I went and Trekked myself…again!

Again, with the babbling. Again, with someone recording it for playback by unsuspecting innocents.

It’s been many months since my first virtual sitdown with Darrell Taylor and J.K. Woodward for their Go Trek Yourself podcast. Back in November, we chatted about my Star Trek: Discovery novel from last year, Drastic Measures, as well as a smattering of other topics such as my longtime writing partnership with my best bud, Kevin.

AvailableLight-coverThis time, the main topic is Available Light, my Star Trek: The Next Generation novel from earlier this year. We also cover a bit of ground so far as what the novels have been doing over the past several years. This includes plotty-plot threads which have brought us to where my book is in the “Star Trek novel timeline,” and what’s next when I had the baton to David Mack next month for his own TNG novel, Collateral Damage.

The “too long, didn’t read” version of what you might want (but don’t necessarily need) to read to prep yourself for reading this whole plotline:

  • TNG: A Time to Kill, by David Mack
  • TNG: A Time to Heal, by Dave
  • Section 31: Control, by Hey! Dave
  • TNG: Hearts and Minds, by me
  • TNG: Available Light, by me
  • TNG: Collateral Damage, by Dave (coming in October)

Unlike last time where I think we talked for something like a week, this installment comes in at a more reasonable running time of 45 minutes. Wanna listen? Go here:

Go Trek Yourself Episode 57: Dayton Ward

Many thanks to Darrell and J.K. for having me back on to hang with them for a while. We did talk about doing this again in the near future, so stay tuned!

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“Hey, Dayton! Why don’t you have a podcast?”

No, the headline isn’t some oh-so clever way of announcing my new podcast. Far from it, actually.

So, yeah. Podcasts.

Lots of people have podcasts. I mean…a lot of people have podcasts. I should know, because I’ve been a guest on my share of them over the years. It’s too bad it’s not a paying gig, because that sort of thing totally beats donating blood or other body fluids for money, or being one of those guys who stand on the Strip in Las Vegas handing out cards with hooker phone numbers on them.

solicitorsYep. It’s totally a real thing. Totally.

Alas, I do such things for the glory and the fun…oh, and to talk about my writing or promote a new book or some such thing. I occasionally show up on a podcast for reasons other than self-promotion, and those are their own special brand of fun. Indeed, I tend to enjoy those situations more than the “Let’s talk about my new book,” shows, as I’m not the focus of the episode and instead we’re just talking about something we all love. For example, I “guest co-hosted” several episodes of Cyborgs: A Bionic Podcast for just this reason, and I’ve popped into other shows like UnderDiscussion and the Sci-Fi Diner to talk about various geeky subjects. Then there are the podcasts I listen to just for my own entertainment. There are quite a few of those, actually, and I know I’m certainly not an outlier when it comes to this kind of thing.

BREAKING NEWS: Podcasts are pretty darned popular, by golly.

Continue reading ““Hey, Dayton! Why don’t you have a podcast?””

Talking about writing Star Trek novels with David R. George III and Trek.fm!

For reasons which continue to surpass my level of understanding, people want to talk to me. About writing.

Further, they want to record what I have to say on the subject and make it available for other people to hear. Like it’s some kind of punishment or humiliating task they need to accomplish before they can pledge to a fraternity or sorority or something.

I don’t get it, but here we are. Again.

Sandwiched between the normal news updates and reviews from the world of Star Trek publishing in all its various forms, the latest episode of Trek.fm‘s Literary Treks podcast brings me together with friend and fellow Trek wordsmith David R. George III so the show’s hosts, Bruce Gibson and Dan Gunther, can grill us about the crazy world of writing Star Trek novels.

Let’s face it, calling it “crazy” barely scratches the surface.

Over more than an hour, Bruce and Dan hit us with a pretty wide range of questions about this rather odd niche of writing. We discuss our secret origin stories and how we got into the game, the wickets a Star Trek story must go through from concept to finished novel, the differences between writing media tie-in fiction and original fiction, what “rules” exist when working with someone else’s characters and settings, collaborating with CBS, editors, and other writers to maintain something resembling consistency when working on larger efforts like ongoing series or “event series,” and the challenge a new writer faces when attempting to break into the realm. We even find a moment or two to lament the gone but not forgotten Star Trek: Strange New Worlds writing contest, which we all know holds a special place for me.

Have a listen, if you’re of a mind to do so:

Literary Treks 276: There’s A Line We Can’t Cross

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Many thanks to Bruce and Dan for having me on the show once again, and also to David for inviting me to be his wingman for this outing. I hope we didn’t crush too many dreams, but if we did know it was done out of love.

Wait……what?

Talking about Available Light with the Trek Geeks!

Having failed to learn their lesson the last couple of times I was on their show, hosts Dan Davidson and Bill Smith of the Trek Geeks Podcast invited me back for another sitdown chit-chat.

Suckers.TrekGeeks-Banner

Of course I kid. I’ve known Dan and Bill for a couple of years now thanks to the wonder that is social media along with a few chance encounters at the annual big-assed Star Trek convention in Las Vegas. They do a stellar job representing Trek fandom in the best possible way by bringing people together to celebrate that which we all love so dearly. They do this through their “Camp KhitomerStar Trek fan group on Facebook as well the array of podcasts they host or support through the Trek Geeks website.

They’re good eggs, that Dan and Bill.

This time, they invite me back to talk about Available Light, my recently released Star Trek: The Next Generation novel. We dig in a bit about how the book came to be, not just as its own thing but also how it picks up and runs with story threads that have been weaving in and out of the “expanded universe” continuity Star Trek novels have been building for well over 15 years at this point.

This is particularly relevant here, as Available Light not only takes the baton from David Mack’s Star Trek: Section 31 novel Control from 2017, but like that book also reaches all the way back to events Dave chronicled in A Time to Kill and A Time to Heal from the 2004 Star Trek: A Time to… mini-series. Plus, I get to set the stage for Dave and his upcoming novel Collateral Damage, which will be out in October. So, yeah, we talk some about how it works when collaborating with other writers to keep things consistent, how to keep readers new to the novels from feeling overwhelmed, and all sorts of other neato things.

Yes, we even delve a bit into my favorite ever Star Trek word, “canon.”

(Spoilers: Grr. Argh.)

Have a listen, whydontcha?

Trek Geeks #179: Available Light

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Many thanks to Dan and Bill for having me on again. It’s always a blast hanging out with you two. Maybe we can do it again soon!

Blast from the past: “And Then One Night”

HGWorld-logoA while back, friend and fellow word pusher Jay Smith was the chaotic evil mastermind behind HG World, a full-cast audio drama depicting a zombie uprising and those who struggle to survive it. Jay wrote all of the scripts for nearly 30 episodes and an audio novel, and more than 70 people lent their voices in various capacities over the course of the series.

Back in 2010 or 2011, Jay posited the idea of a series of shorter episodes depicting characters and events away from the main storyline. Along with a few other folks, he invited me to submit story ideas for this “audio anthology” he was tentatively calling A Long Cold Lonely Winter. I pitched an idea about a Marine unit tasked with protecting a small group of VIPs, specifically a United States senator and his family. Originally meant to transport the senator and his entourage to a secure location, things go sideways and the Marines are forced to seek shelter at an abandoned National Guard armory post. They fortify their positions after being told to stay put and are preparing to hunker down for the winter, “And Then One Night, All Hell Broke Loose.”

At least, that’s how I wrote it. I submitted a script for my story, but didn’t hear much about it after that. For a variety of reasons, mostly work and life and other things of higher importance, the anthology idea was shelved while Jay focused his attention on other things. I was plenty busy writing all sorts of other stuff, so at some point this just sort of faded into the back of my memory.

Then, last week, he posted an announcement on Facebook that he was officially “retiring” HG World, and that’s when I received a cool little surprise: Somewhere along the line, Jay had cast the voices for my script, and he and his crew recorded it.

Wait. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? How the hell did that happen? How the hell did that happen? Well, the “how” seems easy enough: Jay and his people did what Jay and his people did a lot: They just did it. Imagine my genuine, pleasant surprise.

Now, this is only the raw audio, meaning it’s not anywhere near being a polished episode of the sort Jay and Company put out time after time while working on HG World. So, for all I know there would’ve been edits and maybe even redos if we’d decided something else worked so far as the dialogue went. But, this is a neat little reminder of something fun I did for a friend a while back. Check it out:

HG World: A Long Cold Lonely Winter – “And Then One Night…”

Full Cast List:

Civilian #1 – Isaak Wells
Civilian #2 – Warren Blackie
Civilian #3 – J. Longshaw
Cpl Kirsten Beyer – Ginny Swann
1stLt Carrie Burroughs – S. Longshaw
Col. Michael Davison – David Sobkowiak
LCpl Becky Gaskill – Karen Kahler
LCpl Ricky Jackson – Stacy Dooks
Sgt William Leisner – Tanja Milojevic
GySgt Joshua Marshall – Brion Humphrey
Melissa – Melissa Morgan
Cpl Scott Pearson – Justin Grubbs
Robert Powell – Warren Blackie
Cpl Gary Taylor – Tom Kerin
Andy Waverly – Adam Boeing
Senator Charles Waverly – Lee Turner
Woman – Danielle McRrea

and Keith R.A. DeCandido as Todd Rage

Many thanks to Jay, the cast and crew, and everyone else who worked to put this together. I’m sorry to see HG World retire, but I fully understand having to let a favorite project rest when life’s other demands get in the way. Maybe Jay will find a way to revisit it, one of these days.

Talking about Available Light with Literary Treks!

AvailableLight-coverSo, I’m babbling again.

This time it’s about my still minty fresh Star Trek: The Next Generation novel Available Light, and the thankless task of not only enduring my blatherings but also recording them for others to hear fell to the inimitable duo of Bruce Gibson and Dan Gunther, they of the Literary Treks podcast.

I always enjoy talking with Bruce and Dan. They’re longtime supporters of the Star Trek novel line, and the interviews they conduct are fun and even a little challenging, as some of the questions go beyond the usual sorts of topics we might cover while discussing this sort of thing. I also love that they always seem able to dial in on some of the subtler things I might try to sneak into one of my books when I think no one’s paying attention.

In the course of talking about Available Light, we also discuss the rather expansive “24th century continuity” the novels have built across multiple series and more books than I can count over the course of many years. It’s quite something, for whatever my opinion’s worth, and I’m rather proud to be a part of it. We also tease (Just a little!) about what might be next, particularly with the forthcoming Collateral Damage, David Mack‘s follow up to my book that’s due to hit bookstore shelves in October.

In the meantime, have a listen to our little chat:

Literary Treks #266: Bringing the Truth Out of the Shadows

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Thanks as always to Bruce and Dan for having me on. I’m sure we’ll do it again at some point! 🙂

Listen to me talking Trek on ODYSY Radio’s Trek 360!

That’s right, you read that correctly. I’ve been babbling again.

This time, I sit down with Jarrod Cooper, host of Trek 360, a new Star Trek-themed podcast on the ODYSY Radio network which takes a look at things beyond the television episodes and movies. Though the program’s just getting started, Jarrod plans to interview all manner of folks involved with Star Trek in some form or another, including writers such as…well…me.

Yep! For the program’s second episode, Jarrod corralled me to yammer for a bit about writing Star Trek novels, including the new wrinkles being introduced in the last couple of years now that there’s a new television series in production (and more on the way!) and constantly adding to the vast “Star Trek canon.” It’s been a long time since that was a serious consideration, after all, but hey! Times, they are a’changin’, amirite?

We also talk a little about my involvement with the early development of the “living campaign” for Star Trek Adventures, the role-playing game produced by Modiphius and which is continuing to take the tabletop RPG world by storm. This ends up being a nice segue for Jarrod, as he swivels from talking to me to interviewing my good friend Jim Johnson, who as we speak is neck-deep in the game while working as a line editor helping to develop new products for it. He’s got a lot of cool news and juicy details to share, so if you’re into the game be sure to check that out.

Have a listen, whydontcha?

Trek 360, Episode 2 – February 18th, 2019

Many thanks to Jarrod for having me on the show. Maybe we can do it again some time!

Talking Trek and Eating Brains on the Super Geeks Podcast!

And once again, I’m babbling.

I’m babbling, and somebody decided it’d be cool to record said babbling and offer it up for later listening to an unsuspecting populace. This time, I sit down with hosts George Silsby, Carlos Pedraza, “Chelle,” and Sunseahl Silverfall for an all-new episode of their Super Geeks podcast.

While we spend a few minutes talking about my writing – specifically, the experience of writing Drastic Measures, my Star Trek: Discovery novel – the conversation does end up bouncing around to talking about the show itself, the recently announced and still-forthcoming “Picard” series and “Lower Decks” animated series, the pros and cons of streaming services, and assorted topics that seem to pop up as we move merrily along.

The episode clocks in at an hour and fifty minutes, but it sure seemed to fly by. Have a listen, if you’re of a mind to do so:

Super Geeks, Season 2 Episode 13: “Dayton Ward Ate Our Brains!”

Many thanks to George, Carlos, Chelle, and Sun for inviting me to hang with them for a bit. They’ve invited me back to talk about whatever at some future date, so maybe our paths will cross again one day soon!

Talking Klingons and the Klingon Travel Guide on the Bound By Honor podcast!

You gotta love those Klingons.

I mean, I know I do…enough that I write about them on occasion. Such was the case with last year’s Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: The Klingon Empire, in which I did my best to make the Klingon homeworld and various other planets under imperial rule sound like the most awesome vacation destinations you never knew you wanted to visit. My ploy seems to have worked, as I’ve received a number of notes and messages from people who’ve decided that’s where they’re headed for their next anniversary, birthday, spring break, or whatever.

You know…just as soon as there actually is a Klingon Empire, and Southwest Airlines adds it to their routes.

Anyway…

Last week, I sat down with hosts “Juvan,” “Jorn,” and “Ja’Jim” for an interview for Bound By Honor, their podcast devoted to Star Trek and Star Trek books. Our discussion covered several topics, including my early days as a Star Trek fan and my secret writer origin story before we move on to discussing the writing of the Klingon travel guide.

During our talk, I was surprised (and flattered!) that a few Klingon-focused fan groups have actually been using the book along with others such as Keith R.A. DeCandido‘s Star Trek: The Klingon Art of War as resources to help them flesh out various aspects of Klingon culture, world-building, and so on. It’s always fun to hear your work has been well-received by readers, but this is definitely taking things to another level. 🙂

The interview, which runs about an hour, has actually been labeled as “Part 1” of a two-part look at the Klingon travel guide. Part 2, coming in the next week or so, will focus on their review of the book itself. Meanwhile, have a listen to our little chat:

Klingon Assault Group – Bound By Honor Podcast: Dayton Ward Interview

Many thanks to my hosts for having me on. I had a fun time, and perhaps we’ll have reason to chat again sometime in the near future!

Talking Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 4 with the TrekGeeks!

And now for something somewhat different.

Yes, I sat down with another podcast, and sure…it was another Star Trek-themed podcast, but this one had the rare pleasure of not being about me!

“Whaaaaaat?” I can hear someone shouting from the cheap seats. “I thought he was always about him. The hell is this madness?

This time, I sat down with Bill Smith and Dan Davidson of the TrekGeeks podcast, to act as something resembling a referee, moderator, babysitter, or whatever as we discussed the fourth season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in a rapid-fire “See It Or Skip It” discussion. What’s that about? Essentially, we run down the list of the season’s episodes, and give our quick hit “See It” or “Skip It” recommendations, and why. My job, supposedly, was to keep the show moving and prevent Bill and Dan from descending into mortal combat…or something.

Hardcore Star Trek fans will doubtless note that DS9’s fourth season is pretty strong, pound for pound. It probably won’t surprise you to know that (SPOILERS!) we ended up recommending most of the episodes as “See It.” Which ones did we opt to put in the “Skip It” column? Which ones made us waffle back and forth? Well, you’re just gonna hafta listen, aren’t you? Do that right here:

TrekGeeks Episode 149
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 4 – See It Or Skip It

Many thanks to Bill and Dan for inviting me to come and play for a bit. This one was a lot of fun, and I’ve already told them I’d be up for a future installment at some point.