I'd just turned eight years old when a film called Star Wars™ appeared in cinemas in May 1977. As you might imagine, I became a fan the moment I saw Princess Leia's starship streak across the screen, followed by the seemingly endless length of Darth Vader's pursuing Star Destroyer. A quartercentury later, I became a published Star Wars™ author, starting off writing material for roleplaying games before working with publishers such as DK, Del Rey, Scholastic and Disney Press.
I've now written more than 30 books and stories set in a galaxy far, far away...but I'm still every bit as much of a fan as I was that night at a Loews theater on Long Island. One reason I'm still a fan is the stories that make up the Star Wars™ saga are such enormous fun, whether they're being told through a new film, TV show, comic or novel. Another reason is that the people who bring those tales to life are themselves Star Wars™ fans—whether you're talking to an editor at a publishing house or a continuity expert at Lucasfilm, those of us who get to tell Star Wars™ stories make sure to pinch ourselves every so often, as a reminder of how lucky we are.
But the biggest reason? It's other Star Wars™ fans, and their infectious, allconsuming love of the saga. Writing is by its nature a solitary business—it's just me at my desk, turning a blank screen into a story that I hope someone will enjoy. It gets lonely, but the payoff is the chance to meet old friends and new ones and talk Star Wars™. And there's nothing more fun to talking to a kid whose imagination has been captured by the adventures of Luke and Leia, or Anakin and Obi- Wan, or Hera and Sabine.
2015 will be my fourth Star Wars™ Reads Day, and I've enjoyed every one—from admiring kids' costumes at an event space in Greenpoint, N.Y., to reading to a crowd at a bookstore in Sydney, Australia. I love hearing from other authors, watching kids' jaws drop in awe as the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion arrive in costume, and meeting parents who grew up as Star Wars™ fans themselves and are now seeing their own children fall in love with the saga.
But the best part of Star Wars™ Reads Day? It's hearing from a parent that a book of mine is a child's favorite the one they insist on hearing every night before bed, or that has to be present for a car trip. Nothing makes me happier than parents telling me their son or daughter didn't particularly like to read until a Star Wars™ title unlocked something in them—and made them into readers of all sorts of books and stories.
Because ultimately that's what Star Wars™ Reads Day is about. It's a celebration of books and how they can expand kids' horizons, introducing them to a lifetime of loving books and learning from them. That's why I and so many authors do what we do—and Star Wars™ Reads Day is an annual reminder of why it's so important and so much fun.