On this edition of THE INTERVUE, I’m not reporting from DC, I am in NYC outside of NYC for WinterCon 2023. And I’m in here with an author of a wonderful book. If you’re like me and you’re a fan of Deep Space Nine, you got to watch the journey of the crew of DS9 under the command of one courageous Captain… Benjamin Lafayette Sisko. But have you ever wondered what his story is?
Well, one brilliant man has written the book literally. The book is called “The Autobiography of Benjamin Sisko: The life of Starfleet’s Legendary Captain and Emissary”. Once I saw this book, I knew I must read it. I knew I had to talk to the author, and here he is right beside me.
Let’s welcome to the stage – Derek Tyler Attico!
How’re you doing today?
Dean, thank you so much for having me on the show. I’m doing well. I’m here at winter con. We’re selling books. People are interested in “The Autobiography of Benjamin Sisko”. And I’m excited to talk to you about this book.
So, I got to ask, are you a fan of Deep Space Nine?
You can say that… Yeah.
And we know in the past few years that there has been an autobiography of Picard & Kathryn Janeway, but you were the one who took on the task of telling the tale of Benjamin Sisko. Talk to us about the genesis of writing the autobiography of Sisko.
Well, there have been some really, good autobiographies from Titan Books. They skipped over Sisko to do Janeway’s. And what happened was Titan approached me last year to do the autobiography of Benjamin Sisko. I sat down with had a meeting with George Sandison, managing editor of Titan books. And we had a conversation about the best way to approach it. And out of that conversation, I got the project.
So how did you find some information to detail Sisko’s life?
Well, that’s a great question. There’s so much that we just don’t know. I mean, the fact that he has siblings, as mentioned twice in the seven years of the show. Then my challenge became, “who are those siblings? What do I do? What kind of lives do I give them?” You know, those kinds of things. The beauty of it is that Titan books and CBS Paramount, they didn’t really give me any big parameters. They just said, “do what you want.” And so, it was up to me to decide the Sisko family, and Benjamin’s origin story, what I wanted to create.
I took a couple of weeks creating his origin story. Created not only his siblings, but his grandparents. I went back and just fitted the genesis of the character, because when we meet him, he is such a balanced individual. I realized that all of that had to come from a lot of work had to come from the foundations of his family first.
So, did you take part of your life and input into Sisko story?
If you can tell us, what part of your life did you imprint in Sisko’s?
First, I would say my grandparents influenced me greatly. And just the science of it. I know that we are all formed, who we are between like the ages of six and ten and that was a pivotal time in my life. So, I bet his grandmother is heavily influenced upon my own grandmother. Ben’s grandfather was heavily influenced upon my paternal grandfather. How could I not? I had certain traumas and accidents that have happened to me in my life. I gave that to him because it helped push the character forward, not of ego, because it helps the character grow. And it would also show Ben’s growth as an adult.
When did you realize that you wanted to become a writer?
I guess probably goes back to when I was like 10 years old. And my mom took me to see the original “Star Wars”. I remember seeing it and I want to know how all that stuff was done. I started following Lucas with everything that he said about how he was a screenwriter. I started learning about screenwriting, film and directing. By the time I was 16, I wrote a “Star Wars” screenplay that won an award. So that started me on with becoming a writer.
Asides from the Deep Space Nine, is there any other Trek that you enjoy?
Oh, I love them all. I love them more. I have no problem with any Trek. You know, they all have something that you can love and identify with. And that’s the beauty of Star Trek is something for everyone in all of them.
For those who have never attended a science fiction convention, what advice would you give them to come out here and expand upon their weirdness?
If you’ve never been to a sci-fi convention or any convention, I would say, come down, talk to people engage with people. They’re here to talk to you. They’re here to say “hi”. They’ve got their wares out. They’ve got their models, masks, and ceramics. And all these people are here to talk. You got people from different shows from Celia Rose Gooding, who plays Uhura on Star Trek. You’ve got the Doctor Who people. We’ve got everybody here that you watch every time on the shows you love. So come down and say hi to them.
So, who was the star out here at this con that you really want to meet?
I would say I’ve already met her. Okay, so we’re we’ve already done that yet. Celia Gooding, she’s just incredible human being, incredible woman, actress, singer. And I was just floored just meeting her a few minutes ago. And I gave her a copy of the autobiography. And she told me she’ looking forward to reading it. And she signed my copy. So, I’m just over the moon.
Have you met Avery Brooks in your time of going to conventions?
I’ve seen him. I met him once n passing. My film mentor took me to a restaurant in Harlem. And we were going in, he was coming out. So, it was like a weird ships in the night kind of thing. I shook his hand. I thanked him for his work. And it was a weird experience. The energy coming off him was palatable. This was a very, very interesting experience of meeting the man.
So, I’m gonna put this out there to the universe. Since, you wrote the autobiography of Ben Sisko, will we see an autobiography of Michael Burnham?
Oh, man, that’s great. That’s a great question. I would love to do any captain. Well, I would love doing work on Burnham. There are other characters I would love to do an autobiography on.
Well, there’s Pike which is great. But that’s down the road. He’s a great character, but he knows what’s coming up in his life. How does he deal with that?
Where can people find your book?
Of course, you could find it at Titan Books, or anywhere books are sold. local bookstores, of course. And I mean, you can pretty much anywhere you can find me, you can pretty much find the book on social media. I’m always talking about it or pushing the book.
You can buy the book HERE or wherever books are sold!
For more information on Derek, you can go to his