Monday, August 24, 2009

The Winner is Me

(Cross-posted from James Swallow's blog)

My Scribe Award (mentioned downblog) arrived in the post, and it is shiny, in all senses of the word. The pointy ends mean it could double as an improvised weapon, should the need arise. As promised, here is a picture of the gong itself, in pride of place.

That, and a day at pub spent with my mates nerding out has brought a busy-but-fruitful week to a relaxing close. I also got a late birthday gift from m'colleague Peter J. Evans, this extremely detailed foot-tall diorama of Indiana Jones fleeing a giant stone ball. Along with a box of next month's Black Library book releases and an advance copy of IL-2 Sturmovik for the XBox 360... It's been a good week for swag, too.

Earlier, I joined fellow scribes Scott Andrews and James Moran to discuss an upcoming project which I hope to be talking about in the next few weeks, and then later it was off to Brighton to visit Black Rock Studios to discuss some gaming related things (which I'm also NDAed into non-discussion thereof). While I was there I got the opportunity to chat briefly to Randy Nelson, one of Pixar's top guys, who was visiting on a workshop tour. It was interesting to hear Randy talk about how Pixar put together story for their movies; like I always say, it never hurts to listen to someone who makes more money doing your job than you do...

Monday, August 10, 2009

End of One Era, Start of Another

Bestselling author Karen Traviss talks on her blog about her difficult decision to make IMPERIAL COMMANDO #2 her last STAR WARS novel...and about the unique challenges tie-in writers face. Here's an excerpt:
Tie-in work is, by its very nature, subject to a lot more unexpected change than other writing - it's someone else's copyright, and the writer has to live with that. It goes with the territory. That's why professional tie-in writers don't get emotionally attached to what they're working on. It's not that I take the task casually; but it's not my property, and the stewardship of it is always temporary. A pro has to be able to shrug, move on, and say: "Okay, nobody died, and the cheque didn't bounce - result! Next?"

But as a writer, I have a moral deal with you, the reader - if I hook you with a story, my part of the deal is to follow through and give you a satisfying outcome. If changes beyond my control mean I can't give you that, then I won't do a half a job. You deserve better than that.