A Quick Chat With ‘Star Wars’ Editor Shelly Shapiro


Yep, I work here, but I love our Star Wars novels probably as much as you do: I just finished John Jackson Miller’s Kenobi and am working on Troy Denning’s Crucible right now, and am looking forward to devouring Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge the moment it arrives. With a new movie just around the corner, I wanted to get in touch with Star Wars editor Shelly Shapiro to see what the future of the book line might hold. Happily, she was able to to take a second and chat with me.

What do you do? What’s a typical day like?

Shelly-Shapiro-300x235I start my morning with coffee and the Internet, starting with the weather and the news, moving through personal email, and on to work email. Then I assess what projects or requests have priority that day. I work flexible hours, so often I don’t do actual manuscript editing until late afternoon or evening. As for what I do: I answer questions, I read to assess possible new Star Wars authors, I work on outlines and manuscripts, I consult on cover art and cover copy and other issues that come up in relation to the Star Wars books.

It sounds like you have a dream job for a Star Wars fan. How did you get started doing this?

I started my career working in science fiction publishing, and it WAS my dream job, even from the start (despite all the entry-level duties that did not come naturally to me!).

What keeps you interested in the Saga, and how do you keep up with it all?

The characters and settings in the Galaxy Far Far Away are so vibrant, it’s hard NOT to stay interested. I can’t keep up with it all, but I know how to look things up and ask questions, and I have enormous support from the team at Lucas Licensing.

What kinds of things can we look forward to in the world of Star Wars fiction?

We’ve got the excitement of a whole new Star Wars future unfolding as information about the new movies rolls out, and I anticipate that we will be brimming over with ideas for new fiction tying in to the new continuity both of Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, and of the standalone movies that have been announced. Not to mention the new upcoming REBELS animated series. So lots more novels, more series, more original ebooks and stories…

I know we’ve got some Rebellion era fiction coming up over the next few months, but will we continue to see the other eras represented?

I certainly hope so!

Anything else you want Unbound Worlds readers to know?

Just that we continue to be tremendously excited about all the new possibilities available for stories in the Star Wars universe, and that while I am aware that we can never please everybody, I do try really hard to make each book something the author will love to write, the editors will love to edit, and, hopefully, a lot of fans will love to read.

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  • Amanda

    So that’s it then? No more of the old continuity? What a waste.

  • PLEASE consider jettisoning the PT while you’re at it, Shelly.

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  • Chris

    Hi there,
    I see hopefully into the future and development of the new series “Star Wars Rebels”; “Star Wars VII” etc. and the the possibilities which will be outcome. But in the First I hope that Del Rey doesn´t forget to develop the, I think for me and other fans, one of the most important characters of the next generation in the Star Wars universe ; Ben Skywalker. I read the novel of FOTJ in which Ben played a major role, but it seems, that the authors (especially Troy Denning, who already killed the two MALE Solo offsprings only concentrated on the Development of female characters. In that way we read more than enough about the “fascinating” development of Jaina Solo ( by the way I like in the NJO and LOTF the development of the character; but enough is enough) or the, I think, childish development of Allana Solo. One more FEMALE character is Vestera Khai. I hope to read more about the development of the Sith in the next novels but I really miss the integration of the MALE characters in the Star Wars universe. What about this?

  • Kay

    I think the development of the Star Wars EU very cool. It´s important to go to the future, see the next generation; by the way that´s for me the positive aspect or difference between Star Wars and other SciFi novels, where you have sequences like Time Travelling or some kind of rejuvenating cure :)) Heros are getting older and maybe, I don´t know, in SW EU mankind (Jedi) can come to a higher age (think about Yoda with his 900 years) :). So that´s the “magic” for me.

    I like the work of the SW authors since years, they develop a unique story after SW VI. That´s great. (Can´t wait to see the Episode SW VII).
    @ Chris I´m also a great fan of the characters, so in some points I agree with you: First I think it was a great failure from the authors to “kill the future” of the next generation; especially the male characters; hey I´m a guy but I also love to see some kind of variation in the books and the stories. But it seemed really that DelRey only concentrated on the development of female characters, they forget that most of the fans are great fans of male characters too, so I miss the balance between this fact. They are to much female characters in an main role at the moment. (see above @ Chris). And than they create a nonserious char like the grandchild of Han and Leia. That´s really sad. Against the backround I liked to read the books from Paul S. Kemp about Jaden Korr, which are played in the same timeline like FOTJ. Jaden also shown up in one book in FOTJ and played are little role. And sure, I really want to see more about Ben Skywalker (more than Jaina Solo, because now at last she becomes a Master, what´s really a good development; I was very excited as I read the lines.)

    So at the end we will hopefully see in the next balance/generation a “balance” between the development. And that DelRey will recognize that they have other famous and interesting chars in the SW EU too.

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