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Heather Jarman

DS9 Mission: Gamma This Gray Spirit S.C.E. #27 - Balance of Nature DS9 Prophecy and Change The Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Volume One

After contributing to,, and as a columnist and reviewer, first-time novelist Heather Clayton Jarman's contribution the the DS9 Relaunch is ST: DS9 Mission: Gamma - This Gray Spirit, the second of four Mission: Gamma novels. Heather corresponded and met with Pocket Books' editor Marco Palmieri, and was asked to "audition" - a process that included an outline, a character breakdown and three chapters of a Star Trek novel.

Mission: Gamma was a collaborative effort, where all five writers worked closely with each other, as well as with Marco. A list of plot points for the novels was provided by Marco, and the writers were able to submit story proposals and character arcs. They also did research and discussed possibilities with Marco. A crew manifest and equipment list for the Defiant was drawn up fo the Gamma Quadrant portions of the story, and Marco put together the station outline for the Alpha Quadrant portions.

When asked which part of her own book she is most proud of, Heather says, "Ask me this question on any given day of the week and I'll give you a different answer. From an overall perspective, I think I captured a sense of crew camaraderie--of people who are stuck with each other for long periods of time in a small space--that I find is missing from many 'journey' kinds of books...Prose-wise, I'm generally happy with my writing. Everytime I re-read a section, I find a list of things I would change if I had a chance, but mostly, I like the story I told. Given the time I had, I believe I did my best. How's that for a non-answer answer?"

She adds, "Suffice it to say, I'm proud of the work I did on the Andorians. I think my station story worked well."

Speaking of Andorians, Heather says, "I love Shar. Partly because he's a tabula rasa. We don't have 7 years of canon telling us who he is. He's evolving with the relaunch and that gives the writers more flexibility."

As for her favorite character of the Deep Space Nine, "I love Kira. If I had to drill it down to one reason, I would have to say its Kira's faith. Though she is truly a child of her era who understands the concept of 'wormhole aliens' and whatnot, she has this powerful belief in forces that she can't readily quantify or explain. She's willing to admit that she's not the 'highest' force in the universe and that there are other forces greater than she is. Her humility inspires me. Her bravery, her ability to move past prejudice, was one of the highlights of the series for me. She embodies traits that I not only admire, but want to cultivate in myself..."

And the others? "Dax is fun because she is multi-faceted. I used to think I didn't want to write Quark. As it turned out, two of my favorite scenes in This Gray Spirit were Quark POV sections. I don't dislike writing any character, I enjoy Vaughn and Ro very much. More like, I found that certain voices came easily, others didn't or those voices weren't required for the story I told. I would like to write more of Prynn."

"I did get to create a new minor character--the counselor that replaces Ezri on DS9. After Deanna and Ezri, I had fun playing with a new shrink-head. I hope to do more with Lieutenant Commander Phillipa Matthias and her family in the future. Her husband is a Bajoran, an orphan exiled during the Occupation, and I think he could offer an 'everyman' kind of POV...In Phillipa, I wanted to create a normal person--a well-educated, well-rounded person who didn't have any extraordinary abilities or celebrity parents or infamous history. With the O'Briens being gone, I think we're missing that mom-dad-kids dynamic that provides a counterpoint to all the angst going on with everyone else."

As for the science involved with writing Mission: Gamma - This Gray Spirit, Heather says, "My academic and professional training is exclusively in the humanities - English, film and history - though I've always had a strong aptitude for the life sciences like biology and genetics. My brother Peter did his undergrad in biology - on his way to a career in bio-engineering - and offered me a lot of support in the nitty-gritty aspects. His genetics professor at the University of Utah helped me work through the complexities of Andorian gender. Pete, who did a senior research project on biodiversity, helped me analyze the enviornmental science and evolutionary angles of the Gamma story. Otherwise, I have a friend who has duel Ph.Ds in mechanical and electrical engineering who worked through the Defiant tech and another acquaintance - a Ph.D at NASA - who made sure the physics side wasn't too outlandish.

"I'm confident enough in my science skills that I can come up with the rudimentary ideas. I like to run them past actual scientists to make sure I'm not taking too many liberties. I'm a total wannabe scientist who reads a ton of science oriented books like Matt Ridley's Genome and Brian Greene's Elegant Universe. I tried Richard Feynman's stuff and was totally lost."

Heather's next project in the Star Trek universe was S.C.E. #27 - Balance of Nature, the third of four 'spotlight' stories for the ebook series that came out in April 2003. The story focused on P8 Blue, and give readers a first look at the Nasat homeworld. "I have very few constraints in my S.C.E. project because it is more or less a stand-alone in the S.C.E. universe." Keith R.A. DeCandido, co-developer of the Star Trek: S.C.E. series, "has a character he wants explored and the context doesn't depend on what's gone before me. I'll give you this hint: one of the reasons he asked me to write this is because I have a writing specialty in 'world building.' In other words, I'm pretty good at designing a planet/culture/species from scratch. Part of this ability, I believe, comes from a heavy background in history and an eye to how cultures evolve...Heavy action is not my gig. I'll write it, but its painful."

So, what's next for the new author? "My editor and I have discussed possible contributions that I could make to future novels--yes. In the meantime, I have two projects I'm researching and hope to develop when I'm not busy with Star Trek. I also help several writer friends as an editor and co-writer."

Outside of Star Trek, Heather's hobbies include "reading, cooking (Thai and Chinese), running, travelling, movies. I love American history (I'm on a Revolutionary War kick at the moment). I am remodelling my kitchen myself--we'll see how the tiling and painting goes."

Heather also participates in multiple volunteer activities. "I coordinate our art education - primarily art history, aesthetic criticism - program at our local elementary school. I have done short term projects with the Regional Arts and Culture Council here in Portland. I do a lot of classroom volunteer work. Ultimately, I'd like to do work on bringing fine arts, including creative writing, into under-privileged schools. I've been a Girl Scout leader and have been on the core staff of Girl Scout day camp. I have two daughters who are dyslexic so advocacy involving special education/reading issues is huge for me. I do volunteer for projects organized by my church - humanitarian aid, runaway youth, etc."

Heather lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and four daughters.

Other Authors

S.D. Perry David Weddle Jeffrey Lang Keith R.A. DeCandido David R. George III Heather Jarman Michael A. Martin & Andy Mangels Robert Simpson J.G. Hertzler

Charlotte Douglas & Susan Kearney Andrew J. Robinson Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens Dave Galanter & Greg Brodeur John Vornholt Robert Greenberger

Bradley Thompson

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