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  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Holbrook

    Do you believe such things as this question and answer session is in an author's best interest. The individual contact with readers brought about by the internet, is it a boon or a horror.

    Does it make you more wary of what you write on message boards? Do you try and guard your image, or create an image you wish to show readers? Or do you accept that some day some obsure post will come back and bite you in the bum and don't lose sleep over it.

    Thanks.
    I don't really think about it.

    It's fun. That's all I care about.

    The only image I have -- that I'm aware of -- is that I'm a person who will give a straight answer to a straight question, the first time you ask. The single most common reaction I get is a sarcastic roll of the eyes and a "Don't sugar-coat it, Matt; tell us what you REALLY think."

    Because that's exactly what I do. Every time.

    If that image ever bites me in the bum, I'll take the scar and be proud of it.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Sammie
    Hi again

    I really like this angle on the difference between scifi and fantasy (trying to work out which that makes Perdido St Station........Juxtapostupid, maybe ).

    Do you feel, therefore, (extrapolating this a bit further...) that a novel set in a conceivable 'future world', but in which that setting is not vital to the plot and/or the conflict is purely internal, does not fall into the category of science fiction? Certainly this is a feeling/impression that I have experienced in the past, without really being able to put my finger on what I meant.

    Serious question? I think it's simply a case of not having my 'suspension of disbelief-mode' switched on when I pick up a fantasy novel believing it's sci-fi. This meant I had some trouble accepting some of the resurrection/Deity-based moments. Which was a shame because BoT also contained some of my favorite 'Caine' moments......but as a whole I definitely preferred HD.

    Ooooh - also, do you object to the abreviation 'scifi'? (Where is Shehzad? He's not gonna be able to resist jumping in on that one )

    (Is that too many questions?! )
    In my personal definition of fantasy (well, GOOD fantasy, anyway), I would also include the idea that the external landscape is a metaphoric -- mythologic, one might say -- reflection of the character's psychological (or mythological) conflict. Which is why we find the landscape of fantasy populated with archetypes; good fantasists, however, remember exactly where the mythologic resonances elves and dwarfs and dragons and minotaurs and whatever really lead, and use them (or their attenuated, poetified images) for their proper purposes, or ironic versions thereof.

    Elves, for example, often operate as near-desexualized anima, right? Perpetual adolescents, playful and dangerous -- the ultimate lure for the Humbert Humberts in all of us . . . a Lolita who will never lose her innocence . . . Which is part of the reason the only elf you meet in HEROES DIE is a knife-edged lesbian who runs a brothel . . . get it?

    I do resist the term "scifi", but only out of elitism; it's an easy way to winnow the real hardcore SF snobs from the Trekkers and Bab5 types . . .

    As far as preferrring HD to BoT, well . . . read 'em both again five years from now. You may find your opinion reversed. You may not.

    I don't mind, either way. Just so you read them.

  3. #33
    Kiss my axe! kahnovitch's Avatar
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    Hi Matt,

    While you were writing the "Revenge of the Sith" novelisation, did you feel restricted in the sense of "artist license" as to what you could write.

    I'm thinking in the nature of perhaps graphic violence etc, that may be unsuitable for the market or target audience of Star Wars.

    Sure I know a lot of us old original Star Wars fans still follow the new prequels, but they do seem to be geared at younger viewers.

    Did this affect your writing style or content? Did you have to "tone it down" at all?

    Cheers.

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by kahnovitch
    Hi Matt,

    While you were writing the "Revenge of the Sith" novelisation, did you feel restricted in the sense of "artist license" as to what you could write.

    I'm thinking in the nature of perhaps graphic violence etc, that may be unsuitable for the market or target audience of Star Wars.

    Sure I know a lot of us old original Star Wars fans still follow the new prequels, but they do seem to be geared at younger viewers.

    Did this affect your writing style or content? Did you have to "tone it down" at all?

    Cheers.

    Um, nothing personal, and I hope you don't mind my asking, but --

    Are you on drugs?

    Younger set? Compared to RETURN OF THE JEDI, ATTACK OF THE CLONES is COLD MOUNTAIN (but without all the boring stuff; yeesh, COLD MOUNTAIN had me nodding off --!).

    And have you read SHATTERPOINT?

    Now that I'm done making fun of you, I'll offer a serious answer to your question.

    No, I didn't tone anything down at all. Star Wars is Star Wars. It's a matter of emphasis, that's all -- it's a matter of focusing on what the story is actually about. When you're writing COLD MOUNTAIN, you focus on the gruesome details -- that's what your story is about; Star Wars is about the qualities of spirit that overcome those details, even when you have to look at them.

    So I guess I have to ask you again:

    Did you read SHATTERPOINT?




    REVENGE OF THE SITH is about moral issues and psychological struggles. Just like everything else I write. I simply happened to be lucky enough, in this case, to have Mr Lucas's script to work from, and to have the Star Wars universe to work with.

    I write flat out, all the time. Everything Mr Lucas didn't like, he changed.

  5. #35
    Kiss my axe! kahnovitch's Avatar
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    Hi Matt,

    The only drugs I'm on are nicotine and alcohol.

    You'll have to forgive me for not knowing as much about your work as the legions of Stover fan-boys, no doubt lining up to be your own personal "Groom of the Stool"

    I haven't read you at all, although I've hear some good recommendations from members here.

    As for "Shatterpoint", I don't read fan-fiction.

    By fan fiction I mean stories involving characters, universes, concepts and phliosophies, that are written by people other than those who created said universes etc.

    I know there are several authors who write "official" Star Wars stories as you do, but the franchise was created a while back even when the two of us were still kids.

    I did take a look at "Shatterpoint" online.

    It's about Mace Windu, played by Samuel L Jackson.

    A character who's genesis consisted of Mr Jackson saying on a chat show, " I'd love to be in Star Wars! Hell, I'd even play a stormtrooper!"

    George Lucas heard about it and called him up...

    Lucas, "Hey Sam. I heard you want to be in my movie. Is that true?"

    SLJ, "Hell, Yeah! Who am I playing?"

    GL, "How about... a Jedi Master?"

    SLJ, "HELL YEAH!"

    GL, "Fine. You're in. You will play Mace Windu..."

    SLJ, "Um yeah George. One thing. Can I have a purple lightsaber?"

    GL, "Sure. No problem."

    SLJ, "Oh yeah and can I have bad motherf****er stensiled on the handle?"

    GL, "No. It's a PG Sam."


    Of course Lucas needed someone like your good self to fill in the holes of this rather dodgy genesis, which I'm sure you did a stirling job on.

    BTW, Welcome to the forum.
    Last edited by kahnovitch; November 29th, 2004 at 04:52 PM.

  6. #36
    Banned Eurytus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MWStover
    Um, nothing personal, and I hope you don't mind my asking, but --

    Are you on drugs?

    Younger set? Compared to RETURN OF THE JEDI, ATTACK OF THE CLONES is COLD MOUNTAIN (but without all the boring stuff; yeesh, COLD MOUNTAIN had me nodding off --!).
    Given the content of the latter paragraph is your question supposed to be ironic.
    No offence but Attack of the Clones was similar to the rest of the Star Wars works.

    i.e. Lots of eye candy and ludicrous dialogue.

  7. #37
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Okay, let's not go there. Star Wars movies are off topic. (And we really don't want to get me started on "Attack of the Clones.")

    Summary:

    Kahn asked if Mr. Stover had to tone down violence in his Star Wars books. Mr. Stover pointed out that it sounded like Kahn had not read these books or he would know that the violence wasn't toned down. Kahn confirmed that he has not read the books and they are not his sort of thing. Moving on, anybody got any further writing questions for Mr. Stover?

  8. #38
    The Great Flying Bear choppy's Avatar
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    Mr. Stover - as others have said before, thank-you very much for taking the time to chat with us aspiring writers.

    What's the writing process like for you? How do you maintain focus on a single project?

    Some writers sit down and plan the whole story out before putting pen to paper, while others are inspired by a thought and just jump in. How much planning do you do? Do you work in spurts, or do you keep a pretty fixed schedule?

    (I hope that's not too many questions.)

  9. #39
    Loveable Rogue Moderator juzzza's Avatar
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    Mr Stover,

    Do you want Kahn's address? Just kidding

    Have you had any interest in making HD into a movie, would you be interested or is it an aspiration, especially as you have mates like Lucas in your auto-dial!?! Has Lucas read any Caine?

    Forgive me if I am being ignorant relating to the timing of your involvement with the Star Wars franchise, but did you get to go along to the studio or on-location for any of the movies... Did you meet any of the *cough* actors?

  10. #40
    I think Kahn was referring more to the content of the book in direct relation to the movies - Like having a Jar Jar Binks character...

    Let's face it, the new trilogy IS geared towards younger viewers and there is no way that can be disputed (short of drug usage).
    Attack of the Clones was in no way more gritty than Return of the Jedi just because there was a large land battle - RoTJ was a MUCH darker story.

    Ok now for my question, do you ever have to deal with parents or in-laws telling you why your story uses too much violence? Or do you just never show it to them? Or did you have to put them in their place at one time?

  11. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by juzzza
    Mr Stover,

    Do you want Kahn's address? Just kidding

    Don't need it. He/she/it seems perfectly happy in his/her/its ignorance; why rock the boat?

    I mean, by that definition, HAMLET is fan-fiction (Shakespeare based it on a play written by his roommate, Thomas Kyd). As is THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING. Then there's Goethe's FAUST. Not to mention THE ILIAD and THE ODYSSEY, OEDIPUS REX, MEDEA, THE TROJAN WOMEN . . . and let's not even get into, say, Frank Miller's THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS or Alan Moore's MIRACLEMAN or SWAMP THING: AMERICAN GOTHIC or . . .

    Like I said, why rock the boat?

    I would LOVE to see HEROES DIE made into a movie. You know any producers who might be interested? Mr. Lucas is a little busy, these days.

    No, I didn't get to visit the sets, or meet any actors. The meeting with Mr. Lucas was plenty.

    TEC --

    "no way that can be disputed"? In what universe?

    I got one word for you, pally:

    Ewoks.

    'Nuff said.

    And no, nobody messes with me about my stories being too violent or too intense -- except, occasionally, some bluenoses among SW fandom . . .

    choppy --

    I don't have to work to maintain focus on a single project. I am only capable of working on one project at a time. That's just how I'm built.

    I generally work from an extremely specific outline, that takes the story point-to-point along what I call the "chain of necessity" -- each event propelling the characters (and the story) into the next. The few times I haven't, I've regretted it. And I keep to a strict work-schedule -- about six hours of actual writing time a day, worked in around meals, workouts, and taking care of my dog . . . plus the night job . . .

    It keeps me pretty busy.

  12. #42
    Banned Eurytus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MWStover
    Don't need it. He/she/it seems perfectly happy in his/her/its ignorance; why rock the boat?

    I mean, by that definition, HAMLET is fan-fiction (Shakespeare based it on a play written by his roommate, Thomas Kyd). As is THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING. Then there's Goethe's FAUST. Not to mention THE ILIAD and THE ODYSSEY, OEDIPUS REX, MEDEA, THE TROJAN WOMEN . . . and let's not even get into, say, Frank Miller's THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS or Alan Moore's MIRACLEMAN or SWAMP THING: AMERICAN GOTHIC or . . ..
    Hmmm apparently comparing a work that contained lines like, "wanna buy some deathsticks" to Cold Mountain wasn't enough.

    Now the big guns of civilisation are being brought in.

    Which only makes the comparison ever more questionable.

    Quote Originally Posted by MWStover
    TEC --

    "no way that can be disputed"? In what universe?

    I got one word for you, pally:

    Ewoks.

    'Nuff said.
    You messing with Ewoks?
    You think they were going to offer Han some flowers or a back-rub. They were all ready to chow down on him and his buddues.

    You remember that adorable scene with the Ewok playing the drums on Stormtrooper helmets?
    What do you think happened to the heads that were in those helmets?
    They weren't having a vegetarian option for their celebration feast you know.

    They were just a bunch of furry Jeffrey Dahmers.

  13. #43
    MJ Dusseault Spears&Buckler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eurytus
    You messing with Ewoks?
    You think they were going to offer Han some flowers or a back-rub. They were all ready to chow down on him and his buddues.

    You remember that adorable scene with the Ewok playing the drums on Stormtrooper helmets?
    What do you think happened to the heads that were in those helmets?
    They weren't having a vegetarian option for their celebration feast you know.

    They were just a bunch of furry Jeffrey Dahmers.
    I disagree. Those little teddy bears were a huge black eye on that movie in my opinion. The took a lot away from what was a great story otherwise.

    Back on track.

    Matt, correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that your first works (Jericho Moon, Iron Dawn, etc.) were "Historical fiction" so to speak. How much are you interested in history in general and do you parallel some storylines with historical events?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Spears&Buckler; November 30th, 2004 at 04:13 PM.

  14. #44
    The Doctor... Sammie's Avatar
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    Ok, come on folks, you've already been asked once - please keep the StarWars movie chat to the Movie Forum...

    ...and enough with the backbiting already, guys!

    Thanks,

    Sammie.

  15. #45
    Hey there, S&B --

    ID and JM were properly "historical fantasy" -- that is, fantasy novels interwoven with actual history, in such a way that the fictional events are consistent with the known history, written and archaeological, of the period -- in this case, the Late Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean.

    I am very interested in history, but I use it only to inform my feel for human nature and for the way events play out -- I don't, like, write fantasy battles that parallel Waterloo or that kind of crap. Not my style.

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