Sunday, June 20, 2021

Master Switches - An Interview with Kenton Hall

In the first in our series of author interviews, we talk to Canadian writer Kenton Hall. His Master Switches story is intriguingly called The Third Knock and includes a truly jaw-dropping twist...

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

My name is actually Kenton Hall, despite that sounding like somewhere you might once have visited on a wet Bank Holiday weekend. I’m a Canadian author, actor, director and musician as I reckoned it was lazy on my part to be unknown and broke in a single medium. And, to fulfil the comedy rule of threes, I am a father of twins. Scribe-wise, I wrote and directed the feature film A Dozen Summers (featuring Colin Baker as the Narrator), authored the book Bisection (a comic memoir of living and parenting with bipolar disorder) and was the editor of Regenerations, a Time War Anthology released by Chinbeard Books in 2020. I have several plates in the air at the moment, which saves on the washing up.

What made you want to write a story for Master Switches?

As a Who collector, I have spent a lot of time hunting down anthologies. The opportunity to tell a story, in good company and for charity was not to be missed. Also, I’d only just finished Seasons of War: Gallifrey when the call for submissions went out, so finding a way of working with Altrix Books was on my mind.

How would you describe your story in a nutshell?

The Doctor, believing himself to be at the end of his long journey, decides to do an old frenemy one final good turn. Needless to say, it goes… awry.

What made you decide which Master and Doctor combo to go with?

I’m fascinated by the relationship between the Doctor and the Master and their history. And also by how similar they are in many ways. The chance to have one of them at the beginning of that journey and one at, he believes, the end, felt like a potent area to explore. I like stories that dig into characters we know well, looking for new little wrinkles.

How did you find the writing process?

I think I faced the usual pitfall inherent in an idea that has fired you up – I wanted to turn it into a novel. So finding the core of the story and boiling it down to its essentials was the greatest challenge.

That and all writing, for me, is equal parts glory and kill it with fire.

Which aspects of your story are you most proud of?

If I’m working in a universe I love, especially Doctor Who, I’m very aware that the story lives and dies on how well you capture the character’s voices. By the final draft, I felt like I’d – to the best of my abilities – paid tribute to the actors and writers who’d brought them to life on TV. Obviously, however, that’s for the readers to judge.

What’s your favourite line from your story?

This will make no sense out of context, but ‘The Retiring Seers of Archon IX, for instance, or Canadians.’  It’s a very me line, not least because I think Canada should appear more frequently in science fiction. (It’s a much weirder place than most people realise.) 


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