Discuss BP with Kathy -- Spoilers Welcome

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Shmi52, Oct 31, 2000.

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  1. JadesHand

    JadesHand Jedi Youngling star 3

    Jul 1, 2000
    Just a little comment - I can understand why Mara decided to keep the pregnancy a secret. It's the absolutely worse time for the NR and the Solo kids were never safe even in the good times.

    But I was thinking about what a morale booster it would have been for the populace. Why should the people worry about the Vong, the Jedi aren't, they're out having babies! :))

    Is Keyes going to write a second novel now that Freidman is out? That's a loooonnng time between books.

  2. wild_karrde

    wild_karrde Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Oct 8, 1999
    Yes, Keyes is going to write a second book. His original book is still coming out around September, and he's writing a "prequel" coming out in April.
  3. Mastadge

    Mastadge Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 4, 1999
    One last question: Were you aware of the Duros/Neimoidian connection started I guess by Peet Janes?
  4. Shmi52

    Shmi52 Author of New Jedi Order: Balance Point star 3 VIP

    Nov 20, 1999
    lord_los -- Droma & Vergere came from Jim, as far as I know. GREAT characters.

    Jen -- The stakes in Jacen's decision, as I understood them, were to either accept his heritage & the responsibilities that came with it, or else bear the responsibility for Leia's death -- and he too probably would have died. If that were the "small misstep" implied in his vision -- if that would've been "failing to catch Luke's saber" -- there's no telling how far into the future the ripples of his mistake would have traveled.

    I think you called it right -- my thoughts regarding "the Voice" were probably along the line of an inner voice, an echo or facet of the Force itself.

    Gav -- Jacen's bond with animals probably is related to his sense that he'd make a good healer. That would take a good deal of empathy, and I see Jacen as one of the most empathetic of all Jedi Knights.

    Luckster -- Of course I realized I mentioned Adumar! ;) I enjoyed the book -- I assume you found the Allston character, then? Not any of the strongest suspects, but I liked this one --

    Insubstantive questions -- you're right, I can't answer them. Sorry.

    Regarding the idea that a Jedi knows no fear: In Jacen's vision, he felt a kind of fear -- a passionate, reverent awe -- of the light. Later, he felt he was justified in experiencing another kind of "fear" -- being concerned -- caring and empathizing -- for others' safety. IMO, he may be gathering himself to transcend that dogma and take it to a new level of understanding.

    Interesting thought about the Halcyon disposition. Sounds possible in this case.

    BCAMERON -- Thanks for the kind word about Firebird. Others will be naming the child. I'm not sure which others -- sorry.

    Mike -- It was hard for me to keep secrets, too. ;)

    According to DR and LFL, the Friedman series was cancelled so that more attention would go to the hardcovers.

    AlphaWolf -- I don't mind BP as a title. It really grew on me. Other proposed titles will be described elsewhere (in other words, one of your friendly admins beat you to the Q in a PM). :)

    darthmorgan -- the Voice was my idea -- see above. I'm actually pleased it has piqued so many people's curiosity.

    Gandolf -- re "Junior" -- Han also called Luke "Junior" in ESB, didn't he? It seemed in character for him to use the nickname.

    Chewmonkey -- I was assigned a basic story line, but I was free to decide how to play it out. Rather like real life, I think. Once LFL approved the outline, I had to stick with it . . . a little frustrating for a character writer like me, at times, since I always try to give characters right-of-way over plot. But Shelly did coax a good outline out of me, I think. Nothing became impossible as the scenes actually unfolded.

    LFL is supervising this series much more closely than the Bantam series. That is certainly their right. My non-SW friends look at me oddly when I tell them Star Wars is a "franchised universe," but that's one way of looking at it! (Not TOO seriously, please . . . )

    w_k -- Thanks. Stop back again.

    Rogue 11 -- I wrote TAB very early in the EU's real-world history, and yes, things have changed a bit (see earlier in this and other posts). Both times, it was a privilege and a fearsome responsibility, knowing just how many people would be reading it and just how seriously they'd be taking it. Sometimes these characters do feel like real people, but -- I guess I'll let you finish the statement.

    Mastadge -- I'm glad you were satisfied with Jacen's character development. By the time I finished writing BP, I felt that I knew him, too.

    re Danni -- There just isn't room in every novel for ever character. That would make it jumpy and cluttered.

    Genghis 12 -- I felt more pressure this time around, but that was internal, and no one put it on me. Now I feel the creative, spiritual, and emotional responsibility of fiction writing more keenly than I did back then. There's a full explanation in the bio on my website, if you're interested.

    Yes, I made a conscious effort to ans
  5. Mastadge

    Mastadge Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 4, 1999
    Okay, you wrote the fourth entry into the EU with TaB (After Tim Zahn's three), and now you've written the fourth story of the NJO (After VP, DT, and AoC). Any chance that you'll write the fourth original prequel-era novel as well?
  6. Thanos6

    Thanos6 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 20, 1999
    I just thought of a question--

    Way back when you first revealed yourself as, well, yourself, (you know what I mean ;) ) you commented that you were having difficulty because you had written a character into a corner and didn't know how to get him/her out. Who was this?
  7. Maul Brady

    Maul Brady Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 12, 1999
    MARA'S PREGNANT????????

    Do you wanna come over for a thank you dinner?? I live in a College dorm room, but I think I can learn how to cook in a day!! Oh and I'll pay you the ticket to Puerto Rico and take you to the beaches and we'll go shopping together in Macy's (they recently opened it!)!! And I'll pay for everything!! But THANK YOU for letting my main Girl, Mara get pregnant! It was much needed!!!!! Definitely our Lord has given you some kick-ass talent!

    Can you believe I have never in my life gotten so excited over someone who is pregnant in real life, but here I am with happy tears for my Girl Mara!!?!? Awwww

    Sorry I didn't read the other posts but I must not spoil myself more! :)
    And last, THANK YOU!!! Im glad it was you who wrote this exciting chapter in EU history! :) You rock!

    Yeah the Jedi's are out there havin' babies ehhehehe Thank the Maker for Vergere and those healing tears of her!! ;)
  8. wild_karrde

    wild_karrde Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Oct 8, 1999
    Morning KT!

    Quick review:

    "The Good"
    1. Great characterization. All the characters acted exactly as they should at this point. I was especially pleased with Han. He's changing and maturing as a person.

    2. Mara and Luke. My 2 favorite sceens in the book were a) when Luke was hugging Mara from behind as they were talking near the beginning and b) when Luke finds out that he's going to be a father. Beautifully written. Thank you.

    3. The Young Solos. Yes, from now on I will refer to them as "Young Solos" instead of "Solo Kids". They definatly have more to learn, but they are no longer children, IMHO.

    4. Tsavong Lah. His speach at the end was incredible. I can't wait for more of this guy. I hope he sticks around.

    "The Bad"
    1. Leia. I am becoming increasingly bored with her character. It seems she always does the same thing: goes to a planet to try to get the gov't to help, worries about her kids/brother/husband, tries to help, but has to be rescued. This isn't your fault, but more the Bantam authors who never let her become a full Jedi. Hopefully, her easy defeat will show her that she needs more training.

    2. No Wedge! j/k the fewer books he's in, the less chance of him getting killed.

    3. Randa dying. I, too, was actually beginning to like him. You know you're a talented writer when you can make a Hutt likeable:D

    "The Ugly"
    1. Leia and Jaina with no hair! Now every time I picture them, I'm going to see Sinead O'Connor!

    oh, and that baby thing was OK, I guess ;)
  9. DarthDave

    DarthDave Jedi Youngling star 2

    Nov 1, 2000
    Hi Kathy, just a few quetions on the overall story arc. I have not yet read balance point but I read most of the spoilers.
    Is Vergere supposed to return in future books?
    Will the planet in Rogue Planet play any role also in NJO?
    In Vision of the Future, Zahn had the Chiss preparing for all types of invaders. Why doesn't Luke or the new Republic go to them for help. I know they got some ships from soontir fel and his nephew but they must have some intelligence?

    Last but not least, why do the Yuuzhon Vong have no connection to the force? They are not like the Gotal species, I do not see them related to the ysalmiri. The force is to flow between all species and forms of life and I can't believe that because they are from a different galaxy, that they have no force connection.
  10. wild_karrde

    wild_karrde Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Oct 8, 1999
    DarthDave - She probably can't answer any of those questions because of her pesky implant!

    Seriously, I'm sure she's not allowed to answer any questions about upcoming stories. We just have to wait and see.
  11. Mastadge

    Mastadge Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 4, 1999
    That's easy for them to say...cancel a trilogy, expand our wait for the next book two- or three-fold, and then tell us we'll just have to wait...typical.
  12. jedimasterED

    jedimasterED Moderator Emeritus star 4 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 10, 1999
    Okay, I FINALLY found the time to finish BP, and I just have to say WOW!!! All around, a very fine book.

    As a Jedi Freak, THANK YOU for introducing a few more of those roughly 100 Jedi out there.

    As a fan, THANK YOU for the "Skycrawler". I can't wait to meet him!

    As a reader, THANK YOU for staying so true to the characters while writing their development and maturation so well.

    Oh, one question: Was the Warmaster's plot against the Jedi your idea? This should be interesting to watch play out.
  13. Jedimama

    Jedimama Jedi Youngling star 3

    Jan 7, 1999
    Well, after an evening of trick-or-treating with 3 kids, it was certainly nice to get to come home and curl up with BP. :)
    I loved the book. The characterizations were fabulous overall - especially Luke and Jaina. Having 2 daughters (and a son!) I can see having some of those same issues come up in the not-so-distant future.
    The fact that the new 'face' in the Skywalker family is in production was the highlight of the story - and I am quite pleased that the child will be male. I have been involved in several discussions on this forum with others who felt strongly that Luke and Mara should have a girl, but I belive the myth and parallels in SW almost demanded Luke Skywalker have a son.
    I must admit, the previously mentioned 'pro-life' theme seemed, to me, a bit forced at times. Some of the wording and phrases used had the distinve echo of modern day pro-life rhetoric, and I found myself wondering where the natural dialogue and feelings of the characters ended and personal politics of the author began. Having 3 children myself, I understand very well the emotions that come with motherhood, but I also know that had I been terminally ill at the time I become pregnant that hard choices would have had to have been made, one way or the other - and the situation wouldn't have been resolved in one brief discussion with my husband. Was it 'proddings of the Force' that drove Mara and Luke to make such a snap decision?
    That ebing said, the Luke and Mara sectins were byfar the best I have read. They actually appeared to be a loving, and at times, very sexy couple. It was uplifting to see them so happy.
    Jacen has moved up a notch on my 'favorite character' list - I think I almost understand his motivations now.
    That voice was a sly entry...very nice! I'm betting it's Anakin - since he does seem to like to pop into your books. :) I *hope* it was Anakin, anyway!
    Oh - the best part - we finally - FINALLY - got the opportunity to get a sense of what Luke looked like - the gray hair, distinguished comments were wonderful. These little things were what made the book skyrocket above many of the other novels I have read.
  14. Echo

    Echo Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 9, 1998
    Dear Kathy,

    I just wanted to let you know what a wonderful thing it is you're doing for the Star Wars fan community. I have been a life-long SW fan but haven't read any novels since the last book in the original Zahn trilogy- and I honestly wasn't planning on picking up BP either. But suddenly I find myself swayed, my interest peaked- and not because of any of the plot points that I've read about here necessarily- but rather because of the thoughtful answers you've given to your fans and, simply, the sense I get of you as a person. I know that may sound a bit strange, but knowing something about someone makes experiencing their work infinatly more interesting. Knowing that you have cats could get me thru the first 5 chapters alone!

    Just kidding.

    But really- I am excited to read a SW book by an author who seems thoughtful and intelligent- and a SW fan herself!!!

    So thanks for your time. I fear I wont get it and finish it in time to ask you questions here- oh well. But thanks in advance for helping to get SW back on track with the focus where it belongs: The Skywalker Saga. I just hope I know what the heck is going on after not having read a SW EU book in so long!

    Take care.

  15. Xizora

    Xizora Jedi Youngling star 3

    Mar 17, 1999
    Balance Point is a great book. I am hooked! Mara has always been one of my favorite characters. Now she may just be my favorite.

  16. Eclectikaki

    Eclectikaki Jedi Youngling

    Oct 31, 2000
    What part of the country ARE you from? I'm a Bostonian, but I'm at a university in Utah and we've had three episodes of snow in the last day and a half.

    Personally, I only stay up all night to finish a book if it's absolutely unputdownable (yes, I know that's not a websterword, but I'm an English major and as my creative writing professor once said, "English and linguistics majors are the only ones with enough authority to make up whatever they darn well please."). Examples have been: the fourth Harry Potter book (stole it from my fifteen-year-old brother and wouldn't give it back until I finished it five hours later), "Kaddish" by Leon Wieseltier, and Balance Point. Otherwise, I just stuff them into my bookbag and figure I'll finish them during my orchestra rehearsal or a dull moment in German class.

    Are you ever going to write more SW books? I like the way you handle the characters.
  17. wild_karrde

    wild_karrde Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Oct 8, 1999
    "unputdownable"? Well, BP is the only book I've read in one sitting, and I've read (probably) about 500 books. What's that say?
  18. Mastadge

    Mastadge Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 4, 1999
    I read Hero's Trial in one sitting, but that was on a 13 hour plane ride so it didn't count.
    And I read Balance Point in one sitting.

    The first book I ever read in one sitting was Where the Red Fern Grows.
  19. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 9

    Jul 19, 1999
    One day and 80 replies later and I'm back on the thread, wow! 80 replies in a day, talk about phenomenal!

    Kathy, thanks for the answers and info. I think the fact you didn't deliberately try and match the fall of Duro to any real tragedies was the best option, a match up may have seemed a little heavy-handed; instead you just wrote the best story you could (no, I can't see any improvement being needed) and Srebenica floated up through my head as an analogous example.

    I am surprised that the reason for the Knightfall trlogy's cancellation is that DR wanted to focus attention on the HBs, it seems a less than sufficient reason to cancel a whole series. Strange.

    Best wishes
  20. The Gatherer

    The Gatherer Jedi Youngling star 6

    Aug 2, 1999
    Kathy - since most of your book deals with the planet Duro, how did you deal with the Duro / Neimoidian situation.

    Previously, the Duro were their own race, having a 10,000+ history. Now, as of this year, and LFL revisionist history, the Neimoidians became the Duro's sometime after Episode I.

    I think explanations are being worked on in future resource books (Essential Guide to Alien Species) - just wondering if you knew about the change, and how you handled it?
  21. JediMasterAaron

    JediMasterAaron Jedi Knight star 5

    Oct 14, 2000
    Kathy, seeing as we're really starting to run out of original questions to ask you, I just wanted to take this time to thank you for posting on this message board, and giving the fans a chance to interact with the author. You have no idea how many times, while reading through my mountains of Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels, I have wanted to ask them a particular question concerning the series and the novel in general. It's really fantastic of you! Congratulations on a wonderful book and a great achievement!!
  22. Shmi52

    Shmi52 Author of New Jedi Order: Balance Point star 3 VIP

    Nov 20, 1999
    Jades Hand -- you're right, a public Jedi pregnancy could boost public morale. But Mara's being protective now -- putting her child's welfare first. Been there -- it's amazing how quickly those hormones kick in.

    Mastadge -- I don't recall when I learned about the Duro/Nemoidian connection. (Sorry)

    Moi? Write a fourth prequel-era novel? That would be an amazing coincidence, all right. I have neither plans nor expectations at this point.

    Thanos -- The character I'd backed into a corner was in another book . . . I think . . . no, wait, it was . . . hm, was it Leia, in the first draft? Sorry. Colander brains.

    Maul Brady -- Do read my first post. That one's safe, if the pregnancy's already spoiled for you. Lots of other people deserve thanks over this.

    w_k -- Thanks for the review. Yes, L/J with no hair takes some imagining. Shelly wasn't sure it'd be OK with LFL (IIRC), but I guess they decided to go with the dramatic image, since hair does grow back. I was rather more surprised they let me injure Leia so severely. I WAS playing off the expectation by so many folks that a main character would die in each hardcover.

    DarthDave -- I'm really sorry, but w_k is right -- the only answer I can give is, "Wait and see -- you're in for a great ride!"

    jedimasterED -- Hm, if I told you the warmaster's plot against the Jedi wasn't my idea, what would you conclude?

    Jedimama -- Thanks for your comments, especially about Luke & Mara. I do believe that by now he looks "distinguished." ;)

    Echo -- welcome back to the EU, then! I hope you enjoy BP. Watch for the cat reference in the refugee camp. My small Molly has a cameo.

    Xizora -- Thanks much.

    Eclectikaki -- Oh, this isn't our first snow. Thanks for the unputdownable comment, but (college-mom mode on) get your sleep!!!! (college-mom mode off) :) What do you play in orchestra?

    I think my last one-sitting book was Stephen Lawhead's TALIESIN . . . back when I had pneumonia and was being waited on by my family.

    The Gatherer -- Sue told me I really didn't have to deal with the Duros/Nemoidian situation, so I didn't. We'll see what they've got up their collective sleeves.

  23. Shmi52

    Shmi52 Author of New Jedi Order: Balance Point star 3 VIP

    Nov 20, 1999
    Thanks very much, JediMasterAaron. Obviously, I won't be able to keep it up at this commitment level for very long -- but it's been great fun, and I'll try to keep answering questions on this thread. I've looked forward to this . . . though I did have some fluttery-nerve moments over the weekend, and I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop. ;)

  24. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 27, 2000
    Aw Kathy! thats bad news about the titles! I wanted to know!

    Surely you can tell Wittle owd me? Pweese, with chewys on twop. :)

    //"theres more members who will see this than just you AlphaWolf."

    "What? What are you talking about. More members?"

    //"Yeah. THeres loads"


  25. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 9

    Jul 19, 1999
    Hmm, it's been years since I read Lawhead's Taliesin, it is an excellent story, though make sure you read Merlin and Arthur as well.

    Enough of a brief, offtopic post!

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