Diana Botsford, author of STARGATE SG-1: Four Dragons,
talks about the mythology around the series and why she loves writing.
1) How and when did you become a fan of Stargate?
2008! I'm an admittedly late bloomer when it comes
to the Stargate Franchise, but the upside is that I got to watch
all the episodes on DVD which was a great deal of fun!
2) Whats your all time favourite Stargate
episode and why?
Not an easy question! If I was stranded on a desert
island, I suppose I'd have to pick LOST CITY (pts 1 & 2 - yes,
I realize I'm cheating!). Besides being such a fantastic culmination
of so many threads within the Stargate mythology, the "what's
at stake" for each character is significant...and poignant!
Of course, as soon as I list one episode, there's
more that pop-up in my head: Beneath the Surface, Full Circle, Unnatural
Selection, Tin Man, Solitudes, Shades of Grey...
For Stargate Atlantis, I'd have to say Sunday is my
favorite - I'm a huge fan of alternate structure storylines. Mind
you, I could make an equally long list for Stargate Atlantis, but
we'll save that for another time!
3) What made you want to write a Stargate novel?
One of my biggest influences as a science fiction
writer/aficionado was Isaac Asimov's FOUNDATION. What struck me
about the book was how someone could build an entire civilization
with new societal conventions, new money, new religion, everything
There was an entire mythology wrapped up in that series...just
as Brad Wright & company have done with Stargate. The collective
franchise has made for such a rich tapestry of possibilities, in
large part because no episode of SG-1, SGA, or even the new SGU,
is self-contained. Every action has consequences and can come back
and bite our teams in the proverbial ass. The possibilities for
story are endless and I wanted the opportunity to contribute to
that. Fandemonium could issue a new Stargate novel every month and
each one would be new and exciting
and connect in such a way
that brings even more meaning to the overall franchise.
4) Whats the hardest thing about writing
in the Stargate universe?
And whats the best thing about writing in the
The hardest thing? Staying true to the characters and their world.
The best thing? Staying true to the characters and their world.
5) Tell me about your favourite scene in your
Oh boy... there's quite a few, but here's two choices:
There's a scene with Jack broken up throughout the
novel - they're referred to as interludes, brief moments of reflection
on his part. Memories are a theme in the bookwhat they mean
to us, getting back lost memories, exploring the past. A recurring
memory throughout the book is Jacks. I establish at the top
that when Skaara died/ascended in the Season six episode Full
Circle, Jack acted on impulse and retrieved his old Zippo.
For whatever reason, hes still not sure, and an underlying
subplot of the book is Jack trying to figure out why the heck he
Hes always been the first to admit hes
not a sentimental guy, yet here hes holding on to an old,
beat up Zippo like its a lifeline.
My favorite action scene has to do with a battle between
SG-1 and Lord Yu's Jaffa, just outside the Goa'uld's fortress. I'm
a big believer in using action scenes to forward character and plot.
This particular scene has high drama, humor, and intrigue, thanks
to several POV switches - including an off-world observer. There's
a variety of technologies used during the battle, and naturally
they don't work the way we'd expect. Hence, the team has to keep
adjusting during the battle, from plan B to plan C to plan D...
6) What do you hope readers enjoy most about
A sense of wonder... about the characters and about
Earth's history and mythology as it relates to the Goa'uld... or
at least, one Goa'uld in particular! I also hope readers feel like
they've experienced a new episode of the series with all the drama,
action, and humor fans have come to love about SG-1. Having had
past experience writing for television and film, I paid close attention
to the pacing in the story to give it a feel similar to the series.
7) How did you become a professional writer?
And do you have any tips for budding authors?
My first professional sale was to Star Trek: Next
Generation. I had a great agent and timing really was everything.
That and tenacity. No one's going to buy your work if you don't
get it out there. Also, pay attention to pacing and structure. A
great story is like a roller coaster - it should have ups and downs.
Loud and quiet moments. And NEVER forget the humor!
8) Whats your opinion of fanfiction? And
have you ever read or written any?
Ah! Caught red-handed! I actually enjoy quite a bit
of fanfic. It's like comfort food for me. No cost, so no loss if
it's subpar...and oddly enough, this particular franchise tends
to inspire some terrific fan fic. Again, the franchise has so much
depth, that I believe there's a place for both fanfic and professional
media tie-in novels.
A fanfic piece can explore a minute moment in time
- or go AU - whereas a licensed media tie-in novel stays within
the canon of the franchise...and yet can open up story possibilities
which never could have happened on a television series budget.