TrekCore Asked; I Answered
I recently granted an e-mail interview to Dan Gunther of the TrekCore blog. Last Friday, while I was away from home, that interview went live.
It’s a substantial Q&A that spans my early years as a writer, my acclaimed Star Trek Destiny trilogy and my New York Times bestselling trilogy Cold Equations, my soon-to-be-released novel Star Trek: The Fall — A Ceremony of Losses (and the entirety of the The Fall miniseries), the new Star Trek: Seekers series, and my upcoming projects.
Here’s a small excerpt from the interview:
TrekCore: You have always brought a certain gravitas to Star Trek. Many of your stories are huge in scope, such as the Destiny trilogy or your Mirror Universe stories. At the same time, you are very good at handing the smaller character moments that lend a verisimilitude to the stories you write. How do you go about finding the right balance between the sometimes huge, epic plots and the needs of the characters?
David Mack: It’s just something I do by instinct, to tell the truth. Much as I love the drama of tales in which people are swept up in the tide of grand events, I never forget that what makes those epic moments resonate for a reader is seeing them through the point of view of a character in whom they have an emotional investment. The horror of being on a blood-soaked battlefield will not carry as much impact filtered though the perspective of a character we don’t know as it would if depicted through the eyes of a character one has come to care about.
What it really comes down to for me is that I see war, disaster, and other epic calamities as catalysts for the exploration of character. Unlike movies, which can dole out spectacle for its own sake in a visual medium, I use action and tragedy to push characters to their limits, so that we can discover who they really are, what they really care about, and see how far they are willing to go to persevere or triumph when the odds are against them.