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INTERVIEW: James P. Quick

September 23, 2017

Beginning today, and over the next seven weeks, we’ll be featuring short interviews with each of the authors whose stories make up Season 41.

First up is an interview with James P. Quick, who’s stories, “The Throne of Peladon” and “The Secret of Peladon” form season 41s premiere and second story.

(Warning: minor spoilers ahead.)

What was the inspiration for your story?
Well, initially it was the title, then it spiraled out from there. I’ve been sitting on the story for years, and it wasn’t any one particular inspiration, so much as a slow build-up of elements I decided that I wanted to include. Now, with how I’ve written the story’s foremost villain, I’ll admit to taking some pot-shots at Theresa May, the Daily Mail, and Donald Trump’s administration. Well, if The Happiness Patrol can be an extended critique of Margaret Thatcher…

Can you tell us any details about your story?
My story concerns a power struggle between the twin sons of the soon-to-be dead King of Peladon. However, that’s not the only faction vying for control.

Can you tell us where and/or when your story is set? Why did you choose this?
Most of my settings were chosen for me by virtue of it being a Peladon story. I have the Citadel of Peladon, still perched halfway up Mount Megeshra, and the mines, but I also feature sequences in a town down the mountain, Pelnar-over-Essel, which was inspired by the Fenghuang Ancient City in China. (Google it – it’s so cool.) The year is 4100 – a century after The Daleks’ Master Plan.

What do you hope your story adds to the TDWP mythos?
I hope my story adds a bit more to the backstory of the TDWP universe. What’s been going on since the last Peladon story? What have the Ice Warriors been up to? Is the Earth government the Earth Empire or is Earth simply the head of a coalition called the Solar System? What do the Sea Devils think about all this? And hey, let’s put Hannah’s geology degree to good use! (I swear this is by no means as fanwanky than it sounds, folks.)

What was your biggest challenge in writing the story?
Focusing. Just… focusing. I have a hundred thousand things I want to do, 20 things I’m actually doing, and then there’s this. I love the story, it’s my baby, but focusing is hard. It being my first more-or-less solo prose venture also complicates matters, as my self-esteem about my prose is low. It was a genuine shock to me when I got good feedback. Then I realized I’d written an outline that goes far beyond the 25k word edict. My story’s going to be 48k at least. Knowing me, it’ll end up 51k and over 200 pages.

What has your overall experience been like writing for TDWP? Any plans on contributing to future seasons?
Overall, since I – rather unwisely, given my limited time – offered to replace an ultimately-dropped story, a bit hectic. The pressure is on. But I’m determined to do right by you guys, the readers, and Bob, Ben, and Jeremy. As for future seasons… probably, but I’m not giving a firm yes. If I do, it’ll definitely be waaaaay shorter than The Throne of Peladon, which seems to have gotten into the Miracle-Gro. Please send pruning shears to the following P.O. box…

The Throne of Peladon is now available to download from The Doctor Who Project, while the concluding part of the story, The Secret of Peladon, will be released next Saturday, September 30th.

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