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Karen Miller

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"I've always thought that tie in novels were professionally produced fanfic -- and if they're not, there's something wrong."
―Karen Miller[src]

Karen Miller is an Australian fantasy author who has written three novels for The Clone Wars. In writing these novels, Miller consulted resources including Wookieepedia, The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, scripts for episodes of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television serial, Essential Guide reference books, the prequel trilogy, and The Essential Atlas.[6]

BiographyEdit

"That magnificent explosion of John Williams music…the title crawl…the rebel blockade runner coming overhead…and then, holy moly, the star destroyer. It was a defining moment in cinema, and it was a defining moment in my life. I fell in love, head over heels, jaw-dropped to my knees in love. And then we got the cantina sequence, and the introduction of one Han Solo. Harrison Ford all smartmouthed and sexy, lounging in that booth…I whispered to [my] friend's girlfriend—'Now he's a bit of all right' and really, that was it. I was a certified Star Wars fan from that moment in 1977 and I've never stopped being one. Some stories are timeless. Some true loves never die."
―Karen Miller[src]

Karen Miller was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, but moved to Austrailia when she was two years old. She has lived primarily in Sydney, the continent's largest city, for most of her life since then.[1] Miller began writing stories at a young age, after reading C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in school,[7] going on to enjoy composition classes throughout her public school career.[8] When she was sixteen years old, she saw Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope during its initial release[8] and was an instant fan of the series.[9] She considered the smuggler Han Solo her favorite character, an impression she holds to this day.[10] She graduated from the Sydney's Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in communications,[1] majoring in Professional Writing.[8]

After receiving her diploma, Miller emigrated to England. There, she held jobs in several places, such as DHL Express's London branch and a health center from which she was fired.[1]

In 1982, Miller met and befriended a woman who would go on to be her primary beta reader, someone she asks to critique her work before its release. To Miller, this was a sacred trust and she would consider this woman's advice highly beneficial to her process.[11]

Miller was working on the sequel to her Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series, Fisherman's Children as early as November 2008.[8]

The Clone WarsEdit

At some point, Miller committed to writing a loosely connected serial of five books alongside Karen Traviss, with Miller writing books two and four. Miller was asked which era of Star Wars she wanted to contribute to and she chose the Rise of the Empire era, specifically the time around the prequel trilogy as it was her favorite. She was enamored with the spectacle of the tales set there and the fact that fewer people had written novels that took place then. Signing up, she was unaware that Star Wars: The Clone Wars would trigger a complete continuity overhaul in that time frame. Nonetheless, she respected that George Lucas and Lucasfilm Ltd. could overwrite whatever they wanted, including her work, and she set to writing anyway. Studying for her novel, as she had a great respect for the established continuity, she was shocked by the character arc of Obi-Wan Kenobi, a very vibrant Jedi Master who became the humble, solitary hermit seen in A New Hope. She found this incredibly engaging and emotional,[10] going on to consider Kenobi her favorite character to write.[8] She also wanted to explore the relationship of the main characters with Senator Bail Organa, whom she felt was not explored sufficiently in the films. He was alongside the major players at the end of Attack of the Clones, but within the films themselves there was not an explanation for why Kenobi and another Master, Yoda, felt comfortable entrusting Organa with one of Anakin Skywalker's children.[10] When Miller planned to write her novels while aiming for an adult audience instead of the children that formed the television show's primary demographic. Her stories were not written to match the tone or themes of the show much at all. Instead, Miller drew thematic inspiration from the prequel trilogy[12] and researched Expanded Universe material utilizing The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, The Essential Atlas, Essential Guides, and Wookieepedia.[6]

She set out writing the manuscript for Wild Space, without mentioning anything to her fans, and fell in love with the project.[13] She maintained silence until October 26, 2007, when she updated her LiveJournal to say that that she had received news that she was very excited about. Two days later, she said she was finishing revising the galley draft of what she was calling her "Sekrit Projekt," because she was not allowed to say it was a Star Wars novel.[14]

Beginning on May 31, 2008,[15] Miller began tracking the word count of the second part[16] of her Sekrit Project, while she was writing it alongside Witches Incorporated.[15]

On June 27, 2008, Del Rey officially announced Miller's involvement in the Star Wars franchise.[13]

Early in the drafting of the second The Clone Wars novel,[12] by November 2008,[8] Shelly Shapiro, Editorial Director of Del Rey,[17] contacted Miller with the idea to turn her initially single book story into a duology to cover for Karen Traviss's dropping out from writing her last The Clone Wars novel and her eventual departure from Star Wars fiction. Miller accepted and began crafting her story as a two book arc,[12] which thereby became Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth and Clone Wars Gambit: Siege. Aside from this, Traviss's leaving Star Wars did not affect Miller's books much because they were working on almost completely separated stories at that point. It did increase Miller's workload, however.[12] Miller considered 2009 to be the most demanding of her professional writing career after writing five novels in that time. It was a highly demanding undertaking and Miller believed it helped her writing while teaching her many things, but she resolved to never do such a thing again. Initially, the placement of the Gambit series in terms of the show's continuity was supposed to be fixed like Wild Space was. However, due to shuffling of the show's episodic arrangement as production progressed, this proved to be a convoluted task, so Miller suggested and was able to keep its timeline placement vague for later clarification.[10]

In 2009, the Black Saturday brush fires ravaged Australia's state of Victoria. To raise money for relief efforts, Miller and another Star Wars author, Sean Williams, each auctioned off the opportunity to name a character in their respective upcoming novels.[18] The winner of Miller's character decided to name him Rikkard.[19] Due to her contracting swine flu and a heavy work load, the release of the second half, Clone Wars Gambit: Siege, was delayed several weeks.[12] The novel was in bookstores on July 6, 2010.[4]

"Roll of the Dice" and Tarnished CrownEdit

In 2012, while working on the inaugural novel of a series she called Tarnished Crown,[20] Miller was asked to contribute a short story to Star Wars Insider based on Aaron Allston's X-Wing: Mercy Kill, due for release later that year, and she agreed.[21] Her story idea, in turn, was approved in March[22] and became "Roll of the Dice," a tale following[5] a primary protagonist of Allston's novel[23] in an adventure set just prior to the novel's events.[21] Within a day, Miller had completed half of the story's first draft.[20] Miller was provided with an advance copy of Allston's novel for reference.[24] The final draft was completed in two weeks[25] to be published a few months later, in the July Insider issue.[5]

Miller finished the first final draft of Tarnished Crown in January 2013 and sent it in to be edited.[26] She also began planning for working on a fifth novel for Rogue Agent, the series she wrote as K.E. Mills.[27]

BibliographyEdit

Star WarsEdit

YearTitle Format Notes
2008 The Clone Wars: Wild Space Novel Nominated – Best Speculative Fiction Novel – Adapted, Scribe Awards[28]
2010 Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth Novel
2010 Clone Wars Gambit: Siege Novel
2012 "Roll of the Dice" Short story Star Wars Insider 135

OtherEdit

YearTitle Format Series Notes
2005 The Innocent Mage Novel Kingmaker, Kingbreaker
2005 Innocence Lost (The Awakened Mage) Novel Kingmaker, Kingbreaker
2006 "Medical Considerations" Short story Stargate SG-1 Stargate Magazine
2006 Alliances Novel Stargate SG-1
2007 Empress of Mijak (Empress) Novel Godspeaker
2007 The Riven Kingdom Novel Godspeaker
2008 The Accidental Sorcerer Novel Rogue Agent As K.E. Mills
2008 Hammer of God Novel Godspeaker
2008 Do No Harm Novel Stargate SG-1
2008 "Post Mortem" Short story Stargate Atlantis Stargate Magazine
2009 The Prodigal Mage Novel Fisherman's Children
2009 Witches Incorporated Novel Rogue Agent As K.E. Mills
2010 Wizard Squared Novel Rogue Agent As K.E. Mills
2010 The Reluctant Mage Novel Fisherman's Children
2011 A Blight of Mages Novel Kingmaker, Kingbreaker Prequel
2012 Wizard Undercover Novel Rogue Agent As K.E. Mills
2012 Kingmaker, Kingbreaker: The Omnibus Edition Collection Kingmaker, Kingbreaker Original duology
2012 Godspeaker: The Omnibus Edition Collection Godspeaker
2014 The Path to Power Novel The Tarnished Crown Unreleased

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Karen Miller. "The Author". karenmiller.net. Retrieved on April 30, 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Karen Miller. "Bibliography". karenmiller.net. Retrieved on April 30, 2012.
  3. "Stealth: Star Wars (Clone Wars Gambit)". Amazon.com. Retrieved on July 26, 2012.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Siege: Star Wars (Clone Wars Gambit)". Amazon.com. Retrieved on July 26, 2012.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 SWInsider small "Roll of the Dice"—Star Wars Insider 135
  6. 6.0 6.1 Email correspondence
  7. Angela Slatter (April 2, 2012). "So You Want to Write for A Franchise, Or Thanks for My New Kitchen, Mr Lucas: in the Lair with Karen Miller and Sean Williams". Archived from the original on July 27, 2012. Retrieved on April 30, 2012.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Interview with Karen Miller. The Unofficial Clone Wars Site (November 20, 2008). Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved on July 26, 2012.
  9. Karen Miller. Harper Collins Publishers Austrailia. Retrieved on May 1, 2012.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 "Episode 3.5—The Clone Wars" (Podcast). SoloSound.net (April 1, 2010). Retrieved on July 26, 2012.
  11. Donna Maree Hanson. "Beta reading interview No. 14- Karen Miller". Donnamareehanson.wordpress.com. Archived from the original on July 27, 2012. Retrieved on May 1, 2012.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 "Episode 256: The Calm Between the Storms" (Podcast). Star Wars Action News (August 2, 2010). Retrieved on July 26, 2012.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Karen Miller (June 27, 2008). "It's official!" (Podcast). LiveJournal. Retrieved on June 1, 2013.
  14. Karen Miller (August 2, 2010). "Another project put to bed!" (Podcast). LiveJournal. Retrieved on June 1, 2013.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Karen Miller (May 31, 2008). "Sekrit Projekt progress". LiveJournal. Retrieved on June 1, 2013.
  16. First identified as such here, by the title of the post: Karen Miller (June 28, 2008). "Star Wars Clone War #2" (Podcast). LiveJournal. Retrieved on June 1, 2013.
  17. SWicon Telling War Stories: An Interview with Shelly Shapiro on StarWars.com (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  18. Cynthia (April 19, 2009). "Star Wars Charity Auction Aids Bushfire Victims". EveryJoe.com. Archived from the original on July 27, 2012. Retrieved on July 26, 2012.
  19. Email correspondence
  20. 20.0 20.1 Karen Miller (March 29, 2012). "Star Wars fun – and other stuff" (Blog entry). LiveJournal. Archived from the original on June 2, 2013. Retrieved on July 26, 2012.
  21. 21.0 21.1 E-mail correspondence
  22. Karen Miller (March 28, 2012). Comment on "Wow!!!!" (Blog entry). LiveJournal. Archived from the original on June 2, 2012. Retrieved on July 26, 2012.
  23. X-Wing: Mercy Kill
  24. Karen Miller (March 26, 2012). "Wow!!!!" (Blog entry). LiveJournal. Archived from the original on June 2, 2013. Retrieved on July 26, 2012.
  25. News on Karen Miller's website
  26. Karen Miller (January 17, 2013). "Tarnished Crown #1 is done – sort of!" (Blog entry). LiveJournal. Archived from the original on June 2, 2013. Retrieved on May 30, 2013.
  27. Karen Miller (January 2013). "News Archive – January 2013". karenmiller.net. Archived from the original on June 2, 2013. Retrieved on June 2, 2013.
  28. "The Third Annual Scribe Awards (2009)". The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers (2009). Archived from the original on April 16, 2012. Retrieved on June 1, 2013.

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