Tim Lebbon Live Chat Recap

May 23, 2013 at 8:21 am | Posted in Books, Del Rey, Events, Star Wars, Star Wars Books | Leave a comment
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If you missed out on the Tim Lebbon live chat on Star Wars Books Facebook page yesterday, you can check it out here. Below you’ll find our edited transcript.

Tim Lebbon: Hi guys! Looking forward to this. Let the questions begin!

In the book you depict the actual training that Je’daii go through on Tython; how much creative freedom did you have with those sequences?

Tim Lebbon: Quite a lot, actually. My editor was keen to see some of the training in the Je’daii Temples, and as I developed the story I found that it fed in VERY nicely to Lanoree and Dalien’s background and what went wrong between them in the past. The temples themselves were already established by John and Jan, but the training they go through and a lots of the geographical details, etc, are all my own. That was a GREAT part of writing the novel … and there are other Temples I didn’t get to visit.

Tim, in what ways was writing in this new era of the Star Wars universe challenging? Are there other eras or characters you’d love to write?

Tim Lebbon: The era attracted me partly because it’s relatively unplumbed, and also because of the difference in how the Force is used and perceived. Balance, rather than just light or dark. I like that in my characters — shades of grey. And I also LOVE origin stories, and the whole Dawn of the Jedi era is the ultimate!

I’m about halfway through the audiobook, noticed that the language is a little harsher than I’m used to in Star Wars, did you get the okay or is this the direction the franchise is going in…more “edgy”.

Tim Lebbon: My editor agreed it was in context. I’m told it’s darker, grittier than most Star Wars books, that’s the way I write I guess. Some grim, dark stuff goes on in the novel, and I think characters’ reactions and language should be allowed to reflect this.

A non-Star Wars question – any chance of a return to Noreela, or Echo City?

Tim Lebbon: I’d like to — I almost wrote a zombie novella set in Noreela (might still). Echo City, I fear, will remain a stand-alone novel.

There is also the Echo City short story – but novellas or more shorts would be welcome – cheers.

Tim Lebbon: True! I always loved Noreela, and plan to return one day.

Did continuity with the rest of the Star Wars EU make you have to change any of your original ideas for the story?

Tim Lebbon: Not hugely, mainly because this is set so far back in the EU timeline (20,000 years earlier than any other book, I believe). I had to liaise with John and Jan in great detail — I couldn’t, for instance, blow up a city they wanted to use in their later comic arcs — but there was a lot of creative freedom. Actually i loved the interlinking of my novel with their comics …. hope the readers do too.

Love the dark eu books. And I love the life philosophy that the books and movies give. Since starting reading them my outlooks on life have changed immensely. Did you find the philosophical part challenging?

Tim Lebbon: Perhaps challenging a little, but for me it’s stuff like that that really makes a book, fleshes out the characters, gives them conflicts and challenges, and makes them three dimensional. Delving into the philosophies and beliefs gives a story like this soul.

I also want to add a non-Star Wars comment: The Island is one of my favorite novels ever!

Tim Lebbon: Hey, thanks! It’s writing dark fantasy like that that helped me write the Star Wars novel.

Are you doing any signings, by the way?

Tim Lebbon: I’m in the UK so doubtful for the USA. Although I am at a Star Wars weekend at the UK’s National Space Centre in September.

Tim, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE write more Lanoree Brock stories!

Tim Lebbon: I’d love to! We’ll see. You liked Lanoree?

She is my new favorite character in the Star Wars galaxy. I am immensely familiar with the EU and her Je’daii sensibilities and no-nonsense style are refreshing.

Tim Lebbon: Thanks, that means a lot.

One last comment – as a professional scholar I don’t get much time to read for pleasure so almost all fiction I experience is by audio. January Lavoy did a magnificent job narrating the story and providing us with what I think is the first Star Wars novel length audiobook narrated by a woman.

Tim Lebbon: I have yet to hear it, hope to soon. But I know how excited the audio guys were about the fact that this was the first female narrator. That was nice! I think having a strong female protagonist has pleased lots of readers. I loved writing Lanoree.

Tim, how was writing in the Star Wars Expanded Universe different than other shared worlds you’ve written in?

Tim Lebbon: I’ve written Hellboy novels and 30 Days of Night novels, and have just finished an Alien novel … but Star Wars is such a MASSIVE universe, with so much established fact etc that in some ways the whole EU feels more like a real history, similar in some ways to Tolkien. So with that as the main difference, in many ways it helped — the universe was there, the readers would already have a handle on the background — and in some ways it made it more challenging, because although it’s set so far in the past, I can’t do anything that would affect the established history. Probably one of the most enjoyable writing experiences of my career, whether it be a tie-in novel or one of the 30-plus novels I’ve written of my own.

Are there any other eras or characters in the EU you are interested in writing?

Tim Lebbon: Boba Fett, but I’m sure he’s had his share of adventures. And I’ve always been interested in the EU’s far future … probably because of “..a long time ago…’

What was it like to take some of the ideas introduced in Dawn of the Jedi world and developing them further? Did you use John as a reference?

Tim Lebbon: Yeah, John, Jan and I talked a lot, but the meat of the story in the novel is all my own. I wanted to write something large scale (dare I say epic?) whilst steering clear of the main action of the comics. So it takes places at the same time as the Force Storm arc, but the story and action is (mostly) independent.

I saw that issue #2 of the Dawn of the Jedi comics is in the center of your book. Is it there specifically to show the two story’s timeline or just at random?

Tim Lebbon: It’s actually issue #2 of the second arc, not sure why specifically it was chosen…

I’m curious on two points: do you hope/plan on continuing with the timeline that you started in the EU novelization? Also, why did you choose to have a female Je’daii? Why not a male and if it had been a male would it have changed the story arc at all?

Tim Lebbon: First question: I’d like to. Second: it seemed to suit the story well. I love writing strong female characters — have always done so, especially in my fantasy novels. And I think if the brother/sister relationship had been the other way around it would have felt like a very different novel.

Hi Tim! Did you ever listen to The Old Republic soundtrack, and the Tython track in particular, when writing the novel? I love the soundtrack and the Tython track with its sublime rendition of the Force theme.

Tim Lebbon: I didn’t, I’ll have to check that out.

Do you ever sell signed copies via your website perhaps? Would love a signed copy, great story and very cool cover art.

Tim Lebbon: I have limited copies I’m afraid, but ALWAYS happy to sign a book if you send it & return postage. Contact me through my website and we’ll sort something out (I usually throw in a surprise extra).

Hi Tim – which would you rather take part in – the battle on Hoth or the attack on the Death Star?

Tim Lebbon: Oh, the Death Star battle, of course. I don’t like the cold. And there’s the whole ends-better-for-the-rebels thing, too.

Tim, you’ve mentioned that Lanoree’s name is an anagram of your daughter’s name. Did you take any inspiration from her behavior, personality, conversation style, etc. as you wrote the flashback scenes?

Tim Lebbon: Not really to be honest, I just used her name to create Lanoree (and my son Daniel is … Dalien! He was most pleased to discover he was the ‘bad’ guy).

Bravo by the way for the tenacity to write about an era we really no nothing about.

Tim Lebbon: Thanks…it was the task LucasBooks gave me, and it excited me a lot. A challenge, but I like that in my writing.

Was it daunting when you were first offered the job?

Tim Lebbon: A little daunting to begin with, but I soon got so engrossed in the story that I set that aside and wrote for myself (always the best way).

Hello Mr. Lebbon. How does it feel to write Star Wars prehistory? Is it still Science Fiction, or more Fantasy-like?

Tim Lebbon: It’s a great honour, very exciting. For me Star Wars has always been more fantasy than science fiction (it’s not our future, it’s another galaxy’s past).

Halfway through Into the Void…very much enjoying it so far. I hope we see more from you, Tim. Is this a multi book contract?

Tim Lebbon: Thanks! Just this book for now, but I’d love to write more about Lanoree and her adventures.

Would love to see series though. And I like your writing style (so far) so if that happens hope to see more from you.

Tim Lebbon: Thanks!

Loved Into the Void! Do you have any recommendations on where to start in reading some of your original work? Like specific novels or starting points?

Tim Lebbon: Thanks…for dark fantasy I’d recommend Fallen or Echo City, or horror Coldbrook, or short stories & novellas Nothing as it Seems. Hope you like what you find!

I liked that the language was a bit more tinged w a bit more “saltiness”…added a bit more realism, and formed a nice differential to the way some authors have the Jedi (and other characters) come across with an air of being “holier than thou”.

Tim Lebbon: Yeah, I wanted Lanoree to come across as very real, very honest. A real person.

Well we as readers love to see something new that would be a challenge to write and I’m sure that you did a killer job in writing it and leaving your footprint in the Star Wars universe.

Tim Lebbon: Hope so! Some big footprints to follow.

That would be great. It seems a lot of Star Wars has been started to get kicked out too fast. It’s nice to see someone embrace it and breath some fresh air into it!

Tim Lebbon: Thanks, David, that’s very nice of you.

Just got my copy literally 30 minutes ago. 10 pages in and I’m hooked!!!

Tim Lebbon: I like to hear that. Hope you enjoy the rest of the book.

Hi Tim, i was just recently introduced to Dawn of the Jedi. unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to read them yet but I am strongly looking forward to it.

Tim Lebbon: Thanks, you’ll love the comics too. Great stuff from John and Jan.

Don’t really have any questions yet (don’t want spoilers). Just started your new book. Only 50 pages into it. Love it already. Can’t wait to see what happens.

Tim Lebbon: Thanks!

Do you think you will write more Star Wars books in the future?

Tim Lebbon: Difficult to see the future is.

Hi Tim! Thanks for chatting and for a spectacular book! We want more Star Wars books from you!

Tim Lebbon: Thanks guys, it was a pleasure, so glad you liked the book. Honestly ….. I had SO MUCH fun writing it.

Star Wars Books: Alright everyone, that about does it. Many thanks to Tim Lebbon for taking the time to stop by the page. And thanks to all of you. Be sure to check Star Wars Books regularly for news on future chats, and if you have an author in mind, let us know!

Tim Lebbon: Thank, everyone! Any more questions, I have my own Facebook page, feel free.

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.
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