I get this question every two weeks or so: “Why don’t you write another book on Clan Wolverine?” Believe me, no one loves Betrayal of Ideals more than me. Amid the wails of loud mostly unimportant and misguided people of “retcon!” I think the story of Clan Wolverine stands the test of time. The people who say it is retcon are morons. People bonded with the Wolverines in Betrayal, even though we all knew it was not going to end well.
In fairness, I had a plan for them that was pretty cool. The proposal was written and submitted. Then I got the call from Brent Evans, “Hey, super-neat idea you put together, let’s not go there right now. Let’s talk about the end of the Dark Ages era.” Well, when you get a call like that, you jump. The reality is that there are only so many hours in the day to dedicate to writing, so I shifted to address the hottest topic and I like to think advancing the storyline out of the Dark Ages is a priority.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate the Dark Ages, just some of the execution of the Dark Ages. God knows there are enough Dark Ages haters out there, I’m not on that bandwagon. Wizkids made a decision early on to deliberately NOT use the established BattleTech authors to advance the story. I was told, “We are going to bring in some good professional writers to do the stories going forward.” Ouch. This is not paraphrasing, this was what I was told. Douchebags. Kind of a kick to the balls to get that kind of message after a number of quite successful novels. How’d that work out for you Wizkids? In two years they were asking us to come back…with no apology either. By the time we got product out, the damage had already been done with the fan community…on multiple levels. Just as we started to right the ship, fictionally speaking, the plug was pulled on published fiction altogether.
I digress. Back to the Wolverines. As a BattleTech author, you have to recognize that you are working in a shared universe. That means you can’t just write what you want when you want it…no matter how cool the idea is. That isn’t entirely true – but pretty close. You don’t own these factions or characters, they are part of the IP (Intellectual Property). There are some courtesies that you get affronted about the characters you create, but not always. I don’t own Clan Wolverine, I simply was given the chance to tell their story. Kudos to Randall who said, “This works!”
I also believe that if the Wolverines do reappear, in whatever guise or form, it needs to be something pretty monumental and should be done in a way to catch the fan base off guard. Like the Mandarin said in Iron Man 3, “You’ll never see me coming…” They can’t just show up as some footnotes or sidebar in a sourcebook. I left some of them very much alive but few in number. Nice warships too. In the final book release, I also gave a lot of clues as to their disposition. Remarkably, I’ve seen few comments about the Easter Eggs. Anyone thinking they went somewhere to die off is on drugs.
People hit me all of the time about the Jihad conspiracy sourcebooks that speculated on the Wolverines as if that was gospel. “So are the Wolverineeies (their word) really the Word of Blake?” Everything in that whole book around the Wolverines was and remains speculation as far as I am concerned. Some of that material is funny, other bits are sheer brilliance. I had no input on that stuff and support it for what it is, cool concepts that may or may not be true. I will say that none of my ideas are based on that material.
There have been some pretty fanciful fan theories about the Wolverines as of late on Sarna.net. I won’t comment or critique them beyond saying, “Damn, that’s a cool idea!” Even if some of them were spot on, I wouldn’t confirm or deny it. In recent months I have come up with a radically new idea for them, but nothing I’ve documented just yet. Just a few notes scribbled on paper.
Until I finish writing the current novel, XXXX XX XXX XXXX XXXXXX it is really hard for me to flesh out Wolverine ideas anew. Even then, I have some ideas for newer stuff, tied to the currently unfolding timeline that might prove fun. For now, I know where Clan Wolverine are, and what they are doing, and what their ultimate goals are. In my draft of XXXX XX XXX XXXX XXXXXX I even have a reference to the Clan there. I think it will give the editor a seizure and may never see print, but it is there. In the upcoming Forever Faithful, there is a mention of Clan Wolverine that even makes me chuckle when I wrote it.
I have not forgotten the Wolverine survivors in the least, but there is a lot in motion right now, including a new true crime book project. I am 33k words into work on XXXX XX XXX XXXX XXXXXX which has a lot of challenges and some epic moments that have to be done just right. After all, we’ve been building up to this 1989. If I don’t get this right, fans will be pissed. Well, to be frank, there’s always some bitchy whiny trolls out there that complain. Then there’s the looming edits for the Wolf’s Dragoons novella, XXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXX…and I’m sure another read through of Forever Faithful before its release…which I keep thinking is happening soon John Helfers!
And the final reason I haven’t written another novel for the Wolverines…I don’t do requests.
The greater good of BattleTech gets priority on writing projects. Right now, that’s not the Wolverines. Or is it? (Evil grin)