Thursday, 13 October 2011

DOCTOR WHO WRITERS/THE MAN WHO INVENTED THE DALEKS Workshops and extract from Children of Abraham

Just got back from these two informative talks which formed part of the Morley Literature Festival.  They were held this evening at Morley Town Hall and were very well attended.  Doctor Who Writers featured Mark Morris who has written four books for Doctor Who, a Torchwood novel and several Dr Who audio scripts, Mark Michalowski who is author of four Dr Who novels, a Being Human novel for the BBC and currently working on a steam punk novella and Paul Magrs who has written fifteen audio adventures for Tom Baker's Doctor Who.  These fascinating talks let the attendees know some inside secrets of writing novels for the immensly popular tv series, one of which was that Tom Baker thinks he IS Dr Who!  The second talk was by author Alwyn Turner to discuss his new biography on Terry Nation, the writer behind Britain's most successful villains - the daleks.  A prolific writer, Nation wrote for Dr Who, Blake's Seven, The Saint, The Avengers, The Survivors and The Persuaders and was very pleased that as a writer he got a new word entered into the dictionary- dalek.  He made the word up but found out later that it was a Serbian word meaning 'far away thing/alien' and based his monster on the Nazis (they even have the salute).  All the writers opened the floor up to questions after their talks and were available to sign copies of their books that were available to buy on the night.

On a science fiction note, here is a section from my science fiction novel 'Children of Abraham' for you to peruse:

The tracking device was still active.  The light flickering gave Blake the reason he needed to keep going.  Until now he had been convinced that it was over, but the device had been set to trigger once he had left the building and even if he was dead, it would have to mean that someone was moving the body.  If they were moving the body to the morgue, why were they moving it at night?

He got dressed silently.  The black polo-neck and jeans perfect for the job in hand.  As he slipped out of the room, he exhaled a relieved breath that he had managed the job without waking Frankie.  It was over a week since she had slept properly and he knew that she would probably give him Hell for not waking her.  It was a task he must see through alone.  It wasn’t that he was detached from the situation, just that his mind was trained to deal with the facts.  Frankie could only deal with emotion.  He had to ensure that no distractions could stop him.  He needed to locate the device.  Once he did that, the answers would follow.  He stopped briefly to pick up his keys but walking to the car whilst putting on his coat was automatic.  The only thing his mind was working on fully was finding the truth.  As the car pulled away from the kerb, he was already keying in the numbers.  The computer screen engaged.  He knew which direction to go.  The pale light from the moon filtered through the windows and gave the screen a bluish glow.  A strange thought occurred to him.  The eerie glow reminded him of Dr Abraham’s eyes. 

He shook the thought from his head and headed out of town.  He was almost upon the woods when he realised where he was.  The backwater held a lot of memories.  This had been the scene of one of his worse cases, the copse where all those bodies had been found.  No-one had been near the place in years, too many things that people associated with it.  It was years ago, but things like that never get forgotten.  Maybe that was why they had chosen this location, because nobody wanted to come anywhere near.

There was only one parked car in the spaces provided.  It was a Bentley Continental.  Why would anyone bring a car like that?  Something wasn’t right here and Blake unconsciously reached for his gun.

The trees blocked most of the light from the moon.  It was treacherous going as he headed into the woods.  He had to go slowly so that the branches and leaves would not give him away.  He thought he imagined shapes in the shadows and noises close by.  It felt like someone knew he was here.  Should he have come alone?  It was too late now; the flickering light told him that he had almost reached his goal.

There, in a small clearing, was an abandoned house.  It looked half-derelict, but he knew that someone was in there.  Someone had moved the body, the tracker never lied. 

He flattened his body against the wall and inched towards the grimy window.  The only sound was his breath in the cold air.  As he peered into the window he caught a glimpse of dark shadows within.  Whoever it was, he was not alone. 

Blake judged the light and decided that his shadow would not project into the room.  Carefully he looked again.  There were four of them.  Four tall and thin shapes around a table with a holdall placed in the centre.  A cold thought entered into his heart, slowing the beat.  Was the tracking device in that bag?  Why would they bury the body here?  An ordinary funeral wouldn’t arouse suspicion. 

He leaned in closer trying to see what was in the bag.  That was when it happened.  A small branch snapped under his weight.  The four shadows turned towards the window.  He was held static under their gaze.  Their eyes.  The glow seemed to steal right into his bones, a numbness spread over his limbs.

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