Take Five with Paul S. Kemp: ‘Star Wars: Riptide’


Paul S. Kemp is the contributor for this week’s Take Five, a regular series where we ask authors and editors to share five facts about their latest books. Kemp is the author of Star Wars: Riptide, a sequel to Star Wars: Crosscurrent. Get it from your favorite bookseller tomorrow:

When a ship full of Sith warriors arrived in Galactic Alliance space, the fight to destroy it accidentally uncovered a hidden menace: a long-hidden group of clones, secretly created as insidious weapons capable of wielding the Force and heedless of the differences between light side and dark side. Now the clones have escaped—and evidence suggests that they are flawed by genetic disease and violent madness.

Jedi Knight Jaden Korr pursues the clones, hoping to heal them but prepared to destroy them. What he doesn’t know is that Sith agents are hot on his heels, determined not only to recover the clones for their Master but to capture Jaden for their own dark-side purposes. In a life-or-death battle, Jaden will confront a shocking reality that will rock him to his core and bring him face-to-face with the question of what makes a man . . . and a Jedi.

1. If I were forced to choose, I’d take a skilled storyteller over a skilled writer every time.

2. I get a bit nervous each time a new Star Wars novel of mine sees publication, and Riptide (especially Riptide) was no exception. I’m always concerned I screwed up this or that bit of lore.

3. I tend to use the language of religion in my prose – often simple stuff, working in words like sin, transgression, penitent, imprecation, that kind of thing – and those are mostly no-nos in Star Wars fiction. I feel their absence in a few passages.

4. Looking back, I can see that what I write is influenced in small but noticeable ways by the art/media I’m consuming at that time. So when I look back at Riptide and its prequel, Crosscurrent, I can see little nods to Firefly and Battlestar Galactica, both of which I was watching at the time.

5. I think the strength (and hopefully the appeal) of Riptide is in the relationships between Jaden, Khedryn, and Marr, on the one hand, and Seer, Soldier, and Grace on the other.