I answered a few questions for Doctor Who Magazine for the “Talking Books” item that accompanied their review of Kursaal. They wrote this up into a short article, illustrated with a photograph of my 1970s comedy hero Basil Brush. Some people subsequently suggested that this was the standard of special effect that the BBC would have achieved had they ever created the Jax for a TV version of Kursaal.
The author of Kursaal on putting together that difficult first novel…
“A number of my friends had written books already—Andy Lane, Gary Russell, Justin Richards, Craig Hinton—and at one point Craig, Justin and I had adjacent desks at the computer company where we all worked. Some of these authors were flatteringly kind enough to ask me to read their early drafts and make rude comments.
“So as well as my thoughts on published Doctor Who books I’d read and critiqued, I also had some insight into the writing process. When Andy and Justin subsequently asked me to submit proposals for short fiction in their Virgin [Publishing] Decalog books, I came up with several ideas, including a handful which would be more suited to novels.
“Justin and I wrote a Doctor Who story outline called ‘Vrolak Wakes’ in about 1989. Although the story is now quite different, the seeds of Kursaal are in that outline.
“If I’m honest, there are a couple of other reasons for writing Kursaal. Being paid for my hobby is a good one. Another is the chance to use all my favourite dreadful old jokes, some mine, some by other people. BBC editor Steve Cole made me take out the worst examples, including one he recognized from a 1975 Basil Brush Show!”