Production notes and trivia from my experiences on comic books, fiction, and games including
Star Wars: A New DawnStar Wars: Kenobi Star Wars: Knight Errant
Star Wars: Knights of the Old RepublicStar Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith
Star TrekMass Effect Overdraft Iron Man & more!

Order the Star Trek Prey trilogy here!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Overdraft reaches Earth -- plus, an e-signing!

Another addition to the bookshelf!
And another addition to the bookshelf! The print edition of Overdraft: The Orion Offensive has arrived in my offices, and is now available. Amazon in the U.S. is shipping them right now, but they'll come online at other booksellers soon.

Overdraft, as discussed here, is set 125 years in the future, at a time in which Earth has joined the commercial network of the Orion Arm of the Milky Way. Naturally, we've brought along some of our bad habits — including Jamie Sturm, a conniving stock trader who accidentally bankrupts his expedition from the comfort of his computer terminal. But Bridget Yang and her team of mercenaries refuses to simply go into unemployment: instead, they return to the Solar System to draft Jamie into service as an interstellar trader. They'll be taking him to the most dangerous places they can find to trade, until he gets their money back!

The book was initially released as a Kindle Serial, and the full ebook can be obtained here. The trade paperback, at more than 400 pages, is now on sale — and preorders are also being taken for the audiobook, shipping in November. Be sure to check it out. You can also get the prequel short story here.

Lastly, Brilliance Audio is handling the library sales for the book (yes, even prose copies): librarians, order it for your library system here. The ISBN number is 978-1-4778-0752-1.

OVERDRAFT E-SIGNING: I am also offering an "e-signing", for as long as my supplies of the book last. If your mailing address is in the United States and you'd like a signed copy of the trade paperback, then e-mail me at the address at left; cost is $21 through Paypal (that's the $14.95 cover price plus USPS Priority Mail shipping, Paypal account is the same as the e-mail address). Be sure to include any personalization requested, as well as your return address, naturally!

Contact me about international sales — postage would be whatever the USPS charges, but after a certain point it may make more sense to just download the ebook! You can find other books available on my Shop page.

I've been told there'll be another book arriving tomorrow, so I expect to be back here soon... 

Monday, July 22, 2013

San Diego 2013 convention highlights -- guest-starring the Rebel Legion!

Thanks to Joseph Setele for the photo!
Back from San Diego, and quite a bit to round up here. In addition to being a great show, it was a trip book-ended on both sides with surprising Star Wars meetings.

On the flight from Minneapolis, first off, I met another author, John Flynn, whose name I recognized. It turns out that years ago he wrote the Fall of the Republic fan story treatment ostensibly for Star Wars Episode III — which I bought at a convention in 1985. The story of how I realized it wasn't the real movie treatment is something I had just written up in a little slice-of-life piece for an upcoming issue of The Gathering — and so it was wild to meet John in person. (He had written the treatise as a Christmas gift for friends one year, and somehow it got into circulation. Mystery solved!)

In San Diego, I met with lots of publisher friends and with fans, doing two signings with Del Rey. The publisher gave away Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith copies, as well as Star Wars: Kenobi posters and a very special item: the Kenobi Krayt Dragon Call keychain.

It's a version of an actual device found in Kenobi, and Leland Chee was able to locate the original sound file for the krayt in Episode IV for it. They were popular enough I could barely hold onto the things (and if you held too many too hard, you'd wind up with a hand that screamed like a wooly mammoth). Check out Leland's video of one here. As you can see at left, it's useful against Tuskens wherever they might be found!

Leland Chee moderated a panel with me and several other Star Wars authors: Vader's Little Princess author Jeffrey Brown, Crucible author Troy Denning, and J.W. Rinzler — who showed the Star Wars gag reel he'd unearthed. Del Rey's Frank Parisi and Lucasfilm's Jen Heddle rounded out the panel with news on upcoming projects.

I also did a number of interviews with various sites. Check out my video interviews with The Scoop and with RoqooDepot has all the Star Wars-related videos here.

And then there was another surprise at the Del Rey booth: I was inducted as an honorary member into the Rebel Legion, by Zayne Carrick, no less! (Actually, Lisa Curtis.)

This was very cool — my 501st induction had come back in 2009, so it was time to get signed up with the rebellion as well! James Floyd of ClubJade has the presentation video here. Clearly, I'm speechless!

I really do appreciate the kind gesture from the Legion. Now to figure out how to get both those badges onto my badge holder!

I also got to speak to a lot of friends in the business and in fandom — including attending the Star Wars Action News Fan Breakfast and the Random House party — and there were a number of only-at-Comicon moments. Visiting the Bongo Comics booth to talk Simpsons Comics, I looked up to see that none other than Matt Groening was there signing. The Springfield creator himself!

And then later, while hanging out with old friend and fellow Star Wars author Michael Stackpole (who was there to promote his latest World of Warcraft novel), Dork Tower creator and Apples to Apples illustrator John Kovalic dropped by to demonstrate his newest movie-themed card game, Double Feature, for us. Look for it — it's a winner!

Finally, on the flight out, Delta randomly seated me next to Star Wars Atlas co-author Daniel Wallace. We're crossing paths a lot: he also happens to be appearing at the Hernando, Mississippi library a week before I appear at the Kenobi release event at the Booksellers at Laurelwood in nearby Memphis on August 27.

That — and Geek-Kon in Madison the weekend before it — is my next slated travel, and I'll need the breather to work on my various projects (and to get caught up on sleep). But after 19 years of visits, San Diego continues to be a unique experience not to be missed lightly. My thanks to the team at Random House, the Rebel Legion, Star Wars Action News, and everyone who made it a memorable experience for me.

Also not to be missed: On Tuesday, the physical edition of Overdraft: The Orion Offensive releases. Be sure to get yours!

Monday, July 15, 2013

My San Diego Comic-Con 2013 schedule

Third Comic-Con International - San Diego in a row for me, and that's the first time since... maybe 1997-99? I can't remember. What I can remember to do is to post my schedule:

Friday, 12-1 p.m.: Star Wars Authors Panel, room 7AB: panelists include Troy Denning, Frank Parisi, Jen Heddle, Jonathan Rinzler, Leland Chee

Friday, 2-3 p.m.: Signing, Del Rey booth, #2913D in the Lucasfilm section of the main hall

Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Signing, Del Rey booth, #2913D in the Lucasfilm section of the main hall
The Del Rey booth will have their fiction sampler for giveaway, as well as posters and, while they last, copies of Lost Tribe of the Sith.

I will also be around the hall at various times from Wednesday to Saturday. Interview requests while on the show floor, tweet to me at @jjmfaraway on Twitter— can't guarantee I'll get it in a timely manner, but I'll try.

And away we go!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Reporting for duty: Star Trek: Titan - Absent Enemies!

I mentioned with my Conan post yesterday that I'd been broadening my horizons this year with work in some other science fiction and fantasy sandboxes — and here is some quite fun news indeed that I've been sitting on for a while. I am delighted to report that I am writing a Star Trek: Titan novella for electronic release by Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books. Coming soon: Absent Enemies!

The Star Trek: Titan series tells of the adventures of my favorite and yours, William T. Riker, named captain of the Titan back in the final Next Generation movie. He's joined in the stories by a trusty crew including some familiar TV faces like wife Deanna and the former Voyager officer, Tuvok. There have been several works in the series, written by talented writers including Michael A. Martin, James Swallow, Christopher L. Bennett, Andy Mangels, and Geoffrey Thorne; Titan also appeared prominently in David Mack's Destiny trilogy.

My own Absent Enemies picks up in the "present day" of the post-NextGen literature timeline — and it is inspired by and in part picks up on the events of one of my favorite TNG episodes. I won't say which one yet, but for years, I had thought the episode held the potential for another story to be told — and I'm happy to get to do it here. Riker is my favorite character from what I still think of as the "new crew," and I've been greatly enjoying writing him.

I doubt anyone will be surprised that I've been a lifelong Trek fan (just as I've been a Wars fan, a Whovian, a Marvel Zombie, etc., etc.); in fact, as I've mentioned here on the site, the very first prose fiction pitch I had accepted was years ago for the Starfleet Corps of Engineers series, back during my earliest days writing Star Wars comics. That line folded before the story could come to pass, and I ended up using one of the concepts in Pandemonium, the bonus novella in Lost Tribe of the Sith. Many years have disappeared since then, but not my interest; speaking both as a writer and a fan, I'm pleased to finally be writing a Trek novella after all. (And I'm pretty certain there are a lot more electronic readers out there today!) It doesn't even feel strange to commute between universes — I'm not even the first guy named J.J. to do so!

For you Trek fans visiting this site for the first time, welcome! While I continue to write the Star Wars material that I'm probably best known for — my Kenobi hardcover releases August 27 — I've written a lot of harder science fiction in the Mass Effect and Iron Man realms, and I have just released my first creator-owned SF project, Overdraft: The Orion Offensive, which is now available in ebook and print editions. You can get a taste of the work with the "Human Error," the prequel short story, which is available for free download through Sunday. I have behind the scenes pages on my site for ever

There's no release date announced for Absent Enemies, but I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, I can report also my San Diego Comic-Con signings have been set for the Del Rey booth in the Lucasfilm area: 2-3 on Friday and 11:30-12:30 on Saturday. And don't miss our Star Wars Writers panel at noon on Friday in room 7AB!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Conan for Thanksgiving! My first trip to the Hyborian Age

I mentioned a ways back that I'd be doing licensed work in a lot of different areas — shorter pieces, in some cases, but in some sandboxes that I haven't written in professionally before. I am pleased to announce one of them now: I've written my first Conan story, to appear in Robert E. Howard's Savage Sword #6 from Dark Horse Comics!
"Sargasso of Sand" reunites me with Philip Tan, the artist who drew "The Deep End" in issues #79-82 of my run on Iron Man, nine years ago. It's a fun short story, in which Conan encounters a madman who may not be as crazy as he seems. I saw the completed art for it just today, and it looks wonderful.

Savage Sword is an 80-page anthology magazine, and the current release date on the Dark Horse website is November 27. (Conan for Thanksgiving!) That's a different date from the one in the preorder link, but the link should still work. (Also, the line-up in that issue has changed since the solicitation to include my story — but the Dark Agnes image at left is still the cover, I am told.

Conan's a fun departure for me from science fiction fare — the sort of thing I'd like to do more of in the future, as my schedule allows. It's a schedule that includes yet another sandbox that I'm writing in, to be announced here tomorrow. That one, I think, should come as a surprise as well, but it's one I've been asked a lot about. Stay tuned...

(By the way, a quick reminder that Human Error, the prelude to Overdraft: The Orion Offensive, is still free this week on Amazon!)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Overdraft now available worldwide -- and download the prequel for free!

All sorts of news today! "Poison Pill," the last chapter of Overdraft: The Orion Offensive, has now released -- featuring Bridget Yang and her team in a pitched battle to rescue their trader, Jamie. And unbeknownst to them, the stakes are the very survival of the Earth!

The release means that the book has completed its run in the Serial program, and thus available for purchase worldwide, both as a physical book and an e-book. The UK order link is here.

And to celebrate the release of the completed Overdraft,  I'm releasing the original prequel short story to Overdraft, "Human Error," as a free download just this week on Amazon!

Through Sunday, July 12, you'll be able to download the first Bridget Yang story, set just days before the events of The Orion Offensive. Bridget Yang's armored warriors were equal to any interstellar danger -- except bureaucracy! Bridget and company discover at the worst possible moment that their multi-world federation has sent them the wrong species' armor. What do you do when an alien menace is devouring the world beneath you — and you've got nothing to wear?

As part of the Kindle Select program, "Human Error" will be free this week and 99 cents afterward. Grab it now to get the complete story — and then drop back here to read the production notes on the story, back from when it originally appeared in the Armored anthology.

And while we're talking about the Serials program, Amazon announced just yesterday morning some pretty big news: the launch of Jet City Comics, its own graphic novel imprint. Comics will be released as serials, just as in the Overdraft example — graduating to graphic novels at the end. Click to read more about it!

More news still? Okay. The folks at Del Rey have announced the title for my short story in Star Wars: Insider #143: "Incognito". They've also released a peek at some of Chris Scalf's art for it. As you may have heard, "Incognito" is a prequel to Star Wars: Kenobi — but it actually takes place during the events of Return of the Sith, when you think about it, as Ben hasn't reached his final destination yet. It's a fun story and features a new character whose origins go waaaaay back in my Star Wars work; that should provoke quite the search!

And Troy Denning's Star Wars: Crucible released yesterday, and that includes as a bonus the prologue for Star Wars: Kenobi. (I guess it's bonus prologue day!) And just one day left on the Kenobi drawing at Goodreads.

Whew! That's it. I'll be doing some more work on the Overdraft production notes page and timeline, as preparation for San Diego Comic-Con allows.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Overdraft print edition ships July 23 -- and a new Kenobi short story!

A couple of news items, about a pair of events less than three weeks hence: First, the preorder page has been posted for the print edition of Overdraft: The Orion Offensive, published by 47North. At 400+ pages, the trade paperback collects the entire serial — and it releases on July 23, exactly two weeks after the last serial episode goes online. Order it here.

An order page has also gone up at Amazon UK — and other international markets are soon to follow. The book is also scheduled to be offered through many other book distributors and sites: the ISBN number is 978-1477807521. I'll add links to my site as they become available.

A quick note about international sales: while the printed book is now available, the Kindle version remains U.S. only until this next Tuesday, when the Kindle Serial ends; at that point, electronic edition sales for overseas markets will open up. I'll post the links again when that happens. (And, yes, just six days left for U.S. readers to get the whole story for the Kindle Serial price.)

Next, in this month's Jedi Journals Forcecast podcast, Del Rey's Erich Schoeneweiss announced that I have a short story -- a prequel to Star Wars: Kenobi -- appearing in Star Wars Insider #143, shipping July 24. The story is illustrated by Chris Scalf, who drew the promo piece we had at New York Comicon. You can get the magazine at your local bookseller or preorder it here.

I'll share some more details as we get closer to the date, but this is, believe it or not, my first Star Wars: Insider contribution. I originally concocted the idea for "Labor Pains" with the intent of taking it to Insider many years ago; for one reason or another we would up publishing it on the Hyperspace website instead, where it became my first published Star Wars prose.

July is starting to look like a pretty busy month. And there's some more news to come. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Preview a Star Wars: Kenobi chapter at Random House

San Diego Comic-Con is a couple of weeks out — and already, social media feeds are thick with announcements of this or that. (I'll be adding to that mass of news myself.) In the meantime, where can one find solace? Yes! A desert planet. Random House has posted the first post-prologue chapter of Star Wars: Kenobi, which ships Aug. 27. (Then again, there may not be much solace, as Tusken Raiders are crashing the party. But it's safer than a cruise ship!)

In related Kenobi news, the audiobook has been solicited for release the same day and is being read by Jonathan Davis, veteran of many other Star Wars releases. Preorder it here. The Goodreads drawing is still going on for another week for the signed Kenobi Advance Reader Copy: sign up here.

And the book release event has been slated for my hometown of Memphis at The Booksellers at Laurelwood at 6 p.m on August 27. More details as they become available. Remember, you preorder the hardcover from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Random House, and IndieBound.

I'll have more details soon on my plans for San Diego — and some other announcements, as well — but in the meantime, this is the last week to get Overdraft: The Orion Offensive at the $1.99 serial price. Next week, the full-length work becomes available at what will be its regular e-book price. Back soon with more news. Stay tuned...
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