Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Remember remember this coming September

Well, I can finally spill the beans. Well, a few of them. And no, this isn't more of me rattling on about 'Doctor' Gillian McKeith. This is much more important.

After two months of having to keep quiet and bite my tongue, I can finally run to the top of an Alpine hill in a nun's outfit and declare that the hills are alive with the sound of my keyboard as I finally get around to writing a new novel.

Yes! Come September, every bookshop in the land, every supermarket and every library will proudly be stocking three new Doctor Who novels. And one of them will be mine. At the moment, it's going by the provisional title of Wetworld, but that could quite possibly change. Tieing in with the absolutely brilliant new TV series, it features David Tennant as the Doctor, and Freema Agyeman as new companion Martha (pictured above.)

The other two books are also by newcomers to the NSA (New Series Adventures) range - published since the Russel T Davies-helmed series burst back onto our TV screens in 2005: one by acclaimed author Paul Magrs (possibly called The Wicked Bungalow - the book, I mean, not Paul) and one by veteran horror and thriller writer Mark Morris (called Forever Autumn). I'm absolutely chuffed, not only to be asked to write one, but to be in the company of the two of them. I'm hoping some of the shine from their books rubs off on mine, actually.

Can't tell you what Wetworld is about, obviously, but suffice to say there are swamp monsters in it. The NSAs are aimed at a slightly lower starting age (8 and upwards) than the two previous Doctor Who novels (and the Professor Bernice Summerfield novel) I've written which is proving to be an interesting challenge. For a start, I'm having to struggle against my habit of writing ludicrously long, multi-clausal sentences: ones full of colons and semi-colons; ones full of multiple, often unnecessary, adjectives - and clauses separated off with dashes.

And as if the excitement of being asked to write an NSA wasn't enough, me, Paul and Mark - who are absolutely lovely, as well as being great writers - were forced at gunpoint to go down to Cardiff to view rough cuts of the first three episodes of the new series, and it really is the bee's bollocks!

And this afternoon, I got to interview Phil Collinson, Doctor Who's producer, for my gay paper, Shout! - which was very weird, considering I'm writing a Doctor Who book at the same time. He's a lovely bloke, he really is: I'm just hoping that the battered old dictaphone that I used to record the interview has recorded everything well enough, otherwise I'll just have to make it all up. Check Shout!'s website over the next month or two to see the finished thing. If you discover that he was born 'Phyllis Collings' and spent his formative years at a sex-change clinic in Rio de Janeiro, then you'll know it's time I got a new dictaphone.