JMW: Hello, this in Jean Marie Ward for Buzzy Magazine. With me today is best selling author and media tie-in grand master Keith DeCandido. Welcome, Keith.
Keith DeCandido: Hello.
JMW: Hello. How did you get to be a media tie-in grand master? What the heck is it?
Keith DeCandido: Hell if I know. I was walking down the street and all of a sudden they… No. About five, six years ago, thereabouts, I forget when exactly, but sometime in the 2000′s, Max Allan Collins and Lee Goldberg formed the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers. Which is basically – there’s already a Mystery Writers of America, a Science Fiction Writers of America, there’s Horror Writers of America, there’s Romance Writers of America. IMTW is basically a writers association for people specifically who write tie-in fiction.
JMW: People who write the novels that go along with your favorite “Star Trek” movie?
Keith DeCandido: Exactly. Any fiction that’s based on something from another medium, whether it’s based on a TV show, a video game, movie series, a cartoon, a comic book, a role-playing game, whatever, that sort of thing. They usually have their own little section in the book store, usually at the end of the science fiction section. Most of them are science fiction, although not all. We have a pretty good representation, just as an example…
JMW: And mystery.
Keith DeCandido: One of the co-founders is Lee Goldberg who is still writing books based on “Monk”, the USA detective series. In fact I’m in the midst of doing a novel based on “Leverage”, which is not
really a science fiction story.
JMW: Yes, but one of my favorite series!
Keith DeCandido: Oh, one of mine too. But, that really doesn’t – I mean, I’m assuming it’s going to get shelved in the mystery section, although I honestly don’t know. That’s not my decision.
Keith DeCandido : But every year, the IMTW gives the Scribe Awards, which rewards the best in the fields – best speculative fiction novel, best non-speculative fiction novel, best adaptation, best young adult. They also give out a Lifetime Achievement Award. It’s gone to Donald Bain, to myself, to Allan Dean Foster, Peter David, and I think one other. I was stunned, frankly. This happened in 2009, which was quite a momentous year for me actually. In 2009 I received the Lifetime Achievement Award, I turned 40, and I got my black belt in karate. So that was an eventful year.
JMW: Yes, it certainly is. But then again, every year with you is eventful. I mean how many books, and stories, and comic books, and games have you…?
Keith DeCandido: I haven’t written any games. I’ve written books based on games.
Keith DeCandido: I am at almost 50 novels now. When I hit 50 I get a set of steak knives.
JMW: Oh that’s good, yeah. Are they the good steak knives, or the [inaudible 00:02:59] steak knives?
Keith DeCandido: Oh, since most of my work is tie-in fiction, I’m guessing it’s the crappy ones. But, I’ve been focusing more on my own fiction, stuff I keep the copyright on. I’ve been doing a series of virtual things. But, I’m still doing tie-in work. I’ve done, besides the “Leverage” novel that I’m working on right now, I’ve done a “Kung Fu Panda” comic story that’s going to be out later this year and I hope I can do more.
JMW: Yeah. In terms of your original work, you’ve got something called “The Dragon Precinct” out there.
Keith DeCandido: That’s actually the series “Dragon Precinct” originally come out back in 2004, with Pocket Books.
Keith DeCandido: Then the imprint that it was part of stopped.
JMW: That happens in our business, yes.
Keith DeCandido: The book was kind of orphaned. Then later Pocket did start publishing the original science fiction, fantasy again but they declined the option to pick up the series. So Dark Press Books, a small press publisher out of New Jersey picked up the series. We published “Unicorn Precinct”, the second book last year. I got the rights back to “Dragon Precinct” so they reissued “Dragon Precinct” as well. “Goblin Precinct”, the third book will be debuting at Balticon in 2012, for Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully, spring of next year there will be “Griffin Precinct”, which will be the fourth book.
Jean Marie Ward writes fiction, nonfiction and everything in between, including art books, novels (2008 Indie Book double-finalist With Nine You Get Vanyr), and short stories such as WSFA Small Press Award finalist “Lord Bai’s Discovery” and “Personal Demons” in the award-winning anthology Hellebore and Rue. Her videos include author interviews and tutorials.