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Since you're quite new for many fans in the Star Wars universe of book writers, could you briefly introduce you ?
Sure. I’m Paul S. Kemp. I live in Michigan, have been married seventeen years to same lovely redhead, and have five year old twin boys named Roarke and Riordan. By day, I slog through the Hell that is corporate America in my role as a corporate lawyer. By night, I write.
I'm known primarily as the creator of Erevis Cale, an assassin and priest of the God of Shadows. My work featuring Cale is as follows:
The Halls of Stormweather
The Erevis Cale Trilogy
- Twilight Falling
- Dawn of Night
- Midnight's Mask
The three books of the Erevis Cale Trilogy (listed immediately above) will be available in June in an omnibus that includes all three novels and a couple Cale-related short stories. It is, aptly I'd say ?, called The Erevis Cale Trilogy.
The Twilight War
To be honest, I didn't know you one year ago, before Crosscurrent was announced. You've created your own world with Erevis Cale. Any chance this might interest SW fans ?
I think so, yes. My work featuring Cale is most aptly described as sword and sorcery. It features cinematic action, larger than life heroes, all playing out against an interesting moral backdrop. Sound familiar? ? It should, because Star Wars shares many tropes with sword and sorcery ficton.
So, yes. I think readers who like Crosscurrent will also enjoy my Erevis Cale stories.
How and when did Lucasbooks/Del Rey contact you to work for them ? Have you chosen to write for Legacy Era or was it imposed to you by Sue?
I had been in contact with Del Rey for years, on and off, pestering an editor there for an opportunity to write in the Galaxy Far, Far Away. Finally, I she said -- Send me something you've written. So I sent her Shadowbred. She read, really liked it, and invited me to write a Star Wars novel.
In terms of the era in which Crosscurrent is set -- when I put together the proposal for the novel, I assumed the "present" portions of the novel would be set in the EU's then-current present. After the book was written and we'd developed some of the connections between it and FotJ, the Legacy era seemed to be the one that fit, so that's where we set it.
Had you guessed that the EU was so expanded? How much were you afraid to make your story fits in the whole universe?
I was nervous about it, yes. I'm accustomed to doing a lot of setting research, but the EU is vast. And it is absolutely critical to me that I tell a story nested in the lore of the setting in which I'm writing, so consuming all that information and using it to spin a story was a challenge. But I think it turned out really well. I'm interested to hear what readers think.
During 20 in-universe years after The Return of The Jedi, a lot of things happened to the famous characters of Star Wars movies, what surprised you the most ? The Solo children ? Chewbacca's death ? The Yuuzhan Vong invasion ? The Potentium ?
Honestly, nothing "surprised" me. The setting has to continually change for it to stay interesting. Characters must grow old, die, big things must happen. And so they did. ?
Your work on Crosscurrent is very particular both for fans -who have great expectations about Legacy of the Force loose ends- and for you & your fellow writers of Fate of the Jedi & Lost Tribe of the Sith. Crosscurrent seems to be at the crossroads of the project. Can you tell us about your collaboration with the other part of the team ?
The collaboration kind of happened by accident. In my initial pitch to Del Rey, I posited the existence of an ancient ship carrying a Force-enhancing ore (which later became Lignan) that, through a relativity shielding malfunction, ends up in the present. Later, my editor came back and asked if we could make it two ships and tie-it into the forthcoming FotJ series, which featured a lost tribe of Sith whose ship had crash-landed on a distant planet, allowing the tribe to develop in isolation. Harbinger and Omen were born (Harbinger featuring in my novel, and Omen playing an important role in FotJ). I thought it was incredibly cool that my novel was connected to the larger FotJ metaplot, even if only in a small way. Kudos to my editor who conceived of the connection.
I interacted with the other authors mostly via email. Christie and I traded emails about names of personnel on Omen, and Troy was a great help about not only the FotJ/Crosscurrent overlaps, but about writing in SW in general. He's a class act. JJM and I also traded a few emails. I believe I sent him descriptions of a few things as they're presented in Crosscurrent, and he did the same for me. Sue Rostoni and my editor acted as intermediaries all the way through. It was a great experience all around.
In the two excerpts of Crosscurrent you posted on your blog, many fans were delighted by videogame Jedi Academy references, and you talked about the Potentium (which is developped in New Jedi Order serie). First : congrats ! Second : How much worktime does studying the EU represents ?
First, thanks! Second, a lot. ? I don't know how many hours it consumed, but Del Rey sent me volumes of research material, including all the "Essential Guides." I pored over those while I developed my story concept. And, of course, Sue Rostoni, Leland Chee, and my editor were invaluable when it came to refining the story concept and/or tweaking this or that aspect to make it consistent with past lore.
Eventually, the question you may not answer : we've seen Jaden Korr in Fate of the Jedi III : Abyss. So we already know he's not dead. Will Crosscurrent have a major impact on Fate of the Jedi storyline?
I'd prefer not to answer at this point, but let's revisit it at another time.
The Old Republic is still a mystery for everyone, even though the website gives us a few news to ponder. Is it easier to write for an "empty" era or the most "limited" Legacy one?
I find it challenging in both cases. And, in the case of The Old Republic, I do have a kind of "setting bible" containing lots of information regarding the setting. So it's not really empty, from my perspective.