Friday, July 23, 2010

Tied In -- Edited by Lee Goldberg

So last night I finished up some little tasks and thought I'd take a look at Tied In, which is a book composed of essays (and one round-table discussion) about writing tie-in novels. I don't plan to spend long with the book. I was going to check out the table of contents, maybe glance at an essay or two, and then read something else.

But a funny thing happened. I started reading, and I was fascinated. I kept right on reading, long past the time I'd intended to stop. This is really interesting and entertaining stuff.

I started with Tod Goldberg's essay on writing the Burn Notice books, moved on Jeff Mariotte's "Jack of All Trades," got really caught up in Max Allan Collins's "This Time It's Personal," kept right on going through the great round-table discussion, and read three or four more of the essays, including one that harks back to my era, David Spencer's "American TV Tie-Ins from the '50s to the Early '70s." All I can say about that one is that I'm glad I have my copies of John Tiger's I Spy novels because I'm sure a lot of people are going to be looking for them now.

I still have a few more essays to read, and I'm really looking forward to them. I was genuinely surprised at how much fun I had reading this book, and I'm sure most of you would like it, too. It's currently available in electronic format only, but a paperback is on the way. Check it out.


Randy Johnson said...

I've been wanting to get this one myself. I have those seven I Spy novel by Tiger(Walter Wager), as well as the four Mission: Impossible by him and Max Walker(which I beleive was Michael Avallone).

Anonymous said...

I didn't even realize there were Burn Notice tie-ins. Shows how out of touch I am.


Anonymous said...

OK - I just ordered three of the I SPY books from the Paperback exchange and I don't even know why.


Randy Johnson said...

You will like them, Jeff. They actually strayed afield from the television mythology.

mybillcrider said...

According to the article, they're the top-of-the-line in novelizations from that era.

Lee Goldberg said...

Thanks for the great review of TIED IN, Bill. I merely edited the book...the credit belongs to the authors of all those terrific essays and interviews. The trade paperback edition will be available in a few weeks.


David Spencer said...

Thanks for the good review of the book and the nice mention of my essay, Bill.

Max Walker was a Popular Library house name used by Michael Avallone when he novelized THE LAST ESCAPE.

Mike was *not* behind the Max Walker by-line for the two MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE novels (#2 and #3) that were not by Walter ("John Tiger") Wager. The identity of that author is, for the moment, unknown.(And indeed if you know Avallone's work at all, it's clear from the style that the M:I books are not his work.)

David Spencer said...

By the way, the I SPY books were original novels, not novelizations (i.e. adaptations of scripts).

And though the books (like many original tie-ins of the era) showcase a kind of "alternate reality", it's a little misleading to say they strayed far from the mythology, because I SPY didn't really have a mythology as such: the episodes were standalone and any linking background continuity among them was mild and sometimes inconsistent (in a manner typical of the era).

Really what the books did was offer a somewhat different treatment. In musical terms, same song, different arrangement.