Posts Tagged With: military SF

The Art of Getting Things Done

Sun Tzu Ruined My Life

Don’t make them get medieval on you!

Sun Tzu ruined my life.

Don’t get me wrong, “The Art of War” contains some gems of insight for anyone engaged in a difficult struggle, like running a business.

(Or fighting a war with chariots and spears.)

But the problem is that Sun Tzu puts a great deal of emphasis on lightning-fast strikes intended to leave the enemy off-balance and lead to a swift victory. He recommends avoiding a prolonged conflict at all costs.

And he makes some good points.

But sometimes, you can only win the battle — or write a book — with a slow and steady application of force.

Continue reading

Categories: book business, For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Free science fiction novel winner!

Congratulations to Charity Bradford, winner of the first-ever SciFiBookshelf.com contest!

Charity, email your mailing address to me at LaurenceMacNaughton(at)yahoo(dot)com, and I’ll pop that book in the mail to you.

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Free science fiction novel contest – one week left!

You’ve only got one week left to win a free book from Jack Campbell’s New York Times bestselling series, The Lost Fleet!  How?  Just leave a comment telling me what you’d like to see more of on SciFiBookshelf.com.

How easy is that?

Do you want more science fiction news?  More writing tips?  More contests?  Your comment could earn you a free novel!

I’ll announce the winner here on Friday, June 11.  Stay tuned!

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Win a FREE science fiction novel on Sci Fi Bookshelf!

You heard right, true believers.  I’m giving away a brand-new book from Jack Campbell’s New York Times bestselling series, The Lost Fleet!  And you could win it.  You!  How?  Read on!

I’m hoping that you’ll love this book so much that you’ll immediately run to the bookstore and buy more of Jack Campbell’s books to find out what you’ve been missing.  (I did.)  This will make the author happy, make you happy, and help your local bookstore survive the onslaught of this bad economy.  So, everybody wins!

Speaking of winning, how do you get this book?  Easy!  Just leave a comment telling me what you’d like to see more of on SciFiBookshelf.com.

Seriously.  It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Do you want more interviews?  More science fiction news?  More urban fantasy?  Vampires?  Nebula winners?  You tell me, I’ll make it happen.  This web site is about you (and, well, science fiction).

I’ll choose a random winner from all of the entries, and announce it here on Friday, June 11.  So what are you waiting for?  Start talkin’!

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Wednesdays with David Weber, Part 4

David Weber is author of the New York Times best-selling Honor Harrington novels, as well as a mind-boggling array of other books.  On top of that, he’s a really nice guy who took the time to share a glimpse into his universe.

After a severe injury broke his wrist into 57 pieces several years ago, he started dictating his books using voice-activated software.  Despite this hurdle, David says that he averages better than 200 words per minute.

SciFiBookshelf.com:  Astounding!  David, I salute you.  Do you have any advice for aspiring science fiction writers?

David Weber:  First, write what you enjoy reading. You’ll do a much better job working on something that interests and excites you than you will trying to produce something simply because you think it might sell, even though it isn’t what you’d enjoy reading yourself. In addition, there’s no one out there who is genuinely unique in his or her reading tastes. In other words, if you enjoy reading it, so will someone else, which means there ought to be a market for it somewhere. Second, accept that if you’re going to try to do this professionally you either need to become a production writer — which means those 16-hour days — or you need to have a day job. Third, complete something before you start trying to submit your work. An editor is a lot more likely to buy a story or a novel, even if it needs a substantial amount of work, if that story or novel exists as a completed whole. The last thing any publisher needs is to commit to buy a book from someone who, it turns out, won’t be able to finish it, and it will help a sale immensely if the person thinking about buying the story knows not only that it ends but that the writer is able to provide a satisfactory end. Fourth, choose who you’re going to submit to carefully. Pick a publisher who publishes material similar to whatever it is you’ve written. Don’t try to sell a story about elves and dwarves to somebody who publishes primarily tech-heavy military fiction. Fifth, when you submit, do it in a professional manner. Don’t use the cover letter to tell the editor what your story is about, and — above all! — don’t use it to tell the editor how great the story is. You can include chapter synopses, outlines, and the entire manuscript to do that, and any professional editor is going to resent having someone submitting an unsolicited manuscript explain that manuscript to her. She’ll make her own judgments on its quality, thank you, and you’re more likely to put someone’s nose out of joint by “blowing your own horn” then you are to influence someone into buying your work. Sixth, after you’ve submitted, stay in touch. In your initial submission letter, tell them that if you haven’t heard back from them in a month, you’ll check back with them. Then, when that month has passed, do check back with them, and each time you check with them, tell them when you’ll check with them again. You need to have some idea in your mind about when you’re going to assume that lack of response means there isn’t going to be any response (and that’s likely to happen, maybe several times, when you’re just starting out), and when that time arrives, you need to send a very respectful note to the publisher saying that you’re withdrawing the book for submission elsewhere.

The truth is that only a minority of writers, in any genre, are able to support themselves full-time as writers, and that’s even more the case for science-fiction, I think, than some others, because science-fiction tends to a smaller readership than a lot of other genres. The good news is that if science-fiction’s readership tends to be smallish, it’s also very loyal . If you produce the stories that people want to read, they will repay you many times over by the fashion in which they will buy your books. Even so, it’s difficult to make a living doing this unless you are able to develop a highly successful series/character and are able to sustain a production rate which is rather higher than in some other genres. That’s just the way it is.

Having said that, the aspiring science-fiction writer needs to remember that publishers are in the business of publishing. They need writers to do that, and that means that if you can write, and if you persist long enough in submitting your work, more often than not, you’ll finally get your shot. What happens after that depends in no small part on how well the first few books go.

And before I leave this topic, let me say that the number one, critical, essential, indispensable element in becoming a successful science-fiction author is the ability to tell stories about characters readers care about. Even the hardest of hard-science science-fiction still has to have characters people care about. The most fascinating plot line ever devised will fall flat on its face if the characters are not believable, or if the writing is unable to convince the reader to accept the story. Editors can do a lot to help a neophyte writer improve technical aspects of his or her writing; I don’t believe any editor ever born can teach you how to tell a story. Especially, they can’t teach you how to tell a story in your own voice. Many people I know have failed as writers primarily because instead of telling the story the way they should tell it, they tried to figure out how someone else — some writer they admire, or whose work they like — would tell it. That’s the kiss of death. People don’t want to buy a low-budget pastiche of someone else’s work. A weak story, strongly told, will be far more satisfying to the reader than a strong story weakly told, and a huge part of telling a story strongly is to tell it in your own, recognizable, unique voice, manner, and style. “Your” voice is going to owe a great deal to the voices of other writers you have read, enjoyed, admired. It works that way. We are all products of our experiences, and if some other writer has a strong impact on you, that writer’s work is going to influence your own. You may find yourself integrating stylistic elements from another writer. You may find yourself avoiding something in your writing because you realized that it didn’t work in someone else’s. And no matter how successful you may become as a writer in your own right, I imagine you’ll still find yourself — as I do — reading someone else’s work and going “Gosh! That was really neat, the way he handled that. I’ll have to remember that.” Don’t be afraid to be influenced by others, but never, ever try to become another writer. Learn from their strengths, avoid their weaknesses, but always do it in your own fashion and your own style.

David Weber’s web site:

http://www.davidweber.net/

And that concludes our weekly series of Wednesdays with David Weber!  Many thanks to David and his crew.  If you missed any of our previous interviews segments, you can find them all below, including summer book tour dates!

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Wednesdays with David Weber, Part 3

David Weber is author of the New York Times best-selling Honor Harrington novels, as well as a mind-boggling array of other books.  On top of that, he’s a really nice guy who took the time to share a glimpse into his universe.

SciFiBookshelf.com:  Can you give us any hints about the fifteenth Honor Harrington book, Mission of Honor, coming out this summer?

David Weber:  All I’ll say about Mission at this point is that it wraps up several fairly long-running plot strands but kicks in quite a few brand-new ones. And I’ll also say that the situation is going to get substantially worse for the Manties (in many respects) even as some of their older problems get put to bed. Well, and also that I may have to move to Montana and raise rabbits under an assumed name when some of the readers who have been with me from the very beginning find out some of the things I did in this book. Mind you, I think they’ll all forgive me eventually, but there are going to be some people who are upset.

SFB:  At last count, you’ve written something like 50 books, an impressive number of which have hit the best-seller lists. How do you keep up such a mind-boggling pace?

DW:  I don’t really know, and, for that matter, I don’t know that I can continue to keep it up a lot longer. I’m not getting any younger, you know! Then there are the three children age eight or younger who require a certain degree of Daddy time for maintenance. Mostly, I guess, I manage it because I focus entirely on whatever the job in hand use. My beloved wife Sharon has been known to refer to that as “OCD;” I prefer to think of it as . . . as . . . hmmmmm, I’ll have to get back to you on that one. I do know that I tend to work 16-hour days when I’m into the stretch on a book.

SFB: 
You do a lot of convention appearances. Where will fans be able to find you in 2010? Is there any truth to the rumor that you’ll be doing a book tour this summer?

DW:  June 22 – 27 – Origins Gaming Fair / GAMA – Columbus, Ohio

June 28 – July 4 – Baen Signing Tour for “Mission of Honor” – Stops to be announced on the website

July 21 – July 25 – Wandering around ComicCon (not as a guest)

David Weber’s web site:

http://www.davidweber.net/

Stay tuned for more insights from the magnificent David Weber!

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Wednesdays with David Weber, Part 2

David Weber is author of the New York Times best-selling Honor Harrington novels, as well as a mind-boggling array of other books.  On top of that, he’s a really nice guy who took the time to share a glimpse into his universe.

SciFiBookshelf.com:  Honor Harrington is arguably one of the most recognizable characters in science fiction today. She’s smart, driven, an exceptional naval officer and just gosh-darn likable. But like any good hero, she’s not without her flaws. Was there any particular inspiration that led you to create her the way she is?

David Weber:  I don’t know about any particular inspiration in my creating Honor the way she came out. By that I mean that there were so many factors involved in creating this character that I can’t isolate one particular one as having been more important than the others. Her personality represents personal values on my part — the fact that she’s a responsibility taker, the fact that she has a fierce protective streak, the fact that she doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and the fact that she is fiercely loyal both to her principles and to her friends — very much encapsulate traits I find admirable in a human being. Historically, although many people persist in thinking of Horatio Hornblower as her primary template, I really don’t. I think there’s probably more of Thomas Cochrane in her, so she’s probably more of a cousin of Hornblower’s than a descendent, since it’s pretty obvious from reading C. S. Forester that Cochrane was Hornblower’s literary “father.” Neither Hornblower nor Cochrane, however, ever rose to the heights within their own Navy that Honor has within hours, although you could probably make a case (now that I think about it) for her Grayson experience equating, in some wise, to Cochrane’s experiences in the revolutionary Chilean, Peruvian, and Greek navies. That particular resonance wasn’t planned on my part, however. A much better historical equivalent for her would, of course, be Horatio Nelson, and I’ve taken some pains to emphasize that relationship, as people familiar with Nelson’s life will probably realize. At the same time, she most definitely is not Horatio Nelson, second iteration. I think this can be most clearly seen in her approach to her relationship with Hamish Alexander, contrasted to Nelson’s relationship with Emma Hamilton, but she would also have been extremely unlikely to duplicate Nelson’s actions following the Battle of the Nile when he was so focused on the Kingdom of Sicily.

I definitely did not set out to create a female character for the purposes of having a female character. That just worked out that way, just as I’ve produced quite a few strong female protagonists in other books. I will admit that I take a certain pleasure in setting female characters in traditionally male roles, which is probably part of why I did it, but that wasn’t a conscious decision on my part. One thing that I did determine early on was that Honor would rise in rank rather than being caught in the “Jim Kirk” syndrome — in that respect, she was definitely following more in the Nelson mode than in the Cochrane mode. The exact way in which the character evolved into who she is today, however, really wasn’t planned out by me. I very seldom build a character by saying “I need this character to be such-and-so, so I’m going to give him/her this or that characteristic.” I usually start with a very general feel for who and what this person is going to be, and then the character builds naturally in my mind as I began confronting that character with problems that need to be solved. The one thing that I had decided was going to be a part of Honor’s character from the very beginning was the contrast between her total confidence in her professional capabilities and total lack of confidence in certain aspects of her personal life. And I decided from the very beginning to give her Nimitz, although the treecats themselves sort of surprised me by the way they ended up evolving. I had their social structure largely nailed down before I began writing, but their personalities and . . . psychology evolved as I watched Nimitz and Honor interacting.

One thing about Honor and her flaws is that she is a smart, capable person, which means that she makes smart, capable mistakes. Another aspect of her and her flaws is the most of her flaws are the vices of her virtues. I don’t think anyone could ever accuse Honor Harrington of having a mean bone in her body, but her temper’s gotten her into trouble more than once, and several of the decisions she’s made have been questionable at best, even though readers for some reason almost invariably give her the benefit of the doubt. For example, in Honor of the Queen, she sets out to shoot a prisoner without trial. In fact, she does shoot him; she simply misses, because someone shoves her hand aside at the last moment. It’s amazing to me how many people don’t think that was a “mistake” on her part! I think that’s because readers hated her intended victim so much and because they so thoroughly understood (and sympathized with) Honor’s motivation. There are other examples, though, including the one that I actually have Michelle Henke point out about Honor’s almost insanely risky strategy at the end of Echoes of Honor. I had Mike make that point because so many readers seem totally oblivious to it!

David Weber’s web site:

http://www.davidweber.net/

Stay tuned for more insights from the astonishing David Weber!

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Wednesdays with David Weber, Part 1

David Weber is author of the New York Times best-selling Honor Harrington novels, as well as a mind-boggling array of other books.  On top of that, he’s a really nice guy who took the time to share a glimpse into his universe.

SciFiBookshelf.com:  Torch of Freedom is the fourteenth book in the Honor Harrington series. For someone who hasn’t picked up one of your books yet (hard to imagine, I know) would this be a good place to jump on board? Or should a curious reader start with an earlier book?

David Weber:  For the honor Harrington series, I think you almost have to begin with Basilisk Station if you want the full experience of the series. Torch would definitely not be a good place to begin; there are way too many threads already in play by that point. I think someone could probably pick the book up and enjoy it even without that background, but they wouldn’t understand a lot of what was going on. I think that any of the first four or five books in the series — up through, say, Honor Among Enemies — would make a pretty satisfying standalone read, and would offer enough of the back story to keep the reader from missing everything that’s going on. Beyond that point, it starts to get more complicated. If you can get hold of one of the CDs Baen has bound into hardcovers in the series, you’ll have the earlier books available in electronic format, along with a lot of other material, but you’ll still do better starting actually reading the series at the beginning. And it is my intention for there never to be an Honor Harrington novel set earlier than Basilisk Station. That’s a deliberate decision on my part, and I’ve been using shorter fiction in the anthologies to fill in some of those gaps. So it probably wouldn’t hurt to look at some of them — especially “Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington” — to get a feel for how Honor became who she is by the time of Basilisk.

If you’re asking about where someone might begin with my books in general, rather than specifically with the Honorverse, I’d probably recommend In Fury Born. I’m rather partial to the Bahzell books, as well, of course, but I think Fury is still probably the best “David Weber introductory” book I’ve done.

David Weber’s web site:

http://www.davidweber.net/

Stay tuned for more insights from the irrepressible David Weber!

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Bestselling author Jack Campbell on Sci Fi Bookshelf.com

Even before it rocketed to the New York Times bestseller list, The Lost Fleet series was hailed by critics and readers alike as some of the best new science fiction to hit the shelves.  Jack Campbell has a lot going for him: strong storytelling, real-life Navy experience, and a knack for timeless epics.  Plus, he’s a lot of fun to chat with.  Here’s what he has to say about starship battles, the legend of Black Jack and the inspiration that drives him.

Sci Fi Bookshelf.com: The Lost Fleet series kicks off with one heck of a bang: the near-annihilation of the Alliance fleet, and the heroic efforts of Captain John “Black Jack” Geary to shake off a century-long hibernation and lead the survivors to safety. Did the inspiration for The Lost Fleet start with that moment in time, or was it more about the harrowing journey home?

Jack Campbell:  The initial inspiration for The Lost Fleet actually grew out of a question posed by Susan Shwartz (another SF writer). She was writing Star Trek tie-ins at the time, and asked how a long retreat scenario would work in that universe. My answer then was you couldn’t do it because of the way Star Trek had established its rules for technology and faster-than-light travel. 

But it got me to wondering how a long-retreat scenario could work among the stars. The model for long retreats is Xenophon’s March of the Ten Thousand, so I tried to imagine how that would translate with a fleet of spaceships. That was half the inspiration.

The other half came from another idea I had been thinking about for a while, the widespread myths in which an ancient hero was not dead, but only sleeping, and would someday return when most needed. King Arthur is one of the most widely known, but there are many others such as the Twelfth Imam. I had been imagining what it would be like for a such a person to actually reawaken in the future. Far from being a figure of myth, they would be a real person, and probably stunned by the legends which had grown around them.

After years of mulling over these two concepts, at some point they came together in my head, and I think they fit very well with each other. The fleet which needs a hero to get it home through great peril, and the hero who is shocked to discover what he is now believed to be and that he is now expected to save the day. The fusion of two ancient ideas made a good basis for a story.

SFB:  What do you suppose makes Captain “Black Jack” Geary such a likable, all-too-human hero? Is it his constant struggle to live down his own legend, or something more?

JC:  I tried to make him human in the sense of being aware of his own limitations and in being often almost overwhelmed by responsibilities that he had never asked for or expected. In much lesser ways, many of us face such situations, so it’s easy to empathize with what Geary is facing. At the same time, he sees the need to be more than he is. Unless he can achieve the sorts of things his heroic image claims he can do, then countless people will suffer. He’s smart enough to know he needs the help and advice of others, that he can’t go it alone even though ultimately the decisions he makes have to be his own. As a result, he respects those around him for what they know and as individuals in their own right.

So I think he is both accessible to readers, who can understand what he’s facing, and a character they can like because he keeps trying despite his fears and does his best to treat others right. He won’t let down those who are counting on him, even though the pressure is almost too much at times. 

SFB:  Can you give us a glimpse of what lies ahead for Black Jack?

JC:  It’s hard to talk about what comes after VICTORIOUS without giving away what happens in VICTORIOUS. (Of course, the name VICTORIOUS does telegraph one of the plot points in that book.) His home is gone, lost in the past, so now the only home he knows is the fleet. He’s figuring out that every victory, every obstacle overcome, just leads to the next problem, and since his existence as Black Jack or his actions to solve past problems create some of the new problems, there’s no honorable way to avoid doing what he can to resolve each new problem. Fortunately, he won’t be alone.

SFB:  What was it like to find out that RELENTLESS had sailed onto the New York Times bestseller list?

JC:  Stunning. The success of the series built over time, so there were a number of “wow” moments. My first two series did okay, but not great, and never got past their first printings. It felt great when my agent called to say that DAUNTLESS had gone into a second printing. Then a third. FEARLESS got a second printing. COURAGEOUS went into its second printing almost as soon as it was released. I think that’s when it really sank in for me and the publisher that the series had serious legs and was continuing to build readership with each new book. VALIANT made some extended best-seller lists, so there were hopes that RELENTLESS would top that. And it did. It feels great to know that my writing, my storytelling, has been welcomed that way by readers.

SFB:  How has your real-life Navy experience impacted your handling of your epic, intellectually dynamic space battles?

JC:  It had a major influence. In the Navy I learned how to drive ships, getting a solid grasp for maneuvering very massive objects with tremendous momentum around each other. We were also tracking the movements of aircraft overhead and submarines beneath. That gave me an understanding of relative motion which I use to map out the movements in the battles. At times I use the old aviator trick of using my hands to visualize movements and aspects as portions of the fleet maneuver.

It was also important in terms of driving home how physical limitations constrain options. You have to plan ahead for where you want to be and when you want to be there. You need to factor in the range of weapons, and coordinate everything so that attacks don’t come in piecemeal or parts of your force are isolated from the rest. And you need to put yourself in the place of the opposition. Where could they go and where are they most likely to go?

I treat each situation, each battle, as if it were real, and I can’t just alter the composition of forces, or the arrangement of forces, or what ships could do. Once I set it up, that is what I have to deal with. That forces me to figure out how to come up with solutions that really would work rather than falling back on sudden amazing events or major on-the-fly technological breakthroughs that miraculously solve the problem. Basically, I treat the Lost Fleet universe as if it is reality, as if I’m driving those ships, and what happens has to fit that reality.

SFB:  Do you have any advice for new science fiction writers today?

JC:   Read and write. Read lots of things, even in areas you don’t normally like, because that’s how you get ideas for stories and how to tell them in different ways, and that’s how you learn what kinds of stories others told.  Write down your own stories, too. Don’t just dream about them, write them down, and when they’re done (and you have to finish most of them so you learn how to finish stories) write some more.

There’s a website that the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America maintains called Writer Beware. It’s a great source of information on what to do if you’re a new writer, and on the many scams and frauds which can await new writers.

Write about what you know (from study or experience), and try to find those places where your own ideas and writing style meet the expectations of readers. You can’t just write for yourself, but you also have to be true to yourself.

And be prepared for rejection. Lots of rejection. Even veteran writers get shot down a lot. When you do get published whatever you wrote is fair game for anyone to comment on, and it’s pretty safe to say that some of those comments won’t be kind.

I always recommend going to SF/Fantasy conventions in your local area. That’s where you can meet and listen to local authors, maybe even meet an editor or two, get to know other aspiring authors in your area, and get some advice on writing and the publishing business. I’ve met a lot of great people at the conventions.

Oh, and speaking of conventions, this year I plan to be at Balticon in Hunt Valley, Maryland (May 28-31), Nasfic/Reconstruction in Raleigh. NC (August 5-8) and Capclave in Washington, DC (22-24 October).

SFB:  Sounds great.  Thank you so much for your time!

JC:  Thanks for reading my work!

Author’s home page:
www.johnghemry.com

Breaking news:
Book 6, VICTORIOUS, releases on 27 April 2010!  Don’t miss it!  Better yet, reserve a copy today on Powells.com or Amazon.com .

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David Sherman chats with Sci Fi Bookshelf about Starfist

David Sherman is the co-author (with Dan Cragg) of the acclaimed military science fiction Starfist series.  As a Marine, he fought in Vietnam, and brings his real-life experience to his writing.  The fourteenth Starfist book, Double Jeopardy, came out in December.  David was kind enough to chat a bit about writing, getting shot at, and even putting together a Star Wars novel.

Sci Fi Bookshelf:  For those who haven’t been lucky enough to pick up a Starfist novel yet, how would you describe the series?

David Sherman:  Starfist is unique in several ways in the military science fiction field.  For one, the novels are told primarily from the points of view of the enlisted men who do the actual fighting.  I said “points of view.”  That’s because there isn’t one specific focal character; if anything, the platoon is the focal character.  Different characters take front and center in different novels.  Also, 34th Fleet Initial Strike Team is an expeditionary unit.  That means they keep getting deployed on different–and different kinds of–missions, rather than going from engagement to engagement in an ongoing war.

First to Fight (Starfist, Book 1)SFB:  Do you feel that because of the changing cast of characters, Double Jeopardy is accessible to a first-time reader?  Or would you recommend starting with an earlier book? 

DS:  I’ve heard from some readers that Double Jeopardy can be read without having read any of the earlier books.  But there is an ongoing backstory, so the reader can get more out of the book if one reads it from the beginning.

SFB:  Speaking of beginnings, you were in the So It Begins anthology not too long ago.  What can you tell us about it?

So It Begins 

DS:  So It Begins is an anthology of original military science fiction stories.  My entry, “Surrender or Die,” was written as the prologue to what was to be the fourth book in my DemonTech series.  DemonTech was fantasy with some realistic twists.

SFB:  You also wrote a Star Wars book a few years ago (Jedi Trial, Star Wars: Clone Wars).  Did that feel like a radical departure for you?

DS:  Jedi Trial was indeed a radical departure.  We want to be as realistic as possible with our characters and the military.  It was difficult for us to write the broadly-drawn, melodramatic characters Star Wars requires, and to write about military units with such a minimal (or even non-existent) structure.

Jedi Trial (Star Wars: Clone Wars Novel)SFB:  How did you and Dan Cragg end up working together on these books?

DS:  Dan and I have known each other since, I guess, the mid-1970s.  I went through a period in the early 1990s when I couldn’t interest publishers in my work.  Dan, who was writing militariana books at the time, pitched an idea to me for a non-fiction book for us to collaborate on.  We wound up writing Starfist.

SFB:  Do you and Dan Cragg have any particular method for writing together?

DS:  Dan and I get together to write an outline.  Nearly all of the books have multiple storylines.  We each write specific lines, and strive to avoid contradicting each other.
School of Fire (Starfist, Book 2)
SFB:  How much of your real-life military experience as a US Marine in Vietnam makes it into your books?

DS:  Having been a Marine infantryman is central to what goes into these books.  Marine culture is different not only from civilian culture, but from other military cultures.  I’ve heard from many current and former Marines thanking me for getting it right.  My Vietnam experience allows me to write convincing combat–I know what it feels like to shoot at someone and to be shot at.

David Sherman’s author web site:
www.novelier.com

Starfist fan owned and operated site:
www.starfisthq.org

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