First off, you should check out this fun interview with Matt Sayre, the soundtrack composer for TIGER EYE: CURSE OF THE RIDDLE BOX. It’s great, man. The hosts were Frankenstein’s monster, Bigfoot, and an alien.
“Since game music doesn’t always come when expected, it’s useful to look at game music as modular and try to structure it in a way that makes sense no matter what order you hear it in. So instead of plodding along, melody after melody for instance, you sometimes just allude to a melody or other musical idea with a short snippet of it, even if only for a few notes. If this snippet comes early in the gameplay, it becomes a “seed” and grows into something full later on when the player encounters it in its full form. This is a very satisfying experience, whether or not the player realizes why. If that snippet comes later in the gameplay, after the player has already heard the full theme, the snippet is then an “echo”. That is also a satisfying musical event. It’s important to season the music throughout the soundtrack with these seeds and echoes.”
Great post from Cleolinda Jones about how you can think about plot in terms of a glass of water—and another great Genreality entry from Candace Havens, where she discusses the “inspiration of sexual tension”.
Q & A PART ONE:
Katherine Fulkerson: Your website has a little spot under “Book News” stating the next book, scheduled for November 2010 is _The Stars Below_; blog states the next book will be _In the Dark of Dreams_ (also due out November of this year). The Book Depository actually has both titles listed! I assume the final title is _In the Dark of Dreams_, and that _The Stars Below_ no longer exists?
Yes, the final title is IN THE DARK OF DREAMS. When the book was still with Leisure, it was called THE STARS BELOW, but after the sale to HarperCollins, folks there decided that the title needed to be a bit edgier.
The novel is the 10th, I think, in the Dirk & Steele series. Here’s the official back cover copy:
She could never forget the boy with the ice blue eyes…
She was only twelve when she saw the silver boy on the beach, but Jenny has never stopped dreaming about him. Now she is grown, a marine biologist charting her own course in the family business—a corporation that covertly crosses the boundaries of science into realms of the unknown…and the incredible.
And now he has found her again, her silver boy grown into a man: Perrin, powerful and masculine, and so much more than human—leaving Jenny weak with desire and aching for his touch.
But with their reunion comes mortal danger—from malevolent forces who would alter the world to suit their own dark ends. For Perrin and Jenny—and all living creatures— their only hope for preventing the unthinkable lies in a mysterious empire far beneath the sea—and in the power of their dreams.
It was a fun book to write, I’ll say that much. Eddie and Rik make strong appearances, along with some other surprise guests.
Jason Lee: Do you ever just write for yourself?
Of course. All the time. Every day. I don’t write because anyone forces me to, and no one dictates stories to me. I write what I love, and what comes to me—even when I’m writing for Marvel. And I don’t just work on projects that I have a deadline for—I’m always jotting down notes and fragments of other stories and books, so that I can come back to them later and expand.
Megan W.: How do you find to keep up with all your various projects (novels, short stories, comic books, games)? Also, how do you keep track of all your on going stories and characters?
Honestly, it’s just all in my head. I don’t make flowcharts or keep a filing cabinet of my projects. Occasionally I’ll make a list of things I’d like to get to, but that’s just for motivation. The same is true for my on-going series and characters. If I need to, I’ll re-read a previous book or story just to remind myself of what happened, but for the most part it’s all “up there.” For better or worse!
Bret B: 1) What comic book writers have influenced you the most? Why? 2) When scripting a scene, how do you keep from using the same cliche action/dialogue you’ve seen a million times before in other comics/movies/books? (The brain tends to gravitate towards the familiar.)
1. The first graphic novel I read was Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman, which was stunning and beautiful, and blew me away. Later, I had the same reaction to Frank Miller’s The Hard Goodbye. It was dark, visceral, poetic, and utterly romantic. It made me think about storytelling in a different way, not just for graphic novels—but for prose, as well.
2. You’re right, it’s a risk—but I have my own personal cliches to reckon with, which are problem enough. Every writer has themes and language they gravitate toward, and I don’t want to repeat myself. Honestly, though? I don’t read all that many comics. I don’t live close to a comic book store, so my access is limited. Of course, I also think it’s important to read voraciously outside the genre you write in.
scott: i liked the the x-men and women of marvel panel in chicago, my first question is about x-23. Is it easier to write about her or Black Widow? The second question is how to you clone a man and get woman? In the clone saga how did the clones dna match only 99.74% because wouldn’t the dna match 100? Final question when”s your next con? i love the interviews and pics
No, it’s equally difficult in different ways to write about X-23 and Black Widow. They’re have complex personalities and complex histories. As for your second question…I have no idea. I would venture to guess that she’s not an exact clone…but close enough!
My next con will be in San Diego. And thanks!
Okay, there are still some questions left to answer, but my deadline calls! I’ll answer more next time.