(2000-04-03)Q: Can you give us a sneak preview into Diuturnity's Dawn, thefinal book in the Founding of the Commonwealth trilogy?
A: DIUTURNITY'S DAWN preview: the book was finished two daysago. The complex plot is composed of three entirely separatestorylines. One takes place on the colony world of Comagrave(see map of the Commonwealth on my website) and involves theAAnn and a momentous archeological discovery. The secondrevolves around an intercultural human-thranx fair on the worldof Dawn (also on the map), and the third takes place on thethranx capitol world of Hivehom and centers on a female humandiplomat stationed there.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming projects?
A: For works scheduled to be published, see the bibliography onmy website. Although the contract has not yet been signed, Ijust sent in a 4500 word outline to Warner for a requestedMontezuma Strip novel, tentatively titled VOIDING THE MOCK.There is interest in doing a TV series or film set in theMontezuma Strip society. I will be doing a Cthulhu mythos storyfor a Del Rey anthology to be edited by John Pelan.
Q: How did you become interested in Science Fiction?
A: My father read some science-fiction, and it was always lyingaround the house. My uncle was a great fan of SF. He became awell-known television producer (Batman, 77 Sunset Strip) butnever really got the chance to do the SF he loved. His name wasHowie Horwitz.
Q: How much science and how much fiction do you think thereshould be in SF?
A: There should always been some science, but it needn't alwaysbe "hard science". If you call psychology a science, thenDostoevsky qualifies. It depends how much you want to stretchthe definition. Being a non-scientist, when I use hard sciencein a book of mine (MIDWORLD, SENTENCED TO PRISM, etc.) I alwaystry to research it very thoroughly.
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of writing a story?
A: Creating interesting, believable characters. That's the coreof any really successful story. The rest is all windowdressing. Maybe very interesting window dressing, but windowdressing nonetheless. Look at the critical failure of the newfilm MISSION TO MARS. All the failure lies in the charactersand the story, not the so-called science-fictional aspects.
Q: You wrote Splinter of the Minds Eye and Star Wars, the firstoriginal Star Wars novels. How did you get that assignment?
A: My agent got a call from Lucas lawyer of the time, TomPollock (now one of the most powerful men in Hollywood).Someone had read a book of mine (ICERIGGER), knew that I hadalready done novelizations, and thought I might be the writer todo the novelization of Lucas' new film. I already knew hiswork through THX 1138 and American Graffitti. I accepted theoffer to meet with George, and did so at Industrial Light andMagic, then in a small warehouse in Van Nuys, California (partof greater Los Angeles, and conveniently near my family home).We hit it off well, I got the assignment (for two books), andthat's how it happened.
Q: What has the Internet meant for you as an author?
A: Great feedback from readers, and a chance to put up the kindof supplemental information that publishers don't want to bebothered with (see my website).