Since I hadn’t done a general question and answer session for a while and as its nearly christmas I thought it would be a nice, light thing to do… So here you go: Questions, Answered!
What has been the biggest influence on your work?
Good question… Being an unashamed fanboy Doctor Who has inevitably leaked into there somewhere… The recent debacle of a finale has, for instance, made me take a real hard look at what I’m doing and make sure it isn’t as bad as that was. So far I can safely conclude none of it is. But each book has its own unique set of influences and there isn’t one specific thing I could point to and say: That is the influence. Although I should really point out an old ITV series called P.O.W as without that I would have never written what became the first Morfaverse book.
What would you most like to write?
At the moment I’m really liking all the superhero TV shows floating around… Agents of SHIELD, Arrow, The Flash, Gotham etc… I know I’ve kind of already done the whole superhero thing with Dark Legend but I want to do it properly… Write something with a proper masked crusader (More a powerless Batman/Green Arrow kind than a Flash kind, I prefer that sort) going around saving people. I have a rough idea for one at the moment and I’m thinking I might serialize it like I did with the first volume of Dark Legend.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the traditional publishing industry?
Much of it is a bloated mess that needs dragging into the twenty first century. To me it doesn’t seem to be about how good a book is, it’s about what will make the most money. A lot of what is being published by the mainstream is incredibly generic and bland. There is hardly anything out there that is challenging or breaks the rules. There is very little being published that really stands out from the crowd. If the publishing industry wants to survive then they have to become less generic, less bland and stop focusing so much on profiteering. There are also some real pathetic types in there who need to be taken down a peg or two- I saw a list of reasons why books get rejected not so long ago and whilst some were very good reasons (clichéd openings for example) some were utterly bizarre and nonsensical… Like if a book has a prologue. Rejecting a book because it has a prologue is just silly.
Will you be sticking to E-Books or will you eventually go down the more traditional route?
I’d love to see my books in bookstores yes… But for now the E-route is the best way to go, especially as my focus is on Dark Legend which I know the traditional publishing industry wouldn’t touch with a bargepole (Too Sci-Fi, unconventional structure etc.) That is unless of course it takes off in a fifty shades of grey type way then they’ll be all over it.
Where in the world would you most like to visit?
Istanbul and Dublin. I’ll hopefully be able to visit Dublin next year and maybe Istanbul too if I sell enough books.
If you could live anywhere where would it be?
York. Because that’s where I was born and it was where the whole concept of the Morfaverse really got started. I’m also inexplicably sexy whilst in York for some reason. I have no idea why. I’ve been trying to move there for years but so far haven’t managed it. Something always gets in the way…
Which of your characters is the most popular?
Everybody seems to have a liking for Dan… Harry is an inexplicably popular character as well, even though he’s an absolute a-hole for ninety percent of Rebels.
How does the forthcoming D.S Proctor tie into the rest of the Morfaverse?
Very loosely. Eventually you’ll see a few connections (that I can’t reveal just yet) but some of you may notice select bits if you’ve read the other books. The main, obvious one is a mention of Daily Press Ltd, whom you might remember as having a beef with the Morfasson Family back in Rebels.
What age are your characters?
Depends on the book. They all age in real time so if ten years has passed between when books are set all the characters will have aged ten years. Edward, for instance, appears as a five month old baby in Charlie Fuller (In 1929) but he also appears as a 47 year old man in The Rebels. Likewise, Will in Dark Legend starts out as a anti-social sixteen year old kid but by the end he’s a fully matured eighteen year old.
When will ‘Heritage Wars’ be released?
Not until after I’ve finished Dark Legend… The events of one have an impact on the other so I can’t release the first book until after Volume 4 of DL.
Do the Bangor stories take place in the Morfaverse?
Yes. Iolo Fflint’s cottage is in Cythry and Otto is alluded to in that story as well. There are other links scattered about as well but you’ll have to find them.
Which of your works count as ‘canon?’
All of the published/produced stuff… Where there’s different versions, like with the Dark Legend Radio edition and the books, the books take priority with everything else placed into an alternate universe and each AU revolving around ‘the horizon’ (which I briefly introduced in DL 1). This also includes sketches and published scripts… Which means that whenever the Malvolio collection is complete it will become canon that the Morfaverse version of Professor Brian Cox is followed around by cats wherever he goes! Also, Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray will also end up as a part of it- Though in this case the ‘pact with the devil’ idea has been explained away as ‘magic paint.’
What is it with your male characters and beards/moustaches/goatees? Otto, Will, Dan, Doug, Greg (sort of), Murdoch and DI Fisher all have beards or goatees, at least part of the time. Why so many?
As Charlie Fuller’s grandfather says, you should never trust a man who has never grown his beard. You’ll probably find that, even in the real world, most men grow a beard at some point in their lives, usually in their late teens at the first chance they get. It’s just a thing that happens to us… It’s natural to want to grow it out. And the thing is, all of those characters you mention above (except DI Fisher) are in that teenage boy category- And they all have different reasons for growing their beard (stylistic, hiding from the press, looking older etc.) It’s just reflecting life.
Do you still want to write for Doctor Who? What would your episode be about?
I’d love to write an episode of Doctor Who. But I don’t want to right now whilst Moffat is in charge. I don’t want that man anywhere near any of my work. As for the episode… It would depend on the Doctor. I had this idea for a sort of Free-Willy in a futuristic zoo type episode where instead of a whale you had this creature called a Myrka but I can only see that working with Matt Smith to be honest. I have another idea based on Terry Pratchett’s Nightwatch and that would work very well with Capaldi I think, maybe Paul McGann as well. But the one I really want to write is an episode set in Liverpool in the sixties… And the best part is that tt could work with numerous Doctors.
Can you give us any clues to the ending of Dark Legend?
It all actually ends on a train station platform… But there is a set of clues to something involving one particular character (which reveals something else) scattered throughout the books. One of them is in the second part of A Town Called Malice. I’ll also tell you that since I wrote the first version of D.L there has been a major change to the epilouge… It is still more or less the same ending but because of the change it becomes much more thoughtful and tragic… It is more biting and it is better because of the change.
What is going to happen in Dark Legend Vol 3?
‘Why hello Clarice… It’s been a while!’ Oh… And it won’t be called Volume 3 either. Just STING.
How many rings are there? Are there more than just the Red and Black?
Otto only had the two rings made but that doesn’t mean to say there aren’t any more Morfasson family heirlooms knocking about somewhere. The basements of Cythry are full of them.
Where is the Black ring now?
Someone has it… You’ve met him in one of the Dark Legend volumes. 😉
Where is Worton/Silbury/Cythry
Worton is in the Trough of Bowland, not far south of Dunsop Bridge. In real terms, if it existed, the centre would be around Whitewell. Silbury is in Lincolnshire somewhere. Cythry is somewhere off the A5 between Llyn Ogwen and Capel Curig. Its real-world location is something you’ll have to find but the lake is your key.
How fast was Will’s birth? And what about Marcus?
We’re talking seconds here rather than minutes. It was fast. If it actually happened it would be a record. And Marcus… Well Marcus nearly didn’t make it. He had to be lifted from the whatever was left.
How many Morfasson Brothers are there?
Depends on the generation… By Will’s time there are only himself and Marcus (with Alex as an unofficial Morfasson brother) but with Edward and Harry’s generation there are a total of eight (Edward, Seamus, Arthur, Fletcher, Erasmus, Tiberius and Ernest from one mother and Harry from another.) And if you go backwards through the family the bond of brotherly love is fairly strong.
Will we see any more of Otto and Claire?
Not likely. Their story is more or less complete… We may yet see Otto as a young child but it will only be a minor appearence.
What is going to be in The Malvolio Collection?
So far… Malvolio, both versions of Let It Be (a sitcom pilot I wrote) the Dan and Greg sketch and some comedy sketches. Another inclusion, is The Paints of Basil Hallward, a sort of follow up to Dorian Gray where it turns out that it wasn’t actually Dorian’s pact with the devil that made his painting change… There will likely be other bits in there as well, possibly a sample from the original Dark Legend scripts.
Are the Frodorion real?
Yeah… Of course! (Sarcasm intended)
Whatever happened to your radio career?
On hold for the moment. I still love radio and I still love doing it but for now I’ve put that part of my life to one side in order to concentrate on more immediate matters like building myself up as a writer.
What are your plans for future youtube videos?
I think I’ve done enough School related stories for the moment so I want to do more university/ general life based stories. I have one planned which will be potentally called Past Force Begins… and another idea based around childhood TV shows and another about Film. I intend to go up to Bangor and do some shooting in the next year as well… But it depends on who is around and when as if I go up that way I also want to do a Morfasson Country video and that would require nice weather and a willing volunteer with a car as there is currently only one bus a day going out that way (its either that or do a twenty mile round hike!)
What’s going on with Charlie Fuller?
I am getting through it… very slowly. Trouble is that it keeps getting pushed aside in favour of other projects… It is slowly getting done though. The whole book is now starting to get a real Dickensesque vibe to it… Sort of like David Copperfield in the 1920’s; with guns…
Which of the photos in your autobiography (phase 2) is your favourite?
I quite like the black and white one of myself with the moustache but if I just had to pick one it would be this one:
How bad are you at photography, considering you failed your photography As-level?
Not bad at all… Just looking at autobiography phase 2 you can see for yourself that the photos I took myself that i’m really quite good. The problem with the as-level was that it was very artsy and the teacher didn’t like my work (there’s an example of one photo she did like on there,) To be honest i’m better when i’m not being artsy and had I just been able to use simple, stylish but not artistic photos (like the ones on Auto 2 and most of the other photos I take whilst out and about) I might have got a decent grade.
Whatever happened to the Past Force movie?
It will surface one day (perhaps as a part of my autobiography) but it needs a rethink… There are only a few bits of it (as it stands) which I would keep… One of which is the completely made up scene where someone gets attacked with a baseball bat!
Why did —— have to die? Can you bring him back?
When I wrote the first version of Dark Legend I had a choice. I could kill either Dan or Joe. In the end I went with Dan because I thought his death would have more of an impact and I could get more out of Joe. Plus, Joe has been with Will since the beggining and it seemed a bit cruel to off his best friend. As for bringing Dan back… I can see where you’re coming from. He and Will had a gorgeous bromance and writing the two of was a lot of fun… But bringing him back would cheapen his death an awful lot. It was a heartbreaking moment and I don’t want to ruin it by bringing him back to life. Sorry. I did write a short sketch piece involving him and Greg though… It will be released in The Malvolio Collection.
How will the ending of Stop The Cavalry impact upon the next two Dark Legend Volumes?
It means that overall control is slipping from the humans… Although they’re all back together again they’re still divided and there’ll be tensions forming over what to do with the newcomers. Some want them incarcerated and others want to give them another chance. And without NIRA and their human supporters (or even LUPUS) keeping them in check the Graffe are, for the first time, truly unrestrained and we’ll see them at their very worst…
Why was —– swimming around in the Mersey?
He wasn’t… Will was halucinating. There’s this thing called the Nossos Effect. You know in films and TV where dead lovers (or whoever) show up and take the character away when they day? Its basically that. That’s what was happening with Will but Wilson pulled him up before he could drown. Either that or he really is Old Mr Grimm… I mean, look at what happened right before Randy and Niamh crashed into that petrol station and killed Ichabod in volume 2… Look at what Dan and Will sung on the way to the hospital… Coincidence?
And there you have it… Answers to some questions. If you have any more drop them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them. Merry Christmas everyone… See you next week with my rundown of the year in music.