G & T Show SL – Dayton Ward, Professional Writer
G & T Show SL – Dayton Ward, Professional Writer is now available to download. Check it out here. Nick, Terry, and Mike sat down with Dayton Ward. They discuss his latest book: Armageddon’s Arrow, and so much more. Don’t miss out on this fun and informative interview. We recorded on June 14th, 2015.
After introductions, they figure out when was the last time they spoke with him, and it has been a while. He’s currently working on two novels. He does not recommend it. Dayton didn’t plan this. He tells us how it came to be. He pokes fun at Terry’s golf night, since the interview was originally scheduled for Wednesday night but had to be postponed. Terry tells them about her golf league and their courses. The conversation degenerates towards fapping to Melissa McCarthy and Terry with cornrows. Mike wanted to give Dayton time to get acclimated to his new career before bring him back on the show, only to find out that he’s now working on two novels.
Terry asks how Dayton’s wife is doing, without revealing what happened. Dayton gives them the full story of his wife’s injury, since his wife posted about it publicly first. Dayton had been writing downstairs, when he heard a crash coming from upstairs shortly after his wife returned home from work. Upon investigating the sound, he found his wife on the floor with a light saber lying nearby. After seeing blood on the tile, he found a one inch gash in the back of her head. They ended up going to the ER, once the kid’s friend’s mom arrived and agreed to watch his kids as well. She ended up with seven staples in the back of her head. She shattered cliches because everyone expected it to be him to suffer an injury playing with Star Wars Light Sabers with the kids.
He didn’t want to talk about it, until she wanted to post it on Facebook first. Nick shares a story about his ex-wife getting in a car accident. Based on Nick’s story, Dayton shares another story about his wife getting into a wreck. As they trade stories, the laughter ensues.
Nick had read a book by Alexander Robins, who had written The Geeks Shall inherit the Earth. She wrote one called The Nurses and warns the reader early on that their sense of humor is not what you would expect. Nurses have vile senses of humor. It’s a coping mechanism for the terrible things they would have to do. Dayton shares a story about Kevin from when he was a newspaper reporter covering car accidents, and first heard Coroner humor when they encountered a decapitated head and the coroner began singing I Ain’t Got Nobody. Terry’s mother was a med surg nurse and her father was a surgeon. She tells a story of her mother’s war stories from work and the time she had had to catheterize a woman after a surgery.
A Professional Writer with Book Photos Around the World
Nick shifts the conversation to the photos of Dayton’s books out and about in the world. Dayton explains that he stole the idea from Wil Wheaton. He wants to know where you and the book are. He may end up doing a contest. Terry won a few years ago, and her photo is still one of Dayton’s favorites. He mentions the Co-ed Topless Pulp Fiction Society in New York. Dayton wants a Star Trek group like that, but is afraid that all of the people participating in it would be like Nick.
They finally get around to talking about Star Trek: The Next Generation: Armageddon’s Arrow. Dayton had written the last book of The Fall and had set up book to keep it open ended with Picard going out to explore, but if he had known that he was going to be chosen to write the follow up, he would have left a few hooks for himself. He wanted to do something old school Star Trek, finding something weird, having to deal with it, and leaving it better than they had found it. Dayton wanted to do something crazy that would have appeared in TOS, but have the TNG crew deal with it in their own way. Plus he and Margaret had come up with some of the ideas for the book. He provides some spoilers about the book. Terry has started reading it and appreciates the characters.
They talk about Chen and the character growth Picard has undergone since the series for a bit. He believes that once Picard is removed from the Enterprise, that incarnation of Star Trek is over. He demanded a decision about Picard’s future, which had a delay for more than three years. Terry was glad to see him move back to exploration.
Modern Era Books
Dayton talks about the modern era books’ direction and how difficult it was to get a new reader to jump into the series. Destiny is a good point to get into it, but so much has happened since then. He doesn’t want to say that his book is a good place to jump into the series without requiring a lot of knowledge of what came before it, but it does mark a new chapter in the continuing story that is easier for new readers to swallow.
Terry has some listener questions. The first question is in regards to which conventions are better for writers and fans of writers. The smaller conventions tend to be more favorable in his experience. He mentions Starfest and Shore Leave specifically. For the Star Trek writers, Shore Leave is where you’ll find most of them.
For other types of writers, some of the smaller literary cons will be better choices. Larger cons prefer the actors. The next question asked what a convention can do to help a writer. Dayton said promotion such as inclusion in their program and a listing on the website would go a long way. The bigger guests get the most attention and get pampered, whereas the lesser known guests have to pay their own way.
His biggest mistake with writing
Another question asked about the biggest mistake he has ever made with his writing. Dayton didn’t know how to answer the question due to context. He talks about the controversy that arose from the Hugo Awards. He doesn’t join clubs or organizations to avoid political crap. Nick poses a cage death match with Dayton and several other writers. Dayton doesn’t care who is in the cage, he’d be the one walking out.
Expanding the vocabulary of a professional writer
Another listener asked how to expand your vocabulary. Dayton recommends reading as much as you can and not just science fiction. Read things from other eras as well as from other genres. Nick has never read a western, and is considering picking one up. Dayton reads whatever grabs his interest. You’ve got to read, and of course, write. He says, you’re going to suck, but the more you write, the less you’re going to suck. They talk about Fifty Shades of Grey. Terry couldn’t get through it, but Dayton has read it. They also discuss the success of reboots and remakes and points to Jurassic World.
Getting an agent
Jespah asked how to get an agent. Dayton didn’t get an agent until he had a contract for a book. It didn’t hurt that he had an offer in hand, but his process was a little bit different. Jespah has already been published. He offered some good advice for it. Having a track record of some sort, helps because it shows the agent that you can finish what you start. They can’t shop a Star Wars novel around. Also, don’t pay an agent in advance. He’s between agents right now, but ended the relationship with his agent amicably because it wasn’t a good fit for both of them. He suggests being ready to show your work and not just some sample chapters.
More Current Work
Terry asks how many Star Trek irons does he have in the fire. He’s got four. He’s reviewing the Galley pages for Seekers. Dayton is finishing up From History’s Shadow 2 and the 24 novel is due a week later. He talks about his experience working on the 24 novel and how that project started. He’s also got a second book on his From History’s Shadow contract that most likely will be another TNG-era novel for release in 2017.
Terry mentions that she’s been hearing a lot of rumors about what CBS has planned for Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary. Dayton says that there was a big presentation for all of the license holders requiring them to pull out all of the stops for the 50th. He doesn’t know all of the particulars an no one is saying anything specifically, but it’s pretty obvious that the anniversary is going to be a big deal. It’s going to be a once in a lifetime event. Dayton wants everything to work and be successful. He and Terry wants to buy it all. Dayton even likes their anniversary logo and would wear it on a t-shirt. They have heard rumors but have not seen any plans. He just wants it to be a year long party.
Mike offers a question about the finest Christmas movie ever: Die Hard. Mike wonders if he would like to write a Die Hard inspired scene into a story or novel. Dayton wholeheartedly would. Then, he asks for clarification on whether it was for a Die Hard tie-in novel, or something inspired by Die Hard or both. They talk about the film, its sequels, as well as how to do it. He does say that his work on the 24 novel writing for Jack Bauer is as close as he could get to writing for John McClane. Dayton says that in his book, Jack has eaten, taken a nap and a leak, and been in an area with poor cell coverage, but doesn’t reveal specifics. Mike asks if Bauer is in an Amish community.
Dayton says he does have one other Star Trek book, but can’t speak about it yet. He wrote a story for the Rush Anthology. His story was inspired by Red Sector A. Dave Mack is writing a story for it to, but doesn’t know what it is. Dayton and Kevin are working on a story for Pangea. Kevin is taking the lead on that project. He’s also working on a couple of essays as well about Star Wars and Planet of the Apes. He doesn’t know what the next TNG era book will be yet. Mike suggests TNG: DIE HARD! He’s looking forward to writing more with some of the lower deck characters, such as Chen and Torik.
Dayton’s Professional Writer Appearances
Terry thanks Dayton for still talking with us. She asks about his appearances. He was at StarFest and talks about attending Phoenix LepreCon soon — the convention has already come and gone. His next appearance will be at Shore Leave. It’s his last con for the year. Janice will be our correspondent at Shore Leave and she will bug him. Dayton hopes that the rumor he’s heard that Van Citters is trying to get a formal presence of license holders at Vegas for the 50th. IDW got Harlan Ellison to STLV last year. Terry wants to see Pocket there next year. They talk about Harlan for a bit. Once Harlan was there, Creation took advantage of Harlan’s presence.
Upshot and thank you to Dayton
Winding things up, Terry mentions Armageddon’s Arrow once again. Before finishing up, they talk about Dayton’s wife’s injuries some more. Mike asks if he’s watching anything, which he is not, but the last thing he watched was Scandal. He has a stack of stuff to watch. He treats himself to that stuff once he’s done. What’s the first thing he’s going to do once these books are done. Dayton doesn’t know beside fall into a coma. But, he mentions some of the films, he’s got lined up, but there are some things he can’t put on for background noise. And, with that, they conclude the interview.
But, wait. There’s more.
He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.
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