Over at Lee Goldberg’s blog, the subject of fanfic vs. tie-ins has come up again. (I know, it’s a shocker. Hold all Home Alone aftershave impressions please.)
I’ve had a question about tie-ins for a while, but I’ve been reluctant to ask over there for two reasons. 1—the most obvious time to ask it is during these discussions, but said discussions have a tendency to be less than pleasant. 2—Lee seems like a great guy, but some of his “regulars” seem a bit…umm…let’s say dismissive of those not in the know. (An aside—If you want a seriously bad case of Gene Pool Envy, read all the extended Blogs Goldberg in one sitting.) So I’ll ask here in my own pedestrian blog, and maybe somebody will know the answer.
I was hired to write DIAGNOSIS MURDER and MONK novels. It’s something I am being paid to do. It’s not like I woke up one morning with a burning desire to write DIAGNOSIS MURDER novels, wrote one up, and sent it off to a publisher (or, as a fanficcer would do, posted it on the web). The publisher came to me and asked me to write them. — Lee Goldberg
Here’s what I want to know—(and I realize Lee writes TV tie-ins.)— about the Star Wars tie-ins. Are all those hundreds of books from the mind of George Lucas? For instance, there’s a Star Wars book, Labyrinth of Evil, which takes place between Episodes II and III. Did you sit through III kind of wondering who the hell General Grievous was and where he came from? So did I. We’d have known if we’d read the book, as my son did. Or the many books from the juvenile fiction shelves. The tall kid has been reading a serious about Han and Leia’s twins. The kid in me wants to glom all those books and delve further into the lives of my favorite characters, but a big part of me says they’re not really part of the sagal.
So does George Lucas say, “Hey you, Han and Leia have twin kids. Write me a series about their adventures”? Or “Let’s get this guy to write about the interim between Episodes II and III, and give him this info I jotted down on General Grievous so he can be introduced”? Does he at least look at a synopsis and say “Yeah, that’s what happens”?
Or does a publisher do something like buy exclusive tie-in rights, then hire writers to write what they think would fit with the originals, outside of the influence of the creator?
I don’t know why it matters to me, but it must since I love Star Wars, but have never read a single one of the tie-in novels.