I’ve accidentally started focusing on New Adventures authors on the site recently, and here’s another – Andy Lane. He wrote ‘Lucifer Rising’ with Jim Mortimore (of whom more soon) and then ‘All-Consuming Fire’ and ‘Original Sin’. Quite a few of these quotes come from a long and excellent interview here.
Getting into the New Adventures
Jim Mortimore and I decided that if Paul Cornell could sell a Doctor Who book then we could, by which I don’t mean that Paul’s stuff was bad, just that he came out of the fanzines that I’d been in, and people had said equally nice things about both of us.
We sent in a proposal. Peter Darvill-Evans rejected it because it was too like standard TV Doctor Who We sent in another proposal. Peter rejected it because it was far too weird — it was called Bodyshock, and started out when the Doctor and Ace woke up in the bodies of giant lobsters separated by millions of years on an alien planet. I can see what Peter meant about it being weird… Then Peter telephoned Jim and said, ‘Jim, that first proposal you wrote… I’ve been thinking about it, and I’d like to give it a go.’ Cue fame, success and happiness.
On co-writing Lucifer Rising with Jim Mortimore
The way Jim and I agreed was to thrash a detailed plot out over the course of some months, then write alternate chapters, sticking to the plot. The only problems we had were in chapter 5, when Jim wandered away from the plot, and chapter 10, when I wrote some sub-standard stuff. Both chapters got rewritten.
On Virgin’s approach to the New Adventures
I’m impressed with the amount of care and attention that Virgin lavish on the series. Yes they make mistakes, and yes they let things slip through that we wish they hadn’t, but that’s because they’re thoroughly overworked. Rebecca Levena and Andy Bodle, the people with whom I have most contact, are very knowledgable about continuity and the way the series should be going. Rebecca is proud that no proposal has gone through without having been changed.
People buy the Missing or New Adventures for their own reasons. We can’t change that reason. The reason is people want to recapture the feeling of watching Doctor Who. We’ve got to cater to that… If we want to do something more serious, we should write serious books. Not Doctor Who. Tolstoy wouldn’t be writing New Adventures, he’d be writing his own stuff. So should we. (But) if I went out and wrote a science fiction or horror novel now, and sold it, even through my agent, I’d be getting a much smaller print run than I do for the Doctor Who books. We’re getting a very good deal.
On cover art
I was asked to write a page or so on what I wanted on the cover, and I was consulted over choice of artist. Virgin are brilliant in the way they deal with writers.
On Original Sin
It was originally meant to be a Third Doctor Missing Adventure titled Broken Heroes, but it mutated along the way.
On writing for Ace
Ace is a bitch to write for — literally and metaphorically. She isn’t a real character any more. What she’s been through is enough to drive any normal human being mad.
On writing for Benny
I suspect that my take on her is different from most other people’s. Paul Cornell and I have talked it through, and I think – I hope – he’s happier with my interpretation than he is with some of the others.