The Writers

Greg Maughan

When did you first encounter the Faction Paradox?

My first contact with Faction-y stories and ideas was reading Dead Romance when I was 15.

What interests you about the FP universe and made you want to write for it?

I like that FP can be used to distort and reshape stories, queering a text. I like that there is an outlet for the weird, for strange expressions of the personal and for bizarre marginalia to the cultural behemoth that birthed FP. I’m very happy that I’ve had the chance to offer my doodlings on those edges!

What are your other influences , and what particularly had an impact on your story?

William Burroughs is an important writer to me. So, I’m glad his mark can be felt on the BOTP, even though it doesn’t have a direct bearing on the story I’ve written. B S Johnson and Anne Quinn too are very important, and I think have had an impact on how I think about what fiction is and why we might make it. In relation to my story, my starting point was thinking about the development of ‘Krautrock’.

How did you find the process of writing your story?

I really enjoyed working on TBOTP; it feels nice to think that someone believes your writing is worth encouraging, engaging with, editing and eventually publishing. I also enjoy working to commission and like having the weight of a deadline to focus my mind – as a shift worker with childcare responsibilities, without that nagging pressure very little of what rattles around in my head finds its way out at the moment, unfortunately!

What else do you write? Do you have other creative outlets?

I’ve had two previous short stories published by Obverse; one in the anthology The Perennial Ms Wildthyme and the other in A Treasury of Brenda & Effie. Other work has both previously appeared and is forthcoming in a few different charity publications.

Why should someone buy TBOTP?

Because it’s strange and fun and interesting, full of ideas and unexpected images. Because Obverse are a great publisher who you should support, and I can promise you’ll get more enjoyment from reading TBOTP than you will from trying to memorise the TARDISWikia entry on it! Because it contains stories from new and interesting voices that you’ll see more of in the future.

Niki Haringsma 

When did you first encounter the Faction?

I first read about Faction Paradox on TV Tropes. I was curious about the Doctor Who novels, found a few entries on the Eighth Doctor Adventures, started reading about Fitz Kreiner… and I was equal parts confused and terrified by what I found. The moment I encountered the Faction properly, in Alien Bodies, I fell in love and just dived headfirst into the rest of the lore.

What interests you about the FP universe and made you want to write for it?

I love stories about liminal identity; worlds in which everything feels alive, and where everything is continuously observed and dissected by the narrative; faux-encyclopedias; deeply emotional time paradoxes; and extreme gore. Writing for Faction Paradox allows me to explore all of that, and to even make it a lil’ bit sexy!

What are your other influences, and which particularly had an impact on your story?

Bertolt Brecht was one of my biggest influences in writing this. Others include the anime series Shoujo Kakumei Utena, the games Fallen London and Undertale, the lyrical styles of Joanna Newsom and Suzanne Vega, the art of Luigi Serafini, and the short story “An Examination of the Work of Herbert Quain” by J.L. Borges. Within Doctor Who lore, I think the novella Fallen Gods by Jon Blum and Kate Orman shaped me the most.

How did you find the process of writing your story?

I had most of my plot ready on day one, and then just spent months and months refining it. My friends were very amused by me whipping out my little black notebook at the most inopportune moments. I learned a lot about how to craft a story, and I had so much fun doing this.

What else do you write? Do you have other creative outlets?

I’ve also written a Black Archive — a book-length essay — on the Doctor Who episode Love & Monsters, which will be published in 2019. Other than that, keep an eye on my works in charity publications and non-fiction books! And if you’d like to see some weird art, feel free to have a look over at www.nikiart.nl.

Why should someone buy TBOTP?

 If you’re new to the Faction, The Book of the Peace is a great introduction. If you’re a die-hard Faction fan, it answers a whole lot of pressing questions (and asks many more). And if you just want to read a super queer sci-fi book full of delicious horror, you’ve come to the right place!

Jacob Black

When did you first encounter the Faction?

With the Eighth Doctor! That “one night stand” of an incarnation utterly fascinated me when I dived into Classic Who a decade ago, and that led to obsessive research on Wikipedia, the old Doctor Who Ratings Guide, the archived rec.arts.who forums and finally diving into Big Finish and whatever BBC novels I could get my hands on. Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor is now my favorite incarnation, the BBC Eighth Doctor novels are my favorite corner of Doctor Who, and my understanding and love is irreversibly tied to the Faction. I met them through him, and discovering how much more material existed of this cabal of nechronomancers was really a great day for me. So I guess a better answer would be Alien Bodies

What interests you about the FP universe and made you want to write for it?

The Faction Paradox universe is all about breaking the familiar and the loved, the things we’re nostalgic over. We can argue and debate all day about how connected/disconnected FP should be/shouldn’t be from Doctor Who, but FP was always about breaking Doctor Who. Taking the comfy aspects and tropes and characters and just destroying them. Running them through meat grinders, tortuous paths through shadowed valleys.

Faction Paradox killed the Doctor. Faction Paradox turned dusty Gallifrey into a War-churning Homeworld of eldritch horrors. Faction Paradox redefined TARDIS into terrifying timeships of infinite complexity and hidden masterplans.

It breaks, rebuilds, and redefines the things we love. The familiar becomes unfamiliar and terrifying, and I really wanted to dive into that.

I’m adamant that Doctor Who and Faction Paradox have had some of the greatest writers ever, and would be unfair and wrong to forget the influence the that Kate Orman, Jon Blum, Lance Parkin, Lawrence Miles, Lloyd Rose, Philip Purser-Hallard, and Daniel O’Mahony have had on my writing and this story in particular.

(But I also wanted to write a story where the FP mythos wasn’t afraid to laugh at itself a bit.)

What are your other influences, and which particularly had an impact on your story?

Outside of Faction Paradox and other Doctor Who-related prose, my favorite authors and inspirations are my biggest influences. Sir Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Ursula Le Guin, Ray Bradbury, Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman. Bradbury himself is probably my biggest writing influence (his style has had the most sway over mine).

How did you find the process of writing your story?

I always start with an image when I write. A single, poignant scene or snapshot. I focus on the colour, the smells, the tension. I write it all out, no matter how wild or purple or unrestrained. Then I sit back, look at it, edit it, trim it, and look at it again. I decide if that’s the opening “shot,” the climax, the final glimpse of the characters before the big “FINIS.”
And then the outline starts!

(Pitching is actually quite a new thing for me, but usually my writing sample comes first and then I outline and summarize where on Earth I’m going with it. In the case of Peace, the central setting of my story, a bazaar of alien creatures with my character hiking through, was that first “image.”)

What else do you write? Do you have other creative outlets?

I was published in Faction Paradox: The Book of the Enemy after the awesome Simon Bucher-Jones took a chance on me. I will never be able to repay him for that and will be grateful for the rest of my life. Otherwise, my outlet is mostly fanfiction or pages and pages of in-universe ‘canon welding’ but I’ve had a novel “series” in the works for almost a decade now. I’m also something of a cartoonist, though I don’t really share my doodles with anyone.

Why should someone buy TBOTP?

It’s a unique Faction book. It really, really is. It celebrates queerness, both gender and sexuality. It presents the Faction as something new and exciting for newcomers. It presents the Faction as old friends to those returning. There’s some great returning lore from Eighth Doctor novels and some brand new, canon-shattering mythos. It’s really a great collection.