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Old June 21 2012, 10:47 PM   #20
Location: Bakersville, NC
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Re: SFA: The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz Review Thread (Spoilers!

Hey all -

I'm Alan Gratz, the author of Starfleet Academy: The Assassination Game. Thanks for having a thread about it.

I'm a long-time Trek fan. Like all of you, I'm sure, I've seen every episode of every series, seen every movie, and read a lot of the books. I also still role-play on the weekly post-DS9 era Star Trek sim I joined five or six years ago.

For about as long as I've been trying to sell what I write, it has been my dream to write a Trek novel. In fact, my very first attempt to sell a novel was a TNG/Heart of Darkness mash-up that saw Worf travelling through the wormhole into the Gamma Quadrant to bring back a rogue Vulcan anthropologist. I didn't have an agent then, and no agent I could find wanted to represent someone with a novel they could only sell to one place, so my Trekkie girlfriend at the time (now my wife), sent it in posing as my agent. We printed up fake agency letterhead and everything. I'm not sure how we were going to maintain the fiction if Pocket Books bought it, but it turns out they didn't--I had Worf stopping by DS9 on the way through the wormhole, and they had a strict policy at the time of not doing show crossovers. (This was obviously before TNG went off the air, and before Worf went to DS9.)

So I could say, perhaps, that I've come full circle now. After my failed attempt at selling a Trek novel, I focused on writing novels for young readers--books for kids 8-12 (middle grade), and books for teenagers 14 and up (young adult). I found success there, so I focused on that career, watching my dream of writing a Trek novel fade into the distance. Then, a year and a half ago, I found out S&S was publishing a young adult series based on the 2009 reboot. Trek! YA! I called up my agent (who already knew I was a Trekkie) and he got me a chat with the editors on the series. The bought my pitch, and here we are!

The Assassination Game (as has been pointed out) was scheduled to come out long ago. The delay was in getting notes back from Bad Robot, J.J. Abram's film company. Everything I wrote had to be signed off on by them, and, well, they were kind of busy making Star Trek 12. (And Fringe, and Super 8, and...) Writing for characters and a world that has current, changing continuity outside the books was a challenge. I can only imagine what it must have been like for Trek authors back when TNG and DS9 were running concurrently. Even the cover (which I saw for the first time today) took a long time to get approval.

(As to the cover, I am very pleased to see Sulu on it--mine is the first book of this series to have Sulu in it!)

I haven't blogged or tweeted much about the forthcoming June 26, 2012 on-sale date because there were so many delays from the original on-sale date I began to adopt an "I'll believe it when I see it" attitude. But with the addition of the cover to the book page at S&S today, I'm starting to believe!

I hope all of you who read The Assassination Game will enjoy it, and will let me know. And for those of you who don't like it...well, I hope you don't beat me up too badly here.

All the best -
Alan Gratz
Author of Starfleet Academy: The Assassination Game
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