DEBORAH A. MARSHALL - "V" Paperback Author


Death Tide

By A.C. Crispin and Deborah A. Marshall (July 1985) 

Due to a critical water shortage on the Homeworld, Diana is ordered to suspend battle plans and reactivate the desalinization plants on the West Coast. When the Resistance introduces a new toxin that reproduces in kelp, the Visitors develop a defoliant that threatens to destroy the ecological balance of the West Coast.

Special thanks to Tamie!


The "V" books are what helped us get our "fix" when "V" was no longer on.  I remember in high school, we had to read a book every so often and write a paper about it.  Well, I never had to look for a book!  I just wrote about one of the "V" ones, including V: Death Tide.  I think by the end of the school year, my English teacher was sick of reading my "V" papers, but that was her problem :) - 

Deborah A. Marshall is now known as Deb Rollison.  Find out why soon enough!  Deb has granted me an interview for the site!  So please read Deb's reflection on writing Death Tide, and click below for the full interview! -llana

Read the INTERVIEW with DEB!

Deb's Reflection on Writing V: Death Tide

It was 16 years ago, so I'm a bit fuzzy on some of the details around V: Death Tide now. What Ann [Crispin] describes sounds right: we worked out the plot together, I wrote the first draft, and she edited it.

I got the initial idea after the World Science Fiction Convention in Los Angeles in 1984. Ann and I were privileged to visit the set of the TV show, "
V," thanks to her connections. (Ann had already written the novelization of the two mini-series, V, and V: East Coast Crisis, with Howie Weinstein.) 

We met the actors and got to watch a couple of scenes being filmed. Right after that, Ann and I visited Catalina Island, off the coast of CA. On a boat tour of the Island, we learned kelp grows there faster than about anywhere else in the world (over a foot a day). Something clicked; more as a way to tease Ann, I said, "Supposing the Visitors do something evil to upset the ecology and affect the earth's kelp? And supposing Mike Donovan's ex-wife comes back...?" etc. 

I thought Ann would just laugh, frankly, but she said, "That's pretty good." Over the course of a following weekend, plus her script samples, we fleshed out a plot and crafted a TV show script proposal. The producers liked it, but didn't buy it, because (a) we weren't members of the Screen Writers Guild, and (b) we used characters (like Elias) who would die later on (which we had no way of knowing).

Ann's editor, hearing about this, said, "Well, if you write it as a book, I'll buy it." Ann was busy with another big project, so I took the lead. (*Never*, in my wildest fantasies, did I ever dream I'd sell a book before ever writing it!) We had nine weeks total to complete it, due to a tight publishing schedule. I was working full-time and doing a lot of travel...but my wonderful co-workers took on extra stuff so I could take some time off, and Ann and I got it done.

When someone creates a universe that resonates with you, for whatever reason, you recreate it as your own, I think. Certainly we researched some things, from weapons and explosions to how the light would fall on things at certain times of the day. (I have a vague recollection of putting a light down on the ground, moving certain common household objects around on the floor so I could stage some of the action scenes. And I've always been fascinated by the La Brea Tarpits and tornadoes, so those were sneaked in.)

As to being familiar and a fan of
V, well, I liked the real actors, and had some empathy for their fictional characters and their least what was hinted at in the TV stuff. They didn't do much character development, though, so that meant Ann and I had a lot of free rein to put in more of what seemed real to us.

I honestly don't remember who wrote the last scene as it appeared...but I'll guess Ann did. (She has taught me much about writing, friendship, and life, with her courage and honesty.) - Deb Rollison