5 Questions with Dayton Ward

I first became aware of Dayton Ward’s writing in his two book series THE LAST WORLD WAR. He has written novels based on the television series 24, THE 4400 as well as a novel in the MARS ATTACKS universe. He is best known for his contributions to the STAR TREK universe (I could list all of those books, but I would be here for a long long time. Trust me, there are a lot.) His latest work was as a contributing editor for MAXIMUM VELOCITY: THE BEST OF FULL THROTTLE SPACE TALES.

His books can be found at booksellers everywhere.

Mr. Ward was kind enough to answer Ninetoes’ 5 Questions. Here are his responses.

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It has been said that to be a good writer, you have to be a good reader. With that in mind, please answer the following questions.

What book got you interested in reading?

I have to pick just one? I honestly can’t remember “the” book, but books were a big part of my childhood. My parents were both big readers, and my uncle had this massive library filled with books of every sort. I remember reading through an illustrated edition of Walter Lord’s A Night to Remember when I was in 3rd or 4th grade, and just being riveted by the story and the photos and illustrations. I still have a copy of that book.

Do you have a favorite genre to read?

When I was a kid, I loved science fiction so I read Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov and so on. My tastes expanded to include history and military history or the space program as well as various fiction genres like mysteries and thrillers, “men’s adventure” pulp titles, and whatever else looked interesting.

Is there a book you have read more than one time?

Again, just one? Along with A Night to Remember, I’ve revisited on countless occasions books like I Am Legend, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, A Man on the Moon, Catch-22, and at least a dozen others.

What got you interested in writing?

It was something I started doing as a creative outlet. I wasn’t that serious about it at first, but instead just writing goofy stories to share with friends. I entered the first Star Trek: Strange New Worlds writing contest in 1997, with absolutely no thought or illusions that it might lead to where I am now. There are days I still don’t believe it all happened that way.

Was there a book of yours that was difficult to write? Which one was it and what made it so difficult?

They’re all “difficult” for one reason or another, even if we’re just talking about finding the time to write in and around a busy schedule. For many years, I was working full-time at an office job, so my writing was late into the evenings or on weekends. There were times I was seriously burning the candle at both ends, and it only got harder once my kids came along.

The most difficult book to write was Purgatory’s Key for the Star Trek: Legacies trilogy. I co-wrote that book with my frequent writing partner, Kevin Dilmore, in late 2015/early 2016. My mother’s health was failing during that period, and my wife was enduring some medical issues of her own, so I was facing all of that while trying to maintain a schedule and meet a pending deadline. I also had a short story to write around the same time, and all of that went off the rails when my mother died. So, for reasons which have nothing at all to do with the book itself, that’s the one which proved the most difficult to write.

Then there’s the book I’m writing as a tie-in to the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery series, which is a whole other type of “difficult.” Maybe I’ll be able to discuss that, some day. 🙂

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