Catching Up: Interviews and Planet Comicon!

Well, last week was a thing.

I spent most of it battling illness, being stubborn about it and trying to keep all the balls in the air. It started midweek, and only went downhill from there, to the point that when Saturday came around, I was a sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy-headed, fevered, unable to really rest person.

planetcomiconBetween that and some family issues Kevin was dealing with, we made the decision to withdraw from the tables we’d planned to man all weekend at Planet Comicon, Kansas City’s awesome pop culture convention/party. It was the fair thing to do, given that Kevin was already scheduled to work a good portion of the weekend at Hallmark’s PopMinded booth and my not even being there at all on Friday due to my own work scheduled. With all of that and my being sick, we knew the con could reassign those tables to other creators/vendors who were on a waiting list. That said, both Kevin and I missed the opportunity to spend the weekend hanging out with friends, making new friends, and – yes – offering our various titles and other wares for sale.

On the other hand, we’d also both made a commitment to friends and fellow writers Jennifer Frontera and Jason Arnett to participate in a panel Jennifer was moderating on Sunday about writing “for hire” and/or for licensed properties. Kevin would be back at the con to continue helping out with the PopMinded booth on Sunday, so all that remained was for me to swallow enough meds to keep me upright and presentable for a few hours. So, I jammed a bunch of stuff down my throat with a Mountain Dew chaser and with my trusty sidekick, daughter Addison, set off for Bartle Hall.

The panel went off nicely, I thought. Jeni was a superb moderator, hitting us with a string of well-considered questions that generated some good discussion between the four of us and also prompted some great questions from our audience. After the panel, Jason graciously hosted Kevin and me at his table for a short while, where we were able to sign books for people who’d been trying to track us down throughout the weekend.

My biggest regret of the weekend was not being able to catch up with everybody I’d been hoping to see, but also that we needed to back out on our commitment to the con itself. The gang who runs Planet Comicon have always been incredibly supportive of me and Kevin, and we hate not being able to participate in the entire weekend’s fun and games. Hopefully we’ll be back to normal for next year, when Planet throws its 20th anniversary party!

DrasticMeasures-CoverElsewhere, last week’s distractions made me all but completely forget that yet another interview with me about Drastic Measures was made available for your listening torture enjoyment. Matthew Miller from TrekZone.org contacted me a week or so ago to talk about the new book, and damned if we almost got through the thing before one of us remembered why we were talking in the first place. Matthew’s provided the results of that gabfest over at the TrekZone site, so you’re free to stick them in your ears at your convenience. Check it out:

TrekZone.org: Author Dayton Ward On Writing Trek Novels

Many thanks to Matthew for hosting the interview!

Speaking of interviews, I know of two others which are prepping to drop in the coming days, and I have another phone interview scheduled for this evening. Between now and then, I’ll be finalizing the manuscript for a book project that’s due later this week.

Busy writer is busy!

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Hey, it’s another Drastic Measures interview!

Last week and in the wake of the release of Drastic Measures, my Star Trek: Discovery novel, I conducted several interviews (and there are at least two more I can recall offhand still scheduled). I told you about one such Q&A yesterday, but wouldn’t you know that a new day also brings with it another link to share!

This time, it’s the fine folks over at TrekCore.com, one of the more prominent fan-driven Star Trek news sites. Contributing writer Alex Perry hit me up with a nice batch of questions, such as how I managed to keep my big mouth shut not just during those months before the series premiere before I was announced as writing the book, but also from week to week as each new episode was made available. For example:

“I haven’t spilled anything even to my wife, who’s been watching the show each week with me, and there have been occasions where something happens and she’d turn to me and ask, “You knew that was going to happen, didn’t you? Didn’t you? What else is coming? What else? TELL ME!” while I just smile and shake my head.”

Babbling responses such as this to each of Alex’s queries are now available for your perusal. Check it, yo:

TrekCore.com – Interview: Dayton Ward’s “Drastic Measures.”

Many thanks to Alex and the entire TrekCore crew for letting me invade their space yet again!

New Drastic Measures interview!

People never learn.

They want to talk. To me, I mean.

They ask me questions, pay attention to my answers, and after reviewing my responses one last time, take the final leap of posting said questions and resulting answers for all the world to see. Such was the case (again) with Darren Perdue, host of the book-appreciating/book-loving site Ninetoes Loves Books.

Savvy readers of this space may recall that Darren interviewed me a short while back, but this time he’s picking my brain (mostly) about my new Star Trek: Discovery novel Drastic Measures.

The interview covers the book’s genesis and how folks working on the show (namely my honorary big sister, the always awesome Kirsten Beyer) helped me all while juggling the mighty task of creating and producing a television series. As I’ve already said, the writing of this book was unlike any of my previous Star Trek ventures, but it was a heck of a lot of fun.

Give our little back-n-forth a read, whydontcha:

Ninetoes Loves Books: An Interview with Dayton Ward

daytonward-vegas01

Thanks again to Darren for graciously accepting the drop in property value by inviting me into his space!

 

Drastic Measures

DrasticMeasures-CoverStar Trek: Discovery

It is 2246, ten years prior to the Battle at the Binary Stars, and an aggressive contagion is ravaging the food supplies of the remote Federation colony Tarsus IV and the eight thousand people who call it home. Distress signals have been sent, but any meaningful assistance is weeks away. Lieutenant Commander Gabriel Lorca and a small team assigned to a Starfleet monitoring outpost are caught up in the escalating crisis, and bear witness as the colony’s governor, Adrian Kodos, employs an unimaginable solution in order to prevent mass starvation.

While awaiting transfer to her next assignment, Commander Philippa Georgiou is tasked with leading to Tarsus IV a small, hastily assembled group of first responders. It’s hoped this advance party can help stabilize the situation until more aid arrives, but Georgiou and her team discover that they‘re too late—Governor Kodos has already implemented his heinous strategy for extending the colony’s besieged food stores and safeguarding the community’s long-term survival.

In the midst of their rescue mission, Georgiou and Lorca must now hunt for the architect of this horrific tragedy and the man whom history will one day brand “Kodos the Executioner.”


It was quite a thrill to be asked – both by Pocket Books and the always amazing Kirsten Beyer from the Star Trek: Discovery writers room – to write this, the second “Disco” novel. Having watched the show develop almost from the very beginning and after numerous conversations with Kirsten all through that process, I’ll admit to a bit of bias so far as how I feel about this latest entry into the “Star Trek mythos.” This, despite the obvious knowledge that Discovery sure ain’t your daddy’s Star Trek.

Wait…..my dad never liked Star Trek. On the other hand, I’m old enough to be the target for such a comment. As a lifelong fan of Star Trek in its various forms, including its ventures to the novel and comics realms, I’m jazzed at having been given the equivalent of a ringside seat to watch the new show’s genesis. I’m excited about the prospects for future seasons, and what it might mean for the next chapter(s) of Star Trek.

As for Drastic Measures? Like friend and fellow word pusher David Mack got to do with his own DSC novel, Desperate Hours, I was given a chance to connect Discovery to the larger Star Trek universe by way of a couple of prominent bits of lore. The trick was to do it in a manner that remained consistent with what was already known about these “morsels of mythology” while at the same time providing a story which could focus on the new show’s characters. It’s up to readers to decide whether I managed to pull that off.

For those interested in learning a bit more about how this book came to be, I invite you to check out a guest post I wrote for the fine folks over at StarTrek.com. Hopefully that will give some insight into the unique challenges Drastic Measures presented:

StarTrek.com: “Go Inside Discovery: Drastic Measures with Dayton Ward”

The book is now available at bookstores everywhere, in trade paperback, e-Book, and audiobook editions. If you’re still one of those folks who loves going to an actual store for your reading material, I humbly suggest patronizing your local independent bookseller. If that sort of thing isn’t feasible for whatever reason, then of course we have other options:

Simon & Schuster
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million

In addition to providing a permanent home for links to find and order the book, this blog entry also will serve as our 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.

5 Questions with…me?

After all this time, you’d think people would’ve heeded the harsh, painful lessons learned by others, and pointedly avoid asking me questions which I then answer so that those responses can be published for the world to see. Perhaps one day, that will happen.

Today is not that day.

bookloveThe next poor, tortured soul to step into the breach is Darren Perdue, who maintains Ninetoes Loves Books, a blog devoted to reading along with books and the people who make them. For his “5 Questions” feature, he sought out little old me.

Sorry, dude.

Actually, the questions were fine…at least until I started answering them. Those interested in seeing my responses should meander on over to Darren’s blog and check out the digs:

Ninetoes Loves Books: 5 Questions with Dayton Ward

In all seriousness, thanks to Darren for reaching out. I mean, it’s not like I really need much prompting to talk about books.

IMG_2472
(Photo credit: Russ Colchamiro)

A tease from the Book Fairy: Drastic Measures!

The book fairy paid me a little visit today. This time, it was just a brief pit stop….long enough only to offer a tasty morsel of good things to come.

What am I babbling about, you ask? Behold, yo:

DSC2-cover

Yep! The package contained two brand-spankin’ new, fresh off the press and awash in that new car smell copies of Drastic Measures, my upcoming Star Trek: Discovery novel that’s due to hit stores on or about Tuesday, February 6th.

Don’t they look pretty? Wait….what’s it about? I’m so happy you asked:


It is 2246, ten years prior to the “Battle at the Binary Stars,” and an aggressive contagion is ravaging the food supplies of the remote Federation colony Tarsus IV and the eight thousand people who call it home. Distress signals have been sent, but any meaningful assistance is weeks away. Lieutenant Commander Gabriel Lorca and a small team assigned to a Starfleet monitoring outpost are caught up in the escalating crisis, and bear witness as the colony’s governor, Adrian Kodos, employs an unimaginable solution in order to prevent mass starvation.

While awaiting transfer to her next assignment, Commander Philippa Georgiou is tasked with leading to Tarsus IV a small, hastily assembled group of first responders. It’s hoped this advance party can help stabilize the situation until more aid arrives, but Georgiou and her team discover that they‘re too late—Governor Kodos has already implemented his heinous strategy for extending the colony’s besieged food stores and safeguarding the community’s long-term survival.

In the midst of their rescue mission, Georgiou and Lorca must now hunt for the architect of this horrific tragedy and the man whom history will one day brand “Kodos the Executioner.”


Drastic Measures is the second Discovery novel, following after David Mack‘s Desperate Hours, which was released back on September 26th. Those of you dialed into such things likely know that James Swallow has been announced as the author of a third book in this fledgling series. Fear Itself is due out in June, and will focus on Saru during his time aboard the U.S.S. Shenzhou under the command of Captain Philippa Georgiou.

Meanwhile, you’ve got mine and Dave’s books to tide you over until then.

Of course, the addition of a new tome to the shelf means I can play a new round of Trek Book Timeline Trolling…..

trekbooks2

Thadayton-at-workt should set some fan eyebrows to twitching.

Tee hee hee…….

Happy Birthday, Gene Coon.

Today would’ve marked the 94th birthday of writer, producer, and novelist Gene L. Coon.

Serving as a Marine during World War II and the Korean War, Coon would later channel his experiences into a pair of novels, Meanwhile, Back at the Front, and The Short End. Both are books you might shelve next to such irreverent tomes as Richard Hooker’s MASH, Dean Koontz’s Hanging On (written before he was *Dean Koontz*) and even Joseph Heller’s Catch-22.

Eventually making his way to Hollywood, Coon wrote scripts for a number of popular shows of the 1950s and 1960s such as Dragnet, Maverick, Bonanza, Have Gun, Will Travel, The Wild Wild West, and Wagon Train, and is also acknowledged for pitching the idea for what would become The Munsters. In the early 1970s, he wrote for shows like Kung Fu and The Streets of San Francisco, and produced the Robert Wagner series It Takes a Thief.

Somewhere in the middle of all of that, between 1966 and 1968, Coon was also one of the creative forces behind the original Star Trek.

GeneCoonWorking alongside series creator Gene Roddenberry as well as producers Herb Solow and Bob Justman and writer Dorothy Fontana, Coon was one of the show’s great influential forces. In addition to being a prolific writer who could turn out scripts in machine-like fashion, he’s also credited with introducing concepts to the series such as the Klingons and the Federation’s Prime Directive, the genetically enhanced Khan Noonien Singh, and warp drive pioneer Zefram Cochrane to name some prominent examples, which continue to inform and guide Star Trek storytelling to this day. Some of my favorite Trek scripts, like “Space Seed,” “A Taste of Armageddon,” “The Devil In the Dark,” and (of course!) “Arena” sprang from Gene Coon’s typewriter. Hell, I even have a soft spot for “Spock’s Brain.”

After Star Trek, he would partner again with Roddenberry as a co-writer for the TV film The Questor Tapes, and also was a co-writer for another Roddenberry concept that never went to series, Genesis II.

Coon died in 1973, never getting the chance to see what became of the show he helped shape and nurture. It’s unfortunate that his contributions seem to get overlooked except for the show’s most devoted fans, because there can be no denying the impact he had not just on the original series, but in the massive entertainment franchise Star Trek eventually became.

Stick this in your ears: Drastic Measures…the audiobook!

Yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to see this Tweet from actor Robert Petkoff:

For those of you who pay attention to such things, you know that Mr. Petkoff has served as narrator for nearly all of the Star Trek audiobooks released since the summer of 2016. This includes Purgatory’s Key, mine and Kevin’s contribution to the Legacies trilogy, as well as my own Star Trek: The Next Generation novels Headlong Flight and Hearts and Minds.

Next up for Mr. Petkoff?


Awwwww, yeah.

The audiobook edition of Star Trek: Discovery – Drastic Measures will be available as a digital download beginning Tuesday, February 6th, 2018, alongside the trade paperback and e-book editions.

As always, thanks very much to Robert Petkoff for lending his voice to jazz up my words. I look forward to hearing his performance!