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 Post subject: ONBC talks with author Ann C. Crispin!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:37 pm 
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ONBC Interview with A.C. Crispin

Liz & I were lucky enough recently to sit down with Ann Crispin to talk a bit about her upcoming book, The Price of Freedom. Here is what she had to say!

ONBC: How did you get into science fiction and fantasy writing?


Ann: As a child I loved reading. Sometime in 3rd grade I discovered I had exhausted all the available library books about horses and was looking for something else that might be interesting. I saw a book with a rocket ship on the spine that caught my interest. It was part of the Holt Winston series of science fiction for young readers. I don't remember the exact title but after that I knew to look for the books with the rocket ship on the spine. Another book that caught my attention during that time was Star Man's Son by Andre Norton and books by Arthur Clark. I really enjoyed the world of science fiction and fantasy. I was a big fan of the original Star Trek series and was inspired to write my first book while in high school. It was hand written and filled seven notebooks. The notebooks have since been lost, which is probably a good thing!

I attended an early Star Trek convention in New York City. There were about 2000 people, and I had so much fun! One of my favorite Star Trek episodes was "All Our Yesterdays," which featured Mariette Hartley as a love interest for Spock. I thought oh, whoa! That episode calls out for a sequel. Somebody should write one. And then I thought, no I should write it! After finishing the book, Yesterday's Son, I sent it off with great expectation to Pocket Books which had recently acquired the license to publisher Star Trek books from Paramount. After three years of waiting, Pocket Books finally decided to publish my book and it became the first non-film related Star Trek tale to reach the New York Times Best Seller list.

Several years previously, I had begun a correspondence with one of my favorite authors, Andre Norton. One night I had a very vivid dream that was set in one of her creative worlds and sent her the description of my dream. She loved it and asked me to write it as a novel collaboration with her. I was very honored to be asked to be the first author to collaborate with her on her series Witch World. I wound up writing the first draft of the novel. It was titled Gryphon’s Eyrie.


ONBC: Who are your favorite writers and which ones inspired you to write or to take the direction you have taken?

Ann: Favorite writers are not necessarily the same as the most influential. As a literature major in college, I read the classic British and American authors, Dickens, Austin, Bronte, Hawthorne. My most important influence in the science fiction genre would be Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov and Andre Norton.

ONBC: Tell us about your StarBridge Series. What can you tell us about your other novels?

Ann: The StarBridge series was set on an asteroid in a neutral area of space. All of the Fifteen Known Worlds send young people, teenagers, from all cultures across the universe with the goal of coming together to learn each others languages and cultures. Young humans have the best ability to learn and absorb new languages and cultures, so I extrapolated from that fact to encompass alien cultures, too. StarBridge Academy also has some older characters, who serve as teachers and mentors.

All of the StarBridge books featured characters taken from all walks of human life…both sexes, all races, plus characters that were physically challenged. All seven books featured strong female protagonists and Silent Dances and Silent Songs contained the first deaf protagonist in a science fiction novel.


ONBC: Ann, I understand you teach writing workshops and courses at community colleges and seminars, what is the focus of your instruction?

Ann: I like to stress the importance of plot, pacing, characterization, setting and especially research. I also discuss how to submit your work to agents and publishers, so students can learn about marketing their books.

ONBC: Have you had students who have gone on to become successful authors?

Ann: Quite a few of my students have gone on to sell their stories to professional markets. Jana Oliver was one of my students, and now she is a well-known writer in the paranormal romance field. Two of my students have been nominated for the Nebula Award. Eugie Foster won in 2010 for her novella, Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast. Jennifer Pelland is nominated this year for her short story, Ghosts of New York. It is a great feeling to see them succeed!

(DITHOT note: The Nebula Award is given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), for the best science fiction/fantasy fiction published in the United States during the previous year.)

ONBC: We understand that you are one of the founders of an organization called Writer Beware. What exactly is Writer Beware and how does it work?

Ann: Victoria Strauss and I founded Writer Beware in 1998. The increasing reach of the internet fostered a growing number of scams aimed at new writers. People would represent themselves as literary agents or publishers and ask for money up front to either represent an author or publish their work. Legitimate literary agents are like real estate agents…they make money only when a work is sold to a publisher. They don’t charge the client upfront. And legitimate publishers pay the author – not the other way around.

ONBC: Did this happen to someone you know?

Ann: I saw it happen to people I knew online. I was participating in an author’s chat room on AOL when a fake agent tried to rope me in and wanted me to pay her money to represent my books. I had already been published and I have an agent, so I knew that was not how the system works for legitimate agents.

Coincidentally, Victoria had been doing research independently on the subject of scams aimed at authors, so when we found each other, we combined forces to found Writer Beware.

ONBC: Have you been able to shut down some of the scams?

Ann: We have worked hard at getting the word out about writing scams. Some scammers have been put out of business, and we’ve managed to get the authorities to pursue some of these scammers. Several have been prosecuted for consumer fraud. We were able to get the FBI involved in one case and put someone away for 65 months, in Federal prison. Laws differ from state to state, and there is no national statute creating a standard of protection. These con artists still operate by finding loopholes in the law. I would encourage any aspiring writer to look at our website:



ONBC: Tell us how your involvement in the Captain Jack Sparrow project came about.

Ann: Disney was looking for someone to write an adult-level book telling the story of the younger Jack Sparrow. The editor in charge of the project read my trilogy on the back story of Han Solo and decided I was the best person for the job. She contacted my agent and asked if I would be interested. Of course I said yes! If you look at the characters of Han and Jack, they share many similarities. They are both independent rogues with a great sense of humor, panache, swagger, they’re irresistible to the ladies, and are fiercely protective of their "ships." They’re loveable anti-heroes. You have to write them in shades of gray, rather than black or white, but at heart, they’re “good men.”

ONBC: Without giving away any major secrets, can you give us some hints about what we will learn about Captain Jack Sparrow in The Price of Freedom?

Ann: We meet Jack at the age of 20 in flashbacks, then follow him forward to the age of 25 where both the flashback and the main plotline are resolved. He is as cute as a button! You will learn how Jack came by his bandanna, his sash, the kohl on his eyes and most importantly, how he became a pirate captain and acquired the Black Pearl! Cutler Beckett, Davey Jones, Teague and other familiar characters definitely play a part.

ONBC: You must have done a lot of research in preparing to write this book. Besides watching the Pirates of the Caribbean movies many times I'm sure, how did you approach the historical and technical aspects of the novel?

Ann: I have a good friend who is very well versed in the area of naval military tactics, naval history and ships of the era. He was a great help to me and we were even able to sail aboard one of the square rigger replicas to get the real feel of the ship. I tried and tried to convince the crew to let me climb the rigging but no go! Another friend, Benerson Little, is not only an expert on pirates, but also an expert on fencing. Ben was indispensable in helping me with the swordplay scenes. I also did in-depth research on the history of early Egypt and Kush. The capital of Kush was called Kerma, and it was located near the third cataract of the Nile, in what is now the Sudan. There was a vast empire there during the times of the Pharaohs – and, during several dynasties, both Egypt and Kush were ruled by Pharaohs from Kush.

Another help was Disney's reference book, The Pirates of the Caribbean Mythology. This is a book that’s about 400 pages long and holds all the information on every aspect of the Pirates of the Caribbean series including maps, ship names, character names, plot lines, any detail you can think of. The book is available only to anyone who is approved to write for the Pirates franchise in some fashion…books, games, etc. Writers are expected to adhere to the facts in the Mythology in order to keep the story consistent.

I also watched many early projects of Johnny's including episodes of 21 Jump Street, Cry Baby and What's Eating Gilbert Grape to see how the young Johnny Depp moved and carried himself.


ONBC: Will you be appearing at local book stores to promote The Price of Freedom?. If so, where can we find your appearance schedule?

Ann: I will be appearing at several upcoming conventions this summer and fall including Book Expo America in New York City in May, Renovation in Reno in August, Dragoncon in Atlanta in September, Disney World in Orlando and my launch party in Baltimore. I am looking forward to more book store signings but am awaiting a finalized schedule. I will update my website as future appearances are confirmed. Please check the schedule and come out if you can. I love to meet my readers!



ONBC: Can you tell us about any current or future projects?

Ann: I do have a project I am currently working on. It is a young adult novel, a dystopian story set in a universe I have written about before. Watch my website for more information.

ONBC: I see The Price of Freedom is now available for preorder on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Ann: Yes, and they’ve dropped the price. The book is a bargain, priced below $13.22 on Amazon and B&N. It comes out May 17, and it will also be available as an e-book. Below is a link to the excerpts page as well as they "buy" button.



ONBC: Thanks, Ann for taking the time to talk to us. We hope to hear more from you when our discussion of The Price of Freedom begins this summer!


To learn more about Ann, her projects and to read her blog click below to go to her website.



Breaking news!! The first official Disney ad for The Price of Freedom!!




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 Post subject: Re: ONBC talks with author Ann C. Crispin!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:26 pm 
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Thanks DeppInTheHeartOfTexas for getting this interview and thanks to Ann for graciously giving us the information. Look forward to the book and the ONBC discussion. :ok:



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 Post subject: Re: ONBC talks with author Ann C. Crispin!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:20 pm 
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I really enjoyed reading about Ann. I love science fiction and was a trekkie like Ann . I was surprised at how correct she is on the similarities of Hans Solo and Jack Sparrow. Captain and their ships in any age can have a bit of pirate in them. I am looking forward to reading about a young Jack and see Ann has done her homework. I am glad Disney had the forsight to add an adult story to their collection of childrens pirate stories.
Thanks Liz and Dithot, you have come through with another great author interview. And thank you Ann for the interview and for looking out for new and upcoming authors.



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 Post subject: Re: ONBC talks with author Ann C. Crispin!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:46 pm 
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You are most welcome! Ann was very accomodating and it was a pleasure to hear her insights!

gemini, when she talked about the similarities between Han and Jack it was a bit of :ohyes: moment for me too!



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 Post subject: Re: ONBC talks with author Ann C. Crispin!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:16 pm 
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gemini wrote:
I really enjoyed reading about Ann. I love science fiction and was a trekkie like Ann . I was surprised at how correct she is on the similarities of Hans Solo and Jack Sparrow. Captain and their ships in any age can have a bit of pirate in them. I am looking forward to reading about a young Jack and see Ann has done her homework. I am glad Disney had the forsight to add an adult story to their collection of childrens pirate stories.
Thanks Liz and Dithot, you have come through with another great author interview. And thank you Ann for the interview and for looking out for new and upcoming authors.

You said everything I was about to say, gemini! :highfive:

Liz and deppintheheartofTexas, excellent interview. :applause2:



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 Post subject: Re: ONBC talks with author Ann C. Crispin!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:33 pm 
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It was a pleasure doing that interview.

It was my first time on Skype and it was great fun to be able to talk to both Nancy and Liz on a conference call. They were both fascinated to find that there's a big book where Disney records all the POTC "lore." (And it is a big book...hundreds of pages of STUFF about all the characters, the ships, etc. Lots of repetition, but reading all of it is still a challenge!)

I'll be posting the last excerpt from The Price of Freedom about a week before the book is released. This time I'm going to post the full scene from the "Jack Takes a Bath" section. You'll find that reveals a bit more about the plot of The Price of Freedom than any of the other excerpts. Disney cautioned me to pick sections that wouldn't give too many spoilers away.

See you all next interview! :toastingpirates:



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-Ann C. Crispin
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom
Published by Disney Editions, an imprint of Disney Book Group
Release date: May 17, 2011
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 Post subject: Re: ONBC talks with author Ann C. Crispin!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:42 pm 
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Thanks Liz and DITHOT for the interview with Ann. It our interest wasn't peaked enough this really gets us going. My book is ordered and can hardly wait for its' arrival and our ONBC discussion. It is so wonderful when the author comes along on our journey. :capnjack:


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 Post subject: Re: ONBC talks with author Ann C. Crispin!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:11 pm 
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Hi, Ann! :bigwave: I do think it is amazing that someone(s) at Disney is in charge of keeping track of all that POTC minutae! What a job!

Thanks for the heads up on the upcoming excerpt! I have added some links to the original interview so you can follow the excerpts and learn more about Ann on her website.



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 Post subject: Re: ONBC talks with author Ann C. Crispin!
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 5:28 pm 
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Thanks to DITHOT who pointed me in the direction of this thread.

I am so excited about the book, and cannot wait to read it. I read Ann's "Han Solo Trilogy" several years ago and absolutely loved the books, because they were written for older Star Wars fans and were much more appealing for women like me, who fell in love with Captain Solo! (What is it with me and captains? :lol: ). But seriously, the books were romantic and exciting and I am dying to see what adventures Jack will get up to, under Ann's sharp eyes.

I have pre-ordered the book from Amazon.co.uk - but it won't be with me until the end of the month. When does the ONBC discussion start?



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 Post subject: Re: ONBC talks with author Ann C. Crispin!
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 5:50 pm 
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Thanks for the info on the UK release, Jackslady. That is definitely something to consider. The book comes out here today - good luck Ann! We haven't set an exact time for the discussion as yet. It is a pretty lengthy read and we want to give the Noodlemantras plenty of time and then there will be the tidbits to come before we actually start with questions. You should have plenty of time to get it read before we start.

Check back on the ONBC board now and then and we will post an announcement about the date once we get it all sorted out. Glad you will be joining us!
:cool:



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 Post subject: Re: ONBC talks with author Ann C. Crispin!
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 4:41 pm 
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Thanks, DITHOT, I will keep visiting and checking for the start date!



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"Easy on the goods darlin!"

"Tis not an easy thing to be entirely happy, but to be kind is very easy, and that is the greatest measure of happiness" - John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

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 Post subject: Re: ONBC talks with author Ann C. Crispin!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:45 pm 
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I'm very excited as my copy of The Price of Freedom arrived today!! :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

What a beautiful looking book it is, too, I have started it this evening, so I guess I'm about a month behind you ladies, will keep a a sharp eye on the board so I don't miss the start of the discussion. :ok:



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"Easy on the goods darlin!"

"Tis not an easy thing to be entirely happy, but to be kind is very easy, and that is the greatest measure of happiness" - John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

**Special thanks to es for help with my lovely avatar**! !
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 Post subject: Re: ONBC talks with author Ann C. Crispin!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:27 am 
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Glad to see you got the book, Jackslady. As you probably just noticed from my announcement, you have a month to finish reading it before the discussion. :cool:



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 Post subject: Re: ONBC talks with author Ann C. Crispin!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:27 pm 
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Yes, I have seen the start date and will be on board! :-)



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"Easy on the goods darlin!"

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 Post subject: Re: ONBC talks with author Ann C. Crispin!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:49 pm 
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Good to know! I think you will enjoy the read!



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