CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN is the award-winning, bestselling author of such novels as The Myth Hunters, Wildwood Road, The Boys Are Back in Town, The Ferryman, Strangewood, Of Saints and Shadows, and (with Tim Lebbon) The Map of Moments. He has also written books for teens and young adults, including Poison Ink, Soulless, and the thriller series Body of Evidence, honored by the New York Public Library and chosen as one of YALSA's Best Books for Young Readers. Upcoming teen novels include a new series of hardcover YA fantasy novels co-authored with Tim Lebbon and entitled The Secret Journeys of Jack London.
Farsight Blogger spoke to Christopher about his work on the 'Star Wars: Choose Your Own Adventure' game books.
How much of a Star Wars fan are you on a scale of 1 to 10?
Hard to scale it, really. I'm a huge fan of the original movies. I've read a bunch of the comics and I loved Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy and Kevin Anderson's Jedi Academy books. I'd say I was a 7, only because I haven't read the other hundred novels or played the games, and because I think the prequel movies are all boring and flat. I'm excited for the new movies, though, with JJ Abrams at the helm.
How did you get involved with the 'Star Wars: Choose Your Own Adventure' books?
It was a very long time ago, but I believe that my agent at the time was talking to the editor at Bantam and somehow it just came up. She pitched the editor on me doing them and I was approved. I also did the middle grade version of the adult Star Wars novel SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE. The funny story on that was that the first part of the job was cutting the length way down. I went through the story and realized that the Dash Rendar character really had no overall effect on the story and I got about a third of the way through my rewrite--cutting the character out completely--before I talked to my editor and found out that he was the main character in the video game and HAD to stay. It's funny now, but it wasn't funny then.
There's a lot of difference between multiple choice game books and a straightforward story. How did you approach writing the books?
I mapped it out on paper. You have to, I think, doing a Choose Your Own Adventure story. The best part, honestly, was coming up with all of the alternate endings, where every decision leads to a new twist…and some of them dovetail back into the main plot. Having them all crushed to death in the trash compactor in A NEW HOPE still makes me smile.
Knowing that you were following the plot of the movies, what were your guidelines? Did you feel restricted in what you could and couldn't do?
As long as the main plot was still the faithful plot of the original movies, I felt a lot of freedom to do whatever was fun and interesting to me.
How much creative input did you have? Is there anything in the books that is uniquely yours, that you can point at and say, 'I created that for the Star Wars universe!'?
A ton of creative input. Everything that is not part of the original plot of the trilogy is mine, but you can't say I added it to the Star Wars universe because none of the parallel versions of the story are canon. They're just for fun.
What are you working on at the moment?
My latest novel, SNOWBLIND, just came out in stores, along with the graphic novel CEMETERY GIRL: THE PRETENDERS, which is the first book in a trilogy I've written with Charlaine Harris.
This interview also appeared on JEDI NEWS.