It’s only fitting as Blue Team makes it’s reappearance in HALO 5, to remind fans that much credit is due someone who has been largely overlooked and forgotten. In fact, there wouldn’t be a Blue Team at all without this guy.
In 2001, Eric Trautmann was part of the team that brokered the deal to create the first HALO novels. He was also my editor on the project, and for anyone who has seen one of my first drafts this is a true Herculean labor (the one with the stables). Most important, however, there was a point when the novels were ordered killed and Eric T saved them.
I was halfway through our crash dive schedule to get the FALL OF REACH out in seven weeks when Eric T tells me…
Eric T: The powers that be don’t want the novel anymore. They’ve ordered it killed. They don’t want a backstory for the Master Chief. They want him to be a blank so gamers can just fit into the avatar.
Me: (choking on my 18th cup of coffee that morning) What!? (panicking) What do we do? I’m halfway through this #*%&(% thing.
Eric T: (annoyingly calm): Don’t worry about it. Keep writing. I have it covered.
Me: How do you have it ‘covered’? I’ve only got three weeks left!
Eric T: Here, have another cupa coffee. Keep typing…
So Eric T went away, and in what I can only characterize as a cross between UN diplomacy and the bargain Vito Corleone made to get Johnny Fontaine out of his original contract (i.e. he made them a deal they couldn’t refuse), like magic the objections just … vanished.
The rest as they say is history: More than a dozen HALO novels out, and 2 million copies sold by yours truly alone.
So, next time you’re entertained by all the HALO fiction out there, please give respects to Mr. Trautmann, and if you’re in the area visit his and his wife’s amazing store in Olympia. (the best comic/card store on the West Coast in my opinion).
PS: okay , okay — if you really want to hear about Eric T’s Sillian deal in his own words go here: link. Click the “direct download.” Halo story starts around 17 minutes.
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