Book Spotlight: Pack of Freaks by Jennifer Zamboni #urbanfantasy #newrelease #giveaway

¸¸.•*¨*•★NEW RELEASE!! ★•*¨*•.¸

Pack of Freaks is now LIVE! Get your copy for #99cents for a limited time! https://getbook.at/packoffreaks

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Enter to win paperback copies of Beauty Is The Beast and Pack of Freaks, 1 wolf plushie, a purple violin journal, and a music note tapestry.

BLURB

Being alpha isn’t easy.

Gretchen wants a normal life: working in the salon, making music, and settling in with her new pack. If only her wolf side wouldn’t make decisions without her.

She survived betrayal and the fight for her freedom, so relationship issues and a group of fae-blooded circus freaks in her kitchen should be a breeze. But a plea from another pack and the exposure of the fae, including werewolves, to the human world just might tip the scale on her sanity.

Good thing she has good friends, a man who loves her, and music that soothed the savage beast.

Join Gretchen as she gives in to romance, discovers new truths about old friends, and embraces her role as alpha.

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Author Interview: Tasha Madison #ya #fantasy #historicalfantasy #historicalfiction #fabricofageneration #authoracademyelite #authorinterview #FridayFeature @theTashaMadison

Today, I’m fortunate to present Tasha Madison, author of Fabric of a Generation.

Hi Tasha, thanks for agreeing to this interview!!! 

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from? 

(I’ve lived all over, but) I’m from Seattle, Washington.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story? 

As a reader, my expectations are genre-specific. A crime novel needs suspense. A romance novel needs passion. However, as a writer, I believe a good story requires a bit more … Thoughtful planning. Attention to detail. A penchant for crafting relatable characters. 

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book? 

Like most things, for me at least, I was inspired to write my debut novel, Fabric of a Generation, while watching TV or doing some mundane household task. The seed of the idea came to me inextricably in a flash. Over time, the story germinated as I cultivated the plot and started to develop the various characters. 

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? 

Immersive! When I am writing, I tend to neglect all other things. I narrow my focus, and I submerge myself into the world I am creating. My sister sometimes has to send me text reminders to eat. I completely lose track of time. My family jokes that they forget what I look like until I emerge from my writer’s haven with a manuscript in hand. 

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? 

When I am feeling less than inspired (aka writer’s block), and I am having difficulty typing out the words I want to say on my laptop, I always revert back to pen and paper. It works every time! There’s something about scribbling your thoughts by hand that forces you to overcome distractions and think more thoughtfully about what you wish to say.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book. 

My book is called, Fabric of a Generation. It is a family saga that morphs into a historical fantasy novel.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book? 

I was surprised most by the different perspectives I received from book cover designers. It’s always interesting to see how others interpret your brainchild. 

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share? 

Here is a 3-page excerpt from the end of Chapter 5:

Miranda navigated through mountains of gaudy souvenirs and meaningless tchotchkes. Although she did not search for anything, in particular, she inexplicably followed her curiosity. She opened a trunk sullied with age but found nothing but old textbooks and sports memorabilia from when her parents attended college. 

After scouring heaps of other junk stuffed under shelves or inside cabinets, Miranda gave up her impromptu quest. She somberly headed back toward the faded rocking chair but, before she could complete her return to boredom, her feet collided into something on the floor.

She partially caught herself but not without her head converging with one of the unfinished floorboards. Thankfully, her hands, forearms, and feet managed to brace her athletic frame from any real injury. Miranda shook her head from side to side as if cleaning out cobwebs from a derelict piece of furniture.

“Ow!” she bellowed to herself, more embarrassed than hurt. 

She circumspectly raised her body and turned to see what had caused her to stumble. An unmarked cardboard box rested on the edge of her right foot. 

“Stupid box!” Miranda chastised, kicking the inanimate object with the force she generally reserved for one of her soccer matches.

As her foot disciplined the carton, the flaps of the box thumped open and spilled some of its contents onto the attic floor. Miranda, still angry, stooped down to inspect the items. She first examined a forest green book tied closed with a mint-green, silk ribbon. When she unfastened the ribbon, the volume burst open to uncover a cookbook printed in 1946. The original owners had treated the book as a historical catalog to chronicle issues affecting their family, stuffing it with newspaper clippings, holiday greetings, sympathy cards, and several handwritten recipes. The tattered spine of the worn book and shredded edges of the pages annoyed Miranda. She casually leafed through the cookbook, unimpressed. Then, she sloppily retied the ribbon and cast the book aside.

Next, Miranda flipped through a stack of cards and crafts she and her brother had made for their parents over the years. She found greetings they had created for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as well as childhood doodles that had once decorated the kitchen fridge. What a bunch of junk! Miranda thought as she skimmed over the other items on the floor.

Miranda started to scoop everything up and dump it back into the now-crumpled cardboard square when she glimpsed a tuft of fabric out of the corner of her eye, tucked into the edge of the askance box. She gingerly released the wedged fabric, revealing a vibrantly colored shawl.

Miranda, entranced by the dramatic swirls of color and romantic wisps of woven thread, held the cloth in her hands. She observed its alluring charm like an anthropologist who had made a discovery of a rare find. Although large and almost cape-like, the shawl had delicately feminine features.

The dyed strands elegantly incorporated tinges of flushed and pale hues. Flaming orbs of color cast a deep summer glow on the design. Miranda inhaled the golden opulence until her eyes settled upon a mystery thread used parsimoniously like brilliant flashes of sunlight. Her gaze continued to the gossamer-like layers of embroidery where the hem of the shawl met the passionately intricate layers of fringe.

She gently ran her hands over the hemstitching, brazenly admiring its beauty. Then, she smiled and rapidly jumped to her feet. She stood in front of the vintage, full-length mirror nestled in the corner. Although the glass had heavy mottling, she could still visibly see herself. She swung the shawl around her body, letting the dance-like movement of the fringe parade across her shoulders.

“What happened to my reading glasses, dear?” Miranda asked her reflection in a venerable tone. “I can’t find them anywhere!” she proclaimed. “Did I put them in my pockets? No? Maybe in my purse? Oh, wait. They’re right where I left them … on the top of my head! I guess I am too ancient to remember!” she sneered as she chuckled at her rendition of her grandmother’s flagrant absentmindedness.

Suddenly, a shadow flickered across the edges of the mirror and interrupted her mirth. Miranda flinched. Her fingers grew cold. She felt a gust of air and shuddered uncontrollably. She wrapped the shawl around her trembling body, crossing her arms over her chest for additional warmth. She stared into the center of the mirror and examined it. The shawl that had once mesmerized Miranda now seemed to numb her entire body.

Confusion emptied her mind. Her eyes became useless. Shadows flashed before them. Miranda caged her eyes and tossed her head rapidly from side to side in an attempt to free it from the muddled images that settled there. She searched for clarity but found nothing until slowly, very slowly, she opened her eyes and saw candles flickering on the walls around her, exposing a slender corridor.

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?   

I love all things history. So, you can expect a lot more historical fiction from me.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

The best money I ever spent as a writer was on a vintage Royal typewriter. Sometimes, when I need to court the muse, I’ll bang on the keys from time to time. It makes me feel connected to past writers and all of the unwritten stories that remain within so many people that have yet to be told. 

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books? 

You can reach out to me via any of my social media channels or online at: www.FabricofaGeneration.com.

Instagram: @thetashamadison

Twitter: @theTashaMadison

Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/theTashaMadison

Facebook (Book Page): https://www.facebook.com/FabGenBook

Amazon.com Pre-Order Link:

Barnes & Noble Pre-Order Link:

Book Spotlight: Wake The Dead by @Rourkewrites

Wake the Dead
Written by Stacey Rourke
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Release Date: Feb 28, 2019
Preorder Link: https://amzn.to/2svLLrg

Blurb:

With a touch of her hand, Octavia Hollows can restore life. Yet, she couldn’t save the man she loved from the horrific accident that stole him from her. Octavia thought she could outrun the pain, but ghosts from the past refuse to be silenced. Out of options, she chooses to retrace her wayward journey across the country in search of answers. Surrounded by baffling mysteries of the undead, what she learns about herself along the way might become her greatest weapon.

Seattle, Washington: Land of cloudy skies and a great cup of coffee. 
Octavia blew into town in search of information, only to get swirled up in a paranormal predicament even she couldn’t fathom. A neonatal nurse is dead, and her young patient is aging at an alarming rate.

Can Octavia unlock the secrets to this confusing curse before time runs out?

 

Book Spotlight: Alpha Tales 2014 by @wesley_britton #scifi #newrelease

Alien Vision presents a collection of short stories and sketches from the Beta-Earth Chronicles by Wesley Britton.

Alpha Tales 2044, opens on Beta-Earth when two genetically-enhanced mutants are forced to recover a stolen secret,the cure to the ancient Plague-With-No-Name that defined a planet for millennia.

Then we jump across the multi-verse to our earth, Alpha-Earth, where police Captain Mary Carpenter infiltrates a gang of White Supremacists who want to purify Texas after decades of climate change and weaponized plagues.

Still on Alpha, we leap ahead in time to 40years in the future where Mary Carpenter joins up with four aliens, two from Beta-Earth, two from Sera-pin-Earth. All four share the same father, The Blind Alien from Alpha-Earth. They’ve traveled across the multi-verse to tell us about their worlds.

But Alphans, scarred by the devastation’s to our world, are unhappy about learning about very different cultures from anything we’ve ever known and especially hearing about multiple deities. So the alien band are forced to go on the run and take sanctuary in a First Nation domed city in British Columbia.

But their sanctuary doesn’t last long. Forced to travel further into the Canadian wilderness, the family encounters a pair of Sasquatch who change everything for them. They learn about the many definitions of what it means to be human.

Alpha Tales 2044, is a collection of stories that are part sci-fi, part murder mysteries, part horror, and part social commentary. But completely full of the unexpected, surprises, and tales, unlike anything you’ve experienced before.

EXCERPT: From Last Night Of The Colective

I vividly remember the afternoon when Jrin Rol, the second-in-command of our security unit, and I stepped onto the ground floor of the Hotel Domino in the new city called Monte Carlo. The hotel was an entertainment center named after yet another Alpha game Malcolm Renbourn had brought to our planet. It should have been named Hotel Backgammon for all the pointed spikes of alternating colors on the floors and walls.

 On this day, I was listening to Jrin’s wistful hopes for an extended leave from service so she could deepen her studies in linguistic morphologies, geographic spatial patterns, and other analytical investigative techniques that would make her far more than a skilled expert in stealth and counter-espionage operations. I was becoming more and more impressed with what I heard as we walked into the dining hall.

Then, my blood chilled. In one moment, I felt as if I’d drank a bath shell-sized cocktail of adrenaline and dread. Sitting alone at a table in the corner was First Helprim Kiem Holenris from ital, the supreme head of the Munchen Collective. The last I’d seen of this seeming old crone had been in my offices in Bercumel. On that day, Holendris had let me know my life was on the line if I continued my then-pointless, personal war with my bond-family. For, like her, my genetically-enhanced mutations had come at a cost. The little pills the Collective now provided me slowed the metabolic rushing of time that aged such as us much faster than our years. If I wanted to live a healthy and beautiful life and for a good long time, I needed the pills only the Collective could provide me.

Holendris looked like a woman who’d seen four generations of descendants from her womb. But she was merely the age of my own mother. Like me, her appearance concealed a body of extraordinary gifts. Unlike me, she had started her pill regimen much later in her life than I had, hence her aged face and deceptively marked skin. On this day, while her lips were twisted in an almost skullish smile, her eyes sent a clear message to me across the wide hall of tables and happy noises.

“Child,” they wordlessly told me, “bring your sun-drenched bronze skin and bright,blonde hair over here to me. You must come to me now. A matter of dire importance awaits you. Awaits us.”

I looked to Jrin, who understood my own silent signal. We slowly made our way to the Helprim’s round, polished white table where Kiem studied our movements with practiced eyes. She nodded as we came close and indicated two chairs.

“Sit, little kitty,” she cooed. “Sit, Jrin Rol of the Mask-Painters.”

Wordlessly, we took our places as serving hands quickly brought us trays of beverages. Kiem waited until the hands departed and took a sip of her own red pravine, then said softly, “Thank you for your quick compliance, as what I am here to discuss requires some delicacy.”

Release Date

12/8/18 – price $0.99

Where To Buy

iBook, Nook and Kobo: https://www.draft2digital.com/book/392281

Where to buy Amazon:  http://bit.ly/AT2044

About the Author

Immerse yourself in an extraordinary universe revealed by the most original storytelling you’ll ever experience. “Science fiction yes, but so much more.”

Besides his 33 years in the classroom, Dr. Wesley Britton considers his Beta-Earth Chronicles the most important work he’s ever done. “I suppose an author profile is intended to be a good little biography,” Britton says, “but the best way to know who I am is to read my novels.”

Still, a few things you might like to know about Wes include the fact he’s the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in the media, most notably The Encyclopedia of TV Spies (2009). Beginning in 1983, he was a widely published poet, article writer for a number of encyclopedias, and was a noted scholar of American literature. Since those days, for sites like BlogCritics.org and BookPleasures.com, Britton wrote over 500 music, book, and movie reviews. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents for which he contributed celebrity interviews with musicians, authors, actors, and entertainment insiders.

Starting in fall 2015, his science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles,debuted with The Blind Alien. Throughout 2016, four sequels followed including The Blood of Balnakin, When War Returns, A Throne for an Alien, and The Third Earth. Return to Alpha was the sixth volume of this multi-planetary epic.

Britton earned his doctorate in American Literature at the University of North Texas in 1990. He taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College until his retirement in 2016. He serves on the Board of Directors for Vision Resources of Central Pennsylvania.

Where to find Wesley online

Website: https://drwesleybritton.com/books/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BetaEarthChronicles/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wesley_britton

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wesley-Britton/e/B001HD455U

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/295635.Wesley_Britton

Mailing list sign up: http://eepurl.com/dwvfQr

Calling YA Fantasy Reviewers & Bloggers

IydgluWy_400x400Audiobookworm Promotions is organizing an audiobook blog tour for The Rite of Wands, a Young Adult Fantasy Novel.

The tour will run from Nov. 27th to Dec. 3rd and have a maximum of 11 stops.

The Rite of Wands is narrated by Chris Walker-Thomson and is 6 hours and 57 minutes in length.

Reviewers will receive complementary digital copies of the audiobook via Author’s Direct.

Review copies will be distributed by Oct. 27th. Reviews must be of at least 3.5 stars.

Post options for this tour include: Reviews, Spotlights, Audio Excerpts, Author Interviews, Dream Casts, Music Playlists, Character Interviews, Character Profiles, and a giveaway.

Would you like to partake in the tour?

Join The Rite of Wands Audiobook Blog Tour!

Rite_of_Wands_Mackenzie_Flohr_Audio_Cover_WEB

Signups end on Nov. 21st.

 

 

Interview with @0tralala #DoctorWho #TheWomenwhoLived #doctorwhoislife #audiobooks #doctorwhobooks @DrWhoOnline @bbcdoctorwho @bigfinish @ChristelDee @Jake_Dudman_ @DWMtweets @DWBBCBooks

dwbannersmaller

I had the ultimate pleasure of interviewing Simon while I was recovering from multiple surgeries. We chatted about Doctor Who, Big Finish, writing for audio, and especially, his new book, The Women Who Lived: Amazing Tales for Future Time Lords!

Question 1) For those who aren’t familiar with you, would you please introduce yourself to my readers?

Simon: Hello, I’m Simon Guerrier and I’ve been a freelance writer since 2002 because I am very old. I have written Doctor Who books and comics and audio plays and DVD documentaries, and also non-Doctor Who books and radio documentaries and short films and things.

Question 2) When did you become a fan of Doctor Who?

Simon: My first memory of anything is the cliffhanger of part one of Full Circle in 1980, with the Fourth Doctor and K9 crouched among the reeds watching the Marshmen emerge from a swamp. But at the end of Logopolis(1981), when the Doctor regenerated, my elder brother gave me his copy of The Doctor Who Monster Book, which explained about there being other Doctors and gave a history of the series in a really exciting, straightforward style. And that’s what made me a fan.

Question 3) Who would you consider to be your
Doctor?

2f70c0je0az1000Simon: I like them all, but because Tom Baker was the Doctor when I started I suppose I think of him as the definitive one.

 


Question 4)
Congratulations on the publication of The Women Who Lived: Amazing Tales for Future Time Lords! Tell me, how that opportunity come about?

DoByW-QXkAE_m18Simon: It was all Christel’s idea, and when she first approached me I thought she just wanted some help with how to pitch it to BBC Books. I thought it was a brilliant idea with lots of potential, so I was very happy to do that – and then delighted when I realized she wanted me as her assistant all the way through.

Question 5) What kind of research is required for a project like that?

Simon: I know Doctor Who pretty well – I’ve seen all the existing episodes and listened to the soundtracks of the 97 missing ones, and I’ve read and written lots of books and magazine articles about the series. But you still need to check details, and look for new things that other people haven’t picked up on. So I watched a lot of episodes again, with my notebook in hand. For example, it was really interesting to watch the very first Doctor Who story, An Unearthly Child, and think about how events played out from the perspective of one of the supporting characters – a woman called Hur. I’ve seen that story lots of times since it was repeated in 1981, but watching it from Hur’s point of view made it seem new.

For some of the characters, I also had to do some digging into real history – the history of the Womens’ Volunteer Reserve in the First World War for Lady Jennifer Buckingham (from 1969 story The War Games) and first-hand accounts of the court of Emperor Nero for Locusta (from 1965 story The Romans). I really enjoyed doing that.

Question 6) How challenging is it to accurately write these characters to fit with canon?

Simon: It’s a lot of checking details against what’s in the TV episodes. So a lot of putting on the DVD and fast-forwarding to the key moments to double-check exactly what happened.

Question 7) What story would you consider your favorite and why?

Simon: Impossible to choose! But the first one I thought of when you asked is The Five Doctors, from 1983, which makes me very happy.

Question 8) I understand you have also done work with Doctor Who comics. Can you describe the difference in the process of writing for a comic versus a novel?

Simon: I think the main difference is in how you tell the story – the mechanics of getting the plot across in five to seven panels per page, with a mini-cliffhanger at the end of each page, and the captions and dialogue kept as short and exciting as possible. Comics are all about concise story-telling. You still want a novel to be exciting, with plenty of jeopardy and weirdness to keep people reading, but you’ve more space to breathe.

Question 9) Turns out, we both have something in common — writing for Matt Smith! Where did the inspiration come for your story for Big Finish’s The Eleventh Chronicles – The Top of the Tree?

images.jpegSimon: Matt Fitton asked me to write a story with Danny Horn returning as Kazran, so I rewatched A Christmas Carol and had a think. My original idea was to do one of the stories we glimpse on screen – him and Abigail at the pyramids, maybe. But Matt pointed out that that might be tricky without Katherine Jenkins returning as Abigail – which sadly wasn’t an option for this story. So it had to be just Kazran. I wanted it to be directly relevant to him, so I started to think about the history of his people on the planet Ember, or how they came to settle there.

Then I was thinking about an interview with Steven Moffat where he talked about not liking simplistic “evil” baddies in stories, and because I was trying to write a story in his mindset, I used that. So the antagonist in my story was going to be a place – somewhere difficult and puzzling but not evil. And then I remembered an idea I’d had ages ago about an enormous tree. So I put all my loose ideas together…

Question 10) Having that I have worked independently with voice actors, is the process different when working with Big Finish? For example, did you get to work with any of the actors (i.e. Jacob Dudman) or do you just write your part and producers do everything else?

Simon: When I wrote The Top of The Tree, it was going to be done by Nicholas Briggs – 41153313._UY630_SR1200,630_.jpgwho’d already done the Ninth Doctor set, which was the model I was meant to follow. I’ve known and worked with Nick for years, so my script was littered with things I thought might amuse him. For example, I had to indicate when he had to change voice, so paragraphs would begin (AS NARRATOR) or (AS DOCTOR). And when there’s the old woman in the tribe, I put (AS EILEEN WAY) – a brilliant actress who is in some old Doctor Who stories.

When I got notes from Matt Fitton, he explained that Jake was doing the story, and we couldn’t be sure he’d know who Eileen Way was. So I had to go through and adjust all my stupid jokes for Nick. Which made the script better and less self-indulgent. (Nick might have cut them anyway!)

jakedudman-bigfinish-teneighty-soundhouseBut working with Jake was extraordinary. I’d not met him before I arrived at the studio, though I’d seen his videos online. It was a real pleasure to sit in the back of the studio and watch him and Danny, and director Helen Goldwyn, bring it all to life. It was a really good day.


Question 11) Is there anything you would like to add to this interview that I haven’t already discussed?
 

Simon: I don’t think so.

Question 12) What can we expect from you in the future?

Simon: Right now, I’m making a documentary for BBC Radio 3 about women from the north of England who funded archaeology in Egypt in the late nineteenth-century. That should be broadcast in February. I’m also writing lots for Doctor Who Magazine and Doctor Who Figurine Collection. And some other bits and pieces I can’t talk about just yet. 

Question 13) How can others find out more about you and your work?

I’m @0tralala on Twitter and Instagram, and have a blog at http://0tralala.blogspot.com. But you can google me for details about all the stuff I’ve written. I’m old so there’s quite a lot of it, sorry.

Mackenzie: Thank you, Simon, for this delightful interview. Everyone, please remember to check out his blog and other works!

And USA fans, you can still pre-order The Women Who Lived by clicking the link.

How You Can Participate!

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Interview with @MatthewJElliot1! @bigfinish @DoctorWho_BBCA @bbcdoctorwho @DWMtweets @SawbonesHex @GSear @MrHolness #DoctorWho #bigfinish #audiobooks #interview #doctorwhoislife

dwbannersmaller

Okay, this one I’ll admit I’ve been hanging onto for quite sometime, waiting for the perfect opportunity to post. And with it being 7 days till the new series of Doctor Who, now, is perfect.

Next up is the intriguing Matthew J. Elliot, an audio scriptwriter for Big Finish Productions. Today he’s here to discuss Doctor Who, the 6th Doctor, and his compelling audio drama The Lure of The Nomad.

Welcome!

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

I’m from the North-West of England. It’s not the end of the world, but you can see it from where I live.

Question 2) When did you become a fan of Doctor Who?

I’ve been aware of Who ever since the Pertwee era. I have memories of the original broadcast of The Sea Devils, and of Tom Baker’s first story. The Hinchcliffe era frightened the bejeezus out of me, and eventually scared me away. I returned to the show infrequently, but I didn’t become a regular viewer again until Destiny of the Daleks.

Question 3) Who is your Doctor?

DOCTOR WHO: VENGEANCE ON VAROS: GENERICThe Sixth. I grew up with the Third and Fourth, spent my teenage years watching the Fifth, but from the very beginning of The Twin Dilemma, the Sixth seemed like the perfect distillation of everything I’d come to expect from the Time Lord. Intelligent, childish, gentle, cranky, egotistical and selfless. He is, to me, the Doctor’s Doctor.

Question 4) Congratulations on the release of The Lure of The Nomad from Big Finish Productions. How did this opportunity come about?

511sPpuXZBL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_It was by no means an overnight thing. I’d been writing for American radio for about 15 years, and sending CDs of my stuff to Big Finish without any response for about ten. It was when I wrote the book Lost in Time and Space (soon to be republished by Telos!) that I finally got their attention and was asked to submit some possible plotlines for a thirty-minute episode to be included on the You Are the Doctor release. Unfortunately, that e-mail went straight into my junk folder without my ever seeing it! Thank God they wrote again to ask why I hadn’t replied.

Question 5) I’m really interested in the whole behind-the-scene process. Do you approach Big Finish with a story idea, or do they contact you and state they want you to write a story for such-as-such Doctor?

thAs a relative newbie in the Big Finish world, it’s maybe different for me than for more established writers. I’m lucky to have had several offers in the past few years, although I recently contacted a script editor about an idea that had been kicking around in my head. You have to be aware, however, that the script editors have commissioned work for several years in advance; you can only hope that they’ll file your idea away and come back to it when a gap opens up in the schedule.

Question 6) What inspired you to write this story?

The only thing I was initially told was that a solo Sixth Doctor was required. A lot of inspiration came from watching the most recent Alien movie. It concerned a colony ship, where the crew had, as usual, placed themselves in suspended animation. I began to wonder whether there might not be a more efficient way of cutting the time down, perhaps by having time running at different rates inside and outside the ship.

Question 7) How did you prepare to write for Colin Baker’s Doctor?

I’ve been preparing for years! My Sixth Doctor DVD collection (and, before that, my video collection) has been watched, re-watched and then re-watched to the power of fifty! In this particular instance, though, I had The Two Doctors playing as I wrote, to try and capture the feel of the era. I became intrigued by Dastari’s line about several Androgums being sent back in time and never recovered. I wonder what became of them. There’s a Sweeney Todd tale there, waiting to be told…

Question 8) The plot twist involving the character Mathew Sharpe is one of the best I have heard in a Big Finish audio. Did you build the story around that twist or did that come about as you were writing the story?

William_Riker,_2383Once I was putting my ideas together, I was informed by the script editor that a temporary companion would be required, with the emphasis on “temporary.” By lucky coincidence, I was already thinking along the same lines, drawing inspiration from an episode of Star Trek: TNG, in which the characters all awaken with amnesia and a new character has suddenly cropped up, one whom they all assume is just another crewmember, but who turns out to be an alien interloper. Also, Riker and Ensign Ro totally do it, but that’s unrelated to my story. Mathew Sharpe was originally Daniel Speedwell, but there was a Daniel in something else Big Finish had coming up, so a change of name was necessary. Alan Barnes was very keen that it be a two-syllable biblical name. “Judas” was obviously a little too on the nose, and during our e-mail exchanges, he became very keen on the name “Matthew.” Obviously, I didn’t want people to think I was so egotistical as to name the Doctor’s companion after myself, which is why he’s very insistent that it’s spelled with one “t.”

Question 9) Have you written for other Doctors before, and if so, who is your favorite to write for?

I’ve written Dead to the World, Maker of Demons and The Silurian Candidate for the Seventh Doctor, Zaltys for the Fifth and Backtrack for the Tenth. Dead to the World, which was essentially my audition piece, was selected out of a number of plotlines as one that would suit the planned story arc in which the TARDIS was searching for Mel without the Doctor’s knowledge.

dwmr216_makerofdemons_1417_cover_mediumFor Maker of Demons, I was simply presented with the current team of the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Mel, and asked to devise a plot, which turned out to be a more complicated matter than I anticipated. My original idea was some akin to Enemy of the World and The Armageddon Factor, but lacked a hook, and – equally importantly in Who – any monsters. It was script editor Alan Barnes who suggested The Tempest as a possible source of inspiration, and the story changed noticeably as a consequence. Unfortunately, in my interview at the end of the CD, I unintentionally gave listeners the impression that I’d written an unsatisfactory script in its entirety and had to go back to square one. That certainly wasn’t the case – Big Finish wouldn’t allow me to write one word unless the proposal met with their approval. It was the proposal that was reworked, not the script.

For Zaltys (originally entitled The Feast of Beltane, until I had to admit there was no good reason why the planet in the story should be named Beltane), I was again given the lineup – The Fifth Doctor, Adric, Nyssa and Tegan – and a notion of the placement within established continuity. I threw a few ideas at Alan, and he suggested that a couple of them could be melded together to make one whole adventure.

bfpdwcd229_the_silurian_candidate_cd_dps1_cover_mediumThe Silurian Candidate was the first story where I had a more detailed recipe – I had to include the Silurians, and the story couldn’t take place in the present day. Straight away, I suggested a post-war Jamaica setting, in which the Doctor would encounter a young Ian Fleming, but this was nixed before I even came up with a story. For one thing, the tropical setting was too similar to the Sixth Doctor audio Bloodtide. In the end, the professional conspiracy theorists I’d used as an element in Maker of Demons provided the answer: what if the world really was run by lizard-people, and those lizard-people happened to be the Silurians?

Favourite to write for? Colin, but there are still a few Doctors out there I haven’t tackled yet.

Question 10) Do you have a favorite story you have written?

thelureofthenomad_image_mediumProbably The Lure Of The Nomad, because it’s structured like a detective story (which is my natural environment), and all the pieces fit together so well. I wish that Maker of Demons got more love. Perhaps I’m prejudiced because it was my first four-parter, but I feel there’s a lot of good stuff in there. My colleague and occasional co-writer Ian Potter says it feels as though I feared I might never get another chance to write for Who, so I put as much in there as I could, and that’s a fair observation. Is the mention of the Fourth Doctor’s comic strip companion Sharon Davies necessary? Not in the least. Am I glad I included it? Hell, yeah.

Question 11) What is the biggest challenge writing for an audio production versus print?

I’ve written three hundred radio dramas, so maybe for me the question should be the challenges of print versus audio. The real challenge is that what one audio production company wants might be very different from what another requires. It’s necessary not to be too precious, therefore, in order to meet their demands and get your work produced. Any audio production is, by its nature, a collaborative venture. Producers and script editors have their requirements, the BBC is, by necessity, protective of its product, and understandably there are elements that won’t make it into the script.    

Question 12) What can we expect from you in the future?  

BBC_Radio_Collection_Further_Adventures_cassette_coverWell, the inevitability of death haunts us all. Before that, I’m adapting a number of classic children’s novels for US radio, as well as writing a serial entitled The Autumn of Terror for the long-running American series The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. As you can probably guess from the title, this story involves Holmes’ investigation of the Jack the Ripper murders, and involves more research than I’ve done at any time for anything.

And, of course, there’s RiffTrax, the online comedy experience created by the makers of Mystery Science Theater 3000. I’ve been writing and performing material for them for the past ten years, most recently with the assistance of fellow Big Finish writer Ian Potter.

Question 13) How can others find out more about you and your work?

Imagination Theater, the Seattle-based company who produce The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (and all the other series for which I’ve written over the last 20 years) has a YouTube channel, where episodes can be heard every week. You can also find my author’s page on Amazon, and purchase – among other things – my two authorised spinoff novels, Big Trouble in Mother Russia and Big Trouble in Merrie Olde England. Both are, of course, continuations of the cult movie, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. No, wait, I mean Big Trouble in Little China. Oh, and you could even visit RiffTrax.com and download everything with my name on it. That would be very generous of you, and a reminder of how nice it is to be wanted.   

 

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