does not accept responsibility of such statements. All characters and artwork shown on Digital Webbing are trademark and © of their respective owners.

 

 
   
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