Most Fridays I try to post a random fact to my Facebook fanpage and Twitter related to my books or myself as an author. Lately they've been related to Keir's Fall as I (hopefully) approach release. It reminded me that the main antagonists started life many years ago when I was a teen, in a Doctor Who story I wrote called Gamehouse, (and many, many years before I ever heard the term 'fanfic'). That reminder led me to dig out an old diary filled with fragments of that fanfic and others (1989 for those curious). FYI I've never (willingly) thrown away anything I've written, though some things have been lost or accidentally destroyed over time (I have folders and notebooks and big boxes of all those things).
I've been watching Doctor Who since I was three years old. Yeah, I can be sure of that because I remember the episode very clearly. That was way back before the benefit of repeats, before iPlayer, before video even. It was Jon Pertwee's last story, and something I blame my spider phobia on: Planet of the Spiders. Theoretically, though, Tom Baker (4th) was the Who I grew up with, and 'my' companion was Sarah Jane Smith (the now sadly deceased Elizabeth Sladen), who didn't merely scream in the right places and flatter the Doctor. She had spunk!
So I've seen a lot of Who's evolution. I was one of those who cried when the series was cancelled and felt my world had come to an end. But it did inspire me to do something about it, and to do something positive as a writer. With DW off screen, I finally sat down and completed my first ever novel (after dozens of unfinished works): A Doctor Who story featuring the 7th Doctor (Sylvester McCoy), but with a new companion called Quin. Some people might recognize the name. ;) That story was called Shadowshaper. It not only featured the first incarnation of Quin (who went on to be the heroine in several uncompleted stories before Keir) but the sentaic and Rulk as well. The original machine-typed manuscript, along with that rejection letter and some of my own character sketches, now sits on my bookshelf, hand-bound by a friend's dad who knew how to put proper old-fashioned books together.
I don't know that it qualifies as fan fiction being as I actually submitted it to WH Allen, the then publisher of DW books, and written it in keeping with the final series and current canon. It got rejected but with a wonderfully detailed critique from the publisher. At age 18, that was huge - a publisher telling me they liked it (I'd broken a couple of central laws like (deliberately) leaving out the then companion Ace and revealing some of the Doctor's inner thoughts - a then definite no-no!). Maybe I'll get around to posting it on WattPad one day... My main epiphany with that book though was actually finishing something, an achievement not to be repeated for another twenty years when I finally wrote Keir. >.<
And new Who? Well, I had my doubts about Christopher Eccleston despite my elation at seeing the series return, but he did a damn fine job of bringing it back. I never liked Billy Piper, and the romance between her and Ten was the one thing that ruined it for me (Donna Noble was my favourite companion, and I've yet to fall in love with any since). But I guess DW had to grow up and evolve like the older generations of fans, and needed to draw new ones if it was going to continue. I think it did a great job. I'll admit my devotion died somewhat during the Matt Smith era.I dunno. Maybe it was him being the first Who actor actually younger than me. Maybe it was the awkward love triangle with the Ponds. Whatever, it was the first time in Who history that I skipped watching episodes.
Bur while the Matt Smith fangirls might have abandoned ship at his departure, I was over the moon to see Peter Capaldi take over. Much more my idea of the Doctor. Maybe I have a bit of a thing for older men but I adored him as the Angel Islington in the BBC TV adaptation of Neverwhere. And Missy? Adore her! Finally a Master who really is just evil and kills without hesitation.
Will I always be a Who fan? Who knows? :P But without it, I have to wonder if I'd have ever finished a whole book and tried to get it published in the first place.
I have round three of Keir's Fall still in progress. Are you sick of me saying that yet? Round one of Reunion is almost done - really almost. I've left it to focus on KF again. Round one of my proposed June release is still with Dani.
The Goodreads giveaway for a print edition of When Dark Falls is still open until the end of November.
In preparation for the release of Keir's Fall, Keir (Book One) is now reduced to $0.99/99 Euros/99p across all digital platforms (it's $1 at All Romance eBooks because they work by percentage discount there rather than setting a price) until the end of the year.
Print available from...
Before I sign off, I'm going to share the first promo image for Keir's Fall, from my very talented cover designer, editor, and sanity saver Danielle Fine. Enjoy!