An Interview With Sickle_Claw

Today I got the chance to talk to Sickle_Claw, author of two Jurassic Park fanfics and member of the staff at Jurassic Park Legacy. He has an active presence in the Jurassic Park fan community and even works as an official Jurassic Park researcher! You may or may not know him, but I guarantee he’ll soon be your favorite deadly dinosaur appendage. Ladies and gentlemen, Sickle_Claw:

Hello, Sickle_Claw! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. It’s great to have the chance to talk to you.
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Thanks, I’m glad to have this chance as well! I am always glad to sit down and talk about my work!
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You’ve written two Jurassic Park fanfics, Chaos Theory and its sequel Paradigm Shift. Can you summarize the plot of those two stories?
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The first one, Chaos Theory is intended as a direct Sequel to the Lost world, and is directly influenced as well by the events of Jurassic Park. The plot of Chaos Theory kicks off with an egg stolen from Isla Sorna by one of Dodgson’s boat crew. Eight years later, Marty Gutierrez is conducting field research in a small village in the Ismaloya mountains of Costa Rica. He accidentally is responsible for unleashing a large dinosaur which disrupts the balance of nature…bringing the other prehistoric denizens of the mountains out of hiding.
Paradigm shift is set a few years after Chaos Theory, and is directly influenced by its events. The plot centers around a former private detective who stumbles across escaped InGen dinosaurs by accident (during the period of Nublar), but then dedicates his life to tracking the animals down. While teaming up with Robert Muldoon, he stumbles upon a plot by Biosyn to open a new theme park called ‘Jurassic World’, and attempt to unravel this mystery as well.
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Where did you get the idea for your stories?
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I got my ideas from reading the novels multiple times…Honestly, I have read both Jurassic Park and the Lost world so many times, I have portions of them memorized. And, I have also noted many portions of the book that were either unclear, or I realized that it would leave it open for a sequel as well. So I got my ideas, by expanding on them, and trying to make them fit, according to my timeline. I also try to get as much focus on the characters, trying to make them realistic and not just random cameos.
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Of your original characters in both stories, which is your favorite? Which is the most like you?
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In Chaos Theory, I believe that my favorite original character was Baxter, he was Gutiterrez’s research assistant. He had a complex motivation. as he was willing to help out the group,but also looked out for his own interests. Not like me though, I think that would be Meagan Stone, one of the Biosyn agents who is like me.She kept her cool under duress, even in the face of danger.
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For Paradigm Shift, my favorite character is Thomas Finn, he is most like me. He dedicated his life to tracking down InGen’s dinosaurs on the mainland for years. Despite not knowing what he is dealing with, he takes on the challenge headfirst, and does not back down. I find that a very admirable trait.
What was your favorite part of writing them? Your least favorite?
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My favorite part of writing original characters, is that unlike Canons, I am not bound into a specific personality, and have more freedom with that character. Thus, their actions can be more flexible, regardless of which side they are on. Least favorite probably of writing original characters is that sometimes you realize a character is not developed enough, and you need to go back in again and input some more detail.
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I understand you’re interested in cryptozoology. How did you work that into your writing? Does it play a major role in either story?
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I have always been interested in Cryptozoology, or the study of animals that are undiscovered. I have read a lot of Cryptozoology books as well, and that helps me a lot in my writing. Cryptozoology plays a large role in both stories actually… Without spoiling anything, I can say that if you read the end of Jurassic Park, it is very clearly stated that dinosaurs escaped from Nublar, and that plays a large role in the story. In Paradigm Shift, the entire plot is kickstarted by one man tracking down the escaped animals and documenting them. In both instances, the remaining dinosaurs can be considered cryptozoological animals, since they are still extremely elusive and live in the fringes of habitat.
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Out of any character in your stories, including original ones, who’s your favorite to write and why?
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Robert Muldoon. He’s a badass, and every time he’s in a chapter he’s usually proving exactly why he’s so awesome.
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If someone offered to produce either story as a canon JP movie (or publish it as a canon novel, seeing as they’re both
novel-canon), would you take the opportunity?
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I would in a heartbeat, although publishing as a canon novel would be a dream. I intended it more of a canon novel sequel though.  Biosyn has not been formally introduced in any of the JP films, so it might make them iffy as possible canon JP movies. However, as canon novels, they would fit right in. I do think that I would expand them and try to make them longer if that happened though.
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Are there any other fanfic authors that you read a lot, take inspiration from or just like? Any particular stories?
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I have not really read that much other JP fanfic… not recently anyway. I like the silliest JP fanfic by Lord Kristine actually, so there’s that… What I tend to look for in fanfic is an engaging story, ideally one that captures the characters just right.
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Do you plan to finish or update Paradigm Shift, and if so, do you have a plan for how the story will progress or what will happen? Can you give us any hints?
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I plan to finish it…one day. Probably soon, because I am almost finished with the appointments and such that have been keeping me busy. I do have a plan for the story, and what will happen, I can assure you. One hint is that I am tying the two plot strands (Jurassic World and the escaped dinos) together in a very realistic and plausible way, and that the conclusion of this story will have widespread repercussions for the JP universe.
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I see you’re part of JPLegacy’s research staff. What does that job entail? Do you enjoy it?
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I would say being part of research staff has been one of the most rewarding and most challenging things i have done. What we do as research staff is two-fold, document the existing information, and seek to add or discover new information. Either way, it all goes in the JPL encyclopedia, which we are striving to make the most comprehensive resource for Jurassic Park information on the interwebs. (Obviously we’re very busy right now that Jurassic World is almost out) Yes, I enjoy it… I feel like i’m a part of something, contributing this knowledge to the world.
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What’s your absolute favorite part of the Jurassic Park franchise? (Movie, book, comic book, ride, part of the fandom)
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Probably a tie with the books and the novels. The movie I saw first, and fell in love instantly. Jurassic Park was a big part of my childhood, I can remember watching the first three movies countless times, over and over. I can recite many parts of the films from memory alone, and it never fails to bring memories back when watching them.
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The novels hold an equally strong draw…since I also have been reading them for years now. I must have read each novel about fifteen times by now, and as with the movie, I can recite many parts just off the top of my head. However, both novels to me are classics, and I am forever grateful that Crichton wrote the sequel, as I believe it to be a worthy successor to Jurassic Park.
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What’s your favorite dinosaur ever and why?
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My favorite dinosaur is the Velociraptor…I don’t know why. I think I grew to love the raptors from the first Jurassic Park movie, and then it really took off from there. Velociraptor is even the inspiration for my username, ‘Sickle Claw’. That is directly from the Killing claw of the velociraptor.
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What are your thoughts on Jurassic World? Do you think it’ll be a good movie? Is there a certain part you’re looking forward to, or something you’d really like to see happen?
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Honestly? I think it will. Jurassic World has the potential for me to surpass the Lost World, as the best sequel to Jurassic Park so far. I think right now, what I am really looking forward to doing, is to see a new Jurassic Park movie in theaters for the first time in 14 years. I have been looking forward to this moment for a very long time…it’s surreal to believe its finally here.
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Do you have any plans for stories or projects once you’ve finished the Chaos Theory series?
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Not at the moment, to be honest, I think I am trying to see where this current project is going to end, before I think of something. Thats not to say that plans are not on the table…but that I am taking it one project at a time.
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If someone offered to take you to Jurassic World, would you go? What would you most want to do there?
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Honestly? I would in a heartbeat. If it was safe…I would go. Probably would stay there for a week if I could afford it…but I would take the tour, but I think to be honest I would never get tired of watching the Mosasaur feeding show.
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Thanks again, Sickle_Claw. It was great to talk to you!
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