No, I'm not about to do another one, and the one about which I'm talking, Shadow Games, was by Maya Bohnhoff and Michael Reaves. The title, which wasn't the working one–that was Holostar–was apparently decided upon by fans, and the book hit the racks a couple months ago.
There is a lot of stuff in it that a couple of my fans have asked about, the teras kasi martial art, Black Sun, the character of Dash Rendar, yadda, yadda. Did I have a hand in the book?
Well. A little bit yes, and mostly, no.
First, the book was entirely written by Bohnhoff and Reaves. I have, from time to time as a friend and collaborator, contributed the odd scene or chapter to some of Michael's books, but nary a graph did I put in for this one. They wrote it, not me.
On the other hand, five years or so ago, Reaves and I talked about doing another Star Wars novel together (we've done three) and I came up with the basic premise of a story set in the entertainment industry. A rock star who is beset with danger and, hires some bodyguards, and who turns out to be not quite as innocent as first thought.
We batted the idea back and forth, changed the rock/holo star from a guy to a girl, cut, added, blended, and came up with characters and plots and settings and all, and pitched it to Del Rey. We thought it was unique for their universe. We could do a backstage tour of Star Wars celebrity and have a fine romp, elements of mystery, like that. Madonna. Or these days, Lady Gaga ...
Del Rey was not enthusiastic. They wanted changes, they wanted us to include canon-characters, and a few other things that would have made it into a much different book.
Reaves and I thought about it and decided we didn't want to do it that way.
So we thanked them, but decided we'd rather not. No harm, no foul, see you around.
Fast forward a couple of years. Del Rey dropped us a note: The idea had percolated and they had gotten more interested in it. What say?
Reaves and I talked. I didn't see that anything had changed, they still wanted us to do stuff I didn't want to do, so I told Reaves that. Well, he said, if I wasn't interested, would it be okay if he did it on his own? Or with Maya, with whom he had done other projects?
Sure, go ahead, with my blessing. Everybody who knows anything knows that the idea is not the big deal, the execution is. Have at it.
So he did.
(Meanwhile, I got a call from our SW's editor. Since I wasn't interested in doing a Star Wars novel, was I maybe interested in doing an Indiana Jones novel? Having never gotten to play in that area, but having done four SW's novels, I was interested in trying something new. So I did.)
Thus my input on Shadow Games was minimal. What I came up with, and later what Michael and I passed back and forth, is not exactly what he and Maya wound up doing, though the basic notion is the same. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but is there a scene where somebody gets an offer they can't refuse? They wake up with Jar-Jar Binks' head in their bed?
Or did that get cut ...?)