Stargate Monuments

marthawells

Martha Wells

The Invisible Woman


Previous Entry Add to Memories Share Next Entry
Forest -Kashyyk
marthawells

Good News!

I was waiting to make sure it was okay to announce this, but Jennifer Heddle from Lucasfilm/LucasBooks mentioned it on Twitter: @jenheddle Super excited that @marthawells1 will be writing a Leia-focused novel for us, and @KevinHearne a Luke-focused one. Great authors. Can't wait

I'm writing a Star Wars novel! This happened very fast. I got the first call from my agent about it on July 26, the Thursday right before ArmadilloCon, when I was sitting in a hotel room in Austin waiting to go meet friends to go to dinner. I couldn't tell anybody, which was easier than you'd think, because part of me still doesn't believe it's actually happening.

Star Wars was my first fandom love.

When Star Wars came out in 1977, I was 13 years old. I was already a big SF/F reader, but I didn't know anyone else who was. This was long before the internet, and I'd never met any other SF/F fans, and had been told, despite all the books in the library and bookstore, that I was the only one. When you're a kid, it has an effect on you when authority figures tell you things like that, even if intellectually you know it's not true. So I felt very isolated.

There was no cable TV in those days, so my only access to shows like Star Trek was the fuzzy reruns on a station we could barely get, and I had a lot of trouble trying to convince my parents to take me to movies. I read a lot of movie novelizations, and I read the one for Star Wars some time before I was actually able to see the movie.

Star Wars was a huge revelation. I wasn't alone, I wasn't a freak, there were tons of people who liked SF/F and this movie, and here was the proof. I ended up seeing it nine times while it was still in the theater. That doesn't sound like a lot compared to the numbers that some people managed, but for where I was in my life at that time, it was an achievement. I bought as many of the toys and books as I could. I loved the Brian Daley Han Solo novels. I found Starlog Magazine which back then did a lot of articles on fandom, and I discovered fanzines and fanfiction, which led me to finding other fans, SF conventions, and made me a lifelong fan. I chose the university I went to because it was listed in Starlog in a guide to local SF/F cons and fan groups. I joined the university SF/F group, worked the annual convention, and was eventually chairman of it. Over the years, other movies and TV shows took Star Wars' place to a certain extent, but you never forget your first fandom love.

But yes, I'm still freaking out, and I can't believe this was happening.

Page 2 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
Fabulous and congratulations!

That's awesome! :) You are going to write the hell out of that novel - I can't wait to read your Leia!

My first date was the Star Wars premiere (I was 13, his dad drove us, and he shook my hand at the front door.) I tried to explain to my kids the huge shock and impact (and cutting-freaking-edge effects that look low budget now), but though they love the movies, they just don't get what a revelation that was for small-town geeks.

Thanks!

It was a huge revelation. It's hard to imagine now, how back then we just hadn't seen anything like it on the screen before.

That's awesome. I've only read three Star Wars novels in my life, but with this news, I'm definitely going to be buying and reading a fourth.

Wah, congratulations!!! Considering your incredible strength in world building I sure hope they let you play a lot with the universe!

Are you going to do some posts like Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff did and does at BVC, when she worked on her previous SW Universe collaboration? I found the process between author creativity and big huge but established universe fascinating and would love to see how you experience it.

Thanks!

I probably won't do that. I don't tend to like to talk about my process in a lot of detail.

Congratulations!! Sounds a) awesome and b) fun. \o/

Thanks! I think it'll be a lot of fun.

Oh wow! That is so cool. Congratulations!!

Amazingly awesome! I can't wait to read it!

Sweet! Many congratulations!

Wow! That's so awesome. :D Congratulations!

Not really a Star Wars fan, but this is huge. Congratulations! =)

That is so cool! Congratulations!

That's fantastic news! Congratulations! Go you! I know it will be awesome :D (Really trying not to just fill this comment with exclamation points of joy)

I'm so thrilled you've gotten this. Even more so that its a chance for you to be forever part of a universe you enjoy so much.

While it pains me that this will take you away from writing more Raksura novels, obviously this is a dream come true for you so biggest congrats! Glad you're going to have a chance to touch a franchise that's been so special to you. :)

Congratulations! I think it is wonderful that you're getting to write a book in a fandom that has meant so much to you.

Thanks! (Wish you were here in Chicago with us!)

Congratulations! Star Wars is a great shared universe and it's so exciting to see another author join the ship! I have been a fan of Star Wars novels since I was a little girl. They inspired me to become a writer. It's so great to see more women authors write for the franchise. The Princess Leia novel is especially one that fans have been waiting for a long time. It's great to see it finally happening!

Recently, there's been more talk in the fandom about increasing the diversity in the expanded universe, so I thought I'd strongly advocate for it here. After reading so many Star Wars stories, it began to dawn on me and many of my friends that we don't see ourselves represented in these stories. There are barely any women of color in the stories. There are barely any LGBTQ characters in the stories. And the way women have been depicted in Star Wars books in recent years has been pretty appalling. Strong warrior women benched due to pregnancy(?) Love interests slapped around by the male lead as part of the romance (ookay.) An ex-Jedi so hung up by the death of her teenaged boyfriend from 15 years ago that she allows herself to be manipulated into assassinating someone. Etc.

There's a huge thread at the Jedi Council Forums that a number of fans who advocate for diversity post regularly in. The original thread is currently not accessible, but here is the temporary thread. In it, we debate how diversity in Star Wars has fallen short of other franchises like Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, and we also talk about simple ways diversity can be improved in Star Wars. I hope it is a useful resource for you.
http://boards.theforce.net/xentemp/index.php?threads/diversity-in-sw-lit-coops-temporary-whining-thread.759/

Please consider helping to add more diversity to Star Wars. It will be appreciated by people who are from groups that are marginalized both in Star Wars fiction and in real life.

One thing that I also wanted to note (having been around in this fandom for ages) is that women authors are more likely to be on the receiving end of vitriol from the (seemingly majority male) fandom--or rather, the fandom spaces that are majority men (many women fans have carved out our own spaces away from them.) Karen Miller noted this briefly in an interview (http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/06/sleeps-with-monsters-australian-author-karen-miller-answers-five-questions) and I would agree with it.

I've seen fans laud authors who are men and then mercilessly tear down authors who are women, including AC Crispin, who wrote the counterpart to your Leia novel, the Han Solo Trilogy. A lot of other authors like Kathy Tyers and Elaine Cunningham and Karen Traviss have gotten crap from fans. I've seen authors who are men get slammed by fans too, but NEVER as harshly and never in an explicitly gendered way like how women authors are. If this does happen to you, please know that there is a contingent of fans (both women and men) who support seeing more women authors in this fandom; we support you and we are excited for this Princess Leia novel!

Thanks for your note. I really appreciate your concerns. I've been committed to diversity in my SF and fantasy work for a long time, so I've already planned to include at least one character who is a woman of color. (By the time this book is released, I'll have 14 previous novels out, including several with main characters who are poc.) Hopefully I'll also be able to include an LGBT character as well.

I've been writing since 1993 and have also been involved in the fan community for a long time, so I've also had experience with what some male fans will do and say to female writers. Thank you for your support -- that's very good to hear. I hope I can write the kind of book you're hoping for and that you and the others will enjoy. :)

Page 2 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>