Author Michael A. Stackpole is a writing machine. When he’s not churning out a franchise tie-in or his own fictional ebook, Mike is sharing his insight on the changes within the publishing industry on his blog, www.stormwolf.com. He’s also a regular speaker at conventions such as Origins, DragonCon, and GenCon, where he teaches classes for aspiring writers, in hopes that his students “will turn out stories he wants to read.”
His body of fictional work in the Star Wars universe, particularly the X-wing Series, has made him a fan favorite in EU literature discussions. So it was a rare and exciting opportunity back in May when Mike agreed to do an interview. He encouraged me to open it up to readers of the blog and our discussion forums to ask questions, as well. We churned up quite a list for him.
Between conventions and time commitments, the interview is finally ready for everyone. It provided one blush-worthy moment for me along the way, too. Mike had written me back, saying in the body of the email that he had been caught up at conventions and apologized for the delay. I read that and didn’t think to read farther down, where he had actually added in his responses to the interview questions within the body of my original email. Corresponding with Mike this week I discovered my bubble-brained moment. To my readers who submitted questions and have been eager to see the interview, and also to Mike, I offer myself up to be tickled eternally by twenty Ewoks. (There actually is a Fate worse than Death.)
When I finally got to nosedive into the interview, I was reminded of the things that make Mike’s books so enjoyable to read. He talks a lot about his characters. I’m learning as a writer myself that without great characterization, stories are just plots. It’s the connection with the characters that allows the readers to create an emotional investment in the story. It’s no wonder some of his creations, like Jag Fel and Corran Horn, still captivate the imaginations of EU fans.
Outside of Star Wars, Mike recently published the tie-in novelization to the Conan the Barbarian movie. If you didn’t read his blogs about his trip to the movie premiere, you should. His second book in the Crown Colonies series, Of Limited Loyalty, is slated for release in December. On his website he recently mentioned that along with some other scifi writers – including Aaron Allston, his occasional partner-in-teaching (or is it partner-in-mayhem?) in the writing seminars – he’s working on a “collection of short, military SF pieces for a digital anthology.”
Again, I can’t say how much I appreciate Mike’s time, and I hope that his Star Wars fans will give some of his original work a try.
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