Our latest guest has just been announced as the author of the forthcoming Dawn of the Jedi
novel Into the Void. But there's far more to him than simply Star Wars, with a resume
that includes the New York Times best-selling adaptation of 30 Days of Night, the adaptation of
Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's Cabin in the Woods, the continuing adventures of Jack London and
The Shadow Men with Christopher Golden. Please welcome to Jedi News Tim Lebbon.
JN - Tim, welcome to Jedi News.
TL - Thanks for having me!
JN - You've landed a unique Star Wars project in Dawn of the Jedi: Into The
Void, as it allows you the opportunity to expand on the work laid out by John Ostrander and Jan
Duursema on the Dawn of the Jedi comic series. How daunting was it, not only to be offered a
Star Wars propect but one that charts relatively virgin territory?
TL - Initially I wasn't daunted at all, I was thrilled! I saw the first movie when I was eight
and I've been a lifelong fan. That young lad could never had thought he'd one day me creating a Star
Wars story, and expanding this amazing universe even more. It's not quite virgin territory ... John
and Jan are charting Dawn of the Jedi, so I obviously have to ensure my novel fits in and around
what they're doing. But it does feel a little easier than being asked to write a novel set, say, five
years after Return of the Jedi, for which there'd be so much lore to study and research. As for
daunting? Well, yes, perhaps just a little. When the book was announced at the San Diego Comic-Con and
I saw lots of talk about it all across the net, I realised what a responsibility I'd been given. But
that's part of the challenge, and I like a challenge. I also love the Star Wars universe.
Getting to play in it is something of a dream come true.
JN - How did you get the gig?
TL - I'd worked with Jen Heddle at Lucas Books before when she worked for another publisher.
For this particular project they were looking for a writer who could write dark fantasy––for me that's
what Star Wars largely is, and even though I've just started the novel, it certainly has several
largely fantastical elements. So when Del Rey/Star Wars Books asked me if I was interested, I
had a good long think about it for one-point-four seconds before saying yes.
JN - What initially sparked your interest in the Star Wars saga?
TL - Going to see the original movie in 1977. It was, and still is, magical.
JN - Your writing covers a number of bases, from horror to historical tales and now sci-fi.
Which arena are you most comfortable in, or don't you pigeonhole your stories in that way?
TL - I try not to pigeonhole. I love telling stories, and in my own work the stories tend to
find their own genre, or the style that most suits their telling. Star Wars is a chance to
spread my wings a little more, and I'm enjoying it immensely.
JN - Back in 2007 you won the August Derleth Fantasy Award at the British Fantasy Awards for
Best Novel with Dusk. How did that impact on your career?
TL - It's really nice to win awards. And the award for Dusk was more surprising that
most of the others I've won, because it was a British award for a novel only published in the U.S.A. As
for the impact on my career...I'm not sure that's easy to measure. The book is still selling well
several years after publication. And I think having your name seen across the genre press is no bad
JN - Without giving anything away about the story, in the broadest sense what are your hopes
for Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void? Are you hoping for the opportunity to plant your flag in
this era and world-build, much like John Jackson Miller did in the Knights of the Old Republic
era, or Ostrander and Duursema in the Legacy era or are you hoping to scribe a rollicking
TL - I like to think a bit of both. My main character is very much of the Dawn of the
Jedi era (without giving too much away...), and she's someone who could become very involved in the
era-changing events. At the same time, Into the Void will be an action-packed adventure novel.
So I'm hoping fans will get a lot from this book ... new insights into the Dawn of the Jedi era,
a new character who they can get excited about and want to follow into further tales, and a page-turning
JN - You hit the New York Times best-sellers list with 30 Days of Night. That must
have been a rush, seeing your fiction ride that high in such a prominent chart?
TL - Yes, it was great. I'd already had one call from my agent that evening with some good
news about a foreign sale (for some of my fantasy novels), and he called again late in the evening to
tell me the NY Times news. A real thrill. It stayed in the charts for two weeks.
JN - Being a British writer, do you think that brings a different sensibility to your
TL - Not so much, I don't think. I've been published in the U.S.A. for years––long before I
was professionally published in the U.K., in fact––so I'm not sure the difference between me and U.S.
writers is any more pronounced than between any two writers.
JN - You are writing your first Star Wars novel in an era that is largely uncharted,
but how closely do you guys work with Lucasfilm, Ostrander and Duursema to make sure continuity is kept?
TL - Very closely. It took a while to pin down the story I wanted to tell, and then a little
while longer to refine it and make sure I was doing things that didn't cause problems, which involved
conference calls and many emails. And even now while I'm writing it I'm obviously keen to make sure that
things tie up with John and Jan's work. And it's great to be able to drop in references that fans will
pick up on, too.
JN - Star Wars fans aren't shy of letting people know what they think. Are you
looking forward to having the chance to interract with fans, and prior to diving in head-first what are
your perceptions of the community?
TL - I'm already interacting! Since the book was announced I've already had some emails from
fans. It's a community of passionate fans, and while I know I've got to get things right, I have no
worries. I'm going to deliver the very best book I can.
JN - Going forward will there be cross-overs and links between your novel and the comic
series, or do the comic and novel tell different but parallel tales?
TL - They tell different tales with different main characters, but of course cross-over can't
be avoided, and is in fact something I want to happen. So my main character, Lanoree, has already met
people whom the comic readers will recognise. And as the story progresses, that will happen some
JN - Thanks for being our guest here at Jedi News. We understand it was your first Star
Wars-related chat, hope it wasn't too painful!
TL - An absolute pleasure, thanks Mark. I look forward to chatting again.
You can visit Tim's website here.
Tim Lebbon Interview Copyright 2012 Jedi News. No part of this interview can be reproduced without
prior written consent from Jedi News.