I haven't had material in a physical book for a fair while, since the Doctor Who story Christmas Every Day in Big Finish's Winter 2008 collection Short Trips: Christmas Around The World. So it's nice that two actual-world, papery books have come along at once. Namely...
A brand new official BBC tome! It's like the Doctor Who annual you always wanted, full of fun and proper content for all ages. I've written a smidgeon of fiction for it, in the shape of The Stone Totems. This consists of a curator's plaque in The National Museum, attempting to explain what its Stone Dalek exhibits might actually be. Oh dear lord, that was fun to write. On top of that, I wrote a few articles about Daleks, Silurians, the TARDIS and all sorts. Ridiculously exciting to work on a book edited by my former Doctor Who Magazine editor Clayton Hickman and designed by Doctor Who Adventures' equally super-talented Paul Lang. Buy it for Christmas, or better still, get someone to buy it for you.
Bernice, for the uninitiated, is a former Doctor Who companion from various novels and audios. She was created by that splendid fellow, Paul Cornell, and is a tad like a female Indiana Jones, being a feisty archaeologist.
I previously wrote the short story Prime Five for 2007's Bernice Summerfield: Missing Adventures hardback collection, so it was nice to return to the fold with a war story. Edited by the excellent Eddie Robson, Bernice Summerfield: Present Danger is a collection of stories which document a one-sided war between mankind and the Deindum, who are a bunch of aggressive, paranoid, floaty lizard-headed bastards from the future.
Rather than going for a full-blown war epic, out on the frontlines, I wanted to make the conflict more claustrophobic and personal. So my story, The War Of Art, sees Bernice trapped in a crashed freighter with a bunch of refugees, menaced by a single Deindum. There's fire, death, revenge, time travel and a 150-foot-high head. Surely I can't say fairer than that.
THE REST OF 2010
Brilliantly, I seem to have to have something of a release schedule for the rest of the year. (A release schedule! Loving those apples.) The two books already mentioned are available right now, and then I have one release per month until January. Here's what's in store for the rest of the year...
Red Eye Pictures' teen web drama series, which I worked on last year, receives its full launch on November 1. Three rather beguiling Fates arrive on a university campus, with a demented X Factor style mission to kill various people. Professor Morgan Node is the poor bastard chosen to chaperone the Fates and make sure they don't misinterpret the various clues provided to them by the gods, and bump off the wrong target. It's splendid black comedy fun, with some strong performances from the cast and more energy than you can shake a power generator at.
Wooo! Especially now that The Sarah Jane Adventures' Series Four has kicked off (you can see the concluding part of Joe Lidster's The Nightmare Man story today on CBBC), it feels great to have this original audio story set for release on November 4 through BBC Audio. Read by Elisabeth Sladen, it sees an alien attack on Earth, via the internet. And good heavens, it's only £4.49 at Amazon UK! I have yet to hear the finished recorded product, but can say I had a great time writing it and working with my great editor John Ainsworth, who really pushed for every last drop of value from the story.
Christ, what a way to end the year. The Big Finish release The Demons Of Red Lodge & Other Stories will be issued on December 31! Rest assured that I shall be partying with added vigour. This is a release which I'm proud to share with three other writers, the first two of whom are good friends (I haven't had the pleasure of meeting the third): William Gallagher (who writes the story Doing Time), John Dorney (Special Features) and Rick Briggs (The Entropy Composition). Four stories, starting with my own The Demons Of Red Lodge, and each featuring Peter Davison as The Doctor and Sarah Sutton as Nyssa. Yes!
2011: THE PLAN
Next year will see the release of me and Dan Turner's supernatural horror feature film, which was shot in August. It does now have a title, but not one which we're going to reveal just yet. Editing and post-production are coming along apace, and I couldn't be more excited about that. Elsewhere in featuresville, I have two new horror specs written, which need honing before I can lead them to market with bells in their noses.
There's one Doctor Who-related release scheduled for next year, which I've already written but can't announce yet. Can't bloody wait to do so, mind. The already-announced Short Trips Big Finish audio-story The Lions Of Trafalgar (read by Peter Davison and starring his Doctor along with Nyssa and Tegan) will be released on one of the Short Trips CD collections, to be decided. I'm working on at least two more things in that expansive Who universe, with a great deal of work in store between now and Christmas. Feels like I'm building up the head of steam I've always wanted.
You can't see this, but I'm doing a celebratory dance. And thank God you can't see it. Far too arousing. Shouldn't have mentioned it at all, really.
Good day to you.