The Red Lines Page

December 20, 2013

The Ancestor Cell

Filed under: Ancestor Cell,drwho,Novels,writing — Peter A @ 12:55 am

My first (and so far only) co-authored novel was published by BBC Worldwide in July 2000 (delayed until April 2001 in US), ISBN: 0-563-53809-0

Cover: The Ancestor CellWhen BBC Books editor Steve Cole left BBC Worldwide, he had felt that there were a variety of “loose ends” in the continuing Eighth Doctor stories that could be tied up. Steve and I had both written novels as part of the recent story arc featuring Compassion (I wrote Frontier Worlds and Steve wrote Parallel 59 with Natalie Dallaire—and I did the structural edit on Steve’s novel).

We had both just started new full-time day jobs, and Steve was writing several Doctor Who audio stories for Big Finish Productions, so we agreed to work on a book proposal together – almost entirely by e-mail! New BBC Books range consultant Justin Richards also had clear ideas about how he wanted the series to develop in the second half of 2000, and briefed us on some things he wanted resolved in the book. We pitched our revised proposal to Justin and BBC Worldwide’s Ben Dunn, and it was accepted.

The book was published in July 2000 in the UK, though some US distribution was delayed until mid-2001. Nevertheless, The Ancestor Cell was one of the fastest-selling BBC Doctor Who books on, and to date is my biggest-selling Doctor Who novel by some margin.It features in the Top 20 sales ranking on Amazon, and in the SFX magazine readers’ poll it was in the top ten of the category “Best SF/Fantasy novelisation or TV tie-in novel 2000.”

You can read an article from the BBC’s Monthly Telepress. That newsletter also published “tasters” in the form of Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. I’ve also provided an unpublished scene from the novel.

When the book was published, reviews ranged from wild enthusiasm to total outrage. You can also read my summary of several dozen original reviews from the time of publication.

Steve Cole and I took part in a unique Q&A about The Ancestor Cell at the GallifreyOne convention in Los Angeles, February 2001. If you couldn’t attend that, you can instead read the Top Ten questions that people ask me via e-mail, and a short interview I did with Doctor Who Magazine.

1 Comment »

  1. […] of was talking to me about my Doctor Who novels. At this stage, I had written The Ancestor Cell, but it was not due to be published until the following year – so you should be able to detect […]

    Pingback by Frontier Worlds interview | The Red Lines Page — September 6, 2015 @ 11:05 pm | Reply

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