Linda Interviews Star Wars Editor Shelly Shapiro

Interview conducted by Linda Hansen-Raj

I once read in a fashion magazine that anyone can define themselves in three words – their “style essence.” I don’t know if that’s true; but it did occur to me as I was thinking about my conversation with Shelly Shapiro that I am able to use three words to describe Shelly: intelligent, interesting, and gracious. The intelligent is obvious from her thoughtful answers to my questions and from her work for Del Rey editing iconic series such as Ann McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern saga and the Star Wars Expanded Universe novels. The interesting describes more than the work Shelly does. In her private life, she’s a potter, plays the guitar (acoustic, finger picking), and bakes. Shelly lives in Maine, working as Del Rey’s Editor-at-Large, from her “cubicle at the end of the Universe.” The gracious comes across in her willingness to answer my numerous questions candidly.

We began the interview by talking about a subject we both enjoy – Shelly and I play Jedi Knights in Star Wars: The Old Republic, Bioware’s MMORPG video game. And there’s a lot more, too.

In case you missed it, last week at Suvudu Shelly Shapiro and Erich Schoeneweiss shared a favorite convention moment. Shelly will be joining Jen Heddle of Lucasfilm at Celebration for the “What’s Coming From Del Rey” panel on Friday at 10:30 a.m. on the Behind the Scenes Stage.



Linda has been a Star Wars fan from the time she saw Episode IV in the theatre with her parents and insisted on being Han Solo while playing with the neighborhood kids. She’s now a fangirl who splits her time learning to twirl a bo staff like Ray Park, jumping horses, writing fanfic she dreams up on her commute to work, and spending time with her husband and their own feisty Padawan version of Ahsoka.

One thought on “Linda Interviews Star Wars Editor Shelly Shapiro

  • September 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Hello,I have enjoyed reading Star Wars novels since I was a teenager in high school and read Heir to the Empire. I simply adore the interaction Mara and Luke have in all of the Star Wars novels in the Bantam and New Jedi Order Series. I felt they were a natural pairing, even though she wanted to kill him at the beginning. I have always felt the need for Luke to have a spouse as Leia has Han. I think that may be the biggest plot weakness in the classic movie trilogy. The SW novels made Mara Jade Luke’s other half and this has delighted and entertained me for quite a while now! I was greatly enamored with the idea of Mara when I read Vision of the Future and she accepted Luke’s marriage proposal. I feel that your novels fixed this plot weakness in the classic trilogy and has added so much more to the characters from the classic movies. Today I am a high school science teacher and for book club this semester my group is now reading Heir to the Empire!!
    I only recently have had the time to sit down and read some of the later, more recent Star wars novels from Del Rey. It was bad enough when Chewie got “blown up” in “Vector Prime”, but my heart is now broken after having read “Sacrifice” in the Legacy book series. I don’t know if I will ever be able to read another SW novel now that Mara Jade has been “killed off”. I was enthralled and entertained by the novels from the 1990’s and New Jedi Order series. I got very attached to Mara Jade and now it is almost like a death in the family with her having been killed off. To me, these more recent novels are no longer entertaining. I just bought “Choices of One” but am having trouble reconciling the fact that Mara is dead now and this is a story from her past as a pawn of the emperor. I crave Luke/ Mara/ Ben adventures. My enthusiasm is waning and I haven’t begun to read it yet. I have one burning question on my mind. Can she be brought back, and would Del Rey books and /or Mr. Lucas allow it to happen? After all, she is an extremely popular EU character, 2011 ComicCon fan favorite character, other characters have been resurrected, ie. Palpatine, Boba Fett, Exar Kun, Callista, and now Darth Maul, and with many continuing story lines possible for her ….. I guess I can only hope, but is it false hope? Is it too late for this? Would you or could you ever bring her back? She is one strong female character in a Universe with very few!!

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