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Thoughts on writing and publishing, and the various sources of entertainment...
A weekly column by Abel G. Peña, best known for his Star Wars work.

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THE PHILODOXER for 06/25/2006
He Will Learn Patience...

Hey folks,

This week saw the publication of my dark side magnum opus, Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties at, and I thought I'd give you a taste of the turbulence of freelance writing. The road to publication of this piece seems almost as long and sordid as the history of the Sith themselves. Written on the heels of "The Emperor's Pawns," my first official Star Wars piece published in Star Wars Gamer #5, I actually wrote Evil Never Dies for that magazine way back in the year 2001. However, that publication went the way of the rancor before it could see the light of day. With seeming luck, however, Gamer's editor became the new editor of Star Wars Insider afterward, and it seemed the Sith would have their dynasties revealed after all.

Not so! Though Star Wars Insider has recently begun publishing large fictional features, that wasn't the standard in 2002. While I published a feature on the reprinting of Marvel's Star Wars comics run by Dark Horse and co-authored an expose on the Empire's Grand Admirals with Dan Wallace, Evil Never Dies was indefinitely delayed. Then, in 2003, I bid the U.S. and Star Wars good-bye as I went to live in Italy.

However, all was not lost. I made my way back to the States, and ironically, the day I landed back in the motherland and waited in Philadelphia for my connecting flight back to Cali, a commercial on one of the airports televisions came on advertising a new called (all together now): Evil Never Dies.

Certainly, the Force was sending me a sign.

A lot of new Star Wars material had come out by then, a whole new movie in fact, and I set about the task of dusting off the Sith manuscript and revising it in order to make it current with the quicksilver world of accumulating Star Wars lore.

In 2004, I saw another opportunity. The periodical Dungeon/Polyhedron had obtained the right to publish Star Wars-related roleplaying game features, and I immediately approached the editor about writing for him. He seemed to dig the idea of a feature on thousands of years of Sith sects and cults, but first up on the agenda was a project I tackled with Rich Handley based on the old Droids cartoons.

Then... disaster.

Immediately after the publication of the Droids feature, the publishers of Dungeon/Polyhedron lost their Star Wars license. Once again, no more Sith.

But hope, too, never dies. After enduring another Star Wars Insider editor interested in Evil Never Dies and another ill-timed change in command in late 2005, at last the perfect opportunity arose to pitch the piece to the folks at in 2006 as a companion to Drew Karpyshyn's more mainstream, "Heritage of the Sith" in Star Wars Insider #88, which covered the most well-known disciples of Sith doctrine.

Star Wars Insider 88

The deal was struck. I gave Evil Never Dies another long overdue overhaul, and now five long years later, it's finally available for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!

-- Abel

<< 06/18/2006 | 06/25/2006 | 07/02/2006 >>

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