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Here is a list of all my news updates from the past two years.

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November 21

So, my authorís copies of the book just arrived and it looks SWEEEET! (Yes, I get a limited amount of free copies. No, you canít have one.) Holding one of the actual books in my hands made me realize just how close the release is, Iím starting to feel that rush of anticipation I always get when a project is about to go out to the public.


However, as you can see from the date above, this is my last update before Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil hits shelves on December 8. Thatís right Ė I celebrate this rush of anticipation by posting a blog entry saying I wonít be posting anymore entries until after it comes out. Sounds stupid, I know. But as much as I want to build excitement with continuing updates, I simply wonít have time between now and then to sit down and write another update.


Next weekend (US Thanksgiving) weíre going to visit friends in LA. The weekend after that, Iím in Vegas to run my first half-marathon. Thatís it Ė those are the only two weekends between now and when the book comes out. (December 8 Ė did I mention that?)


And to all you smart asses saying, ďJust post a blog update during the week, you lazy sod,Ē let me remind you that I still work for a living! Weekdays Iím in the BioWare offices hammering away at SWTOR. (Well, 3 days a week, at least. The other two are reserved for golf. And if you think Iím giving that up to write more updates, then you really need to read my blogs more carefully.)


However, Iím not going to leave you with nothing but this crappy blog to tide you over. Iím desperately trying to catch up on my e-mails (about two weeks behind), and I also updated my Star Wars blog today with some insight into what I thought about as I was trying to come up with the Dynasty of Evil story.


Itís not much, but itís all you get until December 12. So try to make it last.




November 6

Welcome to my first November update. Youíll notice that the next update is coming in a couple of weeks Ė Iím going to try to pick up the pace as we near the release of Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil.


In anticipation of this event, Iíve also updated my Star Wars blog for the first time since February. This first update is basically just a recap of whatís happened to me over the last few months, but going forward Iím going to have some interesting blogs where I delve into Dynasty of Evil in more depth by exploring the characters, the dynamics of their relationships and the creative process I used when deciding who comes out on top in the Bane vs Zannah confrontation. (Sorry if you think that was a spoiler, but come onÖ thatís the whole point of the Sith. Master vs Apprentice, and only one can survive. Which one is the real question, isnít it?)


But thatís not all the Star Wars news I have today. You can also check out my developer blog over at the official SWTOR site. I talk about what Iím working on for the MMO, and I look a little more closely at the Jedi. If you like my take on the Sith, you might be interested in seeing how I feel about the flip side of the coin.


Writing the blog was an odd experience for me. I mean, I write a semi-regular blog here and over at StarWars.com, but itís very clear that Iím just spouting off like most bloggers do. With the developer blog you really are representing BioWare, Lucas Arts, EA and a host of other entities. It kind of forces you to be a little more reserved.


In fact, my blog was edited slightly before it went up. Itís not like I was dropping F-bombs all over the place or anything, but there was a little bit of ďsmart-asseryĒ that was removed. Not a big deal, but it just emphasized the difference between something ďofficialĒ and me just shooting the shit. (See, I could never say ďshooting the shitĒ over at the official site. And if that offends you, tough shit.)


One other thing I found interesting were the fan comments in reaction to my blog. People seem very excited, which is cool. But I do feel like Iím being given more credit than I deserve. All of the BioWare games Iíve worked on, including SWTOR, are the creation of an entire teamÖ including a team of anywhere from 4-12 full time writers. And while Iím more than happy to accept praise and thanks, I think itís important for people to remember that much of the great material they experienced was created by other writers on the team. Thatís what I love about working for BioWare: everybody here is a master of the craft, and if you ever get stuck (or submit something subpar) you will get feedback and help from the rest of the team.


In other BioWare related news, Dragon Age is now out on a multi-platform release (PC, 360 and PS3). I didnít work on Dragon Age, so for the first time in a decade Iím an ďoutsiderĒ on a major BioWare title. However, based on the reviews over at Game Rankings, DA kicks major ass. Nice job by the folks back in Edmonton.


Finally, a little Mass Effect news. Mac Walters, the co-lead writer for ME2, is also the co-writer for the ME comic coming out. Click on the link if you want to check out a PDF preview.


In non-writing related news, my running is going great Ė Iím shooting for a sub 2:10 time in the Vegas Half-Marathon in December. (That may not sound impressive, but keep in mind Iím a fat guy approaching 40.) My golf game is coming around: after a rough summer, my handicap has dropped 1.5 strokes in the past two months. (Iím an 8.1 index now; hoping to get to 6 by Christmas.) And Iím still optimistic about the Spurs this year, despite a couple shaky outings early in the season. (The Chargers are another matter, however. Theyíre going to need to make some big strides to reach the post-season.)


Okay, thatís all for now. Next week some good friends of ours from Maine are coming to visit, and the week after that Iíll be back with another update Ė here and on my SW blog.




October 20

Wow Ė busy month for me. Went to New York for a week and complained about the ďcoldĒ 60 degree weather. (Didnít realize how quickly Iíd become acclimatized to the Texas heat.) Had the in-laws come down from Canada for a 10 day visit. Went to the Magic the Gathering Austin Pro Tour, only to get hammered in every tournament I entered. And I came to the sobering realization that the Charger defense sucks. (Maybe itís time to jump on the New Orleans bandwagon.)


In other words, things have been a little helter-skelter for me lately. Now Iím looking forward to things settling down and getting back into my normal routine: working on the Star Wars: Old Republic game; running 3 times a week to train for the Vegas half-marathon; watching my NFL games on Sunday and keeping up with the golf.


The other thing I need to get back to, of course, is my writing. I donít just mean my novels. I mean answering my e-mails; updating my websiteÖ all that good stuff. I canít use the excuse that Iím still adjusting to Texas anymore. Iíve been here long enough to get settled in. Now Iím just procrastinating, and itís time to get back to work. My immigration status is in the process of being updated, and once thatís done I should have a new project coming in hotÖ only I canít talk about it right now. I wouldnít say itís going to be a big surprise when itís announced, though I do think many of you will be pleased. (HmmmÖ I guess I can talk about it, but only in thinly veiled references.)


What I should be talking about, however, is Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil. It hits shelves in less than 50 days, and itís already available for pre-orders. So starting in November Iím going to be doing more updates and pushing this novel HARD. Iíll also be updating my SW Blog for the first time in months, and in November Iíll be doing a post for BioWareís Star Wars: The Old Republic developer blog.


Iím also going to get caught up on all those e-mails youíve sent me; Iím about 2 weeks behind right now, so if you havenít heard from me just be patient. I know Iíve been neglecting all the fans who come by my site a little bit, but my Columbus Day resolution is to spend more time on this website and answering my e-mails. (I figure now that Iím in the US, I might as well usurp all the American holidays.) I even thought about doing the Twitter thing, but Iím not ready to make that leap yet.


Of course, that doesnít mean everything else in my life is going to stop. Iím going to keep golfing, and playing Magic, and I might try to get down to San Antonio for a few Spurs games, too. So donít expect daily updates or immediate replies to the e-mails. But at least Iím trying, right?


Baby steps, baby steps.




September 14

Summer is winding down here in Austin. Back in Edmonton September was a month of sadness for me, as I saw the end of the golf season looming. Months of ice, snow and long, dark winter nights lurked just beyond.


In Austin, however, September ROCKS!!! The plus 100 degree days are mostly over. Weíve finally got some much needed rain. Golf courses are in terrific shape. The NFL season is under way. NBA is just around the corner. A new Magic set is about to be released. Things couldnít get much better.


Now, onto the updates. Thereís an interview with me up on Amped Gaming. If you want to know more about BioWare, my books or whether MacGyver could beat Darth Bane in a fight, check it out.


Iím also in full swing now working on SW: TOR. (Thatís Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWareís upcoming MMO.) The scope of this game continues to amaze me, and I love being part of the team. If you havenít checked out the SW:TOR fficial site, you really should give it a gander. New trailers and information is being released almost every week. We were a massive hit at PAX (the Penny Arcade Expo), and if you go to Darth Haterís website you can find some cool video from the event, along with a bunch of other info heís put together about the game.


Now, some of you might be saying Ė hey, what about ME2? Well, that project is still pushing hard towards release. So if you want to know more, just hit the ME2 official site. ME2 was also at PAX, and it also rocked the house. Donít believe me? Check the site out for yourself. And give the FAQ section a read Ė it answers most of the ďbigĒ questions about the game.


As for books, I finished the final, final, final review of the Dynast of Evil manuscript. Now I just sit back and wait for it to hit the shelves. (December 8, people!!!) Makes a great gift for anyone who loves Star Wars, loves sci-fi or just loves to read. Hell, even if they donít read it makes a nice paperweight. Just buy, like, a dozen. (I really want to see this one crack the NY Times top 10 list.)


Iím also working on a couple other projects that I canít talk about right now, but hopefully in the next update (in mid-October) I can share more details with you. (Or, now that Iím in Texas, I guess I should say ďyíallĒ.)




August 16

So, here I am back from vacation ready to give you more exciting updates. Only one problem: thereís not much to update you on right now. I donít have any new book projects in full swing yet, though I am working on my own original fantasy novel so I can send it out to some agents or publishers. But beyond that, I donít have anything going other than my regular BioWare gig.


Partly itís because I have to wait for a change in status to my immigration visa: currently Iím only authorized to work for BioWare, so I canít sign any contracts with publishers at the moment. However, even if I could I think there might be precious little to report on right now. Weíre really into the dog days of summer. The last Major of the golf season is now over and the NFL and NBA havenít started yet (pre-season doesnít count).


So Iím mostly just chill-axing at home, playing golf and going to Magic tournaments. (Incidentally, I went 6-2 in my last tournament. Unfortunately you needed to go 7-1 to make the playoffs, but itís my best finish yet so I am seeing signs of improvement. GolfÖ not so much.)


Thatís the reason Iím pushing back the next update to mid September. Iím hoping by then Iíll have some interesting updates on my projects. At the very least I hope to be caught up to within a week on my e-mails. (If you sent me something please be patient: I will respond eventually.)


Iíll probably have an update on my latest running-related injury as well. Seems like every 4 weeks or so something else breaks down. Last month it was my right calf. Before that it was the arches on my feet. Iím healthy for the time being, but my creaky old body seems determined to make me suffer for forcing it to run 3 times per week.


Iím also hoping to have an e-mail list set up for people to join if they want to get regular updates. I like getting traffic on the site, of course, but a lot of people want to know what Iím working on and when new projects are coming out. No promises, but Iíll see what I can do and Iíll update everyone in September.


Okay, thatís all for now. Enjoy the tail end of summer Ė I know I will!





July 27

Itís going to be a while until the next update as Iím heading back up to Canada to visit family and friends for the annual Karpyshyn Birthday Bash. My sister, my grandmother, a life-long family friend and I were all born within a few days of each other, so the first weekend in August is always a big deal. Honestly, I donít think my Mom would forgive me if I didnít make the trek back home.


It will be a good chance to escape the scorching Texas summer for a while, though. Iíve become accustomed to the heat, so Iím hoping I donít need a sweater to golf in the chilly 80 degree Edmonton weather.


In Mass Effect news they recently announced a comic published by Dark Horse and written by BioWareís own Mac Walters, co-lead writer on the Mass Effect 2 game with yours truly. Click HERE for the official announcement, and click HERE for an interview with Mac where he talks about the project. Iíll be honest Ė I donít know a lot about the project; Mac was running with this one. So Iím as curious and excited as the rest of the ME fans.


In other news, I apologize if youíve sent me an e-mail and havenít heard back yet Ė Iím doing my best but itís hard to keep up with this kind of thing. Iíll try to find a chance to send messages during my vacation, but I canít make any promises.


Thatís all until August Ė gotta go pack for my trip.




July 15

Iíve got something a little different to tell you about this update. The Fandom Association of Central Texas, a group dedicated to promoting sci-fi, fantasy and other speculative works of fiction, is holding a fundraiser on Sunday, July 19 to help out renowned sci-fi author and Star Wars novelist Aaron Allston.


The fundraiser is to help offset costs from an emergency medical procedure, and Iím going to be donating a few autographed books and other items to their auction. If you live in the central Texas region, please go check the event out. Youíll get some cool stuff, and youíll be helping someone out, too. You can also make DONATIONS to the fund simply by following the information on the link.


Not to get on my high horse or anything, but in my eyes the lack of universal health coverage is the single greatest failing in America. I love living in Austin, and the US has a lot of great things going for it Ė thatís why I chose to move here. But the fact that one of the most advanced nations in the world doesnít automatically provide for the health of its citizens is a disgrace, and itís the one thing I miss most about Canada. Massive economic hardship is the last thing somebody needs piled on top of them when they are facing serious health issues, and I really hope Obama brings in health care reform so that people wonít lose their life savings just because they suffered a medical emergency.


Okay, enough with the political stumping. If youíre in the area, check out the event. Thanks.


Now,, since my last update youíll see Iíve done a little housekeeping on the website. Nothing major, but Iíve updated the homepage with a more current bio, and Iíve added Dynasty of Evil to the Novels page.


I also just reviewed and returned the final galleys for the novel Ė basically itís going off to the type-setter at this point, with no more changes. So go ahead and pre-order it now! (Iíll wait.) Letís see if we can get this one to crack the top ten on the NY Times Best Sellers list!


My Mass Effect books are still garnering their fair share of attention. They were among the selections on Kotakuís 2009 Summer Reading List (along with the recently released Dragon Age novel by David Gaider).


And for something rather different, The Rubber Chicken website has posted a number of replies from various celebrities pondering answers to one of the great scientific mysteries of our time. Itís cool to see my answers up there with celebrities like Harry Shearer of The Simpsonís fame, and Dean Haglund from the X-Files. (Not to mention Michelle Rodriguez from Lost, Men Without Hats

and Devo, among others!)


If youíre wondering why they wanted my opinion, itís probably because I was also polled last year by this same website on the question of ďWhy Does the Sun Shine?Ē. Why they wanted me then is anybodyís guessÖ


Youíll also notice that my next update is scheduled just a bit sooner than usual. Now donít get all excited: I donít have any big news or anything. My wife and I are just going back to Canada for a visit, so I thought Iíd update the site before we leave.


Okay, thatís it. See you on July 27. The day before my birthday. Not that I expect any gifts or cards stuffed with money or anything. Though you do have my PO Box number now on the Contact page. Iím just sayingÖ




June 30

Okay, Iím back with another update. In the last couple weeks things have improved greatly in my world. Not that they were that terrible to begin with, of course. But apart from a lingering cough/cold things are looking up for me.


First, my golf game is coming around. Iím down to a 10 handicap and I can see the lower scores just over the horizon. Thereís also a new set of Magic the Gathering cards coming out in July, and the Spurs made some key off-season moves that should vault them right back into serious title contention. Things were going so well, I even darted off to LA for Magic tournament last weekend. I didnít win, but I started 4-1 before finishing 4-3-1. Not a stellar record, but better than my under .500 performance at the last big event.


In my professional life things are in cruise control right now. The final rewrites to Dynasty of Evil have been accepted, and Iím finishing up my work on Mass Effect 2 before transitioning over to the Star Wars: Old Republic team.


And I finally got a PO Box for anyone who wants to send me stuff. Thatís right: if you want me to sign a book, poster, picture or even if you just want to send me fabulous cash and prizes you now have an address. Iím adding into my Contact page, but Iíll also post it right here.


PO Box 326

Cedar Park, TX




Remember: if youíre going to send me something to sign you HAVE to include enough return postage for me to send it back. Iím not going to pay to return it to you. Also, send me a little letter with your name and other information so I know who itís from.


Okay, thatís about all for now. Later.




June 14

Time for another update. Yes, thatís right Ė another fascinating glimpse into the life of Drew! SoÖ the evil Lakers won the NBA title. I stumbled my way to a 4-5 record at the biggest Magic the Gathering tournament in Texas history. My golf handicap has jumped from an 8 to a 12. I still donít have my PO Box for people who want to e-mail me stuff. And Iím still about a week behind on my answering e-mails.


But itís not all bad. Even though I suck, Iím still golfing 3-5 times per week. The weather in Austin is hot and sunny. My parents were here last week and we had a great time. And Iíve started running again as I prepare for the Vegas half-marathon in December.


Oh, yeah. And BioWare completely kicked ass at the E3 expo in LA. Check out the BioWare blog for a taste of the reaction to ME2. (Not to brag, but phrases like ďslammed my jaw to the floorĒ were tossed about.) We won all sorts of awards and nominations, including best RPG and Best in Show. Check out the new Mass Effect website, with all sorts of cool videos, pics and downloads, and check out our cool cover on OXM. (In case you didnít click the link they called us ďThe biggest story of the yearĒ. Seriously. I guess we rock or something.)


But wait a minute, I hear you thinking. (Yes, I can read your thoughts. You are SICK, TWISTED and PERVERTED! Oh, noÖ thatís just me. Never mind.) Arenít you in Austin now, Drew? What about the new Star Wars MMO? Didnít they show stuff at E3, too? Hell, yes! And SWTOR (Star Wars, The Old Republic in case you didnít figure it out) also blew people away. If you havenít seen it yet, do yourself a favor and go here and check out the Deceived trailer. Itís seven flavors of awesome.


Now, I realize some of you are actually fans of my novels, so youíre probably wondering what Iím working on now that Iíve finished with Dynasty of Evil. Well, to be honest Iím taking it easy for a few weeks. But after that Iím going to try and get my own fantasy novel ready to submit to publishers. The book is the first in a trilogy.


Yeah, I knowÖ another fantasy trilogy. But the thing about my book is that it really will be a trilogy. It wonít become an ever expanding series that goes on forever with nothing ever happening just to sell more books. Unless sales are REALLY good, and the publishers drive the money truck up to my house. Remember Ė selling out is only a bad thing if you donít get top dollar. The book is tentatively titled Children of Fire, and if all goes well Iím hoping to get a publisher deal before the end of the year.


However, if something else comes up Ė like another SW novel, or a third ME book Ė then I might have to put it on hold yet again. As any freelancer will tell you, itís hard to turn down work that pays you up front for speculative projects.


Okay, long update with not much actually said. Guess Iíll sign off now and get back to answering all your e-mails.




May 31

Okay, Iím a day late with the update. And, I still donít have the PO Box address for people to send stuff to me. But in all fairness, things are still nuts around here. BioWare is getting ready for E3 with some kick ass demos of games weíre working on. And I just finished the final (I hope) rewrites to Dynasty of Evil.


But I promised you some cool update stuff, so here we go! Hereís a Mass Effect preview of the E3 demo. (Because of the move to Austin Iím not in the video, but youíll see some of the other key team members.) And, hereís an exclusive ME trailer that just came out on Friday.


We also just announced there is an iPhone Mass Effect game! Jacob will be a major character in ME2, so this can give you an introduction of who you might run into in ME2.


Hereís the infamousDragon Age Violence Trailer Ė warning, may contain spoilers and, uh, violence. Dragon Age also has been pushing out updates with character and environment art, all listed on the news section of their website.


And, now that Iím down in Austin Iím finally seeing all sorts of cool stuff for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Thereís all sorts of cool updates on the official site, including character class previews and the web comic, Threat of Peace.


Now, Iíve given you these updates and previews. Next week E3 2009 actually hits, and even though Iím not going thereíll be lots of cool updates and videos coming out of the show.


As for my personal life, things are going great here in Austin. The golf game is finally coming around and my parents are coming to visit this week. Now, if Orlando can somehow stop the evil Lakers from winning the NBA title all will be good.




May 13

Holy sweet mother of Zeus!!! I have never been so damn busy in my life. Hereís the deal Ė Iím still trying to get crap done for the move (getting a PO Box set up, getting my driverís license, getting all my accounts and financial stuff transferred over to the US). Iím doing some finishing touches on Destiny of Evil. Iím hammering away on dialog for Mass Effect 2.


Iím so damn busy I barely have time for golf. And that hasnít left me much time for other things. Like watching the NBA playoffs. With the Spurs gone, Iím finding it hard to make time. I watch maybe 3 quarters per week. And answering my e-mail Ė Iím still behind, though I am finally replying faster than new e-mails come in.


So, hereís the deal. No more updates until the end of May. But, and I promise you this, it will be a major update. Lots of cool and useful information Ė about me, about my work, about various projects that may or may not have been announced.


Until then, however, youíve got this craptastic non-update. Sorry, but thatís the way things roll. Deal with it.


And come back on May 30th for the super-mega-awesome update. (Okay, maybe Iím over selling it.)




April 29

Wow Ė talk about a crazy couple of weeks! Weíre finally moved into our house here in Austin, but there are a million tiny, unexpected headaches involved with moving that keep cropping up. Itís going to be another month before we get on top of everything, so this update is going to be pretty short.


Iím WAAAAAY behind on my e-mails, but please be patient Ė Iíll try to catch up this weekend. Other than that, not much else to say, except that Iím bummed about my Spurs being knocked out in the first round. (I never even got the chance to go see them playÖ.) But, Iím more than happy to jump on the Dallas bandwagon: even though they knocked out San Antonio, Iíve always liked the Mavs (particularly Dirk ďDigglerĒ Nowitizki). And Iíd rather see them win it all than the Lakers.


Okay, Iíll be back in two weeks with another update. At that time Iíll be updating the website with my new biographical info (since I donít live just outside of Edmonton anymore), and Iíll be posting an address people can use if they ever want to send anything to me to get signed, etc. And, thereís a small chance Iíll have some rather interesting news to report, too.


Until then ďadiosĒ from the Texas Hill Country.




April 8

Dynasty of Evil is signed, sealed and delivered! Thatís right Ė the manuscript is sitting on my editorís desk right now. I know that might not mean much to those of you who still have to wait until December to read it, but itís a huge weight off of my mind. As much as I enjoy writing, itís always a relief when I finish a project.


So, you might be wondering whatís next for me. The book is done, but the move from Edmonton to Austin is still in progress. Thatís why there wonít be an update for the next 3 weeks. I will try to keep on top of my e-mail, but there might be a delay in getting a reply while my computer is in transit.


Once the move is done, Iím going to get in some serious golf and Magic the Gathering. Thereís a big tournament Ė Magic, not golf - in Austin this October, so I want to get my game back in tournament form. Plus, Iím going to watch the Masters this weekendÖ without a doubt my favorite golf tournament of the year.


Not to mention the NBA playoffs are about to startÖ though my Spurs are limping into the post-season. No Manu, Duncanís hobbled by bad knees and the shooters canít seem to throw it into the ocean right now. Could be an early exit for the Spurs, but Iím not giving up hope yet. In the playoffs anything can happen, and Iím crossing my fingers for Popovich to work his magic one more timeÖ especially because I might actually get to go down and see a game or two this year.


So sit tight, chillax for the next three weeks and when I come back Iíll let everyone know how the move went. And I might even have some more BIG news to share with you. But I donít want to leave you with nothing to click on this update, so Iíll point you to the website of Brian Kindregan.


Brianís a good friend of mine who also happens to be one of the writers on Mass Effect 2. He spent something like 13 years working in Hollywood as a story board artist, director, etc. and he served a bunch of years in the army where he learned how to kill a man with his thumbs. Plus, his website actually looks professional, as opposed to the train wreck Iíve unleashed on the interweb here.


Okay, thatís all for now. Next update from the sunny hills of Austin!




March 25

Well, not much new for me to share with you this update. The last couple weeks have been incredibly busy (and stressful) as we get ready for the move. When Iím not dealing with banks, lawyers or real estate title companies, Iím still pounding away at Dynasty of EvilÖ or scraping snow off my car.


Thatís right: we got a fresh dump of snow a couple days ago. Itís officially spring, itís still below freezing and weíre still getting snow. Whenever someone says Iím going to miss the Alberta winters when I move to Texas I just laugh and laugh.


If that wasnít bad enough, Iím battling a case of peroneal tendonitis from running too far too soon as I begin training for my half-marathon. Itís not particularly bad, but it is annoying as hell, because it makes it much tougher to train. I have to look for low impact alternatives to runningÖ but I actually enjoy running. (Weird, I know; I never though Iíd like it either.) So, for the next couple weeks, Iím back on cross-trainers at the gym instead of treadmills and tracks. Hopefully by the time we move to Austin Iíll be ready to go again. (And down there I wonít have to worry about running in the snow.) I guess recurring sports injuries are lifeís way of telling you youíre getting older.


Speaking of getting older, my Spurs are a little shaky right now. Manu is still out, Timmy is hurting and theyíre in a bit of a free fall in the standings. But Iíd rather have them struggle now than in the playoffs, and I still think they have time to right the ship.


And itís not all bad news. I expect to finish Dynasty of Evil this weekend and send it off to my editors, and the Masters is coming up. Plus, a month from now Iíll be out on a golf course somewhere in Texas, so I guess I shouldnít complain.


But I still will.




March 10

Okay, I just got back from a short trip to AustinÖ had to find a new place to live since weíre moving there in a few weeks. I have to say, trying to arrange a mortgage across international borders is a major pain in the ass.


But Iím back now, and Iím busy trying to catch up on all my e-mails. So if you sent me something but havenít heard back, please be patient. I should get to them all by the end of the week.


Finally, one more bit of actual news Ė theyíve released a preview cover for Dynasty of Evil, along with a short plot synopsis. (Donít worry, it doesnít really give anything away.


This isnít necessarily the final cover, but I like the direction theyíre going. Not that I get a lot of say in the matterÖ the publishers for the SW novels tend to pick the artists. Fortunately they went with John Jude Palencar, the same guy who did the first Bane novelís cover.


Okay, thatís it for this update. See you in two weeks.




February 24

SoÖ I promised a major update this week. Now, some of you have already figured it out, but for those of you who havenít allow me to presentÖ (drum roll, please)Ö. the very first


Mass Effect 2 Trailer!


Okay, from this point on Iím assuming youíve seen the trailer, so if you donít want any spoilers go click on the link before you continue!

Now, I know what youíre all thinkingÖ WTF!!! SHEPARD CANíT BE DEAD!!!


All I can say to that isÖ well, I canít say anything, really. I will remind you to KEEP YOUR SAVE GAMES FROM ME#1. I will also say that Iím loving reading the forums right now and seeing people argue about whether Shepard is really dead, and coming up with theories to explain why he is or isnít. Of course, we here at BioWare know the truth, so itís all very amusing to us.


Now, for the love of God, Buddha, Thor or whatever Greater Power you worship, please donít e-mail me asking for inside info about Mass Effect 2! You WILL NOT GET ANY!! In fact, letís just get this out of the way right now:

Q: Is Mass Effect 2 finished?

A: No.

Q: When will it be finished?

A: I canít tell you.

Q: Are you going to show it at GDC?

A: I canít tell you.

Q: What about E3?

A: I canít tell you.

Q: Címon, Shepard isnít really dead, is he?

A: I canít tell you.

(see the pattern yet?)


So, there it isÖ probably the most interesting link Iíve had on this page in a while. WaitÖwhat was that? You already saw the ME2 trailer? I just wasted your time? Okay, FINE! Iíll give you something else.


Letís start with this: Mass Effect was recently nominated for a BAFTA award for Story and Character Ė click the link to see all the nominees. As to why the Brits are just nominating us now, itís complicated. Letís just say that the UK is a little befuddled with the timing of the last couple yearsí worth of games.


What, thatís still not enough for you? Okay, one more bombshellÖ in 6 weeks I am MOVING from Canada down to the U.S. of A. Thatís right Ė goodbye Edmonton, hello Austin, Texas.


Why am I moving to Austin? Hmmm, let me think. Year round golf. Driving distance to the Spurs home games. Houses that cost half of what they do here in Edmonton. Taxes about half of what I pay in Canada. $49 flights to Vegas. The question isnít why am I moving; the question is what took me so long?


But fear not, because Iím still going to be working for BioWare. You see, BioWare has a (fairly) new studio down in Austin working on a little game called Star Wars: The Old Republic. So, does this mean Iím done with the Mass Effect series? No! Iím still working on Mass Effect 2, and Iíll continue to be part of the writing team even while Iím down in Austin.


However, at some point, Iíll be transitioning over to the SW:TOR writing team. So, letís do this again:

Q: When will SW:TOR be finished?

A: I canít tell you.

Q: Are you going to show it at GDC?

A: I canít tell you.

Q: What about E3?

A: I canít tell you.

(sound familiar?)


Okay, one final note before I go Ė Iím also updating my Star Wars blog. And Iím slipping a few juicy spoilers for the next Bane novel into the post. Thatís right: if you want to get the spoilers you have to go read the latest SW blog entry. Yes, I am a bastard. Deal with it.




February 17

Okay, big news this update Ė weíve locked down the title for the third Bane novel. And the winner is (drum roll please)Ö Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil. But even though we have the title, itís still not coming out until December, so everybody keep their pants on. (Or notÖ whatever makes you happy.)


If you donít like the title you can send e-mails to TellSomebody@WhoCares.net.

(Okay, thatís a joke, people. Donít actually try and click on the link.)


I was hoping to have some more big news for you, tooÖ but weíre still a few days away from me being able to talk about it. So, Iím going to do another update next week. (See how hard I work for my fans?) I canít say much about it, but trust me: you donít want to miss this.


In other news, my interview with Kim Alexander at Fiction Nation is airing this week. Check out the link for times and details, as well as the link to Kimís review of Mass Effect: Ascension.


Speaking of reviews, Dave-Brendon de Burgh, who I did an interview with a while back, has just recently posted a review of Rule of Two on his website.


Okay, thatís all for now. Back next week with some MAJOR news. (Yes, itís so big itís worth shouting for.)




February 3

Wow Ė these weekly updates are killing me! Notice Ė Iím going back to the bi-weekly schedule againÖ thatís all I can handle. In fact, the only reason I did this update was to let people know when my interview with Kim Alexander at Fiction Nation is airing. You can check it out on Thursday, February 19 at 3pm Eastern on Sirius XM Book Radio (XM163). If you donít get a chance to hear the interview, theyíll be posting a transcript a week or two later Ė Iíll provide a link when it goes up.


Apart from that, what else can I tell you? Iím still working on Darth Bane 3Ö and we should have a title for you next update. (Something to look forward to, I guess.) If you get PC Gamer magazine thereís a story in the next issues (due February 11) that mentions meÖ Iíll post more details next update, after the issue is out.


Iím also trying to sort through my backlog of e-mails. Iíve gotten a little behind on answering so please be patient and you should hear back from me soon. I usually try to answer within one week, but Iím pretty busy right now so itís closer to 2 weeks for most e-mails. Sorry about that.


Iím also sorry about my crappy Super Bowl picks. I nailed the Steelersí final score, but I whiffed big time on everything else. I missed the cover and the over/underÖ but at least the 4th quarter was exciting to watch. (I donít know if it was exciting enough to make up for all my bets going up in smoke, but at least it wasnít boring.)


Okay, thatís it until next time. Remember Ė Feb 17 for the next update. By then I hope to have the new Darth Bane title, plus a couple links to some other relevant breaking news. (I knowÖ youíre tingling with excitement.)




January 27

A bit of a mini-update this week just to let people know about my upcoming interview with Sirrius XM Book Radio. I still donít have the exact airdate, but it will probably be mid-February. I should know the air date when I do the interview on Thursday, so Iíll put it in my update next week. (By the way, donít get used to these weekly updates. Iím way too lazy to keep this up.)


And, since I didnít come through with the info I promised, hereís a couple other bits of news. The February issue of Official Xbox Magazine has named Mass Effectís Bring Down the Sky as the best Downloadable Content of 2008. Game Focus also named Mass Effect PC as PC Game of the Year for 2008, and chose Bring Down the Sky as a runner-up for best Downloadable Content.


What Ė you already know how awesome Mass Effect is? Okay, how about some Super Bowl tips? Letís seeÖ I like the Steelers defense to dominate early and force Arizona into turnovers and lots of punts. I see Pittsburgh grinding out a TD, stalling for a couple FGs and scoring one big busted play TD like they always seem to. I also see the defense setting up or scoring an easy TD with a turnover. I see the cards getting 1 TD just because Larry Fitzgerald is a beast, and a couple of FGs. Letís go with a final score of 27-13, as the Cards incredible run comes to a non-fairy tale ending. If I had to pick a player from each team to score the first TD, Iíd go with Fitzgerald from the Cards (yeah, big surprise) and Mewelde Moore as a dark horse from the Steelers. (If you happen to be a gambler and you use my advice to make some cash, you can mail me a cut if you feel like sharing. If you lose moneyÖ well, serves you right for listening to me.)


Also, check out my FAQ Page to see an updated picture of yours truly. This was taken by someone at work; itís an expression I often seem to find plastered on my mug as I make my way through life. I call it the ďYou must be fucking kidding me!Ē expression. (Yes, I swore. Iím a terrible human being. Iím corrupting your children. The f-bomb is the greatest threat to life as we know it. SeriouslyÖ you must be fucking kidding me!)


Okay, more info next update.




January 20

Okay, this is a pretty short update. But, as you can see up above, Iíve got another update coming in one week. Why is that, you ask? Well, Iím doing an interview with Kim Alexander from Sirrius XM Book Radio next week. The interview is going to focus on my Mass Effect work, both in novel and in audio book form. You can check out some info on Kimís Show at Fiction Nationís website.


The interview isnít going to be live Ė itís going to be recorded and played back later. The problem is, I donít know when. Not yet. But I should know by next week (before I do the interview). So if I do an update next week then I can tell you (my loyal fans) when the show is airing!


Apart from that, Iím a little bummed that the Chargers finally went down to the Steelers. (Now I owe my friend a free meal.) Honestly, though, they went farther than I expected, so maybe they can build on this next year. Rivers is starting to make me think I was wrong about trading away Brees, and if Merriman and LT come back healthy (and if Sproles sticks around), the Chargers could be a team worth watching next year.


Of course, my disappointment over the Chargers is offset by the Spurs and their recent exciting win over the Lakers. I know itís still regular season, but LA is the team to beat in the WestÖ and San Antonio just beat íem! (Now weíll see if they can do it again on Sunday.)


Iíll also have a small Bane update next week, and maybe some other interesting newsÖ along with my Super Bowl pick. (If you want to make money, you should probably just bet AGAINST whoever I pick. Itís been that kind of year.)




January 6

Welcome to a New Year, full of hope and promise. Not that 2008 was that bad for me. Actually, it was pretty damn good. But I have a feeling 2009 is going to be even better! (Yeah, my life is awesome. But come on Ė I deserve it!)


For one thing, my Chargers are still alive in the NFL playoffs. Honestly, I never thought theyíd get this far. I donít know if they can handle that tough Steeler defense, but as they proved last week Ė on any given Sunday, any team can win. (Except the Detroit Lions.) And, if they do win, a friend of mine who supports the Steelers is going to owe me a free dinner!


Another thing I love about 2009 is the fact that itís an odd numbered year. And anyone who watches the NBA knows what that means Ė look out for the Spurs come playoffs! Actually, after that slow, injury-plagued start Duncan, Parker, Ginobli and friends are right where I like to see them: one of the elite teams in the league, but still a bit of a dark horse when compared to the Lakers, Celtics and Cavs. They just quietly keep winning games. Nothing flashy, but itís damn effective. That pretty much sums up the Spurs ever since Duncan arrived Ė methodically brilliant.


As for me, Iím back at work now. BioWare traditionally gives the employees 2 weeks of holiday at Christmas, so we get a bit spoiled. But weíre back at that digital grindstone, churning out the next great gaming experience. And Iím still plowing away on the third Bane novel. Things are going well so far. Iíve even started kicking around a few titlesÖ but Iím not going to spill the beans on them yet.


Finally, to end this update Iím going to share my two New Yearís resolutions with everyone.

1 Ė This is the year I will break par on a golf course.

2 Ė Iím going to run the Las Vegas half-marathon in December, and Iím going to finish it in under 2 hours.


I figure if I publicly announce my resolutions, the fear of shame and ridicule if I fail will inspire me to keep working at them. Believe me, I need all the help I can get Ė especially after my first training session on the treadmill. So, in addition to my normal updates about writing, video games, sports and other stuff, youíre also going to hear about my on-going progress as I work towards the big race in December. (And once golf season starts up again, Iíll probably post info about that as well.)


Okay, thatís all. Hope everyone had a great holiday season Ė back in a couple weeks.




December 23

Welcome to the last update of 2008! Weíre only a couple of days away from Christmas, and it is COLD here in Alberta. Weíre hovering around -25 Celsius, and on Christmas Day weíre supposed to drop as low as -33 (thatís -27 Farenheit). Needless to say, there has been no golfing.


Thereís an interview posted with me over at the Escapist magazine. The title is a bit scary (The Greatest Shame of All), but itís actually a good article about novels based on video games. A couple of the facts arenít bang on (the Darth Bane novels arenít really based on the KOTOR games, for example), but at least Iím getting some good publicity.


Speaking of novels based on video games, I just received the audio book of Mass Effect: Revelation, as read by David Colacci. Anyone who clicked the link to the novel will notice that the second Mass Effect novel, Ascension, is also out in audio book, but I havenít received any copies yet.


Itís a strange thing for me to hear someone else read my work Ė I always have a certain voice inside my head that sounds suspiciously like me. But David Colacci is a very well established name in the audio book field Ė you can check out his profile on the AudioFile website. In case youíre curious, it takes 9 hours to get the full Mass Effect: Revelation story read to you. So if youíre planning any long cross-country drives or flights over the holidays, this could be a good way to pass the time.


In non-writing related news, the Chargers still have a chance to make the NFL playoffs if they can knock off the Broncos this weekend. Iíll be honest, the Chargers donít deserve to be in the playoffs this yearÖ but neither does Denver. So if the Bolts can sneak into the post-season with a win, Iíll take it. Because once youíre in the playoffs, anything can happen.


If the Chargers get on a hot streak and win the Super Bowl and go down as the worst Super Bowl champs of all time, Iím fine with that. The Chargers are favored in the game against Denver (itís in San Diego) but given the way this NFL season has gone, Iím not counting this one as a win yet.


On that note, Iíll just wish everyone a happy holiday season as I return to working on the still untitled Darth Bane 3 novel. Iíll be back (hopefully with some big news!) early in the New Year.





December 10

Whoops Ė Iím a couple days late with this update. In my defense, Iíve been crunching a little at BioWare as we move towards our Christmas break, and I am in the middle of writing the third Darth Bane novel. Plus, I just got back from Vegas on Friday.


Had a great time in Sin City. I actually made money for a change. Cashed in a poker tournament, made a little in craps Ė which never happens! Ė and I hit huge on the blackjack tables. I have to confess, playing at the Planet Hollywood Pleasure Pit has become a bit of an addiction for me. Beautiful women in sexy lingerie giving me money just never grows old.


The golf on the trip wasÖ erratic. I couldnít put 18 solid holes together. (My wife Jennifer, however, played great. In fact, she came with a couple of strokes of beating me straight up on the last 9.) I wasnít really surprised: I hadnít swung a club in over a month. Thatís the curse of the Alberta golfer I guess Ė you never quite get to realize your full potential.


Speaking of full potential, the Spurs are healthy and starting to look like a force to be reckoned with. Sure, theyíre not tearing it up like the Lakers, Celtics and Cavs, but theyíre playing good basketball. I love them being in this position Ė just below the radar. Hopefully they can stay here all season, then make another run for a championship in the spring. (Iíll probably make my way down to San Antonio to see a playoff game or two this yearÖ)


Not sure what else I can talk about right now. I thought there would be a couple new interviews with me posted on the web by now, but theyíre still not up soÖ I guess thatís it.


Next update on Christmas Eve-eve. (Thatís the 23rd.)





November 24

Well, itís now been about 4 weeks since I went golfing. Iím getting a little bit of ďthe itchĒ, but fortunately Iím going to Vegas next week, so Iíll get to swing the sticks! (Now Iíll see if my swing is holding up, or if winter deterioration is already setting in!)


Not much new to report on the writing front. Still plugging away on Bane 3, still churning on ME2. No new interviews yet (though Iím working on a couple that should be up before Christmas). So all I can offer is a link to NHLFreak.com Ė a hockey blog site run by a friend of mine. If you want to see why I gave up watching NHL hockey, you can check out the entries with ďFundamentally FlawedĒ in the title. (This is also my take on why the NHL isnít ever going to be popular with North American audiences.) The first post was back in October; check out the archives section on the right of the page to find it.


In other sports news, the Chargers continue to struggle. The Spurs, on the other hand, have clawed their way up over .500 despite injuries to both Parker and Ginobli (their top two scorers last season). Comparing the Chargers and Spurs, you can really see the difference between a team with talent and a team with heart. The Spurs could have packed it in when Parker went down Ė they were already 2-5, and they knew Manu wasnít coming back for weeks. But they fought back, Duncan shouldered the scoring load and they worked their asses off. Honestly, I didnít think theyíd be anywhere near .500 approaching December Ė thatís heart.


The Chargers, on the other hand, keep losing close games. They still have a ton of talent, but they donít make the big play at the key time. They canít get stops on defense. They settle for field goals instead of touchdowns. Sure, theyíve gotten some bad calls and some bad breaks, but thatís a part of sports. You suck it up and play throughÖ and even though it kills me to say it, I just donít think the Chargers have the heart to do that game in and game out.


The worst part is, the division theyíre in is SOOOOO terrible that they still have a chance to catch Denver and make the playoffs. I hope they make it, but Iíd also be a little ashamed if they did. This team doesnít deserve to play in the post-season. Not unless they can find some hidden reservoir of fortitude that they havenít shown so far.


Okay, enough complaining. Look for some more Ďwriterlyí related news next update.




November 11

Okay, itís Remembrance Day here in Canada. (I believe theyíre celebrating Veteranís Day down in the States.) But though it is a national holiday, Iím not taking any time off Ė Iím way too busy!


Iíve got approval on the outline for the third Bane novel, so I guess you can mark this as official notice that Iím starting the ďrealĒ writing. Iím also still churning hard on Mass Effect 2. But I still found time to do an interview for the South African website of Dave Brendon.


Beyond that, Iím seriously lamenting the lack of golf. We actually had snow here today in Edmonton. Only a couple inches, but still enough to piss me off. Gotta get the snow tires on. I canít even take solace in the NFL or NBA, as the Chargers are still under .500 (though they have a legitimate shot at the playoffs), and the Spurs are off to their worst start in 30 years. (But I havenít given up faith in my Spurs. Injuries have hit them hard, but theyíll still make the playoffsÖ and then the time off for all the injured players might actually be a blessing.)


Okay, I guess thatís it for this update. Not much to report, but would you rather have me writing blogs, or working on the next Bane novel? Yeah, thought so.




October 27

Darth Bane: Rule of Two goes on sale tomorrow in paperback! Hurry, order it now! Buy two, theyíre cheap! Iíll waitÖ still waitingÖ okay, fine. Buy it on your own time, at your own leisure.


On to the latest update. Letís see what else is new, other than the paperback release of Darth Bane: Rule of Two. (See how I snuck in another plug for the book Ė tricksy, tricksy, I am.) Well, the still unnamed third Darth Bane novel is now ďoutline completeĒ and in the hands of my editors at Lucas Books and Del Rey/Random House. Hopefully they like what Iím doing and give me the thumbs up to begin writing the final manuscript.


Also, I recently got my hands on a German version of Mass Effect: Ascension. Not sure when these went on sale, but pretty cool nonetheless. (Interestingly, the German version has roughly the same page count Ė but the pages are about 30% wider, and the type is smaller. Itís a very verbose language, I guess.)


Letís see, what else? Oh, yeahÖ apparently there was some kind of big video game news. The worst kept secret in the gaming industry is now officially out of the bag: the BioWare MMO has been announced as Star Wars: The Old Republic. Click the hyperlink to check out the website.


Now, I know many of you are dying to know details about the gameÖ but I canít tell you anything beyond whatís posted on the website. So stop asking! If you want details, go to the website.


I will say that Iím not working on SW: ToR right now Ė Iím still hard at work on Mass Effect 2. (But who knows what the future holds?) However, the lead designer on SW: ToR is James Ohlen Ė the lead designer and one of (if not the) primary creative force behind Kotor and the Baldurís Gate series. So rest assured, Star Wars: The Old Republic is in very good hands.


Okay, thatís all for now. (Yes, Iím ignoring the recent crappy play of the Chargers. Thank God the NBA starts soon. Gooooo Spurs!)





October 13

Happy Thanksgiving. Yes, thatís rightÖ itís Thanksgiving up here in Canada. For those of you down in the U.S., you have to live with the shame of knowing we celebrate Thanksgiving a full month before you. And for those of you outside of North America, weep that you donít get a free holiday because your ancestors narrowly avoided starving to death after traveling to a new country.


Darth Bane Update:

The third Darth Bane novel is now tentatively scheduled for a December 2009 release. I still donít have a title, but Iím almost done the outline. Once it goes through all the necessary approvals, Iíll jump straight into the writing. Also, Darth Bane: Rule of Two is scheduled for paperback release on October 28th. If you didnít buy it in hardcover, nowís your chance to get it in paperback. Makes a great Christmas gift! (Or a Halloween gift. Or a late Canadian Thanksgiving gift. Just buy a damn copy, already.)


Thanksgiving always bums me out, because it means golf season is winding down here in Edmonton. It really sucks, because Iíve shaved a full stroke off my handicap in the last month and now the season is basically over. Thatís the curse of being a Canadian golfer, I guess.


But it isnít all bad news. The NFL is in full swing (and the Chargers got a big win last week), and the NBA is only a few weeks away. (Go, Spurs!) And, as I mentioned earlier, only a couple more weeks until the paperback version of Rule of Two hits the shelves.


To tied you over until then, hereís an interview I did with a website called Immortal Darkness. We chat about writing in general, Star Wars and Mass Effect. Check it out for your weekly ďDrewĒ fix.




September 29

Wow Ė quite the reaction since I announced the new Bane book. Thanks for all the e-mails and posts on my Star Wars blog; itís good to know the Bane fans are still out there. Imagine if I had mentioned any details, like what it was about or when it was coming outÖ


So, whatís up in the world of Drew right now? Well, I just got back from Vegas. Thatís right: Vegas, Baby! Gambled, golfed and gorged myself on buffets and steak and lobster dinners. It was an homage to gluttony. And if youíre wondering how I did at the gambling, letís just say I lost enough money that the hotel offered to comp me for 3 nights next time Iím in town. (Hey, if you walk away from Vegas with money, you didnít do it right.)


In the NFL, the Chargers are starting to claw their way back towards the top of the division. It hasnít been pretty, but I think they needed a little humility in their lives. Hopefully theyíll be stronger for it. (Iíve got a deal with a buddy of mine whoís a Pittsburgh fan: if the Chargers and Steelers meet in the playoffs, we go to the game. God, I hope itís in San DiegoÖ)


Finally, hereís an interview with me and Mike Laidlaw, another BioWare writer, in the Edmonton Journal. Funny enough, the article debuted the day after my Bane announcement Ė interesting timing.


Okay, thatís it for this update. Now that Iím back from vacation and the golf season is winding down, itís time to concentrate on the work that pays the bills. Iíll be burying myself in the worlds of Mass Effect and Star Wars for the next six months or soÖ at least until the local courses open up on temp greens again.




September 15

So, whatís the big news today? HmmmÖ oh, yeah.


There will be a third Darth Bane novel!


The story that began in Path of Destruction and continued in Rule of Two will (possibly) come to a thrilling (and likely bloody) conclusion in the third Bane novel calledÖ well, I donít actually have a title yet. Or an outline. Or any other relevant details.


Come on, give me a break. Rule of Two isnít even out in paperback yet. I mean, Iíve been thinking about this for a while. Playing with ideas. But I never bothered to lock anything down. (Iím a terrible procrastinator. Without a deadline looming, I tend to let things slide.)


Do I know whatís going to happen to Bane and Zannah? YesÖ on a very general, very high level. But itís going to be a while before I have the details worked out.


So I know what youíre all wondering: will Zannah kill Bane? Will Bane kill Zannah? Will we meet any other apprentices? Sorry, but I canít answer any of those questions. I donít even know exactly when the novel is scheduled for release (although I think winter/spring of 2010 is a good bet). I will tell you that I need to have the manuscript done by March, so that gives me plenty of time to put together a worthy successor to the first two novels.


Okay, I want to end this on a positive note, so Iím going to stop right here. I wonít lament the crazy calls that burned the Chargers this weekend (though I think their inability to get key stops late in games is a bigger issue). I wonít bitch about how my golf game is on the verge of becoming AWESOME just in time for winter to kill my progress. And I wonít mention that the Spurs have a tough road ahead in a stacked Western Conference, especially with Ginobli on the shelf for the first part of the season.


Instead, Iíll just remind you all that the paperback version of Darth Bane: Rule of Two is coming out in October, and Iíll thank all the great fans who bought the first two Bane novelsÖ itís because of you that the saga will continue.




September 3

UghÖ golf season is winding down here in the Great White North. I hope we get a nice stretch of weather in September, because the last two weeks of August were windy, wet and cold.(HuhÖ just checked out my last blog entry, and I was complaining that it was too hot. Guess Iím just a whiny bee-yotch. Oh well; deal with it.)


One good thing about the fall weather, thoughÖ it means the NFL is starting up again! Maybe the Chargers can finally make it over the hump this year. And NFL means itís only a couple months until the NBA beginsÖ and my beloved Spurs take another shot at the title. (I know theyíre getting a little long in the tooth, but I think they have another good run or two in them.)


Whatís that? Oh, you want something RELEVANT in this update? Okay...


So, Iíve finally updated my Star Wars Blog with some thoughts on the sales numbers of my Mass Effect novels versus my Star Wars novels. Check it out if youíre interested in that sort of thing. Iíve also done an interview with EU Cantina Ė PODCAST is available for download. We chat about KOTOR, Mass Effect, Darth Bane and more.


Thatís all for now. See you in a couple weeks.




August 18

Okay, Iím back for another update. Happily my cold seems to be gone, but now itís so damn hot here I canít sleep at night. (Most people donít have AC in Edmonton, since you only need it about 2-3 weeks each year. Unfortunately, this is one of those weeks.) Thank Jeebuzz the golf game is back where it should be, or I might end up going postal.


AnywayÖ Mass Effect: Ascension still seems to be selling well in the third week since release. Judging by feedback on the BioWare Forums, the on-line reviews at various sites and the e-mails Iím getting, people seem to like it even better than the first one. However, I found it funny that some of the reviewers at sites like Amazon or Barnes and Noble say they really enjoyed the novel, but then deduct points off the rating because the feel it doesnít continue the story line from the game.


Iíve done my best to manage expectations and make sure everyone understands that the adventures of Commander Shepard will NEVER be in one of my novelsÖ YOU get to choose Shepardís course in the game Ė thatís YOUR story. The novels are meant to expand and broaden the Mass Effect universe by telling a different story, so they will never simply recount events in the game. (Okay, never say neverÖ but as of RIGHT NOW, that will never happen. Unless something changes. Iím not above selling out for the right price.)


But that doesnít mean the books have no connection to the games. Anyone who reads Revelation can see how it set the stage for the first Mass Effect game. Ascension does the same thing for the second Mass Effect game. Itís actually a bit frustrating when I see people complain that the second book doesnít tie in with the game story line, because it DOES! I know it does, because Iím writing them both. You WILL see some of the characters, species, locations and story lines from Ascension in the second game. And once ME2 is out, a lot of people are going to realize they didnít give me enough credit. I guess thatís my cross to bear: artistic genius is never fully appreciated in its own time. (Wow, I guess the heat is making me bitter and sarcastic. No, wait Ė thatís just me.)


Seriously, though Ė thanks to everyone whoís purchased Ascension and thanks for all the e-mails, reviews and forum posts from fans. In somewhat related news, I finally got some updated sales numbers for Mass Effect: Revelation. Weíre up around 70,000 copies sold in the first 9 months. Itís not quite up there with the Star Wars sales, but they had 30 years to build a fan base, so I think 70,000 in less than a year is pretty damn good.


I was actually hoping Ascension would sneak onto the paperback bestseller lists, but that didnít happen. Maybe if we do another one itíll break through. Iím going to look at the comparison of my Mass Effect and Star Wars sales numbers in greater detail in my Star Wars Blog next week, so if youíre into that kind of stuff you might find it interesting.


Okay, off to the sweltering sweat box that is my bedroom.




August 11

Iím fighting a wicked summer cold, so not much of an update this week. Mass Effect: Ascension has hit the shelves, and initial reaction seems good. Thatís about all I can musterÖ off to bed. Iíll be back next week with a real update.




July 28 Mini-Update

Happy Birthday me! I turned the big 37 today. To celebrate I skipped work, golfed 36 holes (first round okay, second round terrible), ate some cake and watched ATHFCMFFT (click the Wikipedia link if you have no clue what Iím talking about.) All in all a good day.


But the real fun begins tomorrow when Mass Effect: Ascension goes on sale at bookstores across North America! If youíve already ordered your copy, great! (And thanks.) If youíre still not sure, check out the Sample Chapter posted by the good people at BioWare. You can go to the Mass Effect forums to talk about it, too.


Okay, thatís all Iíve got. The whole point of this update was to give you the sample chapter link and promote Ascension one last time in the hopes it will have a huge opening week.




July 20

Weíre coming up on the release date for Mass Effect: Ascension. I received a couple preview copies already, and Iím really happy with how the cover looks. There should be some sample chapters and previews being released right away to promote the book, but I donít have the details yet. Thatís why Iím doing another update on July 28 Ė come back and Iíll provide links and info so you can get a peek before you buy the novel! (And youíre all going to buy the novel, right?)


Iíve also updated myStar Wars blog a couple times in July, so you might want to check those out if you havenít seen them yet.


In other news, BioWare showed off Dragon Age at the big E3 trade show this past week. You can get details on the game from the Dragon Age website. Iím excited about Dragon Age, because itís one of the few BioWare projects I havenít worked on. Although Iíve seen the story at various stages of development, this is one game Iíll be able to enjoy as a fan rather than as a developer. Iím looking forward to it.


Thereís also been a lot of recent speculation about the BioWare Austin project, but I canít comment on that. Donít even bother asking, because I canít say anything.


Finally, one last note Ė I registered my first hole-in-one on the golf course last weekend! It was Saturday evening at the Sherwood Park golf course (a nine hole muni). It was a short hole Ė only 115 yards Ė and I slam dunked my tee shot right in to the cup. I couldnít actually see it go in because the base of the flag was obscured by a raised bunker in front of the green, but I heard it smack the flag. My wife Ė who was standing on the womenís tees off to the side Ė actually saw it go in. (On a side note, she also broke 50 for the first time for 9 holes that round, so it was a good day all around.)


Still waiting to break par for a full 18 hole round, thoughÖ and my handicap is actually getting worse. I started the season around a 9 and now Iím up to about a 12. It hasnít been pretty. Iím hoping the hole-in-one marks a turning point where I start to get back into form. And even if it doesnít, at least I got a hole-in-one!


Okay, thatís all for now. Remember Ė mini-update next week!




July 6

Okay, itís been a while since my last update. Since then, Iíve been working on the golf game (results have not been satisfactory) and my own non-Star Wars, non-Mass Effect novel. Iíve been kicking this thing around off and on for many, many years, but I think I might finally get it done and off to a publisher (or agent) this summer.


Iíve also received an advance copy of Mass Effect: Ascension. Looks good. The release date is coming fast (July 29!), and Iím hoping Iíll have some news (and, with luck, maybe even an excerpt) from the novel for the next update.


I also managed to squeeze in a few interviews since the last update. The first is an article for Robot Rabbit Ė itís the second part of an examination of diversity in the video game industry. So if you want to hear this particular middle class, white-bread maleís thoughts on diversity in gaming, check the article out.


The other interview is located at the Escapist on-line. (Article was down for a bit while they do some maintenance Ė just check back in a day or two for more info.) The article focuses mostly on my Star Wars work, though it does look at some of my other projects as well. And if youíre into video games and youíve never listened to Yahtzeeís Zero Punctuation review segments on the Escapist, check a couple of them out. Freakiní hilarious.


Okay, other than that not much else to say during this update. Iíll probably be posting a new Star Wars blog next weekend (July 13), so give that a look if you need your Drew fix. Otherwise, see you in a couple weeks.




June 18

Mini Update: Iíve added the Galactic Binder link, and Iíve updated my Star Wars Blog.


Okay, lots of fun things going on right now. Congrats to my good friends Cookie and Dusty on the birth of their first baby! Iím not so much into the kid thing (the laughter of children cuts through me like a knife), but Iím happy for them. (And ecstatic that this hasnít happened to me and my wifeÖ)


Iím not going to spoil things like gender, name or anything like that, because Cookie has her own blog, and I donít want to steal her thunder. Check it out now for all the details if youíre interested. You can also look back at her rantingsÖuh, I mean, thoughtsÖ during the pregnancy. Be warned, though Ė she can swear like a sailor when she gets riled.


Also, congrats to the Boston Celtics for winning the NBA championship by *crushing* the Lakers. Itís too bad my Spurs didnít make the finals, but maybe next yearÖ


Congrats to Tiger Woods on winning one of the most interesting/intense/entertaining US Opens Iíve ever had the pleasure of watching. Sucks he had to destroy his knee to do it, but hopefully heíll come back strong next year. (In the meantime, maybe Mike Weir and Stephen Ames can steal a couple tourneys while heís out!)


Okay, enough life stuff. On to the real reason youíre here Ė an update on Mass Effect Ascension! Weíre closing in on the release date, and I can finally tell you a little more about the story. Iíve already mentioned that Kahlee Sanders is back, but now I can admit that Cerberus Ė a radical pro-human military cabal the player can encounter during side missions in the first ME game Ė plays a crucial role in the story. And so do the quarians. And biotics. If you want the slightly spoilerish version of the plot that will be printed on the dust jacket, click on this link to the Del Rey posting, or check out the NOVELS section of my website.


There should be some excerpts from the novel coming soon, both on the net and in print, so hopefully Iíll be able to give you some links to those with the next update.


Also, Iím finally going to be updating my Star Wars blog this weekend (link at the top of the page). Check it out on Monday, as I probably wonít update it until Sunday night. And Iíll also be posting a link to an interview I did with Galactic BinderÖ but not until Saturday. (Yeah, Iím making you come back in a few days for an update on this update. I suck. Get over it.)




June 2

Time for my post Vegas report. In pool, the HK-47ís got our assess kicked. Out in the 3rd round. At the craps table, I got my ass kicked. On the putting greens of the golf course, I got my ass kicked. And the Spurs (with a little help from a questionable no-call from the refs) got their asses kicked. Yet despite all this, I had a great time last week. I saw some shows, enjoyed some golf, had a blast throwing away money at the casinos, and had some really fantastic meals. Vegas is my kind of town, baby!


In other news, Mass Effect PC is getting great reviews. Many of the reviewers actually think the PC version is better than the original. So if you havenít played ME yet, nowís the time to check it out.


You also might want to check out the interview posted with me on Xbox360 Asylum. And check out the BioWare site sometime later in the week for a podcast where I answer a few more questions. (Podcast link now posted Ė may take a couple minutes to load. The first 10-12 minutes is a talk with Ray and Greg Ė my bit comes after that, about halfway through. )


Finally, Iíll be getting to my e-mails over the coming week, but they kind of piled up while I was away. So please be patient while waiting for a reply. Thanks.




May 25

Iím packing my bags for Vegas even as I type, so Iím only doing a mini-update this week. But, when I get back next weekend Iíll have a whole bunch of new stuff for you. Iíll let you know how things went for the HK-47ís in our big pool tournament, Iíll have a couple new interviews to link you to, maybe some more info on the novelÖ and hopefully the Spurs will still be gunning for back-to-back NBA titles.


However, before I get on that big olí jet plane and head down to Sin City, hereís one ďofficialĒ link to tide you over: Mass Effect is coming to the PC May 28! If you didnít play it on the Xbox, nowís your chance to check it out.




May 11

Time for another update. The golf game is showing some real potential; I think this is the year I break par for 18 holes. My Spurs are in tough against a very talented New Orleans team in the NBA playoffs; hopefully they can prevail. And, of course, I promised in my last update that I would have something special for you this time around. So, without further adoÖ here is the cover for Mass Effect: Ascension, the second ME Novel.


(Cover moved to the NOVELS page of this website.)


Pretty sweet, right? Iím very pleased with how the cover turned out Ė my thanks to Derek Watts (Art Director for ME) and Casey Hudson (Project Director for ME) for pulling this together.


Now, I realize some of you may have already seen the cover, so you may think this update is a bit of a let down. But donít despair - Iím going to do a little Q&A session about the novel, too. So as far as updates go, this is pretty good (at least for me).


Q: When does Mass Effect: Ascension come out?

A: Release dates is July 29, 2008 (1 day after my birthday). You can pre-order at Amazon or Barnes and Noble right now! (Go ahead Ė pre-order then come back. I can wait.)


Q: Is that Tali on the cover?

A: That is NOT Tali on the cover. It is, however, a quarian. Yes, quarians play a very important role in the novel, and you will get to learn a lot more about their species and their culture. However, you wonít see Tali or Shepard or any of the squad members from ME in the book. The stories of Shepard and his (or her) squad members are being told in the games, and I donít want to retell those stories in the books. (Besides, those stories are influenced by the choices you make as a player, so I donít want to impose my version of the narrative on anyone.)

The novels focus on other characters and events in the Mass Effect universe (itís a big place, with lots of cool stuff going on). I do make reference to events from the game, but this story stands on its own.


Q: Who are those three people at the bottom? And what are they running from?

A: Okay, without giving too much away Iíll say the woman on the left is Kahlee Sanders from the first book. The other two are new characters you havenít met yet. And I canít really tell you why theyíre running without giving too much away.


Q: What else can you tell me about the novel?

A: I canít really give you a detailed plot teaser yet. Maybe next update. But I can say that the novel is set a couple months after the events of the first game, and lays some groundwork for the second game. Youíll meet characters and organizations that will play a very significant role in the second ME game, and the novel will give you a deeper look into their backgrounds and motivations. I also take a much deeper look at biotics, and the implications of this amazing phenomenon on humanity and the galaxy as a whole.


Other than that, all I can say is that itís my typical fast-paced story with some interesting Ė and a few morally questionable Ė characters. Like the first novel, it has some dark moments, and more than a few scenes of graphic violence. (Dark characters and graphic violence seem to be a hallmark of my writingÖ not sure why that is.)


Basically, if you liked the first book I figure youíll like the second. If you didnít like the first bookÖ well, uhÖ Iím sure I fixed all the issues you had with the previous novel, and I honestly believe you should fork over more $$$ to pick this one up. Iím not just saying that so Iíll get more royalties. Not at all. I would never do that. Ever.


Q: Do I have to play the game before I read the novel? Do I have to read Mass Effect: Revelation to understand this book?

A: Mass Effect: Ascension is a stand alone story. I think people who have read Revelation or played the game will get into the setting more easily, and they might get more out of it Ė theyíll appreciate some of the nods to the first book and the game. But itís not a requirement.


Q: You said earlier you make reference to events in the game. How do you do this if playerís can change what happens through their choices?

A: With the second Mass Effect game, weíll be able to look at your choices as a player and adjust the narrative accordingly. Obviously, I canít do that with the book. So when I reference things from the game, I do it in an open-ended or ambiguous fashion. Is that a cop out? MaybeÖ but I think if you read the book youíll see that I get across the most important elements without compromising the Mass Effect game story or the ME: Ascension plot.


Q: With the book releasing in July, what does that mean for the release of the next game?

A: Nothing. There is ZERO correlation between the release of the novel and the game. The game is on its own schedule; it will be ready when its ready. As with all BioWare games, we will announce a release date only when we feel comfortable with the quality of the product. In other words, to sum up this disclaimer in the plainest language possible:



Okay, thatís it for this update. Hope you enjoyed it, and I hope people are as excited for the release of Mass Effect: Ascension as I am.




April 28

Letís start off with a little link to an interview I did for Imperial City On Line, a Polish Star Wars site. We talk a bit about Mass Effect, a bit about Star Wars and writing in general. Donít worry if you donít speak Polish (I donít either) Ė the interview is in English. Go ahead and check it out if youíre jonesing for a Drew fix.


Now, on to the update:

The last two weeks have been a little up and down for me. On the plus side, the NBA playoffs have started, and my Spurs look to be in good shape with a 3-1 lead over the Suns in round 1Ö hopefully theyíll close it out in Game 5 back in San Antonio. Also, Iíve been out to the range and my experiment this year to develop a draw instead of a fade in my golf game shows real promise.


On the down side of things, the HK-47s got slaughtered in the Edmonton city billiard championships. Weíre still going to Vegas at the end of May, but weíre going with a helping of humble pie to see us off.


And, worst of all, it SNOWED here in Edmonton. And not just a light, fluffy powder. We had almost two feet of the damn stuff! And it stayed for 10 days! Iíve been waiting five $#@! months to get back on the golf course, and then it @#!#$ snows in the middle of April!


Sometimes I think that if I had a time machine, Iíd go back to my ancestors who decided to settle in Alberta and slap them up-side the head until they moved a thousand miles south.


As for work, personal projects, and all that other stuffÖ not much new to report right now. Iím kind of in a lull at the moment, but there may be some big news coming down the pipe for the next update. Weíll just have to wait and see. (See, thatís called a teaserÖ)




April 14

Wow Ė itís been a busy two weeks for me. Sunday I watched the Masters (congrats to Trevor Immelman) and took in some NBA action (my Spurs look a little out of sync right nowÖ but just wait until the playoffs start next week!). Iíve also been working on my golf game (courses are just starting to open up around Edmonton), and Iím keeping my pool skills sharp for the Edmonton city championships and the VNEA Championships in Vegas in May. (Itís official now Ė the HK-47ís qualified for Vegas!)


Mixed in with all that, I also got a chance to go down to Austin for a few days. While I was down there Igot in some golf and I touched base with the folks at BioWare South. Theyíre working on some interesting stuff down thereÖ but of course, I canít talk about it, so donít ask.


In official news, Mass Effect PC is coming out soon. Hereís an article you should read if youíre interested in the game over at IGN.And thereís an interview with me and Mike Laidlaw (fellow BioWarian and Lead Writer on Jade Empire) over at the CVG website on the art of story telling in games.


As for what Iím working on right now in my free time (apart from my golf swing), I donít have any ďofficialĒ projects on the go. The Mass Effect sequel is done, and I havenít gotten a contract for another Star Wars novel yet. So Iíve taken this time to try and complete my own original fantasy novel so I can send it out to a few agents. Itís kind of a weird position for me to be in: writing something that I donít know for sure Iíll get paid for. And, with no deadlines looming over me itís sometimes hard to bear down and put the hours in. But, on the other hand, itís fun to write something that is 100% my own creation Ė itís not based in anyone elseís world, and I donít have to follow anyone elseís rules.


Of course, I have to balance this with my full time job at BioWare. Mass Effect 2 is in full swing, so I need to get my novel done before we start the long hours that seem to inevitably come with every video game project. And with summer coming, the fairways are calling to meÖ


Okay, thatís all for this update. Back to my novel.




March 31, 2008

Whoops - a little late with this update. But I have a good excuse: Iím lazy. AnywhoÖ


Not a lot to report with this update. Hereís a Globe and Mail interview with me and Casey Hudson (project director) about Mass Effect and writing/story in video games. Might be worth checking out.


And Iím heading down to Austin for a short visit next week. Iíll pop into BioWareís offices there and say hi to some old friends, and Iíll get in a round or two of golf (I hope). Itís still piss-me-off cold here in the Edmonton area Ė below freezing at night, and only a few degrees above freezing during the day. Driving ranges are open, though, so I might have to sneak out of work early and work on my swing a bit.


Thatís all Iíve got. Short week. But the NBA playoffs are coming, and it looks like itís going to be a hell of a post-season! Go Spurs!




March 15, 2008

Okay, Iím back from vacation to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. A good trip overall Ė the food there is excellent! (If you ever visit, head up to the Rodney Bay area and try The Edge restaurant for both dinner and breakfast. I also recommend Buzz and Del Mare for dinner.) I didnít golf particularly well, and I ended up with about 30 very itchy mosquito bites, but otherwise it was a much needed break from my hectic schedule.


And, on my return, I discovered my billiards team (the HK-47ís) was still in first place in our league! With only a few weeks to go, it looks like weíll be qualifying for the 2008 International VNEA World Championships down in Vegas!


Here a couple more links people might be interested in. Hereís an article that mentions me before going on to explore stories in the video game medium. Also, the e-zine Canite Gamer has an interview with me this month. (Issue #3 Ė free to download as a pdf.) And finally, a few photos from the Elan Awards, including a couple shots near the end of me accepting awards on behalf of BioWare for Mass Effect.


Also, Iíll be updating my SW Blog next week sometime, so go ahead and check that out around Wednesday or Thursday for more info about what Iím working on now. Iíll also be addressing some rumors about certain BioWare projectsÖ but you might not like the answers I give.




February 18, 2008

Wow! I just got back from the Elan Awards in Vancouver, where BioWare won 5 awards for Mass Effect, including Best Game, Best Writing and Best Character. I ended up having to buy a new suitcase to carry all the awards back to EdmontonÖ not that Iím complaining or anything. Thereís a story on the awards and a short interview with me in the Vancouver Sun.


Iíve also done a few small updates to the web pages here. For example, the news now only shows updates from the current year. The rest of the updates have been transferred to the archive page (link above). And Iíve updated the FAQ page, rearranging the questions a bit and adding a couple new ones dealing with Darth Bane, Mass Effect 2 and how I got started as a writer.


Now, for a bit of a bummer update Ė Darth Bane: Rule of Two finally slipped off the New York Times bestseller charts. But it had a great run, debuting at #14, then going to #12, #17, #23, #25 and finally #26 before dropping off the list this week. Still, it was a great 6 week run!


As for my normal life, things are going along quite well. Weíre in early production on ME2 and things are rolling along. The NBA All-Star game is over, and now basketball gets serious as teams gear up for the playoffs. I canít wait to see if the Spurs can win back-to-back championships for the first time! My billiards team continues to lead our division as we push towards the end of the season, meaning weíve got an excellent shot at winning another trip to Vegas. And golf season is slowly creeping ever closer.


One final note: Iím away for the first two weeks of March as I take my annual winter escape. This year weíre going to the island of St. Lucia. So no update until March 15th. Hopefully Iíll come back with tales of amazing golf exploits on this island paradise.




February 6, 2008

Okay, the update was a little late this time around. But I have a good excuse: I was completing the final draft of Mass Effect: Ascension. Well, that and watching the Super Bowl. For the record, I had the Giants to cover the spread, but I was as stunned as anyone to see them win.


As for AscensionÖ the manuscript is now done! (Hooray for me!) Currently the book is scheduled for a late July release, so itíll still be a while until you can get it on the shelves. But donít despair; there is more Mass Effect coming soon! (see below)


Speaking of Mass Effect (see above), BioWare just announced our downloadable content for Mass Effect coming in March. Finally fans will get to see the batarians from the Revelation novel in the actual game! You can get more info about Bring Down the Sky on the BioWare forums.


Mass Effect has also been nominated for a stack of awards by various organizations in the entertainment and video games industry. In fact, Iíll be attending the Elan awards in Vancouver on February 15th in the hopes of picking up some hardware. (The awards are hosted by Seth MacFarlane, the twisted genius behind Family Guy and American Dad, so it should be an interesting night.)


In other Drew news, Rule of Two is still on the New York Times bestseller list. The book is down into the mid 20ís now - the so called ďsecondary listĒ, as opposed to the top 15 sellers on the ďmain listĒ.But I donít care what they call it, the novelís been on the list for five weeks now! Still no word on a sequel or a signing tour, but if I hear anything this website is probably the first place to get an update.


Finally, look for some changes to the webpage coming soon. Yes, it will still be ugly. But Iíll add a few more questions to the FAQ page (like how I got my start, and what the status on the next Bane book is), and Iíll set up an archive for the news reports so that this page isnít so text heavy.


Okay, thatís all for me. In the last 30 months Iíve written 4 novels, 1 screenplay (un-produced) and Mass Effect, so I need to take a short break to recover. Later.




January 21, 2008

Iím hard at work putting the finishing touches on Mass Effect: Ascension right now, the sequel to the first ME novel, so I need to keep this update short. First, an update on Darth Bane: Rule of Two. After debuting at #14 on the NY Times Bestseller list, it climbed up to #12 for the second week! Right now itís still on the list at #17Ö way to go, Bane fans!


Next, a couple interviews with me to let you know about that have been posted on the net. The first is at Fan Force Portugal Ė donít worry if you canít speak Portuguese, they have an English translation. The second interview is over at the Jedi Masters website.


Finally, Iíll be doing a live phone-in podcast over at the EU Cantina on Saturday, Feb 2nd, at 5 pm EST. Check out the link for all the details. (And if you have technical questions about how to phone in, ask at the website Ė theyíre the ones running things, not me.)


Okay, thatís it for now. Look for longer updates in February, once I have a little less on my plate. And I apologize to everyone whoís waiting for e-mail responses from me. They will be comingÖ just be patient. Thanks.




January 7, 2008

Happy New Year! So far 2008 is shaping up to be a hell of a year for me. My Chargers finally won a playoff game, Canadian golfers Stephen Ames and Mike Weir both performed well in the first PGA event of the season, the NBA is in full swing and my billiards team is in first place.


Plus, Rule of Two is on shelves nowÖ and it debuted at #14 on the New York Times bestseller list, and #10 on the Publishers Weekly list. Iím going to post more about this later in the week on my SW blog (check the blog around Friday for the update), but Iím obviously very pleased with this news. So a big THANK YOU to everyone who braved the winter weather to purchase Rule of Two!


Iím also pleased to announce that Mass Effect has won several Game of the Year and RPG of the Year awards, as well as topping 1.6 million in sales so far. Goooooo MASS EFFECT! Iím also hard at work on Ascension, the second Mass Effect novel and Iím back to the grind at BioWare as we being work on the second video game. Busy, busy, busyÖ but it beats the alternative.


I donít have any information yet about a book tour for Rule of Two, but as soon as I hear anything Iíll let people know. I do, however, have several interviews scheduled at various websites over the next couple weeks, so Iíll post links to them in the next update.


Okay, thatís all for now. Hope you had a great 2007, and I hope you have a better 2008.