Tied Up With Tie-Ins: 24!

It’s been a while since I last added an entry to this irregularly recurring blog series, but hey! It’s actually something of a quiet day at Ward Manor so I figured it was a good time to freshen things up a bit around here.

The idea behind this oddball series is fairly simple: Every so often I take a stroll down Memory Lane with a nostalgic look at a favorite series of movie or TV tie-in books. Most of the time this has meant something from Way Back When, such as visits with novels based on Planet of the ApesThe Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, and Space: 1999 among others. I’m also up for taking a gander at more recent entries to the genre if the mood strikes (hint: keep reading). Then there are anomalies like the novels that kinda sorta tie into the Die Hard franchise, because I was feeling froggy one evening.

For this latest entry I’ve decided y’all need to stock up on certain catchphrases like “Damn it!” and “Trust me!” and maybe even one or two shots of “Chloe, there’s no time!” Yep, we’re diving into the realm of novels featuring everybody’s favorite troubled counterterrorist agent, Jack Bauer, and the world of 24.

Continue reading “Tied Up With Tie-Ins: 24!”

A 24 prequel on the way?

So, last night I was perusing my Facebook feed, I happened across this news item from The Hollywood Reporter:

’24’ Prequel From Original Series Creators Eyed at Fox

Okay. You’ve got my attention.

Those of you who’ve been around here for a while know that I’m a huge fan of all things 24. I watched every episode of every season from the beginning, read all the spin-off novels and comics, hung on for even the craziest plot twists, double agents, double blinds, and double crosses through eight seasons (and a special TV movie) and then came running back when they announced and broadcast follow-ups like 24: Live Another Day and 24: Legacy.

The former left me wanting for more things Jack Bauer, while the latter succeeded in scratching an itch but offering only temporary relief. Though I was perfectly fine with focusing on a new set of characters in the 24 “universe,” I thought Legacy fell into too many of the same traps that plagued some seasons of the original show. That said, if the Powers That Be opted to revisit that setup in some future installment, I’d check it out.

In between Live Another Day and Legacy, a couple of buds and I were able to scratch said itch in our own fashion. James Swallow gave us Deadline, the first of two novels set between the series’ eighth season and LAD, and David Mack followed him with Rogue, set a couple of years after Jim’s book.

Then I had to go and screw up the whole formula by writing Trial By Fire, a prequel to the series itself and set in 1994. Whoops.

But hey! Prequel.

The idea of setting stories before the events of the original television series isn’t really a new notion. While the show was still in production, publisher Harper Collins gave us a total of eleven Jack Bauer literary adventures under the umbrella title 24: Declassified, and comics publisher IDW also had a couple of “prequel stories” during its run with the license. However, those efforts – as is the case with most novel and comics tie-ins – were charged with remaining faithful to the events of the series as shown onscreen. The people who do TV don’t always – or even ever – have to follow such “rules.”

The Hollywood Reporter‘s story is light on detail, but the involvement of the original show’s creators is a big plus for me. Of course, it also raises some questions: Is their intention to actually make a prequel, with a younger version of the character we already know, caught up in events set prior to those of the series? This would require it to be a “period piece” of sorts, set somewhere in the late 1980s-1990s timeframe.

(Wait. Hold up. Let’s just pause a moment to consider the impact of a statement like “Period piece, set in the late 1980s-1990s.” Damn, I’m getting old.)

On the other hand, maybe they’re thinking it’s a prequel but also a reboot, similar to what’s being (and been) done with the Jack Ryan character, or even James Bond. This approach would allow the series creators to free themselves of the show’s “canon” and set the show in the “present,” which of course would let them continue making use of current (and somewhat future-esque) technology within the storytelling framework. Besides, don’t we already know what a Jack Bauer/24 series set in the 1990s would be like?

We kid. We kid.

Now, while I’d likely at least give a reboot show a chance, I’m hoping they go the other route and do something that ties into the original 24 chronology. In fact, last night I started thinking about potential storylines that could serve both as a flashback/prequel and a way to resolve Jack Bauer’s arc, which left us hanging at the end of Live Another Day. Plus, I also want to see more Chloe O’Brian, and hey! Tony Almeida is still out there, somewhere.

Who knows that these guys will do?

(No, they won’t be using anything established in Trial By Fire or any other prequel novel or comic. The likelihood of something like that is hovering right on that decimal point between “0.0,” all right?)

Anyway, I’ll be keeping an eye on this to see what develops. Like Star Trek and certain other media properties and even though it may have stumbled every so often, I’m always up for more 24.

New interview about 24: Trial By Fire!

24-TrialByFire-FrontCover“Dammit, Chloe!”

With all of the hoopla surrounding Star Trek‘s 50th Anniversary, which included my involvement in not one but two books released in close proximity to that momentous occasion, it’s easy to forget that I had another book published in and around all of that.

Now that 24: Trial By Fire is in the wild, I’m starting to get requests for interviews from different quarters. Last week, I did a podcast interview with Joshua Rivers of The 24 Podcast, which is a fan-based news and info site about all things Jack Bauer. We chatted about the book and the fact that I’ve been a 24 nerd since the first episode, and what we’re hoping to see from the series coming next year, 24: Legacy. Have a listen, whydontcha:

The 24 Podcast – 24: Trial By Fire with author Dayton Ward

Thanks to Joshua and everybody else over there, for having me on the show!



Trial By Fire



1994. Tateos Gadjoyan, an Armenian arms merchant, has been a target of the Central Intelligence Agency for years. Efforts to thwart his selling of American military weapons to terrorists have been unsuccessful, but finally two undercover agents have infiltrated Gadjoyan’s inner circle. Soon they will have sufficient evidence to seize the arms dealer.

On the small Japanese island of Okinawa, Gadjoyan’s representatives are concluding a deal with Miroji Jimura, an arms dealer who’s only too happy to profit from the sale of American weapons to be used against American people.

When a rival of Jimura’s sabotages the arms deal, the case against Tateos Gadjoyan is threatened and another far greater menace to American security is revealed. The only thing standing against this new danger is a single junior CIA agent named Jack Bauer.

Working without backup, Bauer has no choice but to face this urgent new threat head on, but the stakes are high and time is already running out…

Mass-Market Paperback or Kindle e-Book from Amazon.com
Mass-Market Paperback or Nook e-Book from Barnes & Noble
Mass-Market Paperback or ePub format e-Book from Books-A-Million

I still remember how I felt when Melissa Frain from Tor Books contacted me via e-Mail, asking if I wanted to write a 24 novel for her.

Once I got done bouncing off the walls of my office, I composed myself and drafted a thoughtful reply indicating my interest. However, if you were to run it through some sort of sooper sekrit translation matrix thing, what you’d likely get back is something like this:


Yeah. It was like that.

It took a while to get from that e-Mail to today, but Melissa as well as Amy Stapp, another of Tor’s editorial gurus who worked with me all through the book’s gestation period, made the journey painless and fun. I had a frikkin’ ball writing this thing. I absolutely want to write another one. When do we go? I’m already suited up and ready to start the clickety-clackety typing thing.

Dammit, Chloe!

In addition to providing a permanent home for links to find and order the book, this entry also will serve as the book’s “official” Q&A thread. Those of you who want to chat about the book, feel free to post your questions/etc. to the comments section. For those of you who’ve found this page and perhaps not yet read the book, BEWARE THAT SPOILERS ARE POSSIBLE FROM THIS POINT FORWARD.

Lookie what the Book Fairy brought. Dammit, Chloe!

Fresh off the press and ready to kick ass and take names for 24 hours at a time.


That’s right, boys and girls! The Book Fairy dropped a book bomb on me today, delivering my author copies of Trial By Fire, my forthcoming 24 novel that’s due to bust out onto shelves (officially) on August 23rd.

mmmmMMMMMmmmm. I just love that New Book Smell.

We’re getting close, folks! Trust me, Chloe!

Talking with Nerd for A Living!

Yes, I’m still in vacation mode. No, you can’t really see me. Just pretend I’m not here.

Back in May during Planet Comicon, I was interviewed by Adron Buske, one half of Nerd for A Living, who — in their own words — “assist people of the nerdish persuasion* to discover fulfilling, profitable and sustainable career paths in the industries they love. This includes comics, gaming, anime, film, TV, art, crafting, publishing, and more.” I met Adron and his wife, Wendy, at last year’s con, and participated in a panel discussion they hosted for that show.

This time around, Adron sought me out and put a microphone in front of my face, AND YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.


We spend a bit of time talking about my secret origin story, how Kevin and I became friends and writing partners, what it’s like to write for a venerable property like Star Trek, how does a writing collaboration work, the ups, downs, fun and pitfalls of social media, and what’s new and coming soon from Yours Truly (Hint: Vulcan Travel Guide. 24. Star Trek 50th anniversary). You can hear the whole thing by clicking on this little linky-type thing right here:

Nerd for A Living Episode #67: Dayton Ward – Star Trek Novelist

It was a fun chat, and many thanks to Adron (and Wendy!) for having me on the show.

24: Trial By Fire…the cover!


Just in time for the weekend, all minty fresh from my publisher this very morning and still marinating in that new car smell, we have the final, approved cover for Trial By Fire, my forthcoming 24 novel. Behold, yo:

24-TrialByFire-FrontCover(Click to Biggie Size)

For those who may have missed this little bit of news: Unlike Tor’s previous two 24 novels (Deadline by James Swallow and Rogue by David Mack), which were set between the events of the TV series’ 8th season and the Live Another Day mini-series, Trial By Fire is a prequel, set several  years before the show’s first season.

And because my publisher is just that awesome, I can also offer a peek at the back cover, which has the complete cover copy, rather than the truncated version that has made it to sites like Amazon, etc. Check it out:

24-TrialByFire-BackCover.jpg(Again, click to enlarge)

As you surely know by now, Trial By Fire is available for pre-order at all the cool bookstores. I prefer you frequent and support your local indie bookseller (I’m rather fond of Reader’s World in Lee’s Summit, MO, myself), but if that’s not an option, here are some pre-order links:

Barnes & Noble

Trial By Fire will be comin’ at ya on or about Tuesday, August 23rd, and hey! Did you hear there’s going to be a new 24 TV series?

Clock’s ticking, y’all!

24: Trial By Fire…it’s almost a really real book!

We’re getting close, folks.

Today’s mail brought with it a box from my editor at Tor. What was inside? Why, this little gem:


What do we have here? For those unfamiliar with “advance uncorrected proofs,” they’re an “almost final” version of a book that’s sort of a dress rehearsal. They’re a bound copy of the same typeset pages that are sent to the author for one last chance at catching any little errors which have managed to survive the different legs of the editing process. Not intended for sale, these are usually sent to reviewers for magazines, newspapers, websites, and so on.

Meanwhile, the author is hoping to find those aforementioned lingering whatevers that need correcting, before the book heads off to the printers.

Last week, I sent in a set of such corrections to my editor, so my part so far as the writing of the book is now officially, finally done. The next time I see 24: Trial By Fire will be as A) a box of author copies showing up on my doorstep, or B) I happen across it at my favorite bookstore, whichever comes first. Both of those things will be happening on or about August 23rd, depending on which way the wind blows.

As for these, well….I have ten of them. Nine, actually, as I promised one to my sister, who’s only slightly less of a 24 nerd than I am. I can’t sell them, so I need to give some thought as to what I might do with them.

Stay tuned 🙂

Cover copy for my 24 novel: Trial By Fire!

So, the other day I was asked via e-Mail about my forthcoming 24 novel Trial By Fire. Apparently, something purporting to be the book’s plot had been posted to the 24 Wiki site, and my e-Mailer wanted to know if it was legit.

After doing some digging to determine that a viable source exists for the info as presented on the Wiki page, I was able to confirm that this same info was starting to pop up in other places, including one of Tor/Forge’s spring catalogs. I then made double sure with my editor that it was okay to share here, and I’ve now gotten that green light, though with the caveat that the info I present here is subject to change and all that good stuff.

So, here we go: the back cover copy for 24: Trial By Fire!

Before London…Before CTU…Before the clock started ticking….

24-tbf-fakecover1994: Tateos Gadjoyan, an Armenian arms merchant, has been a target of the Central Intelligence Agency for years. Efforts to thwart his selling of American military weapons to terrorists and other enemies of the United States have been unsuccessful. Now, after months of careful planning, two undercover agents have infiltrated Gadjoyan’s inner circle. Soon, they will have sufficient evidence to seize the arms dealer and remove a clear and present danger to the United States.

On the small Japanese island of Okinawa, Gadjoyan’s representatives are concluding a deal with Miroji Jimura. Jimura’s hatred of Americans is absolute, and he’s only too happy to profit from sales of their own weapons to be used against them.

When a rival of Jimura’s sabotages the arms deal, one of the CIA’s undercover assets is killed, threatening the case against Gadjoyan and revealing a far greater menace to American security. The only thing standing against this new, immediate danger is a single, junior CIA agent named Jack Bauer.

The book has had an interesting development cycle. When I was first invited to write it, the plan was that I would follow the path already blazed by friends and fellow word pushers James Swallow and David Mack. They had already written novels (Deadline and Rogue, respectively) that take place during the four years that are said to have elapsed between the events of 24‘s eighth and final regular TV season and the Live Another Day mini-series. Mine also was expected to be set during that same four-year period.

After I submitted my outline and my editor in turn presented it to Fox, the folks in charge at that end of the connection came back with a new request: Make this one a prequel. Set it before everything that’s come before. Make Jack Bauer a more raw, inexperienced guy, during that period when he’s a CIA agent and before he joins CTU.

Hell, that sounded pretty damn fun. I was in.

I did counter-suggest that we not make him a totally green recruit sort of agent. After all, the series canon and other novels had established that Jack served in the Army’s Special Forces and as a cop for the LAPD before joining the Agency. He had skills and field experience, which likely aided him in landing with the CIA, so to me he was anything but “raw.” We navigated this point by determining that at the point my book was to be set, Jack was still learning the Agency ropes, working with a partner,  and so on, and then everything goes to hell on this particular undercover assignment.


The book is still on target to publish on August 23rd, and I’m actually addressing the copyedits as I share this with you. What’s that? You say you want to pre-order this bad boy? Well, get yourself to your nearest independent book seller and have them hook you up. If that’s not an option, then allow me to help you with some shameless links:

Barnes & Noble 

As a fan of 24 pretty much from the first minute of the first episode, I had a ball writing this thing. Here’s hoping it appeals to Jack Bauer fans everywhere.