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May 23 2007

New Chris Golden interview at Slayerlit. Chris Golden talks about his new book Dark Congress, in which a certain stuttering blond witch is brought back, at least for a little while.

And make sure to check out the book's dedication when it comes out. ;-)
i'm not really sure how i feel about this.
OxLady, were you one it was dedicated to? Had to ask!

I do have one question I wish Shiai would have asked Chris. It is, why do you think ME and Fox do not want Tara resurrected permanently? I don't think there are any other stipulations that are made for the Buffy books, but this one is out there as a special case. I'd love to know why it is that this is policy.
Is it not always the case that for most (if not all) official novels of tv shows that the genie gets put back in the bottle at the end.
Dana- you'll have to buy the book (or just pick it up at the store and read the dedication in August :-). And you made the same typo *I* always do with my name; I know I've put on some weight, but I am not quite ready to be "OxLady" yet. ;-)

For people who are worried about how this book will approach the difficult subject of Tara's return, I urge you to keep in mind the following: Chris is one of Amber's dearest friends and one of her most trusted collaborators. Do you honestly think Chris would do ANYTHING to befoul the memory or image of a character so near and dear to Amber's heart? Chris is a fan of Tara's just like the rest of us (maybe a wee bit hairier ;-); I don't think any reasonable person will have an issue with the storyline Chris has created (with Amber's total approval,I might add).

And Simon, as always, you are spot on (See? I can talk British! ;-)
Since posting the interview, I've noticed a few people online suggesting that Joss Whedon himself personally declared that Tara's return could not be permanent. To clarify this issue, I wrote back to Chris, and this is what he says:

I think that's highly improbable, verging on the impossible. Joss has never paid very much attention to what goes on in the novels. He's said in the past that's because he's afraid that it would lure him in to become far more involved than he has the time to be. The job of the licensing department is to both follow existing parameters laid down years ago by Mutant Enemy and Joss, and to anticipate what might be their concerns. When Nancy Holder and I killed Xander in THE GATEKEEPER TRILOGY, obviously we had to bring him back to life. When I wrote THE LOST SLAYER, I had to write a bookend story that would show that this was one possible future...and it had been averted in the present avoid readers thinking this WAS the future. The great flaw of media tie-in novels is that the one, overwhelming, unbendable rule is that you CANNOT effect lasting change. You get to play with the toys, but you have to put them back the way you found them at the end. This isn't a case of Joss personally not allowing Tara to live. There's absolutely no way, if he was willing to have that happen, that he would allow it to be done in the novels as opposed to in something of his own creation. I don't foresee that ever changing, unless the days comes when he's moved on so completely from this world that he decides he's never going to write another word or oversee another tv or comics project or movie involving these characters. I feel pretty confident in saying that Joss is likely blissfully unaware that any of this is even happening. In fact, his response would probably be something like..."Books? They're still doing those?" - Christopher Golden

I hope this clarifies things.
Well done Shiai, both in your post above and in your comprehensive and well-executed interview. *claps*
Shiai beat me to the comment from Chris- but there it is and it makes complete sense.

OzLady- typo!!!! Arghh. No offense meant!!! :-) Just call me hamfingers!!!
Dana- I totally know it was a typo, hon; I was just teasing you (and myself; good motivation to diet ;-)! And let me tell you about the time I mistyped and left a letter out of "public" on a worksheet for the fifth graders I was teaching... *snicker*
S'okay. I once misspelled my own name in a paper for a journal that I myself edited!
Nice to know my turtle as King of the Khyber Typoes is still intact. (and "pubic utilities" is a joke I've been telling since I was in junior high)

Seriously, short of soemthing in the S-8 comics (or better yet Joss just buying my ficverse for BtVS Season 30 *g) I think hvaing Chris deal with this is the best of all plausible choices.
I have to disagree strongly with his opinion that Season 8 is the best Buffy since Season 5 but as a Spike fan, disagreeing with Mr Golden is pretty much a given. Although it is interesting to see him call Willow and Tara soulmates - once again Willow gets a free pass for treating Tara horribly in Season 6.
iowagirl, even though Chris and I agree on most things I also disagree with him about Season 8 (I actually loved Season 7). But I'm not a Spike fan in the least either... it's so interesting how the 'verse still encompasses such a wide spectrum of likes and dislikes, isn't it? :-)
I was so going to post this but then I knew better that someone beat me to it.

I hope it's okay to pull an entire quote from another forum as Christopher Golden did an extensive explanation on the kitten board (where this news matters much more to us apparently)

Christopher Golden:
First, thanks so much for the trust that many of you have in me. It means a great deal. Second, regarding Tara...she is not a ghost or a dream. Normally I would keep this sort of thing very much a secret, but the last thing I want to do is mislead anyone, so let me be clear...

I wanted closure. I know a lot of you did as well. I desired a proper farewell for one of the most realistic couples I've ever seen on television, and I don't believe they had that. At one point in DARK CONGRESS, I refer to the correction of a cosmic error. That should make my feelings on the subject fairly clear.

Now, the only way the Powers That Be would allow me to include this subplot in the novel was if I put the genie back in the bottle at the end. Truth be told, I didn't mind that much. As I said, all I wanted was a proper farewell. In the context of the story--the various plot threads of DARK CONGRESS--I think it works well. You'll all have to judge for yourselves whether or not you agree.

But I will say this, regarding the post from helpfulinformationperhaps. Tara *isn't* back to stay. Let's be clear on that. That wasn't up to me. Fair warning. If that troubles you, I honestly do understand, and I'd advise you to steer clear of this book. But a lot of us haven't made our peace with the way the character was eliminated, or the way her death was dealt with by the characters in the aftermath.

However, I take deep offense to the suggestion that I've created this story to draw in Tara fans in some sadistic ploy, just to hurt them, or as hype to drive sales. I don't get any royalties on this book. I've been paid. If it sells one copy, or one million copies, it doesn't make any difference, finanancially, to me. I included this element in DARK CONGRESS because, if I was going to write another Buffy book after more than four years away--likely the last I'll ever write any of these characters--I didn't want to do it without the relationship that, to me, became the emotional heart of the series.

So there you have it. Cards on the table. For those of you who read it, I hope I've done you proud.

I'm an Oz fan (not Oz/Willow, mind you), so I get how the return of a beloved character after a long absence can be a nerve-wracking thing. I'd almost rather Oz not show up in Season 8 because I'm afraid he'll come back and immediately relegated to a support character again, only remarkable because he's a werewolf and still pathetically in love with a girl who dumped him 5 years ago.

Similarly, I'd imagine that if I was a Tara fan, I'd rather her story be over instead of risking her coming back and it being unsatisfying. Chris Golden seems to have an appreciation for the character, so it might be alright. But still, I can see how it wouldn't immediately be embraced by fans.

And if I actually WAS Tara, I'd want to stay out of my soulmate's business so that she could get on with her life and maybe find some sort of happiness in the rest of her days. ;)

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