Saturday, 9 February 2008

The e-mail connection

As 2002 began, I was in the loop for Craig's next Doctor Who novel, Time's Champion. Craig was so nice to me, and very open about his work, and life. We didn't just discuss Doctor Who; we talked about politics, cooking, differences between British and American culture, and religion. Craig was a deeply religious person who kept himself going forward through his many personal problems via his faith in God. He was very excited to hear about my then upcoming mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and wished me the best. I really appreciated that. :)

But, what about Time's Champion?

Well, as I said, Craig was very open with his work, and was willing to get my input on his book and progress with the plot. Over the next 9 months we pitched ideas and concepts to each other, primarily over the origin and nature of the Valeyard. I was very excited to see that our opinions on this point were very similar, if not the same.

As the day of my mission's start (in Fort Worth, Texas) approached (October 2nd, 2002) I asked Craig when he hoped the book would be published. Now, by mid 2002 the BBC had altered its PDA/EDA release schedule from 2 books per month to one a month, so the window for Time's Champion's publication (some time in 2003 for the series' 40th anniversary) had closed. This had made Craig a little discouraged, but he felt he would be able to get the book out in that year anyway. Plus, this gave him the oppurtunity to focus on two other novels he wanted to develop: an 8th Doctor/Fitz/Trix/Auton story called Synthespians, and a 7th Doctor/Mel story called Thy Kingdom Come, a sequel to his first MA The Crystal Buchepalus. So, Craig was ready for the future, and Time's Champion would be waiting. :)

So, in late September 2002, I said goodbye to Craig for 2 years and went to serve a mission in Texas. I had a wonderful and spiritual time, completely detached from Doctor Who, but when I returned in very late August 2004, one of the first things I did was to contact Craig and find out all the good news about Time's Champion.

Sadly, the news was only bad...