For thirty years, Michael Jan Friedman has written SF, Fantasy, paranormal, media tie-in, biographies, and comic books for both DC and Marvel. He is one of most prolific authors out there. We are honored to have him join us for the 2015 Write Stuff conference. So, let’s get talkin’ to Michael Jan Friedman!
You co-wrote a season two episode of Star Trek: Voyager called “Resistance”. How did that opportunity come about? What else have you written for television and/or radio?
Actually, my partner and I pitched to the various Star Trek shows several times before we struck gold and sold a story. The Trek programs were pretty much the only shows around that took pitches from pretty much anybody. Each time my partner and I sat down with the producers, they listened, smiled, and told us that they had our ideas in production already. That was discouraging and encouraging at the same time. Finally, we sold a pitch that was basically “Janeway plays Dulcinea to a Kazon Don Quixote.” Jeri Taylor, the show runner on Voyager, loved it and bought it almost on the spot. The next day, she called us and said she had gotten substantially the same pitch from someone else. Had we spoken to her a day later, she would have had to accept the other pitch rather than ours.
On the television side, I’ve also written on-air promos for Nick at Nite. The one that sticks out in my mind is “The Gunther Toody School of Public Speaking.” Toody and Fred Gwynn’s character, Muldoon, were the two lead cops on Car 54. Toody was known for saying “Ooh, ohh,” when he got excited, so all he said in the promo as a model of public speaking was “Ooh, ooh.”
In radio, I wrote a series of spots for restaurant critic Bob Lape advertising Freixenet sparkling wine. Each spot talked about how Freixenet went with one cuisine or another. They were interesting, actually. If you were into cooking, you could actually learn something from them.
You are currently in the process of re-releasing your first original fantasy trilogy, The Vidar Saga. Can you tell us a bit about the story? What made you decide to re-issue the series this year and with all new cover art?
The Vidar Saga is a heroic fantasy. Vidar, a bastard son of Odin, is often said to be one of the survivors of Ragnarok, the Twilight of the Norse Gods. I took him and plunked him down in the 20th century, and then pulled him back into a resurgence of the old conflicts that destroyed Odin’s Asgard.
I’m re-releasing the series (The Hammer and The Horn, the first book, is already available as either a hard copy or an e-book through Amazon and BN.com) as part of our push at Crazy 8 Press to get our founding members’ older works back in print.