Joan Marie VerbaHost Carma Spence chats with Thunderbirds novelist Joan Marie Verba about how she became a fiction writer and got involved in the series of media tie-in novels based on the 1960s British marionette TV show, Thunderbirds. The conversation also touches on her first book, which covered the discoveries made by Voyager, her first novel, Autumn World, being awarded the Mom’s Choice Award and writing in someone else’s universe (media tie-ins).

NOTE: This episode was recorded in 2010.

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Duration: 22:33
File Size: 25.8 MB

Great piece of advice: If you’re writing a media tie-in novel, you need to be in love with that universe. If you aren’t, the readers will know.

Mentioned in this Episode:

  • Thunderbirds
    This TV series followed the adventures of International Rescue, an organization that used advanced technology to help people in grave danger. The head of the organization, and the lead character, was ex-astronaut Jeff Tracy. He was joined by his five sons who piloted the Thunderbird machines such as the hypersonic variable geometry rocket plane, the Single Stage To Orbit (SSTO) spaceship, a submersible, a space station and a 1930s Tiger Moth biplace.
     
    The “actors” in this series were marionette puppets suspended and controlled by thin wires. The puppets had electronic components hidden inside their heads, which received control signal through these thin wires. This technology, dubbed “supermarionation” allowed for synchronized mouth movements and other more advance puppet actions.
     
    Thunderbirds was one of several “supermarionated” TV shows produced by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. Other shows included Four Feather Falls, Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Joe 90 and The Secret Service.
     
    Voice cast for the series include Shane Rimmer (Dr. Strangelove, The Spy Who Loved Me, Batman Begins), David Graham (Big Brother in the Apple “1984” commercial) and Christine Finn (Quartermass and the Pit).
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley
    American author of numerous fantasy novels such as The Mists of Avalon and the Darkover series, Zimmer Bradley’s work often had a feminist outlook. She was also a prolific editor, including a fantasy magazine named after her (Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine – 1998-2000) and numerous anthologies.
  • Mom’s Choice Awards
    This program recognizes authors, inventors, companies, parents and others for their efforts in creating family-friendly products, services and media. It establishes a benchmark for these types of products and services, doling out awards for excellence in quality materials for children and families every year. To learn more, visit www.momschoiceawards.com.
  • International Association of Media Tie-In Writers
    IAMTW is dedicated to enhancing the professional and public image of media ti-in writers, regardless of what genre they write in, or whether the work is original and based on media character or a novelization of a script. For more information, visit www.iamtw.org.

For more information about Joan Marie Verba:

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