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ask away, ask away, ask away onward! - KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
ask away, ask away, ask away onward!
It's an open question thread! Yes, I have an "ask the author" section on GoodReads, but nobody's used it in a while.

So please ask me something in the comments here! I promise to answer it, even if my answer is, "I can't answer that." :)

Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: "Evangelina" by Arlo Guthrie

31 comments or Please comment
woofiegrrl From: woofiegrrl Date: June 10th, 2016 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Question 1: How many people do you think will comment here, vs on Facebook?

(More questions likely to follow.)
kradical From: kradical Date: June 10th, 2016 03:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Anyone who asks on Facebook will be proven to be illiterate, since I specifically requested that people click on the link. If they do ask on Facebook, I will just a post a link to this blog entry. :-p

To answer the question, probably a lot. *sigh*
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 10th, 2016 03:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi! Responding to your forum and thank you.

Was wondering how much inspiration you drew from the writing of the Klingon Art of War to getting your black belt. Did one inspire the other?
kradical From: kradical Date: June 10th, 2016 04:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wrote The Klingon Art of War after I'd already received my first-degree black belt. In fact, I was in the process of preparing for my second-degree black belt while I was writing the book, which is why I dedicated it to the four other guys who went up with me at that promotion.

So it was more the other way around. My experiences as a martial artist were hugely influential on the writing of KAOW....
KAOW - (Anonymous) - Expand
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 10th, 2016 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
How did you get into writing franchise books?
kradical From: kradical Date: June 10th, 2016 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
From the editor's desk, actually. When I worked for Byron Preiss from 1993-1999, I edited a great deal of franchise fiction, most notably the Marvel novels that Byron co-published with Boulevard Books from 1994-2000. That gave me several pitching opportunities, both in terms of working on the Marvel books themselves (with someone else in the company editing my fiction), and in giving me the opportunity to pitch to others. My earliest non-Marvel short stories came about due to contacts I'd made while working with Byron -- with Wizards of the Coast when talking to them about projects (which never actually came to fruition), and with Andrew Lane, who wrote short stories for anthologies I edited, and who therefore took a Doctor Who pitch from me for one of the Decalog anthologies. It kinda snowballed from there....
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 10th, 2016 04:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Probably get asked this all the time, but have you ever been starstruck? If so, who was it?
kradical From: kradical Date: June 10th, 2016 04:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I honestly almost never get starstruck. We're all just people, y'know? There are really only two occasions where it happened.

The first was when I met Ursula K. Le Guin. She was one of the writers whose work (both fiction and nonfiction) influenced me greatly, and I've always been a massive fan of her work. I was a gibbering idiot when I met her in the late 1990s at a convention.

The second was at Comic-Con International in San Diego. My friend Ashley Edward Miller (screenwriter, whose credits include Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Fringe, Thor, X-Men: First Class, etc.) introduced me to another friend of his, Robert Meyer Burnett, the director of Free Enterprise, which is one of my favorite movies of all time. I immediately started totally fangoobering Robert -- who didn't even notice, because he was too busy totally fangoobering me over Star Trek: Articles of the Federation, which he'd just finished reading and adored all to pieces. (Meanwhile, Ash was just standing there with a grin on his face.)
Lourdes Underwood From: Lourdes Underwood Date: June 10th, 2016 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

What has been your most favorite scene to write from your books, to date?

kradical From: kradical Date: June 10th, 2016 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that's easy: the Spock-Worf mind-meld in The Brave and the Bold Book 2.
(Deleted comment)
kradical From: kradical Date: June 10th, 2016 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
1) Since I don't write screenplays or teleplays, I'm going to limit myself to characters created for the tie-in fiction, and I'm going to say Jurva, one of Kang's crew in the TOS era, created by Scott & David Tipton and David Messina for the IDW comics miniseries Blood Will Tell. She's fantastic, writing her for my novella "The Unhappy Ones" in Seven Deadly Sins was a trip and a half, and I wish I'd been the one to come up with her.

2) This wasn't from the editor, but rather the collaborator. In Farscape: Strange Detractors there was a virus that was making people belligerent. The cure involved the infected person throwing up. People assume that plotter/Farscape creator Rockne S. O'Bannon came up with that aspect, since Rockne loves him some bodily fluids. (Remember that Farscape is the only show in television history in which the problem of the week is solved with one character's flaming pee.) But in fact, I came up with that particular aspect of it. Rockne's note? "LOVE THE PUKE! WHO DOESN’T LOVE PUKE?!"

3) Turns out that the powers-that-be at Marvel Entertainment in the mid-1990s didn't want any references to Nazis whatsoever in their licensed merchandise. So I had to tell Greg Cox when he revised Iron Man: The Armor Trap that all references to the novel's villain, Baron Strucker, who fought for the Nazis in World War II, could at no point be referred to as a Nazi. (We settled on "Prussian war criminal.")
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 10th, 2016 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

Pasta Sauce Sci Fi

Is your world famous pasta sauce recipe featured in any of your books or is that a family secret? Sorry, I haven't read everything, yet.

Mine: extra virgin olive oil, 3-types of onion(white, Spanish adn red),garlic(about 15 cloves pressed),celery(if you want sweeter) ---sizzle then add---1 lb. lean beef, 1 lb.pork and 1 lb.chicken...spices----fresh pressed tomatoes. Bubble all day....
kradical From: kradical Date: June 11th, 2016 04:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Pasta Sauce Sci Fi

This got posted twice. I answered below....
doniago From: doniago Date: June 10th, 2016 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Professional Editing

Hello there!

After two years of trying not-particularly-hard to get there, for the first time I'm editing for pay for a publisher. Nifty!

Any advice, do's or do not's, etc.?

Obviously "be done by the deadline", but I'd be curious as to any other suggestions you might. I'm already thinking I'm going to have to create a separate Windows logon with minimal Internet just to ensure I can keep my focus.
kradical From: kradical Date: June 11th, 2016 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Professional Editing

Just remember that everything you're doing is a suggestion, not holy writ. Ultimately, it's the writer whose name will be on the cover, which means the writer gets final say. And your goal is to make the work better.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 10th, 2016 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

Pasta Sauce Sci Fi

Is your world famous pasta sauce recipe featured in any of your books, on a stove, through a replicator,etc.? or is that a family secret? Sorry, I haven't read ALL your stuff...yet.

Mine: extra virgin olive oil, 3-types onion(white, Spanish, red),garlic(15-20 cloves, pressed),celery(if you want it sweeter) ---sizzle ---1 lb.each of lean beef, pork and chicken...spices(special blend; herein lies the secrets! "He who controls the Spice!"----fresh pressed tomatoes. Bubble all day, very low heat....
kradical From: kradical Date: June 11th, 2016 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Pasta Sauce Sci Fi

Leaving out the spice combination leaves out the most important part, and what makes all the difference!

My sauce is meatless, and I don't put in onions or celery. I do start with a base of olive oil and garlic, then the tomatoes that I boil and press myself with the tomato press very much like the one in the icon connected to this response. :)

After that, I add the spices: oregano (in large quantities), basil, marjoram, thyme, sage, a tiny bit of cumin, a tiny bit of allspice, salt, red pepper, black pepper, white pepper, bay leaves.

Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer for many hours.

And no, it's never been in a book. :)
Re: Pasta Sauce Sci Fi - (Anonymous) - Expand
archersangel From: archersangel Date: June 10th, 2016 08:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
what the weirdest thing that happened to you, or that you witnessed at a convention?

if you don't want to answer about the weirdest thing, maybe the second weirdest.
kradical From: kradical Date: June 11th, 2016 04:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that's easy.....

In 2001, the World Science Convention was in Philadelphia. Several friends of mine were dressed in Jedi robes, including my friend Glenn Hauman. At the time, he was wearing his hair longish, and without his glasses, he looked a lot like Liam Neeson did in The Phantom Menace as Qui-Gon Jinn.

So Glenn's wandering around the Pennsylvania Convention Center in that costume, and a homeless woman wanders by, sees Glenn, her eyes go wide, and she falls to her knees, saying she knew he'd come back!

Yes, the woman thought that Glenn was Jesus Christ.

Glenn is one of my closest friends. I'd known him ten years at that point, and he's remained a close friend for the fifteen years since. In that entire twenty-five-year span, I have never seen quite that look on his face...................
pseudohistorian From: pseudohistorian Date: June 11th, 2016 06:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
1) Are there any characters that you love writing, but would despise as people if they were real and you met them?

2) Under what circumstances would you permanently move to another country? If you could take along as many people as you wanted, who would you want to move with you?
kradical From: kradical Date: June 12th, 2016 01:16 am (UTC) (Link)
1) Oh, tons. Just off the top of my head, the version of Thor that appears in the Cassie Zukav stories, Amilar Grovis in the Dragon Precinct tales, Jim Sterling in the Leverage universe, and Kor from Star Trek.

2) I can't think of any such circumstances, honestly.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 12th, 2016 01:38 am (UTC) (Link)


What do you do if you write a story and realize you don't know how to end it?
kradical From: kradical Date: June 12th, 2016 02:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Endings

Hasn't happened yet. I write outlines before I start to avoid this very problem. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 12th, 2016 02:32 am (UTC) (Link)

2ble Pasta Post

Hmm..sorry about that..seems I'm having some issues here with PC...thanks for your patience:

I am looking to write a script based on a comic. I know you don't do scripts or teleplays but do you have any guidance in this?

Also, would you consider doing some Space 1999 tie ins?
kradical From: kradical Date: June 12th, 2016 02:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: 2ble Pasta Post

There are books on writing screenplays/teleplays, and I would strongly recommend seeking them out.

I'd love to write a Space 1999 tie-in. Loved that show as a kid...........
31 comments or Please comment