Monday, November 18, 2019

ANNOUNCEMENT: Chronosmith Chronicles Logo, Titles, and Authors for Year 1



The Chronosmiths are on their way!

We're pleased to bring you the very first look at the upcoming Chronosmith Chronicles, the first novel series from Altrix Books. Headed up by Paul Driscoll and Kara Dennison, the series's first year will consist of six novels, introducing readers to the new universe into which our characters have arrived.

The Chronosmiths — the scholar Tor Fasa, the engineer Mordicai, the politician Kendo, and the soldier-poet Savalia — have been swept away from their home planet of Percusia into an entirely new universe. Here, time travel is heavily regulated: world-saving capers are given out on commission, and rogue adventurers carry bounties on their heads. If the Chronosmiths want to continue their mission to set history right and complete Tor Fasa's all-knowing Altrix, they'll either have to play by the rules or prepare to run. But the most fearsome part of this new universe may well be what's followed them from the old one...

The series will introduce a whole new world of people, places, and alien races. The Chronosmiths will work with (and occasionally in spite of) the offices of Aliens for Hire, face off against the revenge-driven Time Riders, and cross paths with rogue trans-temporal freelancer Tati Rhys. Their adventures will take them across time and space. From the darkest days of Vincent Van Gogh to a political utopia awaiting its own downfall; from stories of fairy tale princesses to machinations of vengeful spirits. The Chronosmiths have come to fix history in their own very particular way: by finding the truth of this universe's story.

The first run of Chronosmith Chronicles will consist of six books:

After Vincent by Paul Driscoll
Eleanor's Tears by Kara Dennison
Art of History by Jon Arnold
The Importance of Glass Slippers by M.H. Norris
Sceptre of the Innocents by Paul Driscoll
The Hummingbird Conspiracy by Kara Dennison

Driscoll and Dennison will oversee the line. Cover art and design (including the logo seen above) will be handled by Ginger Hoesly, who has provided the cover art and design for Seasons of War: Gallifrey, Unearthed, and Master Pieces.

Jon Arnold (Art of History) is the author of three Black Archives for Obverse, co-edited the Me and the Starman anthology and regularly contributes to the We Are Cult website. His latest short story can be found in the Master Pieces anthology. He's also asked that we mention he's been "fried by a dragon for entertainment."

M.H. Norris (The Importance of Glass Slippers) is an experienced mystery writer. Her award-winning series, All The Petty Myths combines forensics and mythology; the first full-length novel is upcoming in Spring 2020.  Norris can also be found as co-host and co-producer on The Raconteur Roundtable, a popular podcast focused on in-depth, intimate interviews with authors, actors, and other creators.

Keep an eye on this blog, our Facebook, and our Twitter for further announcements and release dates!

Friday, November 15, 2019

MASTER PIECES AUTHOR INTERVIEW - Rachel Redhead



Why did you decide to pitch a story for Master Pieces?


Way back in the deeply deep echoes of time way before I was a member of Outpost Gallifrey, I was a member of a yahoo group and we started a loose collective of fan fic writers, me being one to diversify myself I was soon creating my own interpretation of existing characters, one of which was a version of the Master that I based very loosely on Al Pacino in Scarface, who travelled with a human companion (he was going through a phase) and her name was Judy Collins.  I’ve since developed Judy into an original sci-fantasy universe of her own, but when I heard about this collection I felt it was time to bring the band back together again, this is Judy Collins almost day one, dazzled by crime and science.  I wanted to write a heist story which isn’t something I’d normally do, so I hope I’ve done the genre justice.


 

What are you most proud of about your story?


I wanted to write a story where the Master is at his best when he’s being his worst.  I also wanted to give him a win, too often he loses and I wanted to redress the balance.

 


Can you give us a little taster of what the readers can expect from your piece?


It’s a heist, with a vastly over-budget marketing department, and a body count. 

 


How did you find the writing process?


The writing was fun and it was good to work with a strong editorial team, to bring the very best out of my story.  I think we found the perfect pitch for it, that mixes my love of comedy asides with the scalpel sharpness needed to do the Master full justice.

 


Where else we can find your work?

All my books are published through lulu. I’m also on Amazon.

I’ve just released a collection of stories, The Adventures of Penny Dreadful, which features cameos by the second iteration of Judy Collins and that book leads into Judy Collins: Social Justice Twister which introduces the new iteration of Judy (she’s a lot more political and less stabby), I’m on editing that book atm.  I’ve also written half of the first draft of Anna Sinclair: The Evil Dad.  Finally, I’m preparing to write a collection of short stories for NaNoWriMo in November.


 

What’s your favourite Master story?


I’m going to go with World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls, as we see the Master literally in two minds, Round-Face and Lady-Version are at their best and worst together as they play, plot and scheme and backstab (literally at one point) with each other and the Doctor, though in the end the Master brings out the worst in themselves, their selfishness and nastiness being their undoings.
  


Who do you think should play the next Master and why?


I’d like to see someone with serious acting chops play a nasty brutal version of the Master, with less of the crazy and more of the crime, but still that half-sneer of inhumanity that the greatest crime lord of them should wear, when things are going their way.  Claire Foy maybe, or Idris Elba, someone with a powerful physicality.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

MASTER PIECES AUTHOR INTERVIEW - Nathan Mullins



Why did you decide to pitch a story for Master Pieces?

I was really excited when I heard about this anthology. The idea that the story would revolve entirely around the Master and follow his/her adventures intrigued me. Not having the Doctor feature, as well, interested me as you don’t have a moral compass guiding the story but a complete monster, who’s out to get precisely what she wants, however she chooses to go about it, whether that be double crossing her allies or taking the Time Lords hostage, as we see in this story. I really just wanted to tell an exciting story with the Master. Since his first appearance in Terror of the Autons, you had a villain as intelligent and sophisticated as the Doctor, who posed a threat as great as the Daleks and the Cybermen, and a challenge because, like the Doctor, he too is a TIme Lord. And over the years, we’ve discovered much more about the character, that he and the Doctor were once friends, and this gives the character a lot more depth. When the Doctor’s isn’t doing battle with his nemesis, who knows what he/she’s busy getting up to, which is what really appealed to me.


What are you most proud of about your story?

That I got to write for Missy. She was my first choice and I’ve always enjoyed this version of the character. She can be flirtatious, even friendly, but also terribly cruel and she can turn against you when you least expect her to, just as she does in this!  


Can you give us a little taster of what the readers can expect from your piece?

This is an action adventure story that’s set on the planet Adamentem. There, a war is being fought. Missy shows up, with little interest in saving the lives of those asking for her help, and with one objective - to secure for herself the diamond of the gods. My favourite line is probably the first thing uttered by Missy, her introduction to the story that reads: "Hello," came her sultry voice. "My name is Missy, but don’t let that stop you calling me the most evil bitch on the planet. I suppose you’re wondering what it is you’re doing here and why you’ve been selected?" The authority and sassiness she possesses is abundantly clear. This is Missy on a mission, determined and fearless.
 

How did you find the writing process?

I thoroughly enjoyed writing the story. The brief was to put the Master front and centre. I knew from the outset that Missy was searching for a lost treasure, that it was going to be found on a planet that wasn’t Earth, but it wasn’t going to be as simple as going there and collecting it. So then I built on that and had two other alien races at war with each other over it, which gave Missy a dilemma. Who does she side with? Who does she betray? And we really begin to see her greed come to the fore, what she has to do to get what she wants and at what cost. And then we have what’s going on with the Time Lords, but that’s a part of the story I shan't go into. All I’ll say is if we know anything about the Time Lords, it’s that they’re ‘forbidden to interfere in the affairs of others’, but when has that ever stopped them?

I wanted to make Missy as wicked as I possibly could, which was something I enjoyed immensely. I tried to make her pretty badass - despised by both sides and by the Time Lords to boot. I thought; what situations can I put her in that will highlight her villainy? When you write for the Doctor, it’s very different because he’s usually saving someone, or showing them the universe, but where Missy’s concerned, you have a character who doesn’t care about anyone but herself. All she wants to do is have her own way. She uses people, ruins their friendships, and this is who she is. I wanted her to have just as much freedom as the Doctor but where she and him differ enormously is their reasons for travelling to other worlds, and in this instance, it’s not to save civilisations but to seize control of one of the most powerful treasures in the galaxy, highlighting Missy’s greed for power and might over all.


What were the biggest challenges?

The biggest challenges were remembering to get the spellings right of the planet and the two opposing sides, whenever I left the story and came back to it a week or two later. I’ve always wanted to come up with imaginative names of alien species and planets, and try to get away from familiar territory like setting the story on Earth and re-using old foes. Having a completely blank canvas to start with nudged me in this direction, and I’ve tried to make this adventure as broad and as exciting as I possibly could.


Where else we can find your work?

I’ve previously had fiction published in ‘Nine Lives’ - a Shalka Doctor Anthology, ‘Unbound: Adventures in Time and Space’ and I am associated with ‘Whoblique Strategies’, all raising money for charity. I’ve had a short story published in the Oxford Doctor Who Society publication ‘The Tides of Time’ (issue 40), and in fanzines Cosmic Masque (Issue 8 onwards), The Terrible Zodin (Issue 21 onwards), and online via ‘Inferno Fiction’.


What are you working on now, if you can share it?

I’m currently working on contributions towards books on British Television and another on British Film, and continue to write short fiction for anthologies and fanzines.


What’s your favourite Master story?

My favourite Master story is The Sea Devils. I love that in the beginning he’s doing time behind bars, but he’s really in control of those who’ve imprisoned him and communicating with the Sea Devils. It’s a terrific adventure that has some truly exciting moments, from the sword and dagger fight with the Doctor, to the invasion of the naval base, to the Master exercising his authority over Trenchard, and the Doctor not coming back up from exploring the seabed. I just think it’s superbly made, cast and crew must have had an absolute ball making it, and I wish the Sea Devils were brought back for modern who in as epic style as they made their first appearance in this!


Who do you think should play the next Master and why?

As ever, I’m always interested in who could or has played the Master. Until I saw Capaldi’s Dark Water/ Death in Heaven, I’d no idea who Missy was until it was revealed, and I thought that it was brilliant casting. Michelle Gomez is a wonderful actress. She really had a feel for the character! And all those who came before her were brilliant additions to the series, as it has developed over time. If Michelle doesn’t return to the show, then perhaps someone like Imelda Staunton - who is a terrific actress, and could certainly follow in Missy’s footsteps!


Pick up your copy of Master Pieces now from Altrix!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

MASTER PIECES AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Daniel Wealands



Why did you decide to pitch a story for Master Pieces?
Partially because I was curious to see if I could do an entire story about the master that didn't feature the Doctor, partially to support an amazing charity

What are you most proud of about your story?
Finding the voice and character of this incarnation of the Master, once I found him he was a joy to write for.

Can you give us a little taster of what the readers can expect from your piece?
It's hard to say without giving anything away really. But you will be in much the same boat as the Master, as he has no clue what is going on around him either for much of the story. Though you will see a side of him we rarely see, though I'm sure he'd deny it all.

How did you find the writing process?
Honestly, finding the story was like pulling teeth. I had a basic premise, the germ of an idea, but it just wouldn't be coaxed out. It took multiple goes and many long nights of looking at things from every possible angle to get to a point where there was more than just a concept, and that's when it started to write itself really. The Master just took off and I just had to keep up with him.

Where else we can find your work?
If they are still available I've got stories in Seasons of War, A Timelord for Change, Whoblique Strategies and The unofficial Doctor Who Limerick Book. I'm also embarking on my first stab at Nanowrimo this month, with a non-Who related project I promised my friend and muse, Declan May, that I'd get written, which he planted the seeds for and gave his blessing for me to run with.

What’s your favourite Master story?
Sea Devils or The Daemons. I'm a sucker for Delgado

Who do you think should play the next Master and why?
I'd like to see Derek Jacobi back and have a full on screen run with his Master. His Big Finish work was exemplary and I think he'd make a perfect foil for Jodie Whittaker's Doctor.

Get your copy of Master Pieces from Altrix!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

MASTER PIECES AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Richard Gurl




Why did you decide to pitch for Master Pieces?

Pitching a Master story was an opportunity that I didn't want to miss! My pitch was around when the Master Pieces book was in the hands of Scott Claringbold, so it has gestated like some horrible alien during this time - hopefully emerging as something much more pleasant! Writing a Time Lord tale for someone other than the Doctor was a great way to explore different facets of the Master's character. That said, the way he's presented here is somewhat different from the norm, so writing him as out-and-out evil wasn't really accomplished. The title of my story refers both to his situation, and to his personality. So if the Master isn't the villain of the piece, then someone... something else had to be! Baddies and monsters - we love 'em!

What are you most proud of about your story?

The fact that it presents us with new sides to the Master, and that it segues nicely into established continuity. Oh, and the baddies are nasty critters, too!


What can the reader expect from your piece?

The unfamiliar is familiar, or vice versa. Expect the unexpected (as Tiger Ninestein said). And there are big guns involved, as well as big changes! The Master finds himself on a new world. One that he seemingly recognises! It's different, though. He is, too. His health deteriorates, whilst something else's improves. Danger abounds! The genre is military/base-under-siege/action (with the obvious, necessary sci-fi bits!). Favourite quote: "I am the Master...!" (Sorry!)


How did you find the writing process?

The process of coming up with the story was easy, luckily. The refinement and editing was testing, but I'm grateful for the help. The character in my story necessitated a rethink - his dilemma created fresh insights, all the while drawing on what made him so bad in the first place. All in all, I enjoyed creating this small slice of the Whoniverse, In this case though, the Masterverse, surely? (He wouldn't have it any other way!) As the Master himself faces a challenge or two in the tale, the only one I faced (considerably smaller and less dangerous than his) was trying something new within the onscreen continuity. On TV, the War Doctor came along, fitting in between stories, and this was fun to slot in, too (although I'm not meaning to compare the two, oh no!). To think, I originally envisioned an Inferno-type story, but decided to go down a slightly different route, and I'm glad I did!


Where else can we find your work?

I also penned a story for Altrix's Unearthed anthology; a Doctor Who story for Unbound, another recent anthology; I contributed to Scott Claringbold's Relics book; wrote The Ghost of Big Ben (a Fourth Doctor story set in World War 2, but now unavailable), and have some UNIT-related work coming out in the near future!


What is your favourite Master story?

That's difficult to pinpoint, but I will go for Roger Delgado's first story; Terror of the Autons, as he was, in my mind, the best Master. Also, the reveal in Utopia is a great moment! So many wonderful portrayals! Of course, who can forget Eric Roberts in the TV movie?


Who would you like to see cast as the next Master?

Charles Dance gets my vote! Apparently, he very nearly took on the role. Maybe he still could? Another choice, perhaps slightly left-field: Sean Pertwee! Now, that would be fantastic!


Get your cope of Master Pieces now from Altrix Books!

Monday, November 11, 2019

MASTER PIECES AUTHOR INTERVIEW - Kara Dennison


What made you decide to pitch for Master Pieces?

Since Master Pieces wasn't always an Altrix publication, my participation wasn't necessarily a given in the early days! I'd written "Dark Media" for Nine Lives from Red Ted Books, and had great fun playing with the version of Derek Jacobi's master that appeared opposite Richard E. Grant's "Scream of the Shalka" Doctor. I always like working with people again if I've had fun the first time. Plus, the brief — all Master, no Doctor — was a wicked challenge I had to try.


What are you most proud of about your story?

I always work some mention of tea into any story I write, but this time it's gross and horrific.


Can you give us a little taster of what the readers can expect from your piece?

It's your typical companion origin story: someone feels out of place in their life, until a mysterious time traveller drops into their lives, offers them adventure and excitement, and shows them they're so much more than they think they are. But what happens when that mysterious time traveller is the one who likes to destroy worlds rather than save them?


How did you find the writing process?

I've written and researched the Twelfth Doctor's era a lot, but I've never actually written Missy. Getting her pitch-perfect was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. On the other hand, it was fun watching her attempt the whole "companion" thing. By necessity, she's going to react very differently to meeting someone who's clever,  curious, and motivated. For the Doctor that's a bonus; for the Master it's either a boon or the end of everything, depending on today's scheme.


Where else can we find your work?

Up next from me is Vanishing Tales of the City from Obverse Books - which is the tail end of Obverse's anniversary Sextet. If you like Iris Wildthyme, SeƱor 105, Faction Paradox, any of that, it's in there somewhere. I'm also currently in A Pile of Good Things, an Eleventh Doctor charity anthology headed up by the Master Pieces cover artist, Ginger Hoesly. I'm always doing something on my own blog as well.


What is your favourite Master story?

I've been rewatching The Daemons for research, and it's reminded me how much I love Roger Delgado in that story. I like just about any Delgado-starrer, though.


Who would you like to see cast as the next Master?

Paterson Joseph. I've been rooting for him as a potential Doctor for a while now, but switching sides. Let him have twice the scenery to chew.

Buy your copy of Master Pieces!

Friday, November 8, 2019

MASTER PIECES AUTHOR INTERVIEW - Tim Gambrell




Why did you decide to pitch a story for Master Pieces? 
Two reasons, I guess. Firstly, I worked with Scott Claringbold on the Relics anthology and was really pleased with the result, so I was happy to work with him again on what was to be his next project (at the time). Secondly, I still think of myself very much as a novice, so I'm constantly looking for opportunities to develop my skills, to learn and improve (and to build up a network of contacts). I try to grab as many writing opportunities as I realistically can.


What are you most proud of about your stories?
It has to be that I was able to deliver the goods on two stories, which sounds conceited, I know. The even more conceited answer is that when I revisited the stories after many months (and several intervening projects) I found I was surprised by them - in a good way. I've always taken it as a positive sign when a writer is surprised by their own work.


Can you give us a little taster of what the readers can expect from your pieces? 
Plaything follows on immediately from the end of the 1996 TV Movie. I wanted to write a piece that played to the strengths of the Eric Roberts Master: his physicality and theatrical presence. It's very much a solo tour de force. The Patient is a story where the reader starts off knowing, or suspecting, more than the lead character, Costan. Hopefully it will be fun for the reader as the story progresses and the balance slowly evens out.


How did you find the writing process? 
My two contributions were chalk and cheese for me. I love writing most when ideas take shape and develop an organic life of their own. For example, The Patient, as originally pitched, was a Deadly Assassin Master story. But when the call went out for War Master stories, it quickly became apparent that swapping Peter Pratt for Derek Jacobi offered me a much wider canvas. At that point all the aspects of the story seemed to fall naturally into place. I think The Patient as originally conceived would have been simply a vignette rather than a sustained narrative, and therefore probably wouldn't have made the cut. Plaything, on the other hand, was a far more challenging piece. I struggled for ages to find my mojo with that text, to find the joy of it. I knew roughly what I wanted to do and say, but not specifically how to do and say it. The right words just wouldn't come. It was a slog, and I had to force myself on at times. If anything, Plaything celebrates the reviewing and refining that takes place after that painful first draft is bled from your brain. I was out of my comfort zone an awful lot with this story, but I wanted to prove to myself as much as anything that I could see those ideas through to fruition and create an end product that I was sufficiently happy with to submit to others.


Where else we can find your work? 
So far this year I've had two linked novels published by Candy Jar Books, Lethbridge-Stewart: Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets (The Laughing Gnome Book 5) and The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Brigadier & The Bledoe Cadets. More details on both can be found here. Also from Candy Jar books, I have a story in The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: A Christmas Collection, due out at the end of November. Elsewhere in the Doctor Who universe I've got a short story, 'Stockholm From Home', in Bernice Summerfield: True Stories, available from Big Finish as a book, e-book or audio book. I've contributed several Sherlock Holmes pastiches to recent collections. Two are currently available from Amazon: The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part XIII - 2019 Annual (1881-1890) The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part XVI - Whatever Remains... Must Be the Truth (1881-1890) On top of all that, I continue to be a busy bee. I have an Erimem novella, The Way of the Bry'hunee, which is due out soon from Thebes Publishing. I also have a few more Sherlock Holmes stories on the way in anthologies from Belanger Books, plus more Lethbridge-Stewart from Candy Jar.


What’s your favourite Master story? 
Toughie! I will go with The Mind of Evil, I think. Roger Delgado is superb in that, and Don Houghton's story is the closest the Pertwee era got again to the grittiness of Season 7.


Who do you think should play the next Master and why? 
Argh! Awful question! Okay... Mark Heap. I'd like to see him apply some of that manic obsession he showed in Spaced 20 years ago, and he's still young enough to carry it off.

Order Master Pieces now from Altrix Books!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

MASTER PIECES AUTHOR INTERVIEW - Simon A Brett




Why did you decide to pitch a story for Master Pieces?
The honest answer? I wanted to work with Paul Driscoll. He's been such a steady source of support and friendship since the original Seasons Of War project and I wanted to support him in some way. Even if it meant undermining the standards of his latest project(!) Having the opportunity to write for John Simm's Master was a happy coincidence. I suppose I don't like going for what some might think is the obvious choice of incarnation and I've always been a massive fan of the actor, so the opportunity to put words into his mouth was very attractive. ("Lickspittle" being one of my favourites)

What are you most proud of about your story?
I would hope that the story offers enough imagination and ambiguity that readers might not automatically assume that it's about "this" or "that" which I guess is a danger when you approach such a politically charged scenario (The story is set in number 10 after all!). If I remember rightly, Paul suggested that he'd like to see someone cover the Master's time as Prime Minister and a challenge like that tends to offer up an amount of pressure, but also the opportunity to do something readers might not expect. So, while I say it's staged in number 10 Downing Street, it's not quite the place as we know it. Maybe what I'm most proud of is that in the current political climate I've looked at things in a more oblique, emotionally charged way (Which, if a reader is determined to assume that I have some hidden agenda is probably what I'm saying). There are no bad guys as such. Just characters with their own nuances and focusses. Whether they're seen as protagonist or antagonist is up to the reader...but isn't that just politics in a nutshell?

Can you give us a little taster of what the readers can expect from your piece?
Lots of Latin. And the word "Lickspittle".

How did you find the writing process?
I found that I was constantly double checking how I was approaching the Master's alien perspective. He interacts with Earthlings in a manner that suits his own purposes. The Simm Master behaves like a morally corrupt businessman who moves into a town and looks to see how he can use its resources for his own benefit. If anything doesn't fit his plans, then it's bye-bye. If I ever get the chance to write for the Doctor again, it'll certainly influence how I approach his/her relationship with planet Earth. Both the Doctor and the Master have a huge enthusiasm for the minutae of human beings, but for different reasons.

The biggest challenge as I mentioned before was to approach an obviously political set-up in a different way. I won't deny that I own a fairly strong moral compass, so to try and reach past party politics and get into the heads of such extreme characters was a new thing for me. To date, I don't believe I've ever written a proper through-and-through bad guy in any of my stories, so the Master is the closest I've come.

Where else we can find your work?

I've contributed short stories to Seasons Of War, Time Shadows 2 and various other anthologies. My Iris Wildthyme story, Timepiece is in the Obverse Books anthology, A Clockwork Iris and  recently contributed an interview with illustrator, Alan Willow for the Doctor Who Magazine Target Books special. I was also lucky enough to write a short audio play for Sounds Of Thunder towards the end of last year starring Toby Hadoke. I'm currently in the process of writing my first book as well as a fairly substantial article for the next edition of Vworp! Vworp! Magazine, which has become very special to me. I can't say much about it other than it's been a real journey as a writer and illustrator. There are links to both my writing and artwork either via my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/simonbrettart/ or my website at www.simonbrett.co.uk


What’s your favourite Master story?
I suppose I should choose a John Simm story, but in true backstabbing Master style I'd have to say Terror Of The Autons. It's just so much fun and Roger Delgado hits the ground running from his first appearance.

Who do you think should play the next Master and why?
Lucy Punch. I mean, I know that she's kind of cut out a niche for herself playing nasty pieces of work, but oh my word, she's so good. So...well, nasty.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

MASTER PIECES AUTHOR INTERVIEW - Iain McLaughlin


Why did you decide to pitch a story for Master Pieces?
I’d never written for the Master. It’s a character I have fond memories of from the Pertwee days, but if I’m honest I haven’t been a fan of all of the subsequent incarnations. Some I have really liked. Some… not so much. But I do like the concept of the character and Roger Delgado was glorious, and so I thought I’d have a go. Besides, it’s for a good cause so it would be mean not to.

What are you most proud of about your story?
I like the characters and personality of the Master I worked with. I also like that he fits in so comfortably with Erimem, Andy and Ibrahim. This was kind of my test for a plot idea too. If I can assassinate everyone more likely than me to ever become Doctor Who showrunner (and that would be a very, very, very long list) my plan for the show’s 60th would be distilled from part of the idea in this.

Can you give us a little taster of what the readers can expect from your piece?
It’s a heist story. I wanted to do The Thomas Crown Affair but with time travel shenanigans and the Master… and in 5000 words.
I’ve never let Erimem and her new chums appear in anything except the books we do with them. I thought it might be nice to let Erimem and her pals provide the backdrop for the Master story, just to make it have a different flavour from the other stories.

How did you find the writing process?
I went back to basics with him. What is he? Who is he? What is he in comparison with the Doctor? How does he view the Doctor? What made me like and enjoy the character in the first place? The challenge for me was making this a story and a Master I’d like to have seen on the tellybox.

Where else we can find your work?
I’m writing a noir novel at the moment. Set in the golden age of Hollywood, it’s a female private eye investigating a really nasty run of crimes. I’ve got three novels completed but not announced and contracts signed for a couple of novels which I’ll do after that. I write for Commando war comics regularly and edit the Erimem novels. I like to write for the series every year or so. But I’ve written a pile of different things – novels, audios, radio, TV, theatre… if you want to check out my work, pop over to www.iainmclaughlin.co.uk – I update it a couple of times a month.

What’s your favourite Master story?
Terror of the Autons. It just edges The Daemons and The Deadly Assassin. It’s a wonderful introduction story and really sets him up as the Doctor’s Moriarty, or something of an anti-Doctor. And it’s a great Robert Holmes script. As is The Deadly Assassin. The Daemons is pretty much perfect too.

Who do you think should play the next Master and why?
Hugh Grant. I like the Master to be charming, ruthless and not insane. I really think Hugh Grant would be smooth, intelligent, utterly amoral and enormous fun. I would also like Peter Capaldi to play the Master. If the Master really wants to stick the knife into the Doctor, there’s nothing more insulting than to actually copy his appearance. Capaldi is also just a fantastic villain.