Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Q&A

So, for this Sunday's installment of questions, we go more cultish... meaning, it's time to discuss one of the many awesome things Paul does, which is Doctor Who!
Question: From being your friend on facebook I have noticed your decided lean to campy television and B-movies, aside from the obvious references in Helles Belles, how has this worked its way into your writing? 

Answer: I’ve always loved to mix high and low cultural points and I dread the kind of snobbery that separates these things out. I hope what I’m doing through my novels is constructing a kind of secret narrative history of recent centuries, told through various forms of cultural flotsam and jetsam. Soap operas; the Brontes; Shakespeare and the Fantastic Four, Dracula and H.R Pufnstuf – I like to mix it all into a reeking broth.

Question: Expanding on the previous question, your tastes seem such an obvious fit for Doctor Who, how did that writing job come about and do you ever dream of going beyond the books and audios and doing an episode of the show?

Answer: As a kid I wrote Doctor Who stories all the time. The first 30-page story I ever wrote long hand and then drafted and typed up was when I was twelve, and it was a Fourth Doctor story about giant bats in the Lake District. I always, always wanted to write a Doctor Who book. First of all I published some other novels – set in my own universe! – and then, when I had a bit of a publishing record – I approached BBC Books, who were then publishing original Eighth Doctor novels. After that came several others, and then several Big Finish audio scripts for the 5th, 6th and 8th Doctors, and then my adventures with Audiogo, Doctor 4 and Mrs Wibbsey. It’s been an amazing process. Of course I’d love to write for the TV show! But the people that do have big TV CV’s – which I don’t.

Question: Current favorite Doctor, given that this preference could change over time?

Answer: Tom Baker is always my favourite. To me, everyone else is an actor playing Doctor Who. Tom simply is Doctor Who.

Question: Sick Building was rumored to have had the working title of The Wicked Bungalow but was changed prior to release by Russell T Davies. Aside from the fact The Wicked Bungalow is a better title, how much creative interference do you encounter?

Answer: There are always compromises! On every single project that you do. There has to be. Everything is a collaboration – even a single-authored novel. You have to listen to your editor and agent and everyone else involved. They know about getting your stuff out to the audience and can help tailor what it is you’re doing. (I still don’t fully understand the Wicked Bungalow thing, though. I think it was thought to be too ironic-sounding. But that title wasn’t trying to be ironic – it really was a book about a bungalow that was quite, quite wicked.)

Question: You're in a completely hypothetical desert, walking along in the sand when all of a sudden you look down and see a tortoise. It's crawling towards you. You reach down and flip the tortoise over on its back, Leon. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over. But it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping. I mean you're not helping! Why is that, Leon?

Answer: I still don’t get this? Is it from Blade Runner…..?*

*I'll leave this up to my friend Aaron to explain, because he really wanted this question asked... if I remember right the reasoning is because all writers who have written in the sci fi genre should know Blade Runner, which this quote is indeed from. Hey, I took the effort to find a poster with Leon in it, so that's my standing. Also, I just realized Blade Runner is two words, how did I never notice that before? I even read the book... though in fairness, Blade Runner isn't it's title.


They're just questions, Leon. In answer to your query, they’re written down for me. It’s a test, designed to provoke an emotional response. Shall we continue?
We'll need at least twenty, thirty more, cross referenced, to determine if Paul Magrs is a replicant android.
... and now, in order to post, I have to prove to a computer that I am not a robot...

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