Go Further into Fandom with Media Tie-Ins for Avatar, Star Wars, and More!

Join some of the most loved creators of media tie-in works at work today! Tor.com contributor and author Natalie Zutter speaks with F.C. Yee (Avatar: The Shadow of Kyoshi), Julie Murphy (Faith: Taking Flight), Jonathan Messinger (The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian series), Sheela Chari (The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel), Preeti Chhibber (Star Wars Clone Wars Anthology, A Jedi, You Will Be), and Matt Forbeck (Dungeons & Dragons: The Mad Mage’s Academy: An Endless Quest Book) about the ins and outs of expanding beloved fictional worlds.

Watch the whole panel here, and check out highlights below!

How did everyone get involved in writing for media tie-ins?  

  • Chibber: I 100% wrote fanfic!
  • Chari: I came in with no experience! I learned so much, and it was so fun.
  • Murphy: I was a newbie! It took me a while to find the things that satisfied me as a fan. I didn’t realize at first that I could be a total geek for Anne of Green Gables.
  • Yee: I did a lot of imagining myself into my favorite universes, but I didn’t realize I could create in those universes until fairly late in the game.
  • Forbeck: I started out in tabletop role-playing games, and then Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Messinger: That kind of participatory work brings that world closer to you. It’s very empowering as a creative person.

Do you have rituals to get yourself embedded in your worlds?

  • Forbeck: I definitely use playlists!
  • Yee: I watch or read a lot of other works for cross-pollination of ideas! To get into the mindframe for The Shadow of Kyoshi I watched a lot of old school kung fu movies, oh and John Wick.
  • Chibber: I watched the training sequences between Yoda and Luke probably 100 times!
  • Chari: I saw the original Star Wars, and then the newer ones, for me those characters were so firmly in my mind. But for me, working with the podcast, I could hear them in my head, and there was something so intimate about that.
  • Murphy: I wanted to make something that would be interesting for me to write. When I came to Faith, I wanted to be able to separate myself from the source material so I could write something new. It was a weird balance. When I wrote Dumplin‘ I consumed Dolly Parton for three years straight!

If you could write for any universe, who would it be?

  • Forbeck: Indiana Jones!
  • Murphy: Magic Mike!
  • Yee: The Spaceships of Star Wars!
  • Messinger: This one Marvel character called Speedball!
  • Chari: Avatar!

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