Friday, November 8, 2019


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!


Post a Comment