read an excerpt from Phoenix Precinct

There’s now an excerpt from Chapter 6 of Phoenix Precinct — the sixth novel and seventh book in my fantasy/police procedural series — up on the eSpec Books blog!

The book is currently funding on Kickstarter, so check it out and please consider supporting it! We’ve made our funding goal — so you’re guaranteed to get what you pledge for — and we’re very close to unlocking some fabulous stretch goals.

Plus there are four Tuckerizations left in the book, including that of the murder victim! If you want to be the poor sod who buys it in the prologue, you can still get that reward! And there are three other characters available!

Double Trouble author interview: Jennifer Brody

Double Trouble: An Anthology of Two-Fisted Team-Ups, edited by Jonathan Maberry & Keith R.A. DeCandido, presented by the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers, is now funding on Kickstarter. The anthology features more than a dozen great tie-in writers teaming classic characters up.

We’ve already done several interviews

  • Rigel Ailur (teaming Annie Oakley with Marian of Sherwood)
  • Greg Cox (mashing up The Brain that Wouldn’t Die with Night of the Living Dead)
  • James Reasoner (pairing G-Man Dan Fowler with Stinger Seave)
  • Ben H. Rome (putting Bastet, Fenrir, and Quetzalcoatl together)
  • Nancy Holder & Alan Philipson (Flaxman Low and Mezzanotte meeting)
  • Keith R.A. DeCandido (teaming Ayesha, a.k.a. She Who Must Be Obeyed, with Egungun-oya)
  • David Mack (teaming Prospero the Magician with Don Quixote de la Mancha)
  • Maurice Broaddus (Ace Harlem and the Conjure-Man teaming up)
  • Dayton Ward (pairing Captain Battle with Blackout)
  • Diana Dru Botsford (putting Ernest Shackleton, Sacajawea, and Lemuel Gulliver together)
  • Delilah S. Dawson (bringing Lydia Bennet and Lord Ruthven together)
  • Derek Tyler Attico (thrusting Dracula, Jekyll & Hyde, and John Henry into each other’s company)

Here’s an interview with Jennifer Brody, who is pitting vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing against Greek legends Athena and the Medusa.

Jennifer Brody, a.k.a. Vera Strange, is the Stoker-nominated author of the “Disney Chills” series, “The 13th Continuum” trilogy, and a contributor to Star Wars: Stories of Jedi and Sith, where she penned the Darth Vader story.

What led you to choose the characters you’re using for your Double Trouble story?

I’m tackling a Van Helsing (the famed monster hunter) vs. Medusa story. I’ve long been obsessed with both Greek Mythology and the Dracula/Van Helsing characters. Of course, the myth right now has the goddess Athena dispatching Perseus after Medusa. But I thought — what if Athena puts the call out for heroes to vanquish the monstress Medusa…and Van Helsing arrives instead? His approach and style couldn’t be more opposite of Perseus, so I thought it could be a fun way to revisit and reinvent the classic myth.

What do you enjoy most about writing tie-in fiction?

Basically, I’m a big nerd for so many film and TV universes that getting to write “canon” stories for both Disney and LucasFilm/Star Wars is a dream job. I don’t think I’m that “creepy” — but apparently I must be as I write about all the big iconic villains, from Cruella DeVil and Maleficent to Darth Vader. Also, my editors are the best and I love collaborating on stories that will excite the existing fans of Disney and Star Wars

What’s your favorite licensed universe that you’ve written in during your career as a tie-in writer?

Oh, it’s so hard to choose — but getting to write for Star Wars and tackle “the Big Guy” a.k.a. Darth Vader was a huge goal of mine. I’d been wanting to explore the Star Wars universe forever. My debut trilogy The 13th Continuum is a sci-fi series that’s heavily influenced by Star Wars. So, when it turned out that the head of LucasFilm Publishing was a fan of my Disney Chills series and what I’ve done to make the Disney villains “scary again,” my dream came true. Anakin/Vader is my favorite SW character, so it worked out.

What do you have that’s now out or coming out soon?

As of this interview, I have two books out for Disney next year: One is Disney Chills #7, villain TBA. But it was a blast to write and the book is revised and in to my editor. I can’t believe my series has already reached seven books. I also have another secret Disney project that we haven’t announced, but I just turned in a draft on Friday (eeek! hope my editor digs it!) that will be out next year as well. It’s a whole new universe and separate from my ongoing Disney Chills series, but involves characters I’ve been dying to write. I know my readers will be super excited about this project. Oh, and this anthology if we get funded! So help us out!

Follow Jennifer online:

Double Trouble author interview: Delilah S. Dawson

Double Trouble: An Anthology of Two-Fisted Team-Ups, edited by Jonathan Maberry & Keith R.A. DeCandido, presented by the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers, is now funding on Kickstarter. The anthology features more than a dozen great tie-in writers teaming classic characters up.

We’ve already done several interviews

Here’s an interview with Delilah S. Dawson, whose story pairs Jane Austen’s wild upper-class scion Lydia Bennet, youngest of the Bennet sisters from Pride and Prejudice, with Lord Ruthven, the aristocratic, charismatic vampire from John William Polidori’s The Vampyre.

Delilah S. Dawson is the author of over twenty books, including the New York Times best-selling Star Wars: Phasma, The Violence, the “Minecraft: Mob Squad” trilogy, and many more. She’s written comics in the worlds of Marvel Action Spider-Man, Star Wars, Firefly, The X-Files, and Adventure Time.

What led you to choose the characters you’re using for your Double Trouble story?

Pride and Prejudice is a comfort story for me; in that world, the worst thing that could happen is marrying a Mr. Collins. I was intrigued by the thought of how the Bennett sisters might deal with a man who’s an actual threat and not just a bore or a cad. The answer? Throw a vampire into the mix!

What do you enjoy most about writing tie-in fiction?

I love writing in worlds that feel like home. It’s an interesting challenge, telling a story that’s very “me” while also fitting seamlessly into the library and canon of that official universe. It’s very healing to the lonely, nerdy kid who lives in my heart. And meeting the fans is always such a delight. Star Wars Celebration is one of the most positive, enthusiastic gatherings I’ve ever attended! 

What’s your favorite licensed universe that you’ve written in during your career as a tie-in writer?

Whichever one I’m currently writing in! Each world has its own appeal. Star Wars is timeless, Adventure Time is playful with lots of room for jokes and wackiness, The X-Files gave me tons of creative freedom, Labyrinth was truly an honor, Marvel Action Spider-Man allowed me to offer a welcoming door to bring new young readers into the massive realm of Spider-Man. And the Stranger Things book I have coming up was tons of fun!

What do you have that’s now out or coming out soon?

The paperback of The Violence is out this November, as is my third and final Minecraft Mob Squad book, Don’t Fear the Creeper. I’m doing some work with DC’s “Dark Crisis” event over the next couple of months. And I have several projects out next year, including a Star Wars novel, a Stranger Things novel, and a secret tie-in that hasn’t yet been announced.

Follow Delilah online:

Double Trouble author interview: Dayton Ward

Double Trouble: An Anthology of Two-Fisted Team-Ups, edited by Jonathan Maberry & Keith R.A. DeCandido, presented by the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers, is now funding on Kickstarter. The anthology features more than a dozen great tie-in writers teaming classic characters up.

We’ve already done several interviews

Here’s an interview with Dayton Ward, who is pairing two characters from 1940s comics: Captain Battle and Blackout.

Dayton Ward is a New York Times best-selling author or co-author of more than forty novels and novellas, often working with his best friend, Kevin Dilmore. His short fiction has appeared in more than twenty anthologies, and he’s written for magazines such as NCO JournalKansas City VoicesFamous Monsters of FilmlandStar Trek, and Star Trek Communicator as well as the websites Tor.com, StarTrek.com, and Syfy.com.

What led you to choose the characters you’re using for your Double Trouble story?

When I started researching Public Domain characters so I could pitch to the anthology’s editors, I wanted to do something set during or shortly after World War I. I’d just gotten off a binge-watch of HBO’s Perry Mason reboot series and in that show Mason is a veteran of the Great War. I happened across Captain Battle during my research, who was described as such a veteran, wounded during that conflict and who later decides he’s going to do whatever he can to stop further wars. In the original comics in which he first appears—published before the attack on Pearl Harbor—he’s trying to avert another world war. The comics depict him fighting the Nazis, so I wondered what he might do once the war in Europe was over. Researching Captain Battle brought me to Blackout, a character who obtains superpowers after an accident. Despite appearing in two different issues of Captain Battle, Blackout and Battle never meet, so I figured now’s as good a time as any.

What do you enjoy most about writing tie-in fiction?

Most of the time, it’s like getting another chance to dig back into my childhood toybox. When I was a kid, I made up stories while pitting my various action figures against one another. I basically do the same thing now, only I use words instead of action figures to create my stories.

(Okay, I might still do the action figure thing every so often.)

Basically, writing a tie-in is an opportunity to run around on someone else’s playground, and if you’re lucky you get to stitch a new square into that property’s ever-expanding quilt of stories that fans love the same way they enjoy their favorite TV episodes or films.

What’s your favorite licensed universe that you’ve written in during your career as a tie-in writer?

I’ve been a Trekkie my entire life, and I’ve been very fortunate to write a good number of Star Trek stories, so it’s easily my favorite. That said, I was absolutely giddy when I got the chance to write story tying into Planet of the Apes. That’s another series of films and TV shows that contributed to my 1970s childhood jam, along with Space: 1999 and The Six Million Dollar Man, two other properties for which I’d love to write if opportunity ever presented itself.

What do you have that’s now out or coming out soon?

My most recent publication is Jurassic World: The Official Cookbook from Insight Editions. It’s a collaboration with food stylist Elena P. Craig. She wrote all the recipes while I wrote all the background and “flavor text” about the Jurassic World resort and dinosaurs from an in-world perspective. It was a change of pace for me, but a great deal of fun.

Follow Dayton online:

Double Trouble author interview: Maurice Broaddus

Double Trouble: An Anthology of Two-Fisted Team-Ups, edited by Jonathan Maberry & Keith R.A. DeCandido, presented by the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers, is now funding on Kickstarter. The anthology features more than a dozen great tie-in writers teaming classic characters up.

We’ve already done several interviews

Here’s an interview with Maurice Broaddus, who is bringing together two Black pulp characters, Ace Harlem, created by John Terrell in 1947’s All-Negro Comics, and the Conjure-Man, created by Rudolph Fisher for his 1932 novel The Conjure-Man Dies.

A community organizer, teacher, and Afrofuturist, Maurice Broaddus‘s short stories have appeared in such places as Lightspeed Magazine, Black Panther: Tales from Wakanda, Weird Tales, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Uncanny Magazine. His novels include Sweep of StarsUnfadeablePimp My Airship, and The Usual Suspects.

What led you to choose the characters you’re using for your Double Trouble story?

I’ve been reading a book called Black Pulp: Genre Fiction in the Shadow of Jim Crow by Brooks E. Hefner. In it, Hefner uncovers a trove of African-American genre fiction from the 1920s through the 1950s. Romance, adventure, Westerns, crime stories in an era that hasn’t been documented well in terms of what we read and what we wrote. It stirred my curiosity, which led me to All-Negro Comics #1 (Ace Harlem) and  The Conjure Man Dies (the Conjure Man). Hopefully, I’ll help shed light on these two properties, drawing modern attention to them.

What do you enjoy most about writing tie-in fiction?

It’s another way for me to tell my stories, except by playing in someone else’s sandbox. Look, I’m living my teenage geek best life right now being able to write some of the properties that I either grew up watching or being influenced by.

What’s your favorite licensed universe that you’ve written in during your career as a tie-in writer?

Marvel. Especially Black Panther.

What do you have that’s now out or coming out soon?

My space opera, Sweep of Stars, just came out this past spring, quickly followed by my middle-grade detective novel, Unfadeable. Speaking of tie-in writing, I have a story in AvP: Ultimate Prey (“Night Doctors”), an essay in Dreams of Wakanda (“Daring to Dream of a Black Utopia”), and a re-imagining of a Hollywood staple in Classic Monsters Unleashed (“The Invisible Man: The Fire This Time”).

Follow Maurice online:

new stuff on the Double Trouble Kickstarter!

With sixteen days to go, we’ve added a whole mess of bonuses and add-ons and things to the Kickstarter for Double Trouble: An Anthology of Two-Fisted Team-Ups, co-edited by self and Jonathan Maberry and presented by the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers….

AUDIO READINGS!

Most of the authors are now offering readings of their stories! Each of the available audios can be added to your pledge as a $10 add-on, or you can get all the audio readings (plus an acknowledgment, and the eBook and trade paperback of the anthology) for $125.

MABERRY TUCKERIZATIONS!

Co-editor Jonathan Maberry is offering some more Tuckerizations, including two more in his next “Joe Ledger” book and two more in one of his upcoming short stories. These are available as $175 rewards (which also include an acknowledgment, and copies of the anthology in eBook and trade paperback).

MABERRY AUTOGRAPHED ARCs!

In addition, Jonathan is also offering as add-ons autographed ARCs of the first two books in his new epic fantasy series: Kagen the Damned and Son of the Poison Rose. You can get one of the ARCs for $100, or both for $175.

If you’ve already pledged, you can easily alter your pledge to get one or more of these rewards, and if you haven’t yet, now’s your chance!

Please consider supporting, if you haven’t!

Double Trouble author interview: David Mack

Double Trouble: An Anthology of Two-Fisted Team-Ups, edited by Jonathan Maberry & Keith R.A. DeCandido, presented by the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers, is now funding on Kickstarter. The anthology features more than a dozen great tie-in writers teaming classic characters up.

We’ve already done several interviews

Here’s an interview with David Mack, who has paired two characters from classic literature: Prospero, the magician from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and Don Quixote de la Mancha, the mad adventurer from the eponymous novel by Miguel Cervantes.

David Mack is the New York Times best-selling author of more than thirty-six novels of science fiction, fantasy, and adventure. His writing credits span several media, including television, games, and comic books. In June of 2022 the IAMTW honored him as a Grandmaster with its Faust Award.

What led you to choose the characters you’re using for your Double Trouble story?

My editors stressed the importance of being absolutely certain that the characters we chose for our stories were firmly in the public domain, not just in the United States but worldwide. I reasoned that characters from the early 17th century were probably safe to use everywhere.

As for why I chose these characters specifically? I’ve long been a fan of Miguel de Cervantes’s novel and character Don Quixote de la Mancha. As an example, in the Star Trek: Vanguard literary series I co-created, I named my down-on-his-luck, quixotic adventurer Cervantes Quinn, and I described his little smuggling vessel as a “Mancharan Starhopper.”

When I wondered who would be an interesting character for the bumbling knight Don Quixote to meet, I thought, “A classic fantasy pairs a knight and a wizard.” Then I remembered that Cervantes and Shakespeare were contemporaries, both writing in the first two decades of the 17th century. I’ve also long been a fan of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, so I quickly settled upon the notion of the magician Prospero, in need of aid, summoning help — and receiving Don Quixote as the hero he both needs and deserves.

What do you enjoy most about writing tie-in fiction?

The unfettered, raw power, and the breathless respect it engenders in every mortal soul.

I hope it was obvious that the preceding sentence was an utter lie.

One aspect of writing officially licensed media tie-ins that I find gratifying is being able to weave new stories for characters whose previous tales have entertained and/or inspired me. After vicariously sharing in their creators’ adventures, I get to take those fun imaginary friends on a journey of my own devising.

Best of all, sometimes these new odysseys help me learn something new about the characters by requiring me to spend more time imagining their respective points of view. When that happens, I find myself feeling closer to and more invested in the characters after I finish writing a story than I did before I began.

What’s your favorite licensed universe that you’ve written in during your career as a tie-in writer?

I’ve enjoyed all of the various properties for which I’ve been lucky enough to work during the past twenty-two years, including WolverineThe 4400Farscape, and especially 24.

That said, I’ve never made any secret of the fact that my first love in media has always been Star Trek — as one might surmise based on the fact that December 2022 will see the publication of my 30th full-length Star Trek novel.

While I aspire to write novels for a number of other well-known media properties — including Star WarsIndiana Jones007 James Bond, and Mission: Impossible — I hope to remain involved with writing Star Trek novels for the duration of my career.

What do you have that’s now out or coming out soon?

My most recently published work is Star Trek: Coda, Book III – Oblivion’s Gate, which was released last year, in November 2021.

Next up for me is another original Star Trek adventure, an Original Series/Vanguard crossover titled Harm’s Way. It will be released on December 13, 2022.

Harm’s Way is set in July 2266, which fits into the Original Series’s continuity about a month after the events of “Amok Time,” between the season-two episodes “The Doomsday Machine” and “Wolf in the Fold.” In relation to the Star Trek: Vanguard literary saga, it falls roughly in the middle of book five, Precipice.

Follow Dave online:

Double Trouble author interview: Keith R.A. DeCandido

Double Trouble: An Anthology of Two-Fisted Team-Ups, edited by Jonathan Maberry & Keith R.A. DeCandido, presented by the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers, is now funding on Kickstarter. The anthology features more than a dozen great tie-in writers teaming classic characters up.

We’ve already done several interviews

Here’s an interview with me! Yes, I’ve interviewed myself! That’s not weird at all! Anyhow, my story in the anthology will put together two African immortals, Ayesha, a.k.a. She Who Must Be Obeyed, the title character from H. Rider Haggard’s She, and the Yoruba goddess Egungun-oya.

Keith R.A. DeCandido is an award-winning best-selling author of sixty novels, 100 short stories, and a ton of comic books and nonfiction, including work in more than thirty licensed universes from Alien to Zorro. He has edited a score of anthologies (both publicly and behind the scenes), including ones in the universes of Star Trek, Doctor Who, Marvel Comics, and more. The IAMTW favored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.

What led you to choose the characters you’re using for your Double Trouble story?

I’ve actually written both characters before. My story for the IAMTW’s previous anthology, 2021’s Turning the Tied, featured Ayesha, and Egungun-oya is a supporting character in my urban fantasy series The Bram Gold Adventures, having played a critical role in the first book in that series, 2019’s A Furnace Sealed, and she will also play a big role in the as-yet-untitled third book in the series.

What do you enjoy most about writing tie-in fiction?

I grew up reading tie-ins and always wanted to be one of the people who got to write them. Being able to write for characters I’ve loved, particularly ones like the Star Trek and Marvel characters that I grew up with, has been an absolute joy. Plus, I’ve gotten to work with some amazing people, actually write the official continuation of one of my favorite TV shows (Farscape, for which I co-wrote a post-series comic book with show creator Rockne O’Bannon from 2008-2011), and tons more besides.

What’s your favorite licensed universe that you’ve written in during your career as a tie-in writer?

Although I’ve loved writing Farscape (see previous answer) and Marvel and Alien and Supernatural and all the others — I’ve written in more than 30 universes at this stage — I have to say Star Trek, simply because it’s been one of my favorite things since I was a little kid watching reruns of the original series. Star Trek is such a wonderful setting, and such a magnificently hopeful future with some truly excellent characters, and to have been able to play in that sandbox has been one of the joys of my life.

What do you have that’s now out or coming out soon?

In the tie-in realm, I’ve written a Resident Evil comic book that serves as a prequel to the Netflix animated series Infinite Darkness, entitled The Beginning, the first issue of which will be out soon from TokyoPop. I’ve also written a Star Trek Adventures module called Incident at Kraav III with Fred Love, a Klingon adventure that was lots of fun to do. And I wrote a short story for the recently released Zorro’s Exploits called “A Lovely View.”

As for stuff I keep the copyright on, Phoenix Precinct, the sixth novel in my fantasy/police procedural series, will be out by the end of the year (and is currently crowdfunding also), and I’ve got two urban fantasy books on the docket, probably for early 2023: Ragnarok and a Hard Place: More Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet (taking place in Key West) and Feat of Clay (taking place in the Bronx, the sequel to the aforementioned A Furnace Sealed). I’ve also got stories out or coming out in Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2022, Phenomenons: Season of Darkness, The Eye of Argon: The Further Adventures of Grignr, Three Time Travelers Walk Into…, Tales of Capes and Cowls, The Fans are Buried Tales, and The Four ???? of the Apocalypse (which I also co-edited).

Follow Keith online:

Double Trouble author interview: Nancy Holder & Alan Philipson

Double Trouble: An Anthology of Two-Fisted Team-Ups, edited by Jonathan Maberry & Keith R.A. DeCandido, presented by the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers, is now funding on Kickstarter. The anthology features more than a dozen great tie-in writers teaming classic characters up.

We’ve already done several interviews

  • Rigel Ailur (teaming Annie Oakley with Marian of Sherwood)
  • Greg Cox (mashing up The Brain that Wouldn’t Die with Night of the Living Dead)
  • James Reasoner (pairing G-Man Dan Fowler with Stinger Seave)
  • Ben H. Rome (putting Bastet, Fenrir, and Quetzalcoatl together)

Here’s an interview with Nancy Holder & Alan Philipson, who are pairing the first-ever occult detective, created by Hesketh Hesketh-Prichard for Pearson’s Magazine in the 1880s with Philipson’s creation, Mezzanotte, who debuted in the story “War Against the Mafia” in Dracula Unfanged.

Nancy Holder is a New York Times best-selling author. She received the Faust Grand Master Lifetime Achievement Award from the IAMTW in 2020. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Horror Writers Association in 2022. Alan Philipson has written 135 novels under his and house names. He has been a professional editor for over thirty years. They are currently writing noir graphic novels and fiction for Moonstone Books and IFWG/IPI Comics as a team.

What led you to choose the characters you’re using for your Double Trouble story?

We had planned to use a different character, Dr. Hesselius, who was a creation of the wonderful Irish ghost story writer, Sheridan Le Fanu, who was touted as “the first occult detective in fiction.” But we realized that he wasn’t, really. Flaxman Low is the real deal, and we had a blast with him. 

We picked Alan’s creation Mezzanotte because we thought pairing the two together would give us a lot of opportunities for “a real creeper.” Mezzanotte is an ambiguous monster, not-quite a vampire but not-quite-not. He’s not like Blade or anyone else we’ve read. So it was a chance to stretch our fangs….

What do you enjoy most about writing tie-in fiction?

In the case of Flaxman Low, we wanted to bring a great character back to the reading public. The stories about him are really fun and spooky. We think he should have another chance at life as a literary character. 

What’s your favorite licensed universe that you’ve written in during your career as a tie-in writer?

For Nancy, it’s gotta be Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For Alan, it’s Deathlands.

What do you have that’s now out or coming out soon?

We’re in the Kolchak 50th Anniversary project coming from Moonstone books. We’re totally jazzed about it! 

Follow Nancy online (and Alan will see anything posted there):

Double Trouble author interview: Ben H. Rome

Double Trouble: An Anthology of Two-Fisted Team-Ups, edited by Jonathan Maberry & Keith R.A. DeCandido, presented by the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers, is now funding on Kickstarter. The anthology features more than a dozen great tie-in writers teaming classic characters up. We’ve already done interviews with Rigel Ailur (teaming Annie Oakley with Marian of Sherwood), Greg Cox (mashing up The Brain that Wouldn’t Die with Night of the Living Dead), and James Reasoner (pairing G-Man Dan Fowler with Stinger Seave).

Here’s an interview with Ben H. Rome, who is putting three figures from mythology together: the Egyptian cat god Bastet, the Norse wolf Fenrir, and the Central American god Quetzalcoatl.

Ben H. Rome is an award-winning writer, game designer, and communications expert who spent fifteen years editing, writing, and producing BattleTech game products. He lives in the Washington, D.C. area and is currently the Content Director and editor for the new Renegade Legion Universe.

What led you to choose the characters you’re using for your Double Trouble story?

Mythology and pantheons have always been a treasure trove of supernatural stories, so I tend to gravitate to these literary gold mines for ideas and entertainment. When I got wind of the pitch call, I immediately thought the best, most opportunistic pairing for some tension and comedy would be a cat and a dog. What gods would work well within that pairing? Bastet, one of the more familiar “cat gods” thanks to Black Panther, and Fenrir — while technically a wolf and not a dog — a popular foil in Norse mythology. Then the question became, what kind of foe is common to both cat and dog and would be the mastermind behind an apocalyptic event? I had to go with the feathered snake god Quetzalcoatl because the disparity between pantheons, the unlikely feline-wolf pairing, and traipsing them across three mythologies seemed like a fun challenge. I thought I was a bit crazy, but the pitch got accepted…

What do you enjoy most about writing tie-in fiction?

I love how I can impact a setting with a new story, twist, character, or idea that helps flesh out an established world. Taking something known and turning in just such a way to create a new dynamic is pretty cool and challenges my creative process.

What’s your favorite licensed universe that you’ve written in during your career as a tie-in writer?

I’ve written for several years in the BattleTech space, helping spin out an entire era’s worth of setting, characters, plots, mysteries, and more. It’s been the only IP playground I’ve been involved with — nearly twenty years! — and I’m ready to do more elsewhere. Currently, I’m having a lot of fun helping reimagine the Renegade Legion universe, and being involved from the ground up is a really great experience.

But I won’t lie: my ultimate goal is to see something of my creation published in the Star Wars universe. I’ve been obsessed with it since 1977, which would definitely be a defining moment for my creative career.

What do you have that’s now out or coming out soon?

I have an original short story, “To Raise a Nation, Giants Must Fall,” published in Great Wars by Lost Boys Press, which released on September 22. It’s a “what if” story where I twist the David and Goliath tale into something unexpected. I also have a short story coming in late October/early November entitled “Fractured State,” which will be part of the Voices of Varuna Volume 2 anthology. (We released Volume 1 last summer, which I edited and have a story in as well.) And next year, we’re launching the Xenovita RPG, which I’m currently working on with Derek Tyler Attico and Kelli Fitzpatrick.

Plus, I’ve got more in the pipeline for 2023 and beyond.

Follow Ben online: