FANgirl Interviews Michael Stackpole

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, 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.



Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and the intersection of women within Star Wars fandom. She is co-author of Ultimate Star Wars and Star Wars Visual Encyclopedia from DK Publishing, a featured writer for Star Wars Insider magazine with numerous articles on the Hero's Journey. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Hyperspace Theories and Fangirls Going Rogue. Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to

One thought on “FANgirl Interviews Michael Stackpole

  • September 29, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Thanks, FANgirl – what a great interview! I haven’t seen Queen’s Command yet, but I really want to read that. The cover art is superb, BTW.

    Special perpetual thanks to Mike Stackpole for being so accessible and generous with his insights into the writing process. I’m really hoping that I might have the opportunity to attend at least one seminar given by Mike and Aaron. That would be AWESOME. I think “partners-in-mayhem” is a pretty good moniker for those two… ;)

    Off to check out “The Secrets” at stormwolf!

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