Paula Block

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Fan
Name: Paula Block (Paula M. Block
Alias(es): Po, Poblocki
Type:
Fandoms: Star Wars, Star Trek, Hill Street Blues
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Paula Block is a Star Trek: TOS and Star Wars fiction writer.

She went to join Paramount in their Licensing Department and was involved in the approval of all Paramount licensed products, including Star Trek pro novels, Next Generation Magazines, Star Trek comic books and gaming manuals. [1] Block is the editor of the series of pro-fanfic Trek books: Strange New Worlds.

In 1982, she was nominated for a FanQ award and submitted the following bio to The Annual Fan Q Awards Nominations Booklet:
"...Paula's been in fandom since 1974, when Lori Chapek-Carleton introduced her to its joys at Michigan State University. A hard-core media fan, from Trek to Hill Street Blues, Paula's favorite literary past-time is penning Star Wars novellas, and this year finds herself in the uncomfortable position of being nominated for co-authoring two of the Fan Q "favorite long stories: "Continuator" with Jackie Paciello, and "Satisfaction Guaranteed" with Judi Hendricks. Paula's works have cluttered the pages of zines such as INTERPHASE, MENAGERIE, WARPED SPACE, SKYWALKER, PEGASUS and her own SYNDIZINE (she has to get contributions somewhere, she says). She co-edits the ever-growing zine PEGASUS with Judi Hendricks and Jackie Paciello and obtained her first driver's license in October."

Some 2017 Comments by Block

In 2017, Block commented on her editing vs writing:

Paula Block: [Creating the zine Syndizine] was fun. I learned a lot about being an editor, like, there’s such a thing as over editing, you know, and that was about the time when I decided---I originally planned to teach college-level writing, and I discovered that I have too much of a habit of rewriting people rather than telling them what they should do instead, and that was the first place that I ran into that problem. When I was the editor of Syndizine, I would start rewriting people’s stories, and they would get annoyed, and I realized at once that they were right. I said, “Okay. I’m sorry. I apologize.”

Megan Genovese: You’re a writer, not an editor.

P: I am, yeah. That was when I decided that I’d better devote my life to writing and not editing, you know.

M: You became an editor professionally.

P: I did, but I had some pretty strict rules about what I could change and what I couldn’t. I was looking for certain things, like, when I worked for Paramount, I was reviewing Star Trek fictions, and mostly, my job was just to make sure that it didn’t go off the track, that the characters weren’t doing things that they wouldn’t do in a Star Trek episode. So it wasn’t really my business whether they used too many conjunctions or fragment sentences or anything like that. My business was to just make sure that the characterizations were right, and that they weren’t making the characters do anything stupid. So, that was good because as long as I had these boundaries up, I was a good editor. (laughs)

M: If it’s your own zine, you have to make the rules for yourself.

P: Yeah, yeah. Otherwise I end up rewriting stuff, you know, and saying, “Oh God, this would sound so much better if you used this phrase instead of that phrase!” I’m better off just doing my own writing then. [2]

Interviews

Image

References

  1. from Starland ad in Datazine #56
  2. Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Paula Block