Sunday, March 20, 2011

Warp Speed's StarTrekStarWarsBatman Guys

The party was a blast, and we even got to meet one of my research guys. But here's more about how I came to be an expert . . . (I enlisted others for help).

My new novel WARP SPEED features Marley Sandelsky, a Star Trek-obsessed middle school boy who gets beat up everyday at school.

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His best friend Ramen (a.k.a. Luke Serrano) thinks that Star Wars rules . . .


And a new kid, Max, believes that there's no one better than Batman . . .


Though I love all three of these, er, enterprises, I am by no means an expert. Therefore, to write the book, I turned to two guys to help me out.

The first was Ed Masessa. Can you tell what team he's on?


That's right. Ed's a hardcore Trekkie/Trekker. We asked him some questions recently. Here's what he had to say . . .

1) Marley Sandelsky is a die-hard Star Trek fan. When did you become one, and why?
I became a fan when the very first original episode aired on my crummy little ‘color’ television with the fuzzy reception and rabbit ears. I grew up watching the sci-fi movies of the 50’s and when Star Trek came along, it opened up a whole new world. I was 11 going on 12 years old.

2) Marley calls the bullies who beat him up, The Gorn, after some reptilian creatures in the original Star Trek TV series. Which Star Trek villain do you find the most despicable?
The Gorn are one of my favorites as well, by my all-time favorite was Khan Noonien Singh played by Ricardo Montalban. He was in one of the original episodes in the late 60’s (Space Seed) and came back to reprise the role in the Wrath of Khan movie. From ‘newer’ Star Trek lore, I’d have to go with The Borg.

3) Which Star Trek character is your favorite, and if you were to buy them a present for their birthday, what would it be?
How can anyone choose a favorite character other than Spock? I’d buy him a 3-dimensional chess set with playing pieces that look like Star WARS characters just so I could hear him say “fascinating.”

4) Do you often dress like that?
I hardly ever have the opportunity to dress in Federation apparel, but as a young boy, I did have a sweater that was very Trekkie – and it was blue. To this day, I have a hard time wearing a red shirt

My other go-to guy was Matt Cunningham. A die-hard Star Wars fan, he's also worked on History Channel documentaries about Batman . . .


Here's what Matt had to say when we interviewed him . . .

1) Marley's best friend Ramen loves Star Wars, and
his other friend Max is a total Batman fan. Of the two, which one are
you and why?

Answering this question is like having your parents hanging above a shark tank and deciding which one has to be dropped in. Star Wars changed my life when I was a boy. It made me want to write stories. Batman influences me everyday. WWBD (what would Batman do) is actually a philosophy that I like to subscribe to, except I don't have all the cool gadgets, unless you count my R2D2 Android phone. Doing good, helping others and solving riddles. That's how I roll.

2) You've done a lot of Batman research. Can you tell us about that?

Most people would say I'm a Batman aficionado. I was brought in to handle the research for some of the Batman documentaries on the History Channel because of my Batman knowledge (pretty much a dream gig). I'm a super nerd when it comes to the caped crusader and a dream of mine is to one day write a mini series for the Dark Knight or even chapter books for the younger crowd. How cool would that be?!

3) Which Star Wars character would you like to spend the day with, and where would you go?

I was hoping to avoid this question due to the complexity of it. My brain hurts from a universe of possibilities. I'm going to rock this answer like this:
A) Han Solo and Lando, Friday night at the Cantina bar. That would be an amazing night.
B) Yoda, Umami burger, talking about books.
C) Hoth Leia skiing in the Swiss Alps, New Hope Leia dinner at Giordano's Pizza in Chicago, Slave Leia... too PG-13 to talk about here.
D) Darth Vader, return to middle school and have a few conversations with some bullies.

4) Did you know any kids like Marley in WARP SPEED?

Yes, me. I was Marley in school. A Star Wars geek to the core and a target for bullies in grade school and part of junior high. I was a quiet kid because we moved around when I was young so I had to reboot a lot on making friends. Reading books and watching movies were a great escape for me. I have a very overactive imagination but no imaginary friends (they only live in my books now).

Both Ed and Matt were instrumental with the book and answered all of my (many) questions. Here's what some of my Star Trek research looked like on Scrivener, the writing program I use . . .


And here's some Batman photos Matt sent me, plus Star Wars stuff . . .


There was some discrepancy when it came to Star Wars/Star Trek insults. So I turned to my facebook friends for their opinions, and dozens weighed in, here are a few . . .


Since we've been talking about guys, let's talk about women for a change, here. It's Women's History Month. To celebrate, I (along with seven other authors) wrote an essay about a woman writer who influenced my life. You can CLICK HERE to read what we wrote.


Disclaimer: No proofreaders were harmed (or even used) in the creation of this blog.


The week of March 21, I'll be in Kaua'i speaking about how the American Girl/Kanani books were created. Events include . . .

On March 22, 2011, An Evening With Author Lisa Yee & Editor Jennifer Hirsch at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa from 6:00-7:30 pm. The author and editor of "Aloha, Kanani", and "Good Job Kanani", will appear together for one evening, discussing their professional lives and careers with Kauai residents. Lisa Yee, noted children's author, will be the featured speaker.

On March 26, Kauai Visitors Bureau and Kauai Monk Seal Watch Program will sponsor a drawing contest for girls 8-12. The event will be held at the Kauai Beach Resort, beginning promptly at 1:00 pm, with sign-in starting at 12:00 pm. Registration for the contest is on a First Come – First Served basis with 150 spots available. For more information and to register please contact KVB at 245-3971.

If you're in the Los Angeles area, stop by my WARP SPEED book signing at Apostrophe in Long Beach, CA on April 2nd . . .
Lisa Yee

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