Today Osier Publishing is honoured to bring you a guest post from author, Simon Forward. Simon’s post resonates here as Osier Publishing is staffed with Doctor Who fans, and relatives have also been lost to cancer. Let’s face it, who hasn’t known and lost someone to that disease?
Over to you, Simon…. and when you’re done reading, go and buy a book or two.
Heroes & Villains
My first ever published book was a Doctor Who novel.
After that I was lucky enough to be invited to write other books, short stories and audio dramas for the range. So it will come as no surprise when I confess that the TV Time Lord was a childhood hero of mine.
But as inspiring a fictional figure as he was, I was just as inspired by some of the great villains of the series. Like the Master – Doctor Who’s own Moriarty. Davros, evil inventor of the Daleks – I had a grandmother who looked exactly like him. Used to terrify the life out of me whenever my mum insisted I gave her a kiss. And there was no refuge to be found hiding behind the sofa.
Anyway, I digress. Great villains are the reason I wrote Evil UnLtd. All that popular sci-fi I lapped up as a kid – Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars – you name it, I watched – could be flipped on its head by giving the bad guys a turn at the helm. If my band of antagonistic protagonists are ever in the business of saving a planet it will only be to save it for themselves.
So far, so fun.
Evil was originally scripted as an audio drama but I’d begun work on the novel when my mum died, five days after being diagnosed with cancer.
Among the many ways in which that hurt, it hurt that she never got to see any of my original (non-Doctor Who) fiction published. Mind you, she would never have approved of Evil – she didn’t care for sci-fi (although she enjoyed that first Doctor Who novel of mine). She certainly wouldn’t have approved of some of the choice language employed by my villains from time to time. I would’ve had to reassure her it was all their doing, not mine.
Eventually, I think that was what drove me to publish Evil independently. Life’s too short and the big six of the publishing industry, for the most part, move too slowly and nervously if you want to get something original out there and being read.
Several years on and two books into the Evil UnLtd series (I’m currently working on Volume 3), time has healed with the efficiency of a National Health Service waiting list. But time comes with its share of damaging side-effects.
Such as, your childhood heroes – and heroines – get older – right ahead of you. In the course of just over a year, Doctor Who fans (very much including me) were hit with the sad news of the passing of three actresses who had portrayed three favourite companions from the series. Lis Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Caroline John (Liz Shaw) and Mary Tamm (Romana). If it had been just age and the march of time that would have been tragic enough but not unexpected. But it was all down to cancer. Goddamn cancer.
I started to feel like I had to do something. But I had no idea what. I mean, it had occurred to me briefly before to put Evil UnLtd to good use but I ended up convinced they were a poor fit. Villains in support of any kind of charity. Unthinkable.
But as Doctor Who’s 49th Anniversary (Friday 23rd November) approached, I figured there was an opportunity to make a difference in a way that would mean something to Doctor Who fans and me personally. Ultimately, I decided, hey, I’m the author, they’re the characters – who’s in charge here?
So for the next 6 months (until May 24th 2013) all royalties from the first two Evil UnLtd books (in all formats) will be going to Cancer Research UK. Hopefully that will mean something to readers and people in general.
You can find links to the various ways you can get your hands, virtual or otherwise, on the paperbacks and/or ebooks by visiting the official Evil website:
My band of villains will likely have their revenge on me at some point for this, but in the meantime please treat yourself to a copy of Vol 1 and/or Vol 2. Even if you’re not a sci-fi fan yourself, I’m told the books have a broader appeal than that – or they could make for a wicked gift for someone.
In any case, please help spread the word and share the link on Facebook, Twitter, blog, email – wherever you can.
Help make Evil do some Good.
Kindle – Amazon UK
Paperback – Amazon UK
Kindle – Amazon UK
Paperback – Amazon UK
Simon Forward is the author of several Doctor Who novels, audio dramas and short stories as well as three novelisations for the BBC’s Merlin series.