Klingon Travel Guide wins PubWest Gold Medal!

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

Look, by any reasonable measure, I’ve had a pretty good week. The highlights included Michi’s birthday and both kids doing awesome at the second meet of this year’s neighborhood swim league. On the work front, I have two new releases on store shelves, I was able to announce a new writing project, and just yesterday I was offered yet another one. What more do I need to make the week end on a high note?

BAM.

PubWest 2018 Book Design Awards!

What are we talking about? According to their website, “PubWest is a vibrant, dynamic trade association of small- and medium-sized book publishers, printers, editors, proofreaders, graphic designers, binderies, and related editorial and service companies. Established in 1977 as the Rocky Mountain Book Publishers Association, PubWest is now dedicated to helping member book publishers succeed and has grown to include members in 31 states and 4 countries.”

As for their annual awards, which have been a thing for over 40 years, they “recognize industry innovators, those who have influenced publishing in the West, exemplary book design and production, and extraordinary service to PubWest and its membership.”

Sounds pretty cool, right?

Unbeknownst to me, the good folks at Insight Editions submitted Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: The Klingon Empire for this year’s award consideration. Specifically, it was submitted for the award program’s  “Guide and Travel Book” category.

I’m not even kidding.

And wouldn’t you know the book took the Gold Medal in this category? How insanely cool is that?

Now, what this means is that the artistic and design talents of everyone involved in the book – Elaine Quo, Alix Nicholaeff, Chrissy Kwasnik, Ashley Quackenbush, Livio Ramondelli, Peter Markowski, and my editor, Chris Prince – are all as kick-ass awesome as this very slick tome they helped create. This award recognizes their efforts in turning my pages of pithy descriptions and other blah blah blah text into an amazing book.

Take a bow, everyone. Each and every one of you deserves it, along with who knows how many people working behind the scenes that I’ve never had the chance to meet or thank for their hard work.

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IncrediBuilds: U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D

IB_ST_TNG_Kit_Pkg_022118.inddStar Trek: The Next Generation

Get ready to boldly go where no one has gone before with this exciting Star Trek: The Next Generation wood model set. The 32-page softcover book is packed with information on the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D, from its basic capabilities to its pivotal role in the Star Trek universe. Complete with stunning imagery and behind‑the‑scenes content, this book and model set is a must-have for any Star Trek fan. The wood model is easy to assemble and snaps together to form a dynamic, displayable 3D version of the Enterprise that fans will love.

Includes:
– Laser-cut, FSC®-certified wood sheet with easy-to-assemble pieces
– Step-by-step instructions
– Coloring and crafting ideas
– A U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D book

Skill Level: Advanced

Order directly from Insight Editions’ IncrediBuilds website!


This project, along with its original Star Trek series counterpart, was something of a departure for me, writing-wise. The book accompanying this nifty little model presents a bit of an overview of the Galaxy-class starships, with obvious emphasis on the Enterprise and its noteworthy adventures as chronicled on Star Trek: The Next Generation. That portion of the book is presented “inside the box,” as though the missions of the Enterprise really happened.

For the rest of the book, I took a step back and offer a brief history of the Enterprise‘s design for the series by Andrew Probert, the building and use of different filming miniatures, and even how they filmed the crash sequence that marks the end of the Enterprise-D’s service in Star Trek Generations.

And hey! The model that the book accompanies is pretty cool, you know.

Given that the IncrediBuilds kits are aimed at the 10+ age bracket, this along with the original series Enterprise was a fun way for me to bring a bit of Star Trek to a younger audience. If these first two kits do well, there may be others. I guess we’ll see!

IncrediBuilds: U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701

Incredibuilds-1701-coverStar Trek

Get ready to boldly go where no one has gone before with this exciting Star Trek wood model set. The deluxe 32-page book is packed with information on the U.S.S. Enterprise, from its basic capabilities to its pivotal role in the Star Trek universe. Complete with stunning imagery and behind-the-scenes content, this book and model set is a must have for any Star Trek fan. The wood model is easy to assemble and snaps together to form a dynamic, displayable 3D version of the Enterprise that fans will love.

Includes:
– Laser-cut, FSC®-certified wood sheet with easy-to-assemble pieces
– Step-by-step instructions
– Coloring and crafting ideas
– A U.S.S. Enterprise book

Skill Level: Advanced

Order it directly from Insight Editions’ IncrediBuilds website!


This project, along with its Star Trek: The Next Generation counterpart, was something of a departure for me, writing-wise. The book accompanying this nifty little model presents a bit of an overview of the Constitution-class starships, with obvious emphasis on the Enterprise and its noteworthy adventures as chronicled on the original Star Trek series. That portion of the book is presented “inside the box,” as though the missions of the Enterprise really happened.

(Wait. They’re not?)

For the rest of the book, I took a step back and offer a brief history of the Enterprise‘s design for the series by Matt Jefferies, the building and use of the 11-foot filming model, and even its display (and recent restoration) at the National Air and Space Museum.

And hey! The model is pretty cool, you know.

Given that the IncrediBuilds kits are aimed at the 10+ age bracket, this was a fun way for me to bring a bit of Star Trek to a younger audience. If these first two kits do well, there may be others. I guess we’ll see!

More presents from the Book Fairy!

What’s this? New books with that new book smell? Awwwwwwwwwww, yeah.

The good folks at Insight Editions sent me a present yesterday, in the form of author copies of my two latest publications: a pair of IncrediBuilds wood model kits, each with their own book as scribbled by me! Check it out, y’all:

(Click to biggie size.)

Aimed at a younger audience, the models are designed for easy assembly and require no glue, tape, or anything else. Everything fits together all nice and snug. I’ve not yet built either of these, but my kids and I have experimented with a couple of the Star Wars IncrediBuilds offerings. These things are kinda fun. 🙂

I was first able to talk about these back at the end of March, when Insight and StarTrek.com made the official announcement. Each book is 32 pages, stuffed to overflowing with various facts, stats, and little anecdotes about the ships as portrayed on TV and film, along with a few behind the scenes nuggets.

Both model/book sets are due in stores on or about on Tuesday, June 12th. I’m pretty happy with how these came out, and we’ve had conversations about potential future entries in this series. Stay tuned for more info as details develop!

Pre-order links for my Star Trek IncrediBuilds book/model sets!

Hey!

Remember last weekend when I finally was able to announce two of the mystery projects with which I’m currently involved? It was nice to come in from the darkness, albeit briefly, and talk about the pair of Star Trek-themed IncrediBuilds projects I’ve been working on for Insight Editions. Both book/model sets are due for publication on Tuesday, June 12th, and now we have pre-order links…well, sorta.

incredibuilds-trek-covers

Because I know you want to buy copies for you and all of your friends:

Star Trek: The Original Series – U.S.S. Enterprise
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million

Star Trek: The Next Generation – U.S.S. Enterprise
Amazon.com
Barnes and Noble
Books-A-Million

The TNG Enterprise set seems to be having some issues to sort out so far as its “availability.” Amazon is showing its pub date as May 2030, and B&N doesn’t even have it listed. Only Books-A-Million seems to have its act together. As things get sorted out, I’ll be sure to post updates, because I know you all want to get a jump on your holiday shopping.

Come build some Star Trek with me!

After several months hinting, vaguebooking, and yammering about “unannounced projects” I’ve been working on, I’m finally able to talk about a couple of them.

I’ve been having some fun with new projects for Insight Editions, the publisher of my Vulcan and Klingon Empire travel guides. Last year, I was asked about my interest in writing a couple of new offerings for Insight’s IncrediBuilds imprint.

IncrediBuilds-logo

From their own website: “The IncrediBuilds collection features do-it-yourself, customizable, freestanding models that are sure to delight fans of all ages. Each model is made of Earth-friendly, FSC®-certified wood, and all products include step-by-step directions and coloring and crafting ideas. No glue or tools necessary. Informative and interactive, both kids and adults can use these projects to explore their creativity and create unique, displayable art.”

IncrediBuilds projects cover subjects from a variety of categories, including famous buildings from around the world, animals, and several licensed properties including Disney, Marvel, Harry Potter, and Star Wars.

Anybody want to guess where this is going?

dayton-enterprise-model

That’s right, kids! IncrediBuilds is venturing into the Final Frontier, and the first projects out of the gate are the original U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701 and its Galaxy-class counterpart from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Check out StarTrek.com’s preview of these new kits by clicking on this linky-type thing right here:

 StarTrek.com: Craft Your Own Enterprises

IB_MillFalcon_Env_final_withstars.inddSeveral of the IncrediBuilds kits are offered in what are called “Deluxe Editions,” in which the model comes with a special 32-page book that offers all sorts of juicy details about the item being…you know…built. For example, the book accompanying the Millennium Falcon build offers some history of the ship, “tech specs” and a tour of its features, its owners, “famous flights, and so on. There’s also a bit of “behind the scenes” info about its creation for the Star Wars films, including an interview with one of the people responsible for designing and building the original model.

For both Enterprise editions, I took a similar approach with the books I was asked to write, so you’ll get a brief rundown of the ships and their place in Starfleet history, as well as a look at each filming model’s design and creation for their respective television series. Lots of pictures are jammed into both books, as well.

Hey. Wanna sneak peek?

IncrediBuilds-TOS

The original and still the best, U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701
(click to biggie size)

IncrediBuilds-TNG

Aaaaaaand an Enterprise for the Next Generation (see what I did, there?).

Both “Deluxe” book/model sets are currently slated for release on Tuesday, June 12th, each with a retail price of $16.99.

I had a ton of fun with these, and I can’t wait to see the models they’re making to go with them. Writing anything Star Trek with a younger audience in mind is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long, long time. This will hopefully be the first of several such Trek-themed IncrediBuilds projects, and we’ve already had a brief discussion about possible follow-ups for these two. Meanwhile, I’m currently working on two additional, non-Trek IB books.

More on those later, so if you’ll excuse me…I need to get my butt back to work.

You say you want to buy my books to give as presents? All righty, then!

KlingonSantaHoliday shopping is in full swing, and plenty of writerly and other creative folks are advertising their respective wares. I’ve gotten a few emails or other messages from people here and there, asking for suggestions about which of my books might make for good gift-giving and whatnot.

Setting aside my kneejerk initial answer (“Um, all of them? Get one of each, and make a nice gift basket.”), I’ve pondered this a bit over the last couple of days, and settled on a handful of titles I think might have broad(er) appeal to the Trekkie on your shopping list. Also? You’ll be helping me to do things like pay my mortgage and put food in my kids’ faces. Everybody wins!

Here, have a look:

Continue reading “You say you want to buy my books to give as presents? All righty, then!”

Talking Klingons and travel guides with Literary Treks!

It’s been almost five years since Trek.fm launched their Literary Treks podcast. I know, because I was there, invited by then hosts Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing to sit in as the show’s very first guest.

Since then, and even through a couple of changes in hosting duties, Literary Treks has continued to shine a spotlight on the world of Star Trek fiction in prose and comics form. Nearly every episode has featured an interview with an author, editor, artist, or other creative contributor. I did a quick count, and it turns out I’ve been on the show ten times since being Guest #1.

Wait! Correction: eleven times.

It turns out that the 200th episode of Literary Treks was also an opportunity for me to sit with current hosts Dan Gunther and Bruce Gibson and talk at length about my recently released tome, Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: The Klingon Empire.

HUTG Klingon Lifestyle (Twitter)

In addition to discussing how the book came together, we also talked about all the crazy places from which I drew ideas and inspiration, all of that gorgeous art littering the pages, and so on. It’s a rollicking hour or so, during which we also discuss – briefly and in the vaguest possible terms – my upcoming Star Trek: Discovery novel and some other stuff I’m working on.

Go on, have a listen:

Literary Treks #200: Klingon-It Up A Little Bit

Many thanks to Dan and Bruce for having me on yet again to talk Trek. As always, I enjoy these interviews and how you always keep me and my fellow scribes on our toes.

lit-treks-klingonguide

Talking with TrekCore about the Klingon Travel Guide!

What happens when you spend 20-30 minutes spewing stream-of-consciousness blathering into a phone, pausing for the occasional breath while the person on the other end recovers from that maelstrom and attempts to ask another question?

Sometimes, it ends up printed as an interview somewhere.

That was the case last week when I spoke to Rich Schepis, who walked into the fire burning hot inside the lion’s mouth long enough to talk to me for TrekCore.com about my recently released tome, Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: The Klingon Empire.

HUTG Klingon Lifestyle (Twitter)

Rich is a patient, understanding sort, and he was able to pull apart the verbal hairball I hacked his way, and turn my yammering into something intelligible. I hope they pay him pretty well, over there.

Have a read, if you’re so inclined:

TrekCore.com – INTERVIEW: Dayton Ward’s Guide to the KLINGON EMPIRE

Many thanks to Rich and the gang at TrekCore for putting up with my shenanigans.

In related news, I found out this morning that the Vulcan Travel Guide is included as one of the juicy items in the second edition of the “ThinkGeek Capsule,” which is ThinkGeek’s super cool version of a LootCrate subscription box. So, if you were looking for a reason to pick up that book AND something snazzy to subscribe to on a regular basis, well then BOOM! Two birds with one stone, and all that.

Geek.com – Let’s Look Inside ThinkGeek Capsule #2

thinkgeekcapsule2main-625x352

Neat, amirite?

 

 

USA Today: “10 great sites for a ‘Star Trek’ pilgrimage.”

klingon travel guide-coverAs part of the ramp-up leading to the release of Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: The Klingon Empire, the nice folks in charge of marketing and publicizing the book had me talk to a number of people. I did a few podcasts (more to come!), of course, particularly some of the higher profile ones within the Star Trek (and Trek fandom) community.

One of the more interesting – and atypical, at least for me – interview opportunities came from journalist Larry Bleiberg and a special feature for USA Today. Rather than just write a simple piece about the Klingon Guide, Larry instead picked my brain for some real-world locations with ties to Star Trek, be they locations referenced in the shows or films or else places that go “above and beyond” so far as celebrating Star Trek in some manner. The result?

USA Today: 10 great sites for a ‘Star Trek‘ pilgrimage

Many thanks to Larry for asking me to help out with this piece, and to Eric and Matthew at Insight Editions for hitting the marketing and publicity pedals hard on this one. It’s been fun!

Oh, and be sure to check out that Klingon Travel Guide. I hear it’s pretty cool. 🙂