Kevin Dilmore has worked with co-author Dayton Ward for over 15 years of Star Trek novels we had the pleasure of being able to talk the man himself
If I were to choose a word to describe our direction for Purgatory’s Key, it would be ‘metaphysical’
And about his working relationship with Dayton Ward his co-author
When dividing our work for this book, I chose to do the first drafts of each chapter that takes place in the unnamed realm beyond our own in which important parts of the story take place.
I got to use the most diverse assortment of characters in those chapters that I’ve ever used, from races we know well, to beings the likes of which we’ve not seen. I also explored relationships among the crew of the Enterprise as well as with persons they love not typically aboard the starship. For me, the characters of Star Trek are family to one another; that’s a theme we got to explore this time around.
It seems as though Kevin and Dayton have a wonderful working relationship and also the pertinent question - how much of a challenge was it to co write the conclusion to the 50th anniversary story?
Each book presents its own challenges to me personally. One challenge I don’t have is in Dayton’s and my processes of co-writing.
We have a shared voice that’s distinct from our separate writing voices, and it’s one we can snap into pretty easily at this point.
Beyond our writing partnership, Dayton’s not only my closest friend, we are practically family. Our goal is to make each of our projects the best story possible but never at the expense of each other or of our friendship. I always enjoy collaborating with him.
Did having worked with the other authors (David Mack and Greg Cox) in this series make the process easier?
Our past work with Dave and Greg certainly contributed to ease in the plotting process. We share a sensibility of what we believe makes a great Star Trek story (we learned that about each other years ago through fun conversations whenever we get together).
I then moved on to his other Star Trek novels (The Vanguard Series) and how they influence his present work. Was it easier to write these earlier books? (since you had the freedom to create a little pocket of your own in the Star Trek universe) or would you prefer to deal primarily with the established crews?
It’s been more than a decade now since Dave and former Star Trek editor Marco Palmieri invited us to contribute to their vision of Star Trek: Vanguard. At conventions, Vanguard is cited without fail as being among someone’s favorite Star Trek series of books.
I remain very happy about my writing for the Vanguard story; I imagine I will regard it among my top accomplishments for the rest of my writing career. I felt no more or less freedom with the characters of Vanguard than I do with those from series produced for the screen because I felt no more or less responsibility to them.
While writing, I have just as much fun working with our Vanguard cast as I do any other characters in Star Trek, including those of the original series—and for me, that is saying something!
And of course, with the excitement building about Star Trek: Discovery, I had to ask about the possibility of Kevin being asked to write a novel from this pre-The Original Series era
Who was it that said, “There are always possibilities”? I have complete confidence that the creative minds behind Star Trek: Discovery will present to us an exciting and intriguing facet of the Star Trek universe, and one I would be happy and flattered to explore in prose. Whether I; or anyone I know is invited to do; so remains to be seen.
Going back to the Golden Age of Star Trek; you used to write for the Communicator magazine; how much fun was it to be involved in that period of Star Trek?
I owe my Star Trek career to Star Trek Communicator publisher Dan Madsen and Editor Larry Nemecek. These two men placed confidence in me to cover everything from the opening of Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas to the finale of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I had uncounted opportunities to meet and interview Star Trek’s writers, visual artists, crew and cast, including a few people for whom I was their first journalistic interview. I made so many friends through the Communicator, such as the contributing writers of the Strange New Worlds anthologies published by Pocket Books, including Dayton, we met when I interviewed him about his short story in the first volume of the series.
Fun is a vast understatement!
And lastly, I asked Kevin what he had in store for the rest of 2016/2017 whether Star Trek related or not.
Looking ahead in 2016, I have a couple of children’s books to be published by Hallmark Gift Books. Dayton and I wrote a story for issue #2 of Star Trek Way-point, heading to news-stands in November from Comics. I stay pretty active co-hosting Pop Minded, a weekly YouTube series on the Hallmark and Community channel. Watch my Facebook page for more updates.
Thanks again to Kevin Dilmore for speaking to us!