Discussion in 'Literature' started by Shmi52, Oct 31, 2000.
No problem. You are in charge here, Kathy.
Jades Fire: I found my copy of Crown of Fire in the new fiction section of a Christian bookstore. I had checked four other bookstores before going to LifeWay. The other stores did have it in their computers, but could not give me a specific release date. Good luck.
I just want to take this time to thank Kathy and all the authors for taking time to sit and chat with us. We really appreciate it.
I agree with you fully
Kathy, what do you think of the cover art and summary for Conquest at the Official Site? So do you get a preview copy? If so, I'm real jealous!
I can't wait until April! And it's all your fault! Blast that epilogue!
First of all, sincerely hope that others don?t flame me for what I am about to comment on. I was disappointed in Balance Point and I?d like to address the questions to Kathy.
I have to admit, your style of writing SW did manage to make the characters seem more alive than other novels in the past. Despite my feelings for the direction the EU has taken the saga, I found your novel to be a refreshing change. I appreciated the insights into Mara?s psyche, and the way you showed that her bitterness was starting to wear off. I?m one of those that feel that Mara and Luke should never have been paired off in the first place; still I thought that your interpretation of her character was very believable. And, I might add, TAB was one of the few SW novels of the past that I liked. However, I have a problem with the lack of emotion in one scene in particular.
Engaging ranting mode?
When Mara has discovered she is pregnant and she asks Luke to verify it for her. The Jedi Master has just discovered that he is going to be a father!!
Where was the emotional reaction? There was no excitement at sensing the baby, no enthusiasm at becoming a father, no worry about his ill wife carrying a child in the first place. The scene was full of flat dialogue. I thought he was just added into the scene to provide Mara with someone to talk to.
Please! This isn?t just any man; it?s Luke Skywalker, the only surviving Jedi Master, son of the Chosen One, and the hero of the SW saga! Was it too much to ask that he show some kind of reaction? The fact that the Skywalker line is finally going to have an heir is in itself a monumental occurrence, and should have been portrayed in a passionate, moving emotional way. Instead, we were left with a flat boring scene. Considering Mara?s condition, you would have expected him to be concerned that she could even carry a child, since childbirth can cause death. In most instances, a man would be more worried about his sick wife and what kind of affect the pregnancy would have on her life. After all, this is his life mate, his wife, his lover, etc. He expresses no concern regarding her welfare. Oh, wait, he did suggest she see a doctor. My, how touching?
Another point that I found distasteful was regarding Gaeriel's daughter - Manzila or what ever her name was. Gaeriel had asked Luke to watch over her prior to her death. In BP, K.T. writes that (paraphrased) Luke and Mara had taken on a sponsorship of the child, Manzila Thantos (or what ever her name is). Her father died from a strange disease and her mother died some time later. Luke and Mara visit her whenever they could, but they were happy that a well-to-do Bakurran couple had adopted her.
Wow, so that's what happened to Gaeriel's daughter. Luke took her in as a 'sponsor'.
Funny how she never was mentioned as such, or that he ever went to visit her. I think it is a shame, Kathy that you did not even bother to mention Gaeriel's name. Hmmm. wonder if the current publisher had forbidden you to do that.
Funny thing about this whole situation is that this kid must be in her mid teens by now. Where was she the entire time prior to Balance Point? Sorry, Kathy, but it appeared to be a lame attempt to tie in the previous books. It made it seem as if Luke had not really tried to live up to his promise to Gaeriel.
There was another scene towards the end of the book that I found distasteful.
Apparently Mara had become very tired, so Luke suggested giving her a ?Force Boost? or what ever he called it. Ugh! Sorry, but if that scene was written trying to show how much they loved each other, it was an utter failure, IMHO. Talk about rehashed plot lines, this one reminded me too much of the Callista ?ghost-sex? sequence. Ugh!!
End of rant.
Again, let me add that while I do not like the EU story line, I do not approve of Mara Jade as being Mrs. Skywalker, etc, I do approve of your style of writing for the novels. You were able to do what most of the others had not done, and that was to add much better characterization.
MJM -- No preview copy yet! I'm just as antsy as you are.
RANTING JEDI -- I see your point about the L/M scene, and I'm sorry it disappointed you. My two excuses, lame though they may be, are these: 1) Having shown the scene from Mara's point of view -- and as caught up in her own inner turmoil as she was at the moment -- she may have caught only the iceberg-tip of Luke's inner reaction. And 2) I didn't want to scene to go too long and become melodramatic -- knowing some readers would prefer it short and others wouldn't. I don't object to your saying you were one of those who didn't like it this way.
Malinza Thanas, not being anywhere near BP's main action, would have been a serious distraction from the main story. Unless . . . maybe with enough time, I could have given her a genuine role to play, and explained where she'd been during all of the preceding stories. Given plot and time constraints, simply tying off the loose end -- and "explaining" why none of the preceding authors chose to introduce her as a real character -- was all I could manage. I would have liked to have done better.
As for the scene toward the end . . . I'll just concede a major difference (in taste) between thine and mine.
Thanks for softening your "rant" with those kind words re: characterization. My teachers and critiquers down the years have drilled viewpoint into me to the point that I don't know any other way to write.
And thanks for posting. I'm not allergic to criticism. I try to weigh it, evaluate the spirit in which it's given, learn what I can, and move on.
I'm always up for a debate.
RANTINGJEDI -- a few points you made I didn't agree with... ok most of them. Maybe it's because when Luke asked Mara to marry him I jumped up and down and yelled, "It's about time!!!"
Point 1) Luke is not concerned about Mara's welfare.
RANTING, I have no clue as to your age, or even your sex. If you are a father, maybe you are right. But where I'm coming from is taken from conceptions about my parents. Luke is having his first child! He is very concerned about the galaxy this child is being brought into. From what I have understood from the novels, Luke wants a Skycrawler very very badly. He is concerned about the baby definitely! Not to mention Mara would kick him in the head for being concerned about her. She's made that quite clear to him, especially in this book. And he does worry about her later, but right now he is in absolute shock that he's gonna be a daddy.
Point 2) You seem to think Luke is heartless because he is Malinza's "sponsor".
Maybe I'm wrong, but that was the impression you gave me. If I'm wrong, disregard this. At the time of Gaeriel's death, Luke really had no way to take care of her. He was a lonely, Jedi Master bachelor, with no time to raise a little girl. It would be just as bad to have taken her in and shove her off to Leia every time she had to talk about "that time of the month" or something else that girls grow through. Not to mention, a lot of people would love to take pot-shots at Luke Skywalker's adopted daughter. Her being aruond him would constantly put her in danger (as it seems to love to follow the Skywalker line around). Leaving her on Bakura provides a safer, and definitely much more normal life than following Luke around the galaxy. Not to mention since Kathy created Gaeriel, of couse she wants to bring up the subject of Malinza! She commented earlier that seeing previous characters is like "seeing an old friend".
Point 3) "Ghost sex"
Mara is real, Callista wasn't at that point in time.
How do you think the Skycrawler got there?
And I'm a chick
MJM--that epilogue might have been one of the only things that spurred me on to read the next two. I can't wait, I'm in stitches. Soon I'll be ranting... I can hear it now... "Must...get...NJO! Must...release...sooner!"
Aaaaggghhh!! It's coming on! I can feel it!
Â Â Â ?Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Thank you kathy...
Â Â Â ?Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â BP, was the best NJO book. ( thank the "maker") I bought and read the book and listened to the Audio tapes.
Â Â Â ?Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â I would like to complain in some way about the guy who READ BP on the random house tape set.
Â Â Â ?Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â He wasnt very good. (he's new)
Â Â Â ?Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Anyone know how I could do that?
Â Â Â ?Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â When you look at the galaxy and its complexity, you are faced with the fact there MUST me a maker.
I also welcome debate!
Regarding the Luke/Mara marriage difference: Let?s just agree that we disagree on the subject and move on.
Regarding Luke not being concerned about Mara?s welfare:
My concepts regarding how Luke ?should? have reacted are based on being a parent.
As I said before, this child IS important to Luke, but more important is his wife IMHO ? what kind of a man would risk his wife?s life just to reproduce? I think that Luke is the kind of man that would accept the fact that his wife may not be able to bare him a child. He may have already accepted it. A more proper reaction ? again, IMHO, - would have been for him to be excited about the child, quickly followed by a very grave concern about Mara?s life. To say that he is only concerned about the child is to make him a very selfish man, someone that he most definitely is not. Luke would not care a wit if Mara became upset at his concern. After seven years of marriage, they know each other well enough that no matter what either of them say, the other person is not going to change.
Mara reacted reasonably ? concern about the child over her own well being made sense from a mother?s view point.
Regarding the sponsorship of Gaeriel?s child:
If I gave the impression that I thought Luke was heartless, you were mistaken. (Gaeriel asked him to look after her, not adopt her, by the way.) Since there was no mention in the other novels of his sponsorship, I thought that BP should have included the statement that he had visited her for years, and once he and Mara married, they had been able to visit more frequently. A comment could have been made to the effect that Luke did this discretely in order to avoid publicity. This would also explain why the other novels had ?dropped the ball? on this plot line. (And, BTW, many single fathers are quite capable of discussing ?that time of the month? with their daughters, just as many single mothers have to discuss certain things with their sons.)
Regarding the Callista comparison: Another difference of opinion.
As I said before, I don?t agree with 90% of the EU novels, but BP was definitely one of the better-written ones.
I think that Luke when he says that Mara can't go into battle because she would risk that child is really concerned about Mara, but he knows that if he says Mara shouldn't go because she is endangering herself than she'll get really mad, so he says she'll endanger the baby.
Thank you for responding to my post.
Regarding the L/M scene:
Mara?s point of view fits in fine ? it was Luke?s reaction that I objected to, and I think you answered that to my satisfaction. What I would really like to see is the following books in this series ? at least the ones dealing with whatever happens to the yet unborn child ? be written by you. Again, I can?t say too much on how important characterization is in a novel, especially on using characters familiar to and well loved by so many.
Plot and time constraints can be troublesome to work around. Actually, the fault probably lies with the preceding authors not picking up the character, or at least mentioning her.
Regarding the scene toward the end:
Yes, I?ll concede we have a major difference in taste, but at least the reader had a clear picture of what happened.
Point of View? Point of View? * laughs * yes, I understand what you mean about having POV drilled into your head.
I?ve read many of your answers to other posts, and I felt you would take the criticism in the light in which it was given. I realize my criticism was quite harsh, and I appreciate that you were able to respond with both grace and courtesy.
I would hope that others could learn to respond in kind when they read something that they don?t see eye-to-eye with. We are all fans here on this message board, and as such, should be able to discuss various ideas and concepts without being disagreeable or rude.
Thank you again for responding.
BP is not the first book to mention the subject of Luke's visits to Malinza. There was brief mention of this in Jedi Eclipse (pg.202).
First, thanks for answering my questions, Kathy...
So I finally got a copy of BP in Germany, and read it in one night (my wife wasn't very pleased ;-))... I'm impressed. Frankly, I didn't like TAB, but BP i do like. Perhaps because TAB was one of the first to be published after the Thrawn-Trilogy?
Anyway, I now have a question: The scene where Anakin shoots the generator of a freighter remembers me of TPM (space battle over naboo, you know, and this federation droid ship)... purpose? Or did I just misunderstand this scene?
Old-Ben-Kenobi -- Thanks for your post! You can contact Random House Audio at 1540 Broadway, NY NY 10036, with compliments or complaints.
Jarik -- I'd call that a 50-50 concern.
RANTING JEDI --
1) It would be an honor to be asked to write more about the child-to-be, but I know Del Rey is spreading the contracts widely. IF I were asked, I'd certainly give it prayerful consideration.
2) I'd have liked to see Malinza mentioned by more of the others, of course -- but your other suggestion, that L/M could've discreetly visited, was also good. Hope is right -- see JE p. 202.
3) re POV -- Loved that comment (as I respect the others). No flames necessary.
Hope -- Good catch on the JE reference to Malinza. Thanks.
Gorkos -- Not a deliberate parallel, but amusing!
First off, Kathy you wrote an excellent book. Thank you so much fro BP !
Unfortunately, TheForce.Net, whilst a divine site, didn't keep the lid on the big secret, so i already knew about the Skycrawler. But i was still shaking from excitement after i read about it. Throughout the NJO there have been little cameos or brief sentences that have been literally treasure troves for info about characters who have been sidelined. Ranting Jedi has being arguing that Melinza should be a more important character, but it think that just hearing little mentions are so much better, because the story doesn't have to bend to include unimportant characters. There were 3 such mentions that cleared up 3 issues for me, Lando and Tendra as a married couple, Tinian and Daye as parents and Jedi, and finally what happened to Melinza. These tidbits just add more depth to the story. The newcomer to Star Wars wouldn't even realise their importance. I at least am really grateful for them. It was a superb novel Kathy
First off, I enjoyed Balance Point, and I have one question to ask in particular, I apologize if it's already been asked.
The only thing that really disappointed me about the Agents of Chaos Duology was the complete lack of Lando and the fact that he was mentioned only a few times.
I liked that you mentioned him more, and resolved the subject of where Tendra was, but I was hoping he'd make an actual appearance. Were you instructed not to have Lando present or was it your own decision?
DaJames -- I appreciate your mentioning those 3 character situations. You're right -- to a newcomer they'd mean little. But I appreciate the fact that you feel they added depth. We always try for the illusion of real life. Sometimes we even succeed.
CloneofPhanan -- I didn't use Lando as much as I might have because he's "elsewhere" while BP takes place. Also, to create a story with depth of characterization, I had to stick fairly close to my viewpoint characters. I have nothing against Lando and Tendra!
Ranting Jedi, Chewbacca of kashyyyk would like to bungee in here and let you know how CoK saw the emerging Skycrawler scene.
in a nutshell, CoK saw a very, very excited man, who was well aware of the situation his new found baby was placed in. CoK saw Luke as cautiously optimistic. Chewbacca of kashyyyk says this, Luke knows Mara...very well. All of the points that you brought up where valid and CoK thinks that Luke knew that mara had already run them through in her head. With any direction that Luke decided to take, mara would have an oppsing answer. If he was excited, she would make sure he was aware of the potential problems. Luke was showing support to Mara in the way he was found most helpful in the past.....let her guide the way on this one and he will be there for support. That works with Mara, it is why she is a wonderful character. CoK liked this scene and thought it was done well..consistent with how Luke and Mara interact.
One final note, Luke knows that carrying a baby is not a easy task. Some women breeze through the process and for others it is a very difficult process. I am dealing with the latter as we speak as my sister lost a pregnancy yesterday!!
A woman in mara's condition is gearing up for a personal challange to save an unborn baby. CoK believes that Luke was doing backflips inside....but he knew there where to be challanges along the way. this was a great scene.....cautiously optomistic.
Thanks, CoK -- I did try to show in Luke some of the restraint of a mature relationship.
And please, if it seems appropriate give my deepest sympathy to your sister. Several years ago, one of my friends lost an unborn child. It was devastating for her. (But if paying my respects would only sprinkle salt on the fresh wound, I'd prefer you say nothing -- use your own judgment)
Why is she (I assume its Jaina)upside down in the bacta tank?
I'm only on Chapter 17,so if its later, dont tell me
its showing her while shes in a bacta tank, healing up, before she is released to her parents.
Heartfelt thanks kathy:
JediKenobi13 -- Because the artist drew her that way, I guess. Maybe it's a sneaky hint that in order to find the back cover's hidden meaning, you must look at it from different angles? I don't know -- they don't tell me these things!
Up one last time. I invited some friends to drop by. I doubt they'll post, but I'd like them to be able to find it.