Thursday, July 1, 2021

Master Switches - An Interview with Gary Mack

In the latest in our series of interviews with Master Switches authors, writer Gary Mack talks about his story 'The Slaves of Missy'. This time she is facing off against a Doctor who is much more of a kindred spirit than his predecessor... 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, my name is Gary and I live in the beautiful cathedral city of Lichfield. I work for both the NHS and Local Government as a senior manager. I'm married and I've got three teenage boys - and I wonder how I ever get to write.

I have been telling stories seriously for just over two years, and I have been lucky to have been published in international speculative fiction journals in that time.  My most recent publication was fan-fiction; Avon's Ruse in the Blake's 7  Forever Avon  anthology My first ever published work appeared in the Second Lethbridge Stewart Short Story Collection in 2019 and was called The Eye of the Beholder. I have just embarked on my third novel and I have a collection of short horror and sci-fi fiction out soon, called Impossible Fruit.

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

I liked the premise of the Master winning - hence submitting an outline to Paul.

How would you describe your story in a nutshell? 

In a nutshell The Slaves of Missy is about the horrors of oppression, and how the good guy often makes mistakes - just trying to champion the oppressed. 

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

I chose the combination of Missy and Doctor No 6 because of their flamboyance - counterbalanced by their darker sides. 

How did you find the writing process?

The deadline for the story came at a particular low time for me, like many the COVID lockdown hit me hard personally and professionally - so the story is probably a little dark on reflection. 

What aspect of your story are you most proud of? 

I thoroughly enjoyed writing Missy however, and my proudest moment was when a friend told me I had got her voice quite early on in the drafting process. Fan fiction for me is about capturing the characters thousands of people love.

What’s your favourite line from your story?

My favourite line is one concerning Missy. Upon hearing the distant noise of the trumpeting TARDIS she thinks: 

‘Is it him? Has he come to foil my little scheme? She hoped he was one of the Scottish ones this time. They both liked a scheme.


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