Award-winning independent publisher Candy Jar Books is publishing a new series of novels, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries. A spin-off from Candy Jar’s Lethbridge-Stewart range, Lucy Wilson will likewise feature fully licensed characters and concepts from the BBC’s beloved Doctor Who.
Twelve-year-old Lucy Wilson doesn’t want to move from London to sleepy Ogmore-by-Sea in south Wales. But when she arrives in her new seaside home, it isn’t as boring as she expected. The village is under the control of a mysterious alien force, and it falls to Lucy and her new friend, Hobo, to stop it.
Lucy is a new character in the Doctor Who universe, but she has illustrious heritage. She is the granddaughter of the iconic Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, one of Doctor Who’s longest running characters. The Brigadier, as he is known to fans, was played by the late Nicholas Courtney, whose death in 2011 prompted the show to pay tribute to him in the series finale, The Wedding of River Song.
So far Candy Jar Books Lethbridge-Stewart series has continued on from the BBC’s Web of Fear, taking place in the 1970s period known as Doctor Who’s “classic era”.
But three years into the series, Shaun Russell, head of publishing, thought the time was right to broaden the Brig’s horizons. He says: “The great thing about Doctor Who is that it appeals to adults and children alike. There’s something for everybody to explore, from The Sarah Jane Adventures for the very young, to Torchwood for those a bit older. Lethbridge-Stewart’s last appearance in any Doctor Who media was, in fact, in The Sarah Jane Adventures. I’m sure that sent a lot of kids back to the classic series to see what all the fuss about. And once you’re a fan of that, you’re generally a fan for life.
“The Brig is such a fundamental part of classic Doctor Who, but after Nicholas Courtney’s death, he’s naturally become less a part of the ongoing programme. We thought that, with the Lucy Wilson series, we could ensure his legacy continues into the modern day – at the same time hopefully sending young fans back to the classics! This is why we have decided to pit Lucy up against the iconic Great Intelligence.”
Not only is the Great Intelligence making a guest appearance, but also the Brigadier and a couple of other characters well-known to fans of the Lethbridge-Stewart range of books, and The Web of Fear.
Not that Lucy needs much help. A modern girl with strong values and opinions, she’s dauntless, loyal and whip smart – qualities long embodied by the Doctor himself. Jodie Whittaker’s recent casting as the first ever female Doctor has spotlighted the positive example the character provides young viewers. It is a tradition Candy Jar wanted to continue with its own contributions to the Who universe.
Sue Hampton, author of two previous Lethbridge-Stewart stories, says: “I’m sure that the new Doctor will defeat her enemies with courage and ingenuity – and with the help of her friends. It’s great for kids to have someone like this as their role model. They’re the values of the show. And while she’s very much her own girl, we see Lucy as embodying similar traits. We hope young readers will find her just as inspiring.”
The book has been endorsed by Eggheads presenter and Radio 2 DJ Jeremy Vine. He says: “A great read – brilliant characters and a plot that keeps surprising you. Sue Hampton writes in three dimensions! Avatars of the Intelligence draws you in from the very first page.”
The cover art is by Steve Beckett, a freelance writer and illustrator who has contributed artwork for the UK’s longest running children’s weekly comic The Beano, including The Bash Street Kids, General Jumbo and Bully Beef and Chips. He says: “I am very excited to have contributed to the expanding Lethbridge-Stewart universe. Shaun contacted me because he was familiar with my work for The Beano. He wanted something that could appeal to the young and adults alike. Hopefully I have achieved this. Drawing the Intelligence in my cartoon style was great fun, and I have certainly grown quite fond of the characters. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Lucy’s adventures develop.”
Avatars of the Intelligence by Sue Hampton is available for pre-order exclusively for fans until the end of September, with dispatch shortly thereafter. The commercial release of the book will be early next year.
Lucy Wilson doesn’t want to move from London to sleepy south Wales. But when she arrives at her new seaside home, it doesn’t appear to be as boring as she expected.
Ogmore-by-Sea seems to be under the control of a mysterious and powerful force. But why is Lucy its target? And why, when students at her new school start to disappear, does no one seem to care?
With the help of her new friend Hobo, Lucy Wilson must assume the mantle of her grandfather, the legendary Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, and defeat an invisible enemy before it’s too late.
The Lucy Wilson Mysteries is a Lethbridge-Stewart spin-off adventure and features licensed characters created for Doctor Who by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln.
Please visit http://www.candy-jar.co.uk/books/bumpersummersale.html to pre-order the book.
The Daughters of Earth, due out late June, sees Lethbridge-Stewart’s fiancee, Sally, take a more central role in the story, in what will prove to be something of a game-changer for the series as a whole.
Sarah Groenewegen wrote the well-received Lethbridge-Stewart short story, The Lock-In in 2016, and this is her first novel. She previously wrote for the Doctor Who Short Trips collections, with stories like Virgin Lands, Hymn of the City and The Bushranger’s Story, is excited to be involved in such a pivotal moment in the Lethbridge-Stewart series.
She says: “I wanted to explore the reasons for why she signed up, her ideals of duty in the face of the adventures they all share. Her relationship with the Brigadier, especially now they work together. Then there’s her interest in a newly emerging women’s lib movement arguing for peaceful solutions to mankind’s many problems – the Daughters of Earth.”
Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says: “The relationship between Lethbridge-Stewart and Sally has been simmering away in the background of the series since the beginning, eleven novels in total. The Daughters of Earth has been set up very deliberately to put Sally in a position that makes her look at her position in the Corps in a very different way.”
Sarah – who was born in Sydney but now lives in London – feels that despite The Daughters of Earth being set in the early 1970s, the subject matter is still quite relevant and reflects what’s happening in the divisive politics of today.
She continues: “I had terrific fun creating a late-’60s peace movement led and run solely by women. While their politics are very much rooted in the start of women’s lib – the generation before the women of Greenham Common, and the grand-generation of the women now running the resistance against current right-wing authoritarianism – there are echoes of what’s happening now and how women organise. The intersections of class, race, outsiders versus those within the establishment – how prone they are to infiltration. I wrote the book during the US presidential elections, which kept being a touchstone to how far women have come to be treated as human beings with agency and a reminder as to how quickly reactionary politics can assert itself.”
The book includes a foreword by popular Doctor Who and Star Trek scribe, Una McCormack. She says: “Representation matters. Sarah knows this, but, more importantly, she lives this. In her professional life, her commitment to equality and diversity has earned her recognition from her peers, and a ‘gong’ (a BEM, no less – yes, Sydney Newman would be horrified). In her writing, fiction and non-fiction, and her involvement with fandom, she has voiced and made visible lives and experiences that are too often ignored or denied: women who game, dykes who dig Time Lords. Doctor Who (let’s face it) hasn’t always been great at representation (where is our female Doctor?).”
The cover has designed by Lethbridge-Stewart regular artist Adrian Salmon. Adrian says: “My initial idea was to confine all the various visual ideas within the overall shape of the Daughters of Earth’ house. However after submitting my rough it was brought to my attention that the ‘house style’ for the Lethbridge-Stewart main range is a circular motif, which I had inadvertently created with my cover for Mutually Assured Domination in 2015. How ironic! I dropped the house shape into a circle allowing parts to break out for visual punch.”
Sarah is really pleased with the cover and feels it beautifully illustrates her initial idea. She says: “I love the cover that Adrian Salmon has painted for my book. So striking and bold, but yet it gets the central conflict for Sally: has she chosen her military career wisely? Or is there another path?”
To celebrate Lethbridge-Stewart’s birthday, a romantic weekend is planned for him and Sally Wright in a remote cottage in the Scottish Highlands. Unfortunately for Sally, freak weather causes her to crash her car.
Lethbridge-Stewart, meanwhile, is in Cairngorm investigating UFO sightings with Anne Travers and Lieutenant Bishop. Elsewhere, the Daughters of Earth, a women-only peace movement, are making waves in the political world.
But just who is their enigmatic leader? And what links the Daughters with the events of Cairngorm and Sally’s accident?
The Daughters of Earth is available for pre-order now, for £8.99 (+ p&p). You can pre-order it individually or as part of the discounted UK bundle (which includes the novels Night of the Intelligence by Andy Frankham-Allen, and The Dreamer’s Lament by Benjamin Buford-Jones) for only £26.25 (including postage), saving £9.72, or an international bundle for only £45.00 (including postage), saving £5.97. Or, you can buy it as part of our yearly subscription offer. Order early to avoid disappointment.
Candy Jar still has thirty copies of the novella bundles left. The Life of Evans has been posted out, but you can still pre-order The Flaming Soldier and Day of the Intelligence. Order now to avoid disappointment. Only available directly from Candy Jar Books at: http://www.candy-jar.co.uk/books/thelifeofevans.html
We are very glad to announce that the long-awaited David A McIntee novel, The Schizoid Earth, is available for all to buy. All pre-orders have been shipped out and should reach readers over the next few days (overseas readers should allow for usual delivery duration).
All day today we’re on Facebook and Twitter asking your questions about the Lethbridge-Stewart series, just hashtag #AskCandyJar to send your questions to us.
You can purchase The Schizoid Earth from our shop page.
Ever wondered what happened to Harold Chorley after The Web of Fear? According to one source, the short story ‘Still Lives‘, he went on to host a talk-show called Chorley’s People in the 1970s. Beyond that, what do we know? Nothing. Until now. In the Top Secret Files eBook we offer you the original opening chapter of The Forgotten Son which is set mere months before the death of Sir Alistair, and in that we discover that Chorley has been a large part of the Brigadier’s life since something called ‘Dominex’. But where did it begin? There’s no sign of him in The Forgotten Son, indeed Lethbridge-Stewart doesn’t think of him even once. Well, we’re pleased to tell you that Harold Chorley will be returning in his new semi-regular role, searching for the missing Lethbridge-Stewart, in The Schizoid Earth. He’ll follow that with Beast of Fang Rock and Mutually Assured Domination. Until the next book is released, why not have a read of an exclusive extract from Beast of Fang Rock that will give you a few clues as to what Chorley has been up to since the London Event…
Read it HERE!
And discover some biographical details (which may include a clue or two) HERE.
For five days only we’re offering the ‘Top Secret Files’ for free to Kindle users. The 65-page book, which has been called ‘a celebration of the Brigadier’, features exclusive content not available elsewhere, including the original prelude to the best-selling The Forgotten Son in which Sir Alistair, near to death, is paid a special visit, and a short story originally featured in the pages of Doctor Who Magazine set during the TV story The Web of Fear. The book also includes an extended chapter from Companions: Fifty Years of Doctor Who Assistants which focuses on the Brigadier, looking at his on screen development. Pick up a free copy now, to find out what else is included.
It also continues to be free as a PDF download, which can be picked up at our shop. Get the free Kindle edition HERE!
Nicholas Courtney, the man who brought Lethbridge-Stewart to life, has been interviewed many times over the years, and we’re proud to share with you a rare interview with him from 1996. In it he talks about fandom and his thoughts on the Paul McGann TV Movie, transmitted shortly before the interview was conducted. Recorded by Candy Jar Books at Longleat, the interview was conducted by Shaun Russell, editor-in-chief of Lethbridge-Stewart.
Watch it HERE!