A Padawan’s Journal, Entry #5: Protocol Droids and Velveteen Bunnies

i-five

Last time I talked about a certain “trickle down” effect that happens with the release of Star Wars novels. Right after contracts are drawn up and signed, the book goes onto a release schedule that is posted in the back pages of the publisher’s website. The official Star Wars site, www.starwars.com, will also publish a little something, often in the form of an official blog, and almost immediately the fans begin speculating about the new title on the message boards at StarWars.com.

Questions begin to fly: “What’s the title?” “What’s it about?” “Who’s in it?” “I hope it’s got Jedi!” “I hope it doesn’t have Jedi!” Currently, there are six pages of speculation about Holostar which are interesting reading for Padawan and fan alike. The speculation started on the Patterns of Force board (which is a wild ride of reviews and spoilers with readers posting while they’re reading the book), and then shifted to its own forum.

Then the fan sites pick up the thread and begin trumpeting each new piece of information that comes out. And, as is the nature of the Internet, the references  online circle back on themselves. TheForce.net recently posted a blog entry that  linked back to this blog and which noted: Until now, all we’ve really known about this book is that it will be a rags-to-riches story about about an actor during the Rebellion. Now, the title has been revealed, Star Wars: Holostar! What makes this news particularly interesting is the source: Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff has launched a blog, entitled “A Padawan’s Star Wars Journal”, in which she says she plans to “chronicle the life cycle of a Star Wars novel”.  … fascinating stuff, and I like the punchy prose-style in which it’s written. We’ll be keeping an eye on this one, I suspect.

Punchy prose style, huh? <blush> Why, thank you … I’ll be keeping an eye on you too. But now, about that title. The title of the book will NOT be Holostar. That is merely a “working title.” In fact, the book doesn’t have a real title yet and Del Rey and LucasBooks have been chatting about a nifty way of coming up with one. They’ve started a Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Star-Wars/)  where I believe they will post information regarding the choosing of the title. News at 11:00 as they say.

This is all very bemusing—this sense of being “watched.” The first time I experienced it was when I initially went looking for an agent was informed that agents had been “watching” my short fiction in Analog and waiting for me to write a novel. A writer’s existence is a bit cloistered when it comes to our work. When we ship that manuscript out to the publisher, we may wonder wistfully if anyone even noticed. Sometimes what seemed like a major accomplishment when you put the final period on the last sentence, seems to disappear into the void.

So the first time Michael sent me an email with a link to The Boards so I could see what people were saying about Patterns of Force, I was amazed. I felt like poor Sally Fields when she stood at the podium and accepted her first Oscar—”You like me! You really like me!” Except I’m thinking, “We’re real! We’re really real!”

But Michael, alone, gets the Velveteen Bunny Award for ultimate reality. That little photo at the top of my blog—that’s Hasbro’s way of making a writer’s work real. They’ve made an honest-to-Force action figure out of Michael’s droid protagonist, I-5YQ (I-Five to his friends), an honor usually reserved for film “stars.”

How real is that? I-Five has never appeared in a movie or a cartoon or a computer game. He rose out of Michael’s vivid, wicked imagination to live only in the pages of a series of books (Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, Medstar I & II, the Coruscant Nights Trilogy and…well, who knows?)

So don’t ever let anyone tell you that books are dead … and go out and buy yourself an I-Five doll. I’m gonna get me one!

Read my fiction online at Book View Café—on Maya’s Bookshelf.

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A Padawan’s Journal, Entry #5: Protocol Droids and Velveteen Bunnies — 1 Comment

  1. Hi, Maya! I have been catching up on all of your Star Wars blog entries and am lovin’ them all. I especially liked the insider’s look at the explanation of prequel Jedi’s spartan choice in lightsaber colors.

    I didn’t know I-5 had an action figure! That is amazing. You are just opening all sorts of doors of information for me. 🙂