The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Michael Stackpole

Michael A. Stackpole

Desert Nights, Rising Stars Faculty 2017, 2020
Piper Writers Studio Instructor 2019

About Michael A. Stackpole

Michael A. Stackpole is an award-winning novelist, game designer, computer game designer, graphic novelist, screenwriter and podcaster. He's had over fifty novels published, including the New York Times Bestselling I, Jedi and Rogue Squadron.

View Conference Sessions by %Michael A. Stackpole

Winning with Serial Fiction
Michael A Stackpole

Saturday, February 22, 2020, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Heritage, University Club
Type: Craft Talk, Presentation, Workshop
Genre: Fiction, Mixed Genre, Novels, Publishing, Short Stories

E-readers and increased time demands have shifted how many readers consume stories. Shorter fiction (from flash fiction to novellas) is more manageable for writers and readers, quicker to publication and often more profitable than longer works. New York Times bestselling author Michael A. Stackpole has written in many series, and produced works of all lengths. In this session, he'll show you how to plot a series, provide some basic structures to use, and point out ways that your shorter fiction can create a new audience for your longer-form fiction.

Hey, I Know You! Building Strong Characters
Michael A Stackpole, Tracey Baptiste, HelenKay Dimon, Cristina García, Jonathan Danielson

Friday, February 21, 2020, 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Location: Carson Ballroom, Old Main
Type: Panel
Genre: Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Mixed Genre

We’ve all heard the advice, Know your character better than yourself. How do we build characters who are strong or fragile, bold or shy, fully round, fully complex, and well-developed instead of flat, two-dimensional representations? How do we use our imaginations to the fullest in creating relatable, strange, interesting, and compelling characters? In this panel, writers representing a range of speculative fiction will share tips and tricks for creating and building characters we all want to know, read, and have a conversation with.

More About Michael A. Stackpole

Kaelin, R.T. "Michael A. Stackpole Fantasy-Faction Interview." Fantasy-Faction, June 28, 2012. 

KAELIN: Other than a good story and memorable characters, what makes a good book? Do you feel it is necessary that some sort of message reside in the pages? Or can story alone carry a work? STACKPOLE: Writers forget that, first and foremost, we’re entertainers. Anything that gets in the way of that, like a message poorly delivered, hurts our work and our credibility. Story must carry a work. If you can get information in or get readers to think about an issue, that’s a bonus. And there’s nothing wrong with going for the bonus, as long as it doesn’t overshadow the story. 

Liptak, Andrew. "An ode to Michael A. Stackpole's X-Wing series, Rogue One's spiritual ancestor." The Verge,  December 18, 2016. 

What’s unique about Rogue Squadron is that, unlike most of the other Expanded Universe novels, the X-Wing series exists largely away from the universe’s established characters. Han Solo, Leia Organa, and Luke Skywalker make the occasional appearance, but for the most part, the action is driven by a new cast of characters: Corran Horn, Ysanne Isard, Mirax Terrik, and a whole bunch of others to lay out an ancillary story that doesn’t rely on the larger Skywalker saga to make for a compelling entry in the Star Wars universe.