Author Interview · Fifth Doctor · Interview · Temporal Logbook II · War Doctor

Author Interviews: J.E. Remy & Fionna MacDonald

We conclude our interviews with the authors of the Temporal Logbook II: Further Journey with a double set of interviews with authors J.E. Remy – author of the War Doctor story, The Muspilli Convention – and Fionna MacDonald – author of the bonus story Ghost Train featuring the Fifth Doctor.

J.E. Remy

How and when did you get interested in writing?
When I was a child, storytelling was a way for me to escape–to find a place I felt safe and stable in this world. I would carry around a spiral-bound notebook like a security blanket, filled with ideas and worlds I found myself imagining. It didn’t always keep me safe, but it gave me a view into other possibilities. As an adult, I had the opportunity to work at a community writing center, where I helped people write for creative, personal, and social justice purposes. That is when I started to actively work toward writing professionally. I found a passion for creative writing that tells stories greater than the words on the page.

How did you settle on a choice of Doctor and/or companion for the protagonist?
The War Doctor was an interesting premise when he was first introduced, but (despite John Hurt’s unsurprisingly stellar performance in the role) the televised portrayal of the character was minimal, at best. Big Finish, Titan Publishing, George Mann and Chinbeard Press all expanded on the character, but the sandbox still had ample room for development.

Where did you get inspiration for your story?
The War Doctor fits in an interesting space between Classic and NuWho. I wanted to see a story that bridged those eras, while pulling together some of the loose strings left behind from previous War Doctor stories. In addition to the inspiration the character brought, I wanted to see a story that wasn’t focused on the front lines of war, but on the diplomatic end. There are so many temporal powers affected by this war, I couldn’t imagine one not trying to stop both the Daleks and the Time Lords. The idea that the Daleks may be sincere in approaching peace talks, and that the Time Lords’ arrogance may threaten such peace helped fully bring the story together.

What was your biggest challenge in writing your story?
The breadth of the Whoniverse. While introducing my own characters and species is fun, there are so many that are already involved in this war, it only seemed fair they should have some time in the light. It was easy enough to consider who would end up on the station, but I had to manage a massive cast size–while still writing a story that offered space for the reader to step in and follow a simple plot. The moment I decided Ssilqq would make a reappearance, that story started to fall into place.

What was your overall experience writing for the Temporal Logbook?
I am constantly inspired by the writers that create interesting and new fan fiction and tie-in stories, when there have been so many stories told before them. Doctor Who remains a universe that offers so many opportunities explore new ideas. The Temporal Logbook offers that opportunity to fans who are exploring avenues the licensed properties haven’t considered. I am proud to be one writer adding to this body of work, and to have been given the chance to help other writers perfect the ideas they dreamed of expressing.

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Fionna MacDonald

How and when did you get interested in writing?  
Fionna was a born storyteller and also loved to be read to.  She was always very keen about anything related to Doctor Who and especially her mom’s Doctor Who stories.  She wrote her first Doctor Who short story (Doctor Who and the Master of Doom) when she was eight or nine and says that it was because her mom had so much fun writing them, she wanted to write some too!

How did you settle on a choice of Doctor and/or companion for the protagonist? 
Ghost Train was originally written as part of a series for Gallifrey Base.  Series Editor Nic Ford needed a Fifth Doctor story and Fionna had recently been watching Fifth Doctor episodes and said that she would like to try.  She picked Adric as a companion because she said he needed more stories written about him.  Mom thinks it is because she thought he was cute.

Where did you get the inspiration for your story?
Fionna had been wanting to write a ghost story about Anne Boleyn, an historical figure that she had become quite fascinated with, for a couple of years.  Combining that with Doctor Who made for great fun.

What was your biggest challenge in writing your story?
The biggest challenge was getting to a final revision. Due to health issues, an early draft of Ghost Train languished for almost a year before Fionna could turn her attention back to it. She says that the story never would have been finished if her mom had not been there to help her along.  Mom’s just glad they were able to bring Fionna’s vision to completion.

What was your overall experience writing for the Temporal Logbook?
Being invited to submit a story and having it accepted has been very exciting.  Everyone has been very kind and encouraging.  It makes Fionna want to write more stories.

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The editors of Temporal Logbook II would like to thank Jeremy and Fionna for taking time to speak with us.

Temporal Logbook II: Further Journeys is now available for purchase.

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