You can tell EVERYTHING you need to know about a person, as long as they’ve given one casual talk that you happened to attend. Don’t you think?
I always knew the offer had a snowball’s chance. As a fellow writer, I still think he’s pretty terrific. Not because of his Spellsinger books, or his Pip stories, or even his novel, Into the Out of (which Glynn loved and I liked but, ugh, that cover on Amazon). As an author, he’s done more than all right. I’m even more impressed that he’s considered a Grand Master. A few years ago, he was awarded the title by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.
Being a Grand Master of anything is pretty darn impressive, but have you ever heard of the Tie-In Association? The Good Witch says she has, but she is SUCH a fibber. No one who isn’t professionally associated with those people has ever heard of this group. No one.
Still, once a Grand Master, always a Grand Master. The title tells me that Foster has written a carload of television and movie-based books, and he’s done his work well. I’m guessing, if you don’t do a good job the first time, no one lines up to hire you for a second time – and, as the upcoming SW novel shows, his talents are still in demand. If Wikipedia is to be believed, Foster has finished almost forty media tie-in novelizations. I don’t care who you are, that’s an impressive number of novels for any writer.
As Nathaniel commented on last week’s blog, ADF attempts to bring his own color and flavor to the stories he adapts. He’s often made them richer and more interesting than the actual movie itself. I don’t know if this will happen with The Force Awakens – mix LucasFilm with the Disney Company and “freedom of expression” isn’t the first thought that occurs – but reviews of his earlier adaptions give me hope.
Because, I want you to know, it isn’t easy working with someone else’s creation. When Glynn and I stumbled onto a work-for-hire project, we learned that lesson. Even before we signed the contract, we were advised that we wouldn’t be allowed to give the Famous Characters an interesting new quirk, or a fun new friend, or introduce any significant changes to their well-established living situation. The status quo would forever remain the status quo. As long as we worked within those guidelines, however, we could do whatever we wanted. The story’s plot was ours, it was a twist on the familiar and got us the job, and we loved playing with it.
Still, the restrictions rubbed at us. Plus, private gripe, the editor added a nonsensical bit of business that did nothing to advance the story; she just had to mark her territory. Even though the novel sold well, even for those Famous Characters, we never wrote another one. Deciding we wrote too slowly to spend so many months in another person’s world, we went off to do our own thing. We’ve never regretted it.
Of course, Foster has the speed and talent to work on both types of projects. Both Glynn and I believe he can do anything as a writer – except, apparently, pen a vampire romance novel. Which is totally okay, ADF. Sure, the average person might think a Grand Master would be up for anything…but, no, no, I get it. It’s cool.
The Force Awakens comes out as an e-book when the movie launches, and as a hardcover in early January. I’ll bet it’s a good one.