I noticed on your blog, Daytonward.wordpress.com, that you write mainly “tie-in” novels. Personally I think it is great. It gives the fan of a franchise an expanded look at that particular universe. To me, a good tie in novel is worth its weight in gold. I have often wondered about the process of writing a tie in novel, so if you do not mind, I would like to pick your brain a bit.
-How long have you been writing tie in novels?
My first tie-in novel was published in January 2002. I got the contract to write it sometime in mid 2000 or so.
-How did you get into writing tie in novels?
The first novel came about after I’d had stories selected for publication in each of the first three Star Trek: Strange New Worlds anthologies. The collections were the result of contests held each year, soliciting Star Trek stories from new/unpublished writers. After winning a berth in the third anthology, I’d rendered myself ineligible to enter future contests, and the editor at the time (John Ordover) offered me a novel contract, which leads to the next question….
-What was your first tie in novel written?
It was a Star Trek novel, In the Name of Honor.
-What novel have you had the most fun writing so far?
That’s like asking a parent to choose between their children! Okay, not really. I guess it’s a two-part answer. On my own, my favorite one to write might be another Star Trek novel I did, From History’s Shadow. Working with others, I’d have to say the time spent writing the different stories for the Star Trek Vanguard series.
-When writing a tie in novel, are you sent an idea to work with from the publisher, do you go on your own idea or is it a mix of both?
Most of the time it’s an idea I (or we, if I’m working with my writing partner, Kevin Dilmore) pitch to the editor. There have been times when I/we have worked with an editor and/or other authors to develop an idea that spans multiple books, or is part of an ongoing series/etc. and we collaborate to flesh out the big story as well as each book’s individual pieces.
-Have you considered doing a tie in novel based on a video game? If so, is there any particular game you would take on?
I’ve considered it, but so far nothing of that sort has come my way. I suppose if I had the opportunity to choose, I’d go for something like HALO, because that looks like a heck of a lot of fun.
-Have you ever considered writing a Star Wars novel? If so, is there a particular character or timeline you would tackle?
I’ve thought about it, but getting through that door is a pretty tough proposition. I’ve always wanted to do something with Han and Chewbacca, set before the events of the original Star Wars film, like Brian Daley’s trilogy of novels from the 1980s or the books Ann Crispin wrote in the 90s. The recent Solo film kind of puts a bit of a damper on that, but one never knows!
-What can your fans look forward to in the near future? Will there be any non-Star Trek novels? (Apologies for the blasphemy…)
My next book is Available Light, a Star Trek: The Next Generation novel, due out in April. I’m currently working on an original SF short story for an upcoming anthology, and I have a few other non-novel projects in various stages of gestation with publisher Insight Editions. I do have a long-percolating idea for a science fiction novel that I’d like to do, one of these days. Finding the time has been something of a challenge, however. More on all of those later as details start coming together!