Not treading water no more (first posted 10.03.10)

It has been some months since I wrote that I was “treading water” on the writing front. For all the difference between then and now, it could have been aeons.
So what’s been happening? Well, things have been moving pretty fast. I have made many friends in the industry over the last six months and cemented other relationships that were already blossoming (should you cement something that is blossoming? Sounds wrong, but there you go…)And things have been moving with increasing acceleration since January, when the first of my new commissions came about from the ever-helpful and supportive John Ainsworth. I am thrilled to be writing a Bernice Summerfield adventure and even more so to be doing it with my old mate John Dorney. He’s been having great success with Big Finish and tie our fates together for one audio is a rare treat. While I prefer to write solo (as does Mr Dorney), there is a certain thrill in collaborating; the chance to see *exactly* how other writers approach their work and to be intimately involved in that process. Thus far, writing what will be the third story of season 11 (11.3) has been a privilege and a pleasure.
At almost exactly the same time, I received an invitation from Jim Swallow and Paul Spragg to attend a writers’ meeting with regards to a third season of Stargate audios. This took place in early February and was the first time I had been to such a creative event. It was a real blast having so many excellent storytellers there, brainstorming two trilogies’ worth of stories and assigning each writer an audio within them. The script for what will be the second story of the second trilogy (3.5) is now in full swing. At the moment, this is due to see the light of day some time in late 2010.
Meanwhile, I have been helping Big Finish with their ongoing mission to attend as many Doctor Who conventions as possible. It is a great to get out and meet so many fans and spend time with the team: David Richardson, Nick Briggs, Lisa Bowerman, et al. They are a solid bunch of people: funny, friendly and totally unaffected. These things are hard work, but they are hugely enjoyable! Having just completed the “Cheshunt task” (TImeQuest), I’ll be moving onto the Birmingham one (Bad Wolf) in July.
Hell, I even managed to get to Los Angeles in February for the annual Gallifrey convention (known as “Gally” to those reading this that know nothing of such matters). Run by the incomparable Shaun Lyon, it was an absolute delight. All the US fans are so positive and I featured on my first panels, holding forth on subjects as diverse as Doctor Who and Social Media! I also met a core group of brilliant Americans, among them Audry Taylor, Matthew Dow Smith and Paul J. Salamoff. Naturally I also caught up with many of the UK’s irrepressible greats of Whodom: Jason Haigh-Ellery, Gary Russell, Paul Cornell and Tony Lee.
This all sounds like a mass of name-dropping. My apologies. It’s not meant to be. They are all really, genuinely nice people and I am privileged to say that some have even become my friends over the past months and years…
So it was back home, but not to any respite! There is such a lot going on at the moment, but I simply cannot flesh it out in any real detail for contractual reasons or simply because I don’t want to count any chickens ahead of their emergence from the egg. I have had three further solid commissions for things and have been developing short story ideas for a diverse range of projects. I have even been starting to dip my toe into a medium that is totally new to me…!
Finally, there is something going on that is potentially HUGE but about which I cannot utter a thing until it moves on a stage or two. It could stall, but I am hopeful it won’t. That is the problem with this industry. A lot of it is anticipation and preparation for stuff that might never happen… But then, when things do happen it is *so* exciting and one is bursting tell the whole world but you can’t. Tongues must be bitten and lips sealed until the appropriate time. Which is fine. Although it’s like finding the best Christmas present you could wish for under the tree and not being able to tell anyone you’ve got it until Easter.
So, I am no longer trading water. I am doing a combination of front crawl and butterfly, bobbing and weaving, emailing and calling, pitching, proposing, developing and (gasp) actually writing!
Long may this continue. And develop!