Sunday, November 23, 2008

The "Ghost" Writer

The Ann Arbor News recently published a feature on IAMTW Member Steve Piziks and his new "Ghost Whisperer" novel THE PLAGUE ROOM. The author discovered that there were some advantages to this tie-in assignment compared to the others he has done...
Piziks is no stranger to writing novels based on TV series, such as "Star Trek" Voyager" and "Battlestar Galactica" (the current series). He's also written movie novelizations of 2003's "Identity" and 2004's "The Exorcist: The Beginning."

One of the challenges he ran into when writing this book was learning that "Ghost Whisperer" doesn't have the fan following those other shows have. If Piziks needed to fact-check something quickly, he didn't find any fan sites on the Internet with detailed plot summaries of each episode, as he did with "Voyager" and "Galactica." Instead, he had the DVDs of the series, particularly the first season which is when his novels occur, to fall back on. However, since "Ghost Whisperer" is set in the present, it made writing it easier.

"I didn't have to explain any science. I didn't have to figure out why some bit of futuristic technology couldn't solve the conflict. And the cast of 'Ghost Whisperer' is much, much smaller.

Melinda, her husband, Jim (played by David Conrad in the TV series), and Andrea (Aisha Tyler) were the only characters I had to get 'right,'" said Piziks. "There was less continuity to worry about, since I was working with the first season. All the other characters I created myself, which meant they could do whatever I wanted them to do."

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