International best-selling author Keith R.A. DeCandido was
born, raised, educated, and still lives in the Bronx. DeCandido
has published over thirty novels, most of them in the realm
of media tie-ins. The majority of his work has appeared in
the worlds of Star Trek, including the Corps of
Engineers eBook series which he co-developed. Several of
his Trek novels have featured in the USA Today best-seller
list, and received critical acclaim worldwide. DeCandido has
also written in the worlds of Blizzard Games, Buffy
the Vampire Slayer, Command and Conquer, CSI,
Doctor Who, Farscape, Gene Roddenberry's
Andromeda, Marvel Comics, Supernatural, Young
Hercules, and many more. He is also a student of Kenshikai
karate (an advanced green belt, as of August 2007), and an
amateur actor and voice-over artist. Darren Rea recently caught
up with DeCandido to find out what he's currently up to...
Rea: What's the best and worst thing about being a writer
R.A. DeCandido: The best thing is the simple fact that I love
writing and I'm actually able to make a living off of it.
The worst thing is that advances haven't really gotten better
over the 15 years I've been doing this, even though the cost
of living has gone up. It's gotten progressively harder to
make ends meet.
Can it be difficult working in a genre where some fans think
they know everything and will tear you apart if you get something
Not really. If anything, having that level of oversight keeps
you on your toes.
What's the best and worst thing you've read about one of your
The best was probably a review of my Buffy the Vampire
Slayer novel Blackout,
where a reviewer said that the book made him care about the
character of Nikki Wood so that when he watched Fool for
Love again, the fight between her and Spike on the subway
had much more poignance, because thanks to my book focusing
on her, she was a person, instead of just some other Slayer
worst was a review of my first Star Trek novel, Diplomatic
Implausibility, in a magazine. The book was very Klingon-heavy,
and the reviewer spent the entire review talking about how
much he didn't like Klingons and thought Klingons were stupid.
He barely talked about the book, focusing entirely on his
dislike of the species as portrayed on screen, making me wonder
why he was assigned to the book in the first place.
Of all the tie-in books that you've written, which series
do you most look forward to writing?
Probably Star Trek, simply because that universe has
been a part of my life since birth in some form or other.
What's the average time you get to write a book, and how difficult
is it to get started?
I've had anywhere between six months and two weeks to write
a book. And it's not that difficult to get started-this is
my job, after all, and if I don't work, I don't get paid,
and then creditors and landlords get cranky.
Is there ever enough time? Or are you constantly pushing deadlines
to their limits?
I generally hit my deadlines. When I start, I figure out how
many words per day I need to write in order to make the date,
and shoot for that goal each day. It generally works.
If in a hundred years from now one of your books was still
being widely read, which one would you like it to be and why?
Probably my Star Trek novel The
Art of the Impossible,
one of the books in the Lost Era miniseries. I think
it's my most ambitious and strongest work to date.
What do you read for pleasure?
All kinds of things. Mostly genre stuff in the SF, fantasy,
and mystery fields. I also read a bunch of baseball books.
And I've got a pile of books about a historical figure that
I want to write an original novel about when I have the time.
If you could write a book about anything, what's the passion
in your life that you'd like to commit to print?
Honestly, I love writing stories about New York City. Some
of the most fun I've had has been writing the novels I've
done that take place in my hometown-Supernatural: Nevermore,
Down These Mean Streets, Buffy the Vampire
Slayer: Blackout, CSI: NY: Four Walls.
If a movie were to be made about your life, who would play
you and why?
Probably Dennis Boutsikaris. He has the right hair, the right
beard, and the right ability to delivery sarcasm.
If money weren't a problem, what would you ideal job be?
I'm doing it.
What are you working on at the moment?
A Star Trek short novel that's part of a series called
Myriad Universes, which are basically "what if?"
stories-alternate realities where (for example) the Borg won
in The Best of Both Worlds or Spock wasn't resurrected
Search for Spock,
or something like that. It'll be out next summer. After that,
I'm doing a second Supernatural book called Bone
Is there one book where you nailed it? Where you feel that
it was perfect? Or are you never 100% happy with the finished
I don't think any of them are perfect, but I'd say the aforementioned
The Art of the Impossible more or less nailed it.
Thank you for your time.