Monday, January 16, 2006


That's right, folks, the third and (perhaps unsurprisingly) final novel in my FIENDS OF THE EASTERN FRONT trilogy has been emailed off to Christian Dunn at Black Flame. No doubt there'll be a few tweaks and twiddles yet to be done on the manuscript, but that's all the hard work done. Praise the lord. I hereby vow never, ever, ever again to write a novel over the Christmas and New Year break. With all my MA Screenwriting coursework and numerous other deadlines, it was the only time available I had, but blimey! Not a good idea.

Still, I'm happy with the way TWILIGHT OF THE DEAD pulls together all the threads of the previous two novels. I did my best to be faithful to the origianl FIENDS serial in 2000 AD, but did insert a couple of small ret-cons into the narrative. Despite my struggles for traction during the early chapters, I ended the novel feeling up for another FIENDS novel, should Black Flame be eager/insane/gulible to commission another from me. Probably not another trilogy, as such, but I've got at least two ideas for further Fiends tales that could sustain 70,000 words of rip-snorting, page-turning, pulse-pounding prose.

What next? I think tomorrow will be a taking stock kind of day. I like to sort out the study when I finished a major project, file away the relevant reference material, and get everything assembled for the next few jobs. Basically, it's a way of getting my professional (and personal) life back under control after the mad dash to the finish line that always accompanies the endgame of writing a novel. Sometimes I wish it wasn't so, but I haven't broke the habit of leaving myself the barest minimum amount of time possible to deliver. Deadlines are a wonderful imperative, along with my Amex statement.

Still, I have now officially booked my flights to Los Angeles for next month's Gallifrey convention. There's going to be a bunch of other scribes present, including the redoubtable JIm Swallow (hey, Jim!), and Doctor Who series one scriptwriters Steven Moffat, Paul Cornell and Rob Shearman. About ten years ago I conducted a roundtable interview with three writers, two of whom contributed to Virgin's line of New Adventures novels, keeping the flame alive during Doctor Who's time in purgatory. The other person at the table had never written for Who and at that point in his career probably never thought he would.

Fast forward to 2006: Steven Moffat and Paul Cornell have both written TV adventures for the good Doctor. Me, I still harbour aspirations, but have got a long way to go before the BBC would be mad enough to let me try. And the other scribe at that table, so long ago? Andy Lane. Wonder where he's lurking these days...

No comments: