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Meeting Tim Zahn-Questions

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Coonsan, Feb 2, 2007.

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  1. Coonsan

    Coonsan Jedi Youngling star 2

    Dec 3, 2003
    Ok, so tomorrow I am going to the Tim Zahn book signing in Philadelphia with the 501st. I'm not in it, but my cousin is, so I'm getting a free ride :) Now I may not get a chance, I've never been to one of these before, but does anyone have any questions they want me to ask Mr. Zahn? I was also thinking about telling him to pop by the Literature forums sometime, as long as no one eats him (you know who you are). Hopefully this will be really sweet! Just drop any questions and I'll try and remember to ask him.
  2. Katana_Geldar

    Katana_Geldar Jedi Grand Master star 8

    Mar 3, 2003
    Raise a certain POINT with him ;)

    And if he has beaten Stackpole at SW Trivia Pursuit yet :D
  3. 000

    000 Jedi Master star 4

    Oct 18, 2005
    Ask him about the "Bantam Invasion," just to watch him squirm.
  4. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Jul 30, 2000
    Ask him how he got the job as a Star wars writer.

  5. YodaKenobi

    YodaKenobi VIP star 6 VIP

    May 27, 2003
    Ask him why he rawks so much.
  6. THRAWN007

    THRAWN007 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Jul 3, 2002
    Ask him if he still wants to do a novel with Luke,Mara and Ben Skywalker post-Legacy of the Force.
  7. SuperWatto

    SuperWatto Wattos Host/Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 19, 2000
    Charlemagne - we've known the answer to your question for quite a while:
    [link=]a guy named Lou Aronica[/link]

    No... Ask hims how he feels about the Vong.
  8. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Jul 30, 2000
    Better questions

    1. Outside of Pellaeon's perspective, how does he REALLY feel about Vader.


    2. Has he changed his opinion of the Empire with the Prequels
  9. ThrawnRocks

    ThrawnRocks Jedi Master star 6

    Apr 10, 2004
  10. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 9

    Apr 17, 2006
    Ask him why K.J. Anderson decided to name a Ildiran Admiral after him in Saga of the Seven Suns

    What a mouthful.
  11. Nieber-Gon-Jinn

    Nieber-Gon-Jinn Jedi Youngling star 1

    Oct 30, 2006
    Well I asked him about Jacen turning to the darkside and he said it didn't really matter to him because, Quote,
    "I just got him born."
  12. Mariu

    Mariu Jedi Youngling star 2

    Sep 2, 2006
    Hope that is not his parenting philosophy.
  13. THRAWN007

    THRAWN007 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Jul 3, 2002
    Or ask him if Luke or Mara are killed off or frozen in carbonite in Sacrifice (as hinted on the cover). Would he like to write a Ben Skywalker only novel perhaps finding Luke or Mara depending on what happens in Sacrifice.
  14. 000

    000 Jedi Master star 4

    Oct 18, 2005
    What, now?
  15. SuperSaiyaMan12

    SuperSaiyaMan12 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 30, 2005
    Ask him on his opinion on the way Star Wars novels are going now adays, as well as his opinion on Del Rey.
  16. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Mar 1, 2002
    So Coonsan, I was there. What question did you ask him? I was the one asking lots of questions - from how would he feel if they killed off Mara Jade in the Legacy series to Pink Five in the book.
  17. Mark686

    Mark686 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Aug 30, 2001
  18. THRAWN007

    THRAWN007 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Jul 3, 2002
    I meant ask him depending on what happens in Sacrifice. If Luke or Mara are killed off would he like to write a Ben Skywalker only novel perhaps have Ben visit the worlds of the Chiss and the Unknown Regions.

    But if either Luke or Mara are frozen in carbonite in Sacrifice would he like to do a post-LOTF book where Ben searches the galaxy for either one of the two. Unless they will be thawed out in the last LOTF book.
  19. Coonsan

    Coonsan Jedi Youngling star 2

    Dec 3, 2003
    Yes, i remember you obviously. I was the young guy with a ponytail who asked him about stackpole and such.

    Ok, I'll just expain my day with him and what I learned. I went down to Philly with the 501st Carida Garrison since my cousin is in it (Go Carida!) There was an introduction, and question and answers segment where he talked a lot about different things, ranging from how he got started in Star Wars to how writing a Star Wars book works to his creative process and writing style. A few questions were asked, many by dianethx, which I'll let her tell you her questions. I asked if he had beaten Stackpole at SW trivial pursuit and if he thought Stackpole would write anymore books. First he said him and Stackpole haven't gotten a chance to play SWTP in a while, and he only won because he had a good fan-partner. He also said that writing SW books comes down to Del Rey approaching you, so he said he couldn' even speak to himself, let alone Stackpole and how many Bantam authors didn't make it through to write with Del Rey. After the signing, being with 501st, I was astounded to here we were taking him out to dinner. We went to a restaurant and ate dinner with him. I sat two seats away from him and the whole table was engrossed in Star Wars conversation the entire time. It was amazing. I'll just make a brief list of some of the things I learned from him or heard him say.

    -Never expected Mara Jade to be this popular
    -Pleased that some of his creations and ideas got used in the movies (Coruscant, etc)
    -Said how throughout the Bantam era, it seemed to him that Luke got more and more overpowered, and so in the HoT duology he tried to reign him in and "nail his shoes to the ground"
    -Mentioned how he doesn't read other Star Wars books because he might end up disagreeing with what other authors do and such
    -When asked about writing a Ben story, he said to me at dinner he would like to write a story of Ben meeting up with a Thrawn clone, and how the clone was a clone of thrawn, but he wasnt THRAWN, so he would have to be expected to save the day or whatever
    -Figured out through conversation he hates timetravel and was very sadded by the mention of flow-walking and such
    -He doesn't get consulted about his character or anything. Mara could be killed and he would have no idea. Once he writes something, it becomes property of Lucas.
    -He seems to be very Pro-Sith, at least during the conversation we had about Jedi and Sith
    -I asked him about Formbi and told him that some people thought he was a Thrawn clone, or had a secret, but the conversation sort of got interuptted and not finished.
    -That in Allegiance, he wanted mara's lightsaber to be Mace's, but they edited it out.
    -He described writing Thrawn as playing chess with himself.
    -Said he does not have a background of Chiss culture written, but meant for them to be a confederation type government, and not an Empire
    -Said he had no idea what was going on with the Empire of Hand, but when I mentioned being absorbed by the Remnant or Chiss, he said he couldn't see it being absorbed by Chiss, but maybe the Remnant.
    -When he was asked to write the HoT, he gave a few 'demands', that he wanted to end the Imperial/New Republic war, among others that I can't recall off the top of my head.
    -He wrote Outbound Flight before Survivor's Quest, but due to publishing changes, SQ came out first. Said he didn't really like writing prequels and such.
    It was a blur of a day, so anything else I remember, I'll post back on here, or if there are any other specific questions, maybe I can answer them. Also, dianethx may be able to post what she learned besides me, since she did ask a lot of questions and spoke with him during signing. All in all, he was a pretty nice guy. On a small trivial note, he had a calculator watch, how classy :)
  20. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Mar 1, 2002
    He was a great guy to talk to.

    Some of my questions:
    Did he consider himself a fast or slow writer?
    He generally writes 1000-1500 words a day at the beginning of his novels and it may accelerate as he gets into the story. It takes him 5-6 months to write a novel.

    Pink Five?
    Yes, Pink Five Stacey (from the fanfilm Pink 5 and its sequels - love them!) is in Allegience. He laughed when I asked the question and then went on to explain to the audience who Pink 5 was.

    What did he think about Mara possibly being killed in the Legacy series?
    As for me asking him about Mara possibly dying in the LOTF series, he joked that he'd have to kick butt. He did say that other authors would usually ask before killing another author's character and he hasn't been asked but that doesn't mean they won't. He did say that Mara was a very popular character and he couldn't see them killing her off, though.

    How did he weave all the threads that we see in his books - especially the Thrawn series?
    He explained that he used to write by hand but that computers make it much easier. He also said that he usually writes an outline (a couple of pages for the first in the series and then a page or two for the other books after that).

    In line, I asked him about his college degree.
    He was originally going to college to get a phD in physics but found writing instead. He got as far as a master's degree and was studying fluid dynamics when he quit. I actually understood what he was talking about...LOL.

    In line I also asked him what he would have done if he hadn't become a writer.
    He said that he wasn't good at anything else (which I can't believe) He was such an nice guy.

    He also said that he likes either brand new books to sign or else well-loved ones. Shows that they've been read more than once.

    Other things

    This time he was given 3 time periods by Lucasfilm as his choice and he chose right after ANH because there were very few books/comics from that time period. He didn't want to step on other author's toes so he chose that time.

    He has no idea if Lucasfilm wants him to write any more. He'd be willing. He's currently finishing up his Dragonbane kids series, his publisher wants him to do a sequel on the Rigel book and he has another book in a series planned but I don't remember what it is. He wasn't planning on doing any more Conqueror's series.

    I think I covered all my questions... I tend to ask a lot of writing questions since I write fanfic and am always interested to see how the profic writers do it.

    I had a great time.
  21. rhonderoo

    rhonderoo Former Head Admin star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 7, 2002
    A friend with our 501st just asked if we wanted to have dinner with him tomorrow night. My best friend, who's a big Zahn friend is squeeing right now.
  22. browwiw

    browwiw Jedi Master star 3

    Jan 10, 2007
    I'll give you twenty bucks if you ask him if he makes his Admiral Thrawn and Mara Jade action figures kiss each other.
  23. Jedi Trace

    Jedi Trace SouthEast RSA star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Dec 15, 1999
    Squee! ;)[face_laugh]

    And I can't think of a single question that hasn't already been answered.

  24. King_of_Red_Lions

    King_of_Red_Lions Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 28, 2003
    I'm thinking about going to the signing in Atlanta on Thursday. I'd have to drive 80 miles, though so I'm undecided.

    I've got an old hardback copy of Heir To The Empire sans dustjacket that I'd love to get signed.

    Did most people only bring copies of Allegiance or did they bring a stack of all the Zahn books they owned? I'd hate to get an eyeroll from Zahn if I showed up with four books. I imagine his wrist gets tired.

    How many people were at the signing you attended?
  25. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Mar 1, 2002
    I brought 9 books with me. After 5, they made me go to the back of the line which was fine and then he signed the rest when I got back up to the front. I brought paperbacks and hardcovers plus one of my daughter's Dragon books for him to sign (she was thrilled). He signed all of the books that people had plus any comics that they brought.

    25-30 people. I was surprised there weren't more.

    I had more questions that I didn't have time to ask.

    Does he base his characters on what is needed in the plot or on interesting personality quirks?

    Besides Mara, who is his favorite OC?

    If he had to write the Thrawn trilogy over again, are there any new characters that he'd add?

    Are there any characters that he'd like to kill off but can't due to plot points or fan objections?

    How does he approach writing Luke? (Luke is a hard character to write and get right)
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