Thursday, 13 March 2014
Mark Clapham interview
Fantastical Imaginations": full version at the link, as usual. These are just the Doctor Who-related questions - he spends the rest talking about his new e-novella, Dead Stop, "a zombie noir where the hapless narrator is psychic and the femme fatale is a ghost – who wants our narrator to track down and kill her zombified body. It’s a fast paced novella with action, horror, jokes and plot twists." The novella can be bought from Abaddon Books.
F.I.: Welcome, Mark, at Fantastical Imaginations. Let’s begin with my classic opening question. How did you end up in this wonderful world we call SFF?
I’m a pretty hardcore Doctor Who fan, which is really my baseline entry point to the genre, but I also saw Star Wars and all the usual stuff when I was a kid. I’ve always been a big comics reader since getting a black and white Captain America reprint comic when I was small. Like a lot of UK kids my age I’m hugely influenced by the UK Transformers comics mainly written by Simon Furman.
F.I.: What is it that attracts you so much in Doctor Who?
It’s, for want of a better expression, my founding mythology, the lens I view a lot of other stuff through. It’s flexible and diverse, at least partially due to its longevity. I’ve sort of got to the point with Who where it’s been part of my life so long that questions of whether it’s good or bad or why I like it become kind of difficult to answer. It just is.
F.I.: And who’s your favorite Doctor?
My first Doctor was Peter Davison, as a teen my Doctor was Sylvester McCoy, as a twentysomething I got into William Hartnell a lot and pushing towards forty I’ve loved Matt Smith.
F.I.: What’s your next project?
I have a very big Warhammer 40,000 novel working its way through the editorial process at Black Library, and I’m at the early stages of developing various ideas that don’t have a home yet.
The next thing to see print though will be Who’s Past, a tweaked version of Who’s Next, the guide to old Doctor Who I wrote with Jim Smith and Eddie Robson back in 2005. That’ll be out around Easter from Obverse Books.
F.I.: You have written several tie-ins in various worlds. In which other franchise world would you like to write a novel someday?
I would love love love to write for Lara Croft, who is such a brilliant, clear character in both the original and rebooted Tomb Raider games. Dead Stop is massively influenced by the Resident Evil games and I would like to write in that world one day.
Not a specific franchise but I’d like to write a novelisation one day, either of a film or a game. I think that would be a fascinating technical exercise.
F.I.: What’s the funniest remark you’ve ever had when you tell someone you write SFF?
Everyone who has written a Doctor Who book gets asked if they’re going to turn your book into a TV episode. I got that question even when the TV series was completely dead.
Clapham's blog is here.