July 22 2024


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Martin: From Comics to Trek Books

2 min read

Michael A. Martin‘s Star Trek geekiness led to a partnership that resulted in writing for Trek comics and then for Trek novels, finally leading to his own solo Trek writing career.

A phone call from Andy Mangels got the ball rolling for Martin. “[He] told me that Marvel had just picked up the Star Trek comics license,” said Martin. “He wanted to pitch to Marvel, but felt that his ‘Trekspertise’ might not be up to the challenge, since he was more of a Star Wars authority. So he asked me if I, a notorious Star Trek geek, wanted to collaborate with him.”

Martin said yes. “…we began pitching together to Marvel, selling two stories out of our first three tries, right off the bat,” he said. “Our first sale got approved in less than a day, which we were told had never happened before. The next thing we knew, we were the regular writing team on Marvel’s Deep Space Nine series, and wrote a couple of other special Trek projects for them as well—including a TNG sequel to A Piece of the Action for the tenth and final issue of Star Trek Unlimited.”

When Martin found out that someone he knew from DC Comics had moved to Simon and Schuster, he acted. “I discovered that my old sales counterpart at DC Comics, one Marco Palmieri, had moved on to become a senior editor at Simon and Schuster’s Pocket Books imprint. Since he was in charge of a big chunk of the company’s line of Star Trek novels, and because he was interested in bringing new talent into his stable of authors, Andy and I got to start pitching to him. One of those early pitches became our 2001 TNG novel, Section 31: Rogue, our very first novel.”

After writing a dozen novels and short stories with Mangels, Martin started writing Trek books on his own, “I look back on those years with a lot of fondness,” he said. “I think Andy and I did a lot of great work together, both in comics and in prose. We had a long and fruitful partnership. But we were both growing as individual creators all the while, and each of us always had our own individual irons in our own respective fires. At some point, you outgrow whatever framework you might have established eight or ten years earlier.”

Martin is currently working on a USS Titan novel, Fallen Gods, which will be released next autumn.

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