Friday, November 26, 2010

Mystery Scene is Tied In

TiedInCover2 The current issue of Mystery Scene magazine (with Dennis Lehane on the cover) includes a rave review of  TIED IN: The Business, History and Craft of Media Tie-In Writing and some photos of vintage tie-ins. Reviewer Jon Breen says, in part:

If this is the Golden Age of anything in the popular fiction field, it may be the tie-in novel [...]There have always been formidable writers doing tie-ins, but they have generally been dismissed, not unreasonably, as quickies tossed off for a fast buck. That image has been improved somewhat by the quality work of editor Goldberg, the late Stuart Kaminsky, Max Allan Collins, and some of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers members contributing to this volume. [...] With it's helpful how-to tips and articles, the book is primarily directed towards other writers, and established pros at that. But many fans and scholars will enjoy the inside-the-business stuff.

Breen goes on to single out chapters by David Spencer, John Cox, and Max for praise. I hope this will give a jolt to sales of the book, proceeds of which go to support the IAMTW. Lee

Tie-In Synergy

The Los Angeles Times has an interesting piece on the shrewd way that Hyperion has handled publication and cross-promotion of their CASTLE tie-in novels. They said, in part:
Publisher Hyperion, which had success with similar projects connected to sister company ABC's soaps "One Life to Live" and " All My Children," decided to bypass a traditional TV tie-in and instead go with a Richard Castle-authored book after seeing the greenlit pilot. Castle's name alone appears on the books, without any nod to a real-life scribe. "The main character's a writer! How perfect is that?" says Gretchen Young, an executive editor at Hyperion and its editorial director for ABC Synergy.
[...] The show plays with fiction and reality: On it, Castle has talked about his upcoming publication commitments with his agent (yes, Hyperion will be publishing two more) and played poker with real-life mystery writers James Patterson and Stephen J. Cannell, who died in late September.
In an upcoming episode, "Heat Wave" — a novel written by a fictional television character — has been optioned by Hollywood. "It gets very meta in the show," Marlowe admits, laughing.
And in person. As part of Hyperion's release last year of "Heat Wave," Fillion appeared as Castle at two Southern California bookstores.
It's not a new idea. The MURDER SHE WROTE books are written by Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain, and she was a mystery novelist, too. But the producers didn't integrate the tie-ins into the TV series as cleverly as the CASTLE folks have (or at all, if memory serves). But now that HEAT WAVE has become a bestseller, you can expect more TV tie-ins to follow their example...

Monday, September 6, 2010

tie-in writers guest blogging!

During the Labor Day weekend, as Dragon*Con was taking over Atlanta and WorldCon was taking over Melbourne, I decided to run a series of guest blogs by fellow tie-in writers, give them all a chance to talk about what they do to a (hopefully) different audience.

Here's what we got:

Check it out!

Monday, August 30, 2010

TIED IN: "The Most Fascinating, Entertaining, and Honest Book About The Writing Life..."

From author/editor/publisher Ed Gorman's blog:

I say this without a whit of exaggeration TIED-IN edited by Lee Goldberg and written by Lee and other members of the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers is the most fascinating, entertaining and honest book about the writing life I've ever read.

With writers such as Max Allan Collins, Tod Goldberg, Nancy Holder, Donald Bain, Greg Cox, William Rabkin and many others dealing with their experiences of converting movies, tv shows, movies and games into novels, we see the pleasures and frustrations of this particular craft. And in the process we see what life is really like for professional writers. Max Collins' piece on converting his own Road To Perdition to conform to the movie script for the tie-in; his dealings with the Dick Tracy movie were even stranger. Nancy Holder's take on visiting the set of the tv show she was novelizing shows just how brutal fourteen hour days are for everybody involved in creating the episodes. A number of writers use a page or so of script to show how it looks as prose after they've done their work--extremely helpful. 

Greg Cox tells some fascinating stories about writing sequels then prequels and keeping storylines straight; and Lee does an excellent job setting the book up with his piece called Tied In: The Business, History and Craft of Media Tie-In Writing.

TIED-IN is rich with humor, lore, wisdom about the writing life and Lee Goldberg is to be commended for editing it with such verve and style.

And his brother Tod is to be commended for writing the best line in the book. Lamenting that his literary novels have not sold a great number of copies, he writes "I'd need the Jaws of Life to pull me on to the bestseller list."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

James Cameron disses novelizations -- in other news, sun rises in east

James Cameron provided the following gem while discussing his forthcoming Avatar novel with MTV:
I didn't want to do a cheesy novelization, where some hack comes in and kind of makes s--t up. I wanted to do something that was a legitimate novel that was inside the characters' heads and didn't have the wrong culture stuff, the wrong language stuff, all that.

Yeah, heaven forfend a writer make shit up. That might be, I dunno, fiction or something!

More seriously, novelizers have to make shit up because a movie only has a long short story's worth of actual plot in it. If you're gonna get a novel-length story in there, you have to add stuff.

Whether or not that shit is true to the film generally depends on the level of cooperation the film studio provides the publisher of the novelization. As a for-instance, the producers of Darkness Falls were hugely helpful, providing me with a ton of backstory that didn't make it into the final cut of the movie. As another, the producers of Resident Evil: Extinction encouraged me to add a ton of material -- lots and lots of "making shit up" -- to bridge the gap between Apocalypse and Extinction, and also to fill in what was happening with the Jill Valentine character. As a third, Serenity had fourteen hours of televised episodes of Firefly as additional background.

And sometimes producers don't cooperate at all and the novelizers don't have a choice to make shit up. That's not hack work, that's writing and creating. But, y'know, it's just prose, so it doesn't count. It's not real writing, not like a script is.... *rolleyes*

As ever, I am amused by the fact that a writer who adds plot and characterization to an existing story in order to make a movie into a novel is dismissed by people like Cameron as hacks, while screenwriters who (ahem) hack away at a novel's story and remove huge chunks of it in order to whittle it down to a movie's length get their own Academy Award category.

This is why we formed the IAMTW, to combat this obscene prejudice against our craft. Ignorant comments like Cameron's are a good reminder of how far we have to go.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tudors Novelization Wins Praise

Elizabeth Massie, the Scribes, TIED IN and the IAMTW all get some attention in this article in the Waynesboro News-Leader. They say, in part:

As a writer of original works, Massie's "Tudors" projects presented her with some unique challenges.
Massie, 56, was sent scripts for each episode and then wrote the season into one book at the same time it was being filmed in Ireland.
The books had to be loyal to the show, but the scripts, as they tend to be, were scant in details and description.
So Massie had to conduct historical research to bring the story alive on the page.
"The script would say something like, 'King Henry enters the room. He sits on a chair. He starts to talk,'" she said. "I had to fill in details of the way things looked, what they ate, how long did it take to get from London to Hever Castle (by horse and carriage). Things like that."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

TIED IN - The Paperback

For those of you without a Kindle, the trade paperback edition of TIED IN is now available here. It will soon be available on Amazon as well.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

TIED IN Ties Up Rave Reviews

Our first reviews for TIED IN have started coming in...the first is from the Television Obscurities blog... and it's a rave.  They said, in part:
TIED IN doesn’t focus solely on television tie-ins. It also covers movie novelizations, comic book tie-ins and computer game tie ins. But that actually makes it even more valuable and more interesting.

[...]my favorite essays were those that did focus on television tie-ins, especially David Spencer’s wonderful “American TV Tie-Ins from the 50s through the early 70s,” which delves into the history of television tie-in novels and examines several of the writers from those decades, including William Johnston, Keith Laumer and Michael Avallone.

TIED IN is a fascinating exploration of the media tie-in business.
Novelist James Reasoner has given TIED IN a rave. He says, in part:
For someone like me, who’s very interested in the history of popular fiction, the highlight of TIED IN is David Spencer’s “American TV Tie-ins from the 50s Through the Early 70s”, which is almost a book in itself. It’s a fascinating historical discussion of how the TV tie-in novel originated and evolved over the years and touches on many of the books I was buying and reading when they were new. This article really brought back a lot of good memories for me. Along similar lines, also of great interest to me were fine articles by Paul Kupperberg about comic book and comic strip tie-in novels (I read a bunch of those, too) and Robert Greenberger about the connection between pulp magazines and tie-ins.

is available as an e-book right now, with a print edition coming out soon. Either way, I don’t think you can go wrong. It’s informative, entertaining, and a must-have if you have any interest in tie-in fiction. Highly recommended.
And Bill Crider also gives the book kudos. He says, in part:
I started reading, and I was fascinated. I kept right on reading, long past the time I'd intended to stop. This is really interesting and entertaining stuff.
I started with Tod Goldberg's essay on writing the Burn Notice books, moved on Jeff Mariotte's "Jack of All Trades," got really caught up in Max Allan Collins's "This Time It's Personal," kept right on going through the great round-table discussion, and read three or four more of the essays, including one that harks back to my era, David Spencer's "American TV Tie-Ins from the '50s to the Early '70s." All I can say about that one is that I'm glad I have my copies of John Tiger's I Spy novels because I'm sure a lot of people are going to be looking for them now.

I still have a few more essays to read, and I'm really looking forward to them. I was genuinely surprised at how much fun I had reading this book, and I'm sure most of you would like it, too. It's currently available in electronic format only, but a paperback is on the way. Check it out

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Scribe Award Winners Announced

Scribe Awards/Media Tie-in Writers Panel

The International Association of Media-Tie-in Writers presented the fourth annual "Scribe" awards, honoring such notable franchises as CSI, Criminal Minds, The X-Files, Star Trek, Stargate, Star Wars, and Dr. Who. Nominees on hand include Alina Adams (As the World Turns), Max Allan Collins (G.I. Joe), Keith R. A. DeCandido (Star Trek), Stacia Deutsch (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), Jeff Mariotte (CSI), Nathan Long (Warhammer), and Dayton Ward (Star Trek). The event was hosted by moderator Collins and awards presenter Lee Goldberg (Monk).
Following are the nominated works. Winners are highlighted in bold.
As The World Turns: The Man From Oakdale by "Henry Coleman" & Alina Adams
CSI: Brass In Pocket by Jeff Mariotte
Psych: A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Read by William Rabkin


Star Trek Vanguard: Open Secrets by Dayton Ward
Star Trek: A Singular Destiny by Keith R.A. Decandido
Warhammer: Shamanslayer—A Gotrek and Felix Novel by Nathan Long
Terminator Salvation: Cold War by Greg Cox (Tie)Enemies & Allies by Kevin J. Anderson (Tie)


Countdown by Greg Cox
GI Joe: Rise Of The Cobra by Max Allan Collins
The Tudors: Thy Will Be Done by Elizabeth Massie


Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs by Stacia Deutsch And Rhody Cohon
Bandslam: The Novel by Aaron Rosenberg 
Thunderbirds: Deadly Danger by Joan Marie Verba


(pictured: Keith R.A. DeCandido, William Rabkin, Alina Adams, "Elizabeth Massie," Max Allan Collins, Dayton Ward, Stacia Deutsch)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

TIED IN - The Book

The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers is pleased to announce the publication of TIED IN: The Business, History and Craft of Media Tie-In Writing, edited by Lee Goldberg.

Tie-in novels are books based on pre-existing media properties -- like TV shows, movies and games -- and they regularly top the national bestseller lists. But as popular as tie-ins books and novelizations are among readers, few people know how the books are written or the rich history behind the hugely successful and enduring genre.

This 75,000 word book is a ground-breaking collection of lively, informative, and provocative essays and interviews by some of the best-selling, and most acclaimed, writers in the tie-in business, offering an inside glimpse into what they do and how they do it.

Contributors include Alina Adams, Jeff Ayers, Donald Bain, Burl Barer, Raymond Benson, Max Allan Collins, Greg Cox, William C. Dietz, Tod Goldberg, Robert Greenberger, Nancy Holder, Paul Kupperberg, Jeff Mariotte, Elizabeth Massie, William Rabkin, Aaron Rosenberg, David Spencer, and Brandie Tarvin.

Our hope is that our organization, through efforts like this book, can enlighten readers about who we are and what we do, as well as explore the diversity of our work and the rich history behind it.  

TIED IN is currently available in an e-edition on Amazon and Smashwords (and soon on the iBookstore and Barnes & Noble). A trade paperback edition will be published later next month.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Watch the Skies

Coming soon... TIED IN: THE BUSINESS, HISTORY, AND CRAFT OF MEDIA TIE-IN WRITING... essays and interviews by Max Allan Collins, Nancy Holder, Raymond Benson, Elizabeth Massie, Donald Bain, Alina Adams, Tod Goldberg, and Greg Cox, to name a few.

Reader Mail

This email came to Lee Goldberg's agent, who forwarded it to him:
"Could you tell me the name of the Dalmatian and her owner shown on the cover of the Lee Goldberg book Mr. Monk is Cleaned Out?"

The Giveaway: Behind The Music

(From Tod Goldberg's blog)

My third Burn Notice book, The Giveaway, comes out today, so in honor of that, here are a few behind-the-scenes details:

1. Most of the characters in the book are named for real human beings. The client, Bruce Grossman, is one of the fine critics at, and as a thank you for him sending me a really great bootleg of a Replacements concert, he is now forever immortalized as an old bank robber with mommy issues. Likewise, one of Sam's buddies is a man named Rod Lott, which happens to be the name of the editor of Rod's a great lover and champion of crime fiction, so I thought making him a strange friend of Sam's was only the right thing to do. Brenna Fender, yet another friend of Sam's, won a contest on the Burn Notice message board on the USA network site and now, well, now she's a bad ass.

2. This is the first book in the series that has the client's POV, for a little while at least. And thus far it's the only one, but who knows since I'm only 20 pages into the 5th book now. I've been tinkering more and more lately with how to do the other parts of the book that aren't in Michael's pov, so that the books have a bit more depth. So in this one you get Michael's pov, Fiona's, Sam's and the client's. Oh, and the car talks, too.

3. I finished this book in the summer of 2009, so if you're curious where my Burn Notice mindset was, I'd read the scripts up through the end of the second season and the first couple of episodes of season 3. As usual, however, I haven't attempted to integrate the burn notice management angle all that much, simply because by the time the book comes out -- i.e. today -- that part of the story has changed dramatically. I try to drop in small bits when I can so that readers who've seen all the episodes and read all the books will get some sense of continuity, but hopefully you can pick this book up if you've only seen last week's episode (whenever last week might be) and not be lost or confused.

4. A tiny plot point from this book became the genesis of my 4th Burn Notice book, called The Reformed, which is due out in January. Which was a good thing, because I had no fucking idea what I was going to write about next.

5. The plot for this book came to me one night while watching a documentary about the origin of biker gangs. I already knew that I wanted to write about a bank robber who robbed safe deposit boxes, but didn't know quite where that would lead me other than that I wanted him to rob a biker gang. Matt Nix suggested that he hit their stash house and it all came together.

My Semi-Annual "Swearing Is Bad But Killing People Is Fine!" Email Exchange With A Burn Notice Fan

(From Tod Goldberg's blog)
As the title of this post suggests, I tend to get at least one email every time a new Burn Notice book comes out regarding the use of swear words in my Burn Notice books. Now, mind you, it's not as if I have Michael Westen calling everyone he meets a dirty cunt or a dripping cum slut or anything like that. In my current book, the word fuck is used five times, all in dialog. The word shit is used 10 times, also all in dialog. Keep that in mind as you read the following exchange:

I very much wanted to enjoy your latest book, The Giveaway, but all of the swear words were really objectionable to me. Why did you feel like you needed to use the f-word and the s-word? They never say those words on the show and it doesn't add anything to the realism for you to have them saying it in your books, plus it turns a lot of people off. I won't be reading your Burn Notice books if you continue to have swear words in them.

Normally, I try not to respond to emails like this unless it is late at night and I've had a bad time writing, because if I do it in the daylight hours, it feels like a waste of my nominal creative talents. But, well, I had to ask this person a very important question:

I understand that you might find swearing offensive, but you do realize that, say, a member of a biker gang might have somewhat salty language? (Never mind a former spy, a former Navy SEAL and a gun runner.) But I have to know: Did you find it offensive that Fiona essentially paralyzed a guy in the book by beating him with a bat? Did you find it offensive when all those bikers were murdered? How about when one of the characters was found dead in his bathtub covered in acid? I guess what I'm asking is: You find the word fuck more offensive than wholesale violence and murder? So will you continue to read my books if I keep up the same level of death and destruction provided no one says the word shit? Is a word somehow worse than a dead human being? How about the fact that Michael and Fiona have pre-marital sex? What's the worse sin here?

The reply came this morning:

The death and murder are for entertainment purposes only. It's not real. So it's not the same thing. Everything that happens on the show is fake so it's not the same effect as reading those words. That's why it's worse to have swearing. Reading those words and hearing them in my own head is not pleasurable for me.

To which I replied:

You're aware the books are fake, too, right? And only for entertainment purposes, too. So basically what you're telling me is that if you hear swearing on television or in a movie, and presumably if you witness murders, it's okay because it's not in your voice in your head? That's fucking crazy.

...and I've surprisingly not received a response yet.

A Novel Promotion for Tie-Ins

Penguin-Putnam, has found an unusual way of promoting their tie-ins...

Congrats to Penguin TV Tie-In Emmy Nominations!

We wanted to congratulate all the nominees for the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards!

Here are the list of nominees from Penguin TV tie-ins:


The Pacific
Outstanding Art Direction For A Miniseries Or Movie
Outstanding Casting For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special
Outstanding Cinematography For A Miniseries Or Movie (Part 5 and 9)
Outstanding Costumes For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special (Part 3)
Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special (Part 8 and 9)
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Miniseries Or A Movie (Part 5, 9, 8)
Outstanding Main Title Design
Outstanding Makeup For A Miniseries Or A Movie (Non-Prosthetic)
Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup For A Series, Miniseries, Movie Or A Special
Outstanding Music Composition For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special (Original Dramatic Score)
Outstanding Miniseries
Outstanding Sound Editing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special (Part 5)
Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Miniseries Or A Movie (Part 2, 5, 8, and 9)
Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special (Part 1 and 5)
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special (Part 8 and 10)

True Blood
Outstanding Art Direction For A Single-Camera Series
Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series
Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup For A Series, Miniseries, Movie Or A Special
Outstanding Drama Series
Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series

Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series

Burn Notice
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score)

Return to Cranford
Outstanding Art Direction For A Miniseries Or Movie

Kudos to Penguin for a) taking pride in their tie-ins and b) trying to get some extra attention for them.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Some of the Greats

One of the real delights of writing tie-in fiction is being able to add one's own little touches to the overall quilt of stories that exist about beloved fictional characters. During my career, I've been invited to write about a wide spectrum of the characters I grew up loving, including Spider-Man, Superman (and other DC Comics characters--Jonah Hex fans, take note, if you like the Jonah Hex movie, Jonah has only ever appeared in one novel, my DC Universe: Trail of Time), Conan, and more.

Recently I've received copies of two anthologies that contain stories I wrote about a pair of the characters who have been in my favorites list even longer than those mentioned above. Those books, both published by Moonstone Books, are The Phantom Chronicles, Volume 2, and Tales of Zorro.

The Phantom is, of course, also known as The Ghost Who Walks. He was created by Lee Falk (who also created Mandrake the Magician) in 1936 as a comic strip character, and he has appeared in numerous novels, comics, movies, and TV shows. The Phantom comic strip still runs today, albeit with a different creative team. He was the first character to wear the skintight suit and pupil-less mask so common in superhero comics. When I was a boy, I clipped the strips from the newspaper and pasted them into scrapbooks so I could read his adventures as one long story instead of in daily increments.

The Phantom Chronicles, Volume 2, was just released by Moonstone Books in trade paperback and hardcover editions. Other contributors in the book include Harlan Ellison, Ed Gorman, Robin Wayne Bailey, and many more. My story, a traditional hardboiled tale set in postwar San Francisco featuring PI Phil Cleveland, is called "The Leopard's Eye."

Zorro is Johnston McCulley's great champion of human rights in early California. The masked, cloaked figure of justice is one of literature's truly brilliant creations, one of the inspirations from which Bob Kane created Batman, and being asked to write a story about him (and, in the process, getting to meet Guy Williams, Jr., son of the Disney TV Zorro [the only real filmed Zorro, in my opinion] and to handle one of his father's screen swords]) is a double honor I'll never forget.

The book came out last year in trade paperback, and it includes stories by luminaries such as Elizabeth Massie, Max Allan Collins, Loren D. Estleman, Peter David, Nancy Holder, Greg Cox, and more, along with an introduction by Williams and a foreword by Isabel Allende.

Although Tales of Zorro came out last year, I just got my hands on the limited edition,and it's a beautiful piece of work. In addition to being signed by all the above, except Allende (but including interior artist Ruben Procopio [who, incidentally, is a fine sculptor--I have his Mighty Mouse maquette standing in a place of honor here at the ranch], trade paperback cover artist Douglas Klauba, editor Richard Dean Starr and publisher Joe Gentile), it's numbered and held in a gold-stamped slipcase. It's the first anthology of Zorro short fiction ever published, and contains many fine stories. There's also a super-limited lettered edition, that comes with a lithograph signed by the contributors and an original sketch by Ruben Procopio, making each copy truly a one-of-a-kind item. Either one would be an asset to any book collector's library. My story, which leads off the collection, is "Mission Gold."

Moonstone Books manages to scoop up some of the most outstanding characters anywhere, including Buckaroo Banzai, Kolchak, the Green Hornet, Doc Savage, Honey West, Johnny Dollar, and many more.

Getting to write about characters like The Phantom and Zorro is a true pleasure, and one of the best arguments I can think of for being a tie-in writer in the first place. Thanks to Moonstone for making it possible, and to the late Falk and McCulley for creating these characters in the first place!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jessica Fletcher Storms Nashville

IAMTW members Donald & Renee Bain took Nashville by storm with their new MURDER SHE WROTE book "Nashville Noir." Here they on a local Nashville newscast:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

2010 Scribe Award Finalists Announced

The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers is pleased to announce the finalists for the fourth annual Scribe Awards, which honors excellence in the field of media tie-in writing for books published in 2009.  The winners will be announced at a ceremony to be held at Comic-Con International July 22-25 in San Diego.


AS THE WORLD TURNS: THE MAN FROM OAKDALE by "Henry Coleman" & Alina Adams
CSI: BRASS IN POCKET by Jeff Mariotte







ENEMIES & ALLIES by Kevin J. Anderson



GI JOE: RISE OF THE COBRA by Max Allan Collins

THE TUDORS: THY WILL BE DONE by Elizabeth Massie


CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS by Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon

BANDSLAM: THE NOVEL by Aaron Rosenberg



Unreality SF Story of the Year winner!

Congratulations to Una McCormack, whose Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel The Never-Ending Sacrifice, won Unreality SF's Story of the Year competition!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Unreality SF Story of the Year finalists announced

Unreality SF has revealed the finalists for their Story of the Year poll. The award is for TV tie-ins of any kind, and the list includes novels, audios, comic books, and nonfiction.

Here's the full list of nominees:

    Being Human: The Road by Simon Guerrier (novel)
    Farscape: D'Argo's Lament by Keith R.A. DeCandido & Neal Edwards (comic book)
    Doctor Who: The Angel of Scutari by Paul Sutton (audio)
    Doctor Who: The Final Chapter by Russell T. Davies & Benjamin Cook (nonfiction book)
    Doctor Who: Prisoner of the Daleks by Trevor Baxendale (novel)
    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Never-Ending Sacrifice by Una McCormack (novel)
    Star Trek: The Next Generation: Losing the Peace by William Leisner (novel)
    Star Trek: Vanguard: Precipice by David Mack (novel)
    Supernatural: Heart of the Dragon by Keith R.A. DeCandido (novel)
    Torchwood: In the Shadows by Joseph Lidster (audio)

Voting is open until the end of this week: Sunday 14 March. So go vote!

Monday, January 4, 2010


The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers is bestowing The Faust, its Grand Master Award for excellence, to author William Johnston, the writer of over a hundred tie-in novels and the most prolific practitioner of the craft, it was announced today by organization co-founders Max Allan Collins and Lee Goldberg.

William Johnston 2008 Johnston was born in Lincoln, Illinois, in 1924. He joined the Navy in 1942 and served in the Pacific. He worked as a disc jockey, advertising executive, magazine editor, and PR man before his writing career took off in 1960 with The Marriage Cage, a comic mystery that earned him a Best First Novel Edgar Award nomination from the Mystery Writers of America. He followed that book with a slew of pulp titles for Monarch Books, ranging from light comedy (The Power of Positive Loving) to medical romance (the Doctor Starrtrilogy) to soft-core erotica (Save Her for Loving, Teen Age Tramp, Girls on the Wing).

Johnston’s medical novels dovetailed with his first tie-in assignments -- original novels based on the TV series The Nurses, Doctor Kildare and Ben Casey. Those books, published between 1962 and 1964, were so successful that his next original medical romance, Two Loves Has Nurse Powell, was presented as “From the author of Ben Casey.”

In 1965, Johnston wrote an original novel based on the TV comedy Get Smart. The book was a huge success, leading to nine more novels over the show’s five-season history and making him to “go-to” guy for sitcom-based tie-ins. He wrote books based on Captain Nice, Room 222, Happy Days, Welcome Back Kotter, The Flying Nun, The Brady Bunch, Nanny and the Professor, The Munsters, Gilligan’s Island, Bewitched, The Monkees and F-Troop, among others.

But his TV tie-in work extended far beyond sitcom adaptations. He wrote books based on Ironside, Dick Tracy, The Young Rebels, The Iron Horse,Then Came Bronson, and Rod Serling’s The New People, to name a few. He even adapted the cartoon characters Magilla Gorilla and Snagglepuss into books for children.

Johnston also penned many novelizations, including the pilots for the 1930s-era private eye series Banyon and the high school drama Sons and Daughters. His feature film novelizations include Klute, The Swinger, Echoes of a Summer, The New Interns, The Priest’s Wife, Lt. Robin Crusoe USN and his final tie-in project, Gore Vidal’s Caligula (under the pseudonym “William Howard”). 2055-1

After retiring from fiction writing, he opened his own bar, which he operated for many years. He currently resides in San Jose, California.

The International Association of Media Tie-in Writers ( is dedicated to enhancing the professional and public image of tie-in writers, educating people about the craft and business of tie-in writing, and to providing a forum for tie-in writers to share information, support one another, and discuss issues relating to their field.

The Faust, the IAMTW’s Grandmaster Award, is named in honor of Frederick Faust (also known as Max Brand) and is given annually. The award recognizes a writer for their extensive and exceptional work in the tie-in field. Past honorees have been Donald Bain, Alan Dean Foster, and Keith R.A. DeCandido.