October 4

Next update October 17

Time for another update. Big news since then – Ray and Greg have announced their retirement from BioWare.

I know a lot of people want to pin this on trouble with EA, and maybe you’re hoping I have some juicy insider details. But I don’t, and I’m willing to accept their official statements at face value. Honestly, I get where they’re coming from. Spending so long on one thing – even something you love – can wear you down. Creatively, you get burned out and you need to move on to something else.

I’m not saying BioWare didn’t change after EA bought it; of course it did. But BioWare was always changing and evolving as it grew from a small company of a dozen employees, to a 100 person office in Edmonton (when I joined) to a company with several studios in numerous locations working on multiple projects. There’s nothing sinister about it; it’s just a natural part of the process.

What I would like to say is that Ray and Greg were two of the most brilliant, humble and sincere individuals I ever had the pleasure to work with. They created something magical from nothing, but even when BioWare was at its peak size, they still knew every employee by name and anyone in the company could set up a time to talk to them one-on-one. When BioWare was purchased by Elevation Partners (and later Electronic Arts), they could have kept the profits just for themselves – they earned them – but they generously chose to share them with all the employees who worked for the company.  They always treated everyone with dignity and respect, and I wish them all the best in whatever ventures they turn their minds to. (Greg already has his next project in the works… if you like beer, check it out!) 

As for me, I’m just chillaxing and enjoying life. The NFL season is in full swing and the Chargers look like they’re playoff contenders again. NBA is just around the corner – go, Spurs! (Actually, anyone but the Lakers… or the Heat… or Boston… but mostly not the Lakers.) And my golf game is finally coming around – I just won my flight at our club championship.

On the professional side, we’ve finalized a deal with Ebury to publish the UK version of Children of Fire. And I just heard through the grapevine that my editor loves the first book. (So does my agent, my mom and my wife… so it must be good, right?) I’m slowly easing my way into The Scorched Earth – the second novel in the trilogy – with an emphasis on “slowly”.

In Star Wars news, Revan is out in paperback now, and it contains an excerpt from Star Wars: Annihilation (coming November 13). And Alex Freed – a former colleague at BioWare, writer of the Lost Suns comics and original creator of Theron Shan - has written a short story tie-in called The Last Battle of Colonel Jace Malcom. It’s going to be published in Star Wars Insider magazine issue #137 on October 23.

I was hoping to get up to NYCC to do some signings for Revan, but I just couldn’t make it work in my schedule – October’s already busy. First, I’ll be at the Arboretum Barnes & Noble in Austin, TX for Star Wars Reads Day with Aaron Allston and several of my former BioWare colleagues for a discussion panel, some Q&A, some signings and all sorts of fun, prizes and giveaways. Here’s the details:

Saturday, October 6
Time: 2:00pm
Barnes & Noble Arboretum
10000 Research Blvd.
Austin, TX 78759

I’m also heading up to Canada for StarFest at the St. Albert Public Library on Sunday, October 21. There I’ll be hosting an event called Exploring Evil and the Dark Side of Star Wars. You can get tickets here.

Whew… that’s a lot of stuff over the next month. Might need another trip to Vegas at the end of October to unwind. And since I lost last time, this time I’ll surely win… right?

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