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Toodle-pip 2012! Brace yourself, 2013!

So 2012 was a hell of a year for me, personally. I started the year two stone overweight, in financial freefall and actually pretty much depressed. I had no writing gigs lined up, was struggling to find any joy in my day job and generally felt like things were Not Going My Way. But did I wallow and fester in misery? Yes. Yes, I did. A bit. But not for long!* The start of 2013 finds me two stone lighter, black dog free, with a new day job, a new accountant and much smaller debts. I’m also a teetotal gym-bunny, which my younger self is finding deeply upsetting, but my 41 year old self is finding oddly satisfying. I would like to stress that this IN NO WAY constitutes any kind of mid-life crisis. Anybody suggesting such a thing will get a slap (from my now finely toned, oh so youthful arm, which, now I think about it, would probably look great draped around the shoulders of, say, a smouldering young secretary in the front seat of  a red ferrari, y’know, the kind that goes VROOOOM!) So aside from sorting myself out personally, what have I achieved on the writing front this year? Stuff I started AND finished I needed to get myself back into the routine of writing after taking 2011 off (except for a short story and some work on a computer game). Happily, in January Abaddon asked me to write a novella for them, and I used it to ease myself gently back into the swing of things. When it comes to completed projects I can...

Doctor Who: The Anchorite’s Echo

In 2005 I was lucky enough to contribute a Doctor Who short story to a Christmas-themed anthology from Big Finish –  Short Trips: A History of Christmas , which was edited by Simon Guerrier.  It’s long out of print, and I certainly can’t charge for it, but I don’t think there’s any rule against me giving it away. So here is some free stuff – my first published short story, an adventure for the seventh Doctor and Ace. — I have measured out my penitence in Christmases. It was Christmas day when they bricked me up in my cell at the back of the church. The choir were making the most beautiful music. The congregation prayed for my good health and gave thanks for my sacrifice as the mason laid the bricks that sealed me in, leaving only a small window through which I could receive food and water. It was an honour to serve the people of this parish as their anchorite. I became part of the fabric of their church, fasting and praying for the safety of the community that had raised me. I was their talisman, their totem, their good luck charm. My offering served to insure the village from pestilence and famine and drought and war. As long as I remained in my cell, praising the Lord and begging his mercy, my charges in the world outside would remain safe. No calamity would befall them. Even now, so many years later, I still ask myself what it was about me that was not worthy…   ‘Thank you.’ ‘You are… welcome. Are you… are you an angel?’ ‘No....

Pandemonium

Those lovely people at Pornokitsch, Anne and Jared – I call them The Pornos; they don’t laugh – have set up an imprint called Pandemonium Fiction to publish short story collections. The first, Stories of the Apocalypse,  contains original tales  inspired by the art of John Martin, and the book will be released in October 2011 to coincide with the Tate Gallery’s new exhibition of his work.  As well as stories by people like Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Lauren Beukes and Sophia McDougall it contains ‘A Private Viewing’, the first outright horror tale I’ve written. “I don’t really think I believe in redemption. Punishment, consequences, responsibility; these things I understand. It’s how I was raised, I suppose. Reformation and rehabilitation, though, baffle me. It surely can’t be enough to just say sorry for the bad things you’ve done. And anyway, how can you prove you mean those apologies, that you’re not just saying whatever the world wants to hear? Why should those of us who work hard, keep our heads down, treat our neighbours with respect and consideration, be nice to those who aren’t nice in turn? Doesn’t seem fair. So no, I don’t believe in redemption. I believe in justice. Which explains, as far as anything can, why I did what I did…” I’ll let you know when it goes on sale – eBook only, but in all formats –  so you can find out exactly what my ‘hero’ did, and why it may turn out to have been a very, very bad idea indeed. Meanwhile, here’s the stunning trailer for the Tate...

State of play – 16 August 2011

New and imminent Bad Haven talk to me about stuff, including my involvement with the film of School’s Out. Mass Movement Magazine review Highlander: The Four Horsemen “Moran and Andrews have taken show favourites and crafted incredible tales that carry the legacy of the show to new realms.” I have a long memoir in the second issue of the amazing Vworp Vworp. It’s all about growing up as a reader of Doctor Who Weekly / Monthly / Magazine and it’s illustrated by the brilliant Leighton Noyes (who was sweet enough to send me his original illustrations to adorn the walls of my new house). I must admit to being quite awfully pleased with the piece in question (Hubris? Moi?) and I urge you to pre-order issue two right now. In progress Finessing the dialogue, mission briefs and cut scenes for this: Writing up my notes on the first draft of the screenplay based on School’s Out Trying to come up with a good short story for an anthology that asked me contribute – two weeks left and I have an inkling of a piece, but am wrestling with whether it’s too dark for me to put out there, or whether I can even pull it off… Pitching an audio drama for my fave franchise – my first pitch was rejected, but the door’s still open (I think/hope/pray) Plus, you know, buying my first house, working 9-5, raising two kids, all that jazz. All of which may explain why I’m so puffed out that the new novel remains stalled at 20,000 words – for now. Fret not, it will get done. Next...

School’s Out – unpublished prologue

The blog Daily Writing Tips recently published Three reasons to ditch your novel’s prologue. It contains much wisdom. The following extract was part of the pitch that got School’s Out commissioned, and it stayed in the book ‘til very late in the day, but I eventually decided to cut it. My editor was a bit wary of that, but I convinced him. It was fun to write, and helped me establish the tone, but it was the only part of the book not written in the first person by Lee, so it felt out of place. I felt the eventual opening was much stronger because it established the ‘voice’ of Lee, his age, the setting of the book, and his attitude to authority all within the first few lines. Three months ago When the anti-psychotics finally ran out, Alex began to wonder if rescuing his brother from the asylum had been the wisest move. After all, delusional psychopaths with messiah complexes do not make for the easiest of flat mates. By the time the knife made an appearance he was pretty confident that he had made a serious mistake. ‘Dave, what’s the knife for, mate?’ No response. Just the scary eyes, the fixed stare and the knife. ‘Dave? Do you, um, want to talk about it?’ Eyes. Stare. Very big knife. Alex considered his options. He’d seen his brother in the grip of an episode only once, years ago, before he’d been sectioned. It hadn’t been pretty. Since the murders Dave had been resident at a secure facility just up the road. There, on a daily diet of drugs and...

Stargate Atlantis: Impressions – script extract

This is the pre-titles sequence from my Stargate Atlantis audio play, Impressions, published here by kind permission of Big Finish Productions. More information about Stargate Atlantis: Impressions Order CD or download Stargate Atlantis: Impressions trailer by scottkandrews ACT 1 SCENE 1 Neutral, narrating space. LORNE: Light and shade. The dappled green of forest leaves. The splashes of white foam on dark grey seas. The pools of light that collect like water in the fissures of a rock face. Light and shade, colour and form; that’s how I try to see the world. The boundaries between one thing and another. The distinctions. Anybody who carries a gun in the name of peace needs to be comfortable with shades of grey. I live in no man’s land, surrounded by water and working under fire. Caught between extremes. This is what I try to capture in paint on canvas. It’s like trying to bottle lightning. But it helps. Interior, Lorne’s quarters, Atlantis. A window is open so we can hear both the hum of the city and the distant sound of waves lapping against the pier. Door chime. LORNE: Yes? Door opens. GLENNIE: Good morning, Major. May I come in? LORNE: I’m under arrest, I can hardly stop you, can I. GLENNIE: True enough, but it never hurts to be courteous. He enters, the door closes behind him. Dr David Glennie, pleased to meet you. May I sit? LORNE: [GRUNTS, NON-COMMITTAL] GLENNIE: So these are the famous paintings. They’re… remarkable. LORNE: I’ll take that as a compliment. GLENNIE: Oh, please do. Best I can manage is stick figures. My art teacher at school said I had two left...