StarWars.com: The setup that your book is essentially a lost smuggling journal that has passed through the hands of everyone from Hondo Ohnaka to Han Solo is really clever. Where did the idea come from and how, as the writer, did you figure out how to structure and craft something like this?
Dan Wallace: Smuggler’s Guide is part of a tradition of similar books dating back to 2010’s The Jedi Path. With each book we’ve switched up the approach to the “in-universe” narrative, creating a handbook for newly-minted Imperial officers and a top-secret scrapbook of rebel documents. Smuggler’s Guide is fairly unique because it’s one continuous chronicle, which has been passed from one author to the next as various underworld factions fight for possession of its secrets.
I started writing the book by first making a list of all the underworld figures I knew we couldn’t get away with not including — star characters like Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, of course, but also less famous faces with shady pasts like Dexter Jettster, Bib Fortuna, and Star Wars Rebels‘ Cikatro Vizago. I then cross-referenced this list against my research into the nature of Star Wars criminal activity. Note that the book, despite its title of Smuggler’s Guide, has a scope that encompasses gambling, piracy, ship-jacking, con artistry, gladiatorial combat, and a host of other sketchy trades.