Mark Jones was taught how to write a television script by Gerry Anderson, the legendary creator of Thunderbirds. Mark was also co-creator of the Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton TV project, Starwatch, and has written for the Guinness Encyclopaedia of Popular Music, as well as penning the bestselling book about the film and TV location, Aldbury – where the likes of The Dirty Dozen, The Avengers, Bridget Jones and Midsomer Murders have been filmed.
Mark said: “One of favourite TV shows was the ITV programme Shillingbury Tales, a series also filmed in Aldbury. As a location it has always been presented as an idyllic English village, but what if dark forces were at work behind the scenes? My story combines this rural peace with an underbelly of violence.”
Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said: “I remember reading about Starwatch in Doctor Who Magazine a few years back. So when Mark started working with Candy Jar on a new project, we grilled him about this. During these conversations he pitched an idea for a short story: Shillingbury Tales meets The Tomorrow People, with a hint of Children of the Stones. I told him to go away and write it.”
Mark continued: “I wanted the story to feel as much like the early 1970s as possible. I’m old enough to remember how grim it was. In particular I remember how frightening football violence could be. This story transfers the fears of the terraces to a rural village and throws Lethbridge-Stewart into the mix.”
United in Blood is only available to readers who order the novellas bundle (comprising The Life of Evans, The Flaming Soldier and Day of the Intelligence).
Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, said: “People who have ordered the bundle already will automatically get the free story, but I would advise those readers who plan to buy all three to do it as soon possible. We only have fifty bundles left and a handful of copies of the individual titles.”
The cover art is by Richard Young. He said: “I’ve really enjoyed the detailed work on the novellas, especially as the schedule has been slightly more relaxed. However, I have missed the fun of a tight schedule. And this one was certainly tight! Anyway, nothing brings out creativity better than a tight deadline. I put the artwork together in record time and I am rather pleased with it. It’s like A Clockwork Orange meets Jossey’s Giants.”
Blurb: New Year 1970 and Lethbridge-Stewart decides to visit an old school friend. In the village of Aldbury something strange is going on. An unexplained increase of violence spreads across the town, and Lethbridge-Stewart finds himself caught up in the middle of it. So much for a short New Year break!
Candy Jar is also pleased to announce that The HAVOC Files 2 & 3 have just been made available on Kindle for £4.99.
The Novellas Bundles are available directly from http://www.candy-jar.co.uk/books/thelifeofevans.html
Shaun Russell, head of publishing, says: “We had great feedback from Richard’s Blood of Atlantis cover. His style harks back to the classic era of Doctor Who, and we wanted to showcase this talent across a number of books. As a result we have commissioned him for all three novellas.”
Richard says: “One of my favourite artists is Drew Struzan, the man responsible for some the most iconic poster designs of the 20th century, including Back to the Future, Indiana Jones and Star Wars. I would never compare myself to him, but I do try to follow his traditional design philosophy. Shaun, who is also a fan of his work, wanted the novellas to embrace this hand-drawn style.”
Shaun, and Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen, decided that they wanted the novellas to have their own distinct look. Andy says: “The main range evolved into a circular motif, so for the novellas we thought we could do something slightly different. Diamond shapes are a standard element of classic Doctor Who, notably the logo used from 1974 to 1979, and it seemed an obvious thing to echo here. Shaun worked with Richard to develop the overall concept, while I continued my focus on the stories.”
Richard adds: “Once we’d fixed on the idea, I started work on the individual elements for the composition. Candy Jar prefers the artwork for the covers to be submitted as separate elements, rather than a single completed piece of artwork. I’m sure Drew Struzan has never done this, but it does allow for a greater flexibility when I am creating elements individually, or as a whole. So this cover is actually made up of several illustrations; Evans, the train and explosion, the standing stones, the sunset, the old man, and finally his hand.”
New blurb: Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart never could work out what to do with Private Gwynfor Evans. He never got on with the troops, was always shirking responsibility. So a reassignment to Imber was in order, and a whole new training programme under the watchful eye of Captain Younghusband.
Things seemed to be working out, Evans even made a new friend in the shape of Private Tommy Godber, but things soon take a sinister turn when Evans finds himself the prisoner of a strange alien intelligence. The spearhead of a new invasion. But before it continues in its plan, the alien seems oddly curious about the life of Evans…
These novellas will be released throughout 2017, strictly limited to 400 copies each (Candy Jar has already sold 200 of the 400). The Life of Evans will be followed by Day of the Intelligence by Andy Frankham-Allen, and The Flaming Soldier by Christopher Bryant. Each can be pre-ordered separately, or as part of a discounted bundle.
The Life of Evans tells the untold story of Private Evans, everybody’s favourite Welsh slacker. John Peel, the author, says: “Part of the fun of writing this kind of story is inventing new menaces. This time I got to create two – only one of which was alien. Another part of the fun is doing terrible things to our favourite characters, and I certainly put poor old Evans through the wringer. I think he’ll survive it.”
Also included in this book is a bonus short story by Robert Mammone, called Time and Again. The story serves as a sequel to the 1985 Doctor Who television serial Timelash, and is a prequel to the forthcoming spin-off series, Travers & Wells, revealing more of the mystery that was first seen at the end of the novel, Times Squared. Travers & Wells will be a new novella series, echoing the novellas of HG Wells, such as The War of the Worlds.
The Life of Evans is available for pre-order now, for £12.99 (+ p&p), and will be which published in hardback, with a strict print-run of only 400 copies. You can pre-order individually or as part of the discounted novella UK bundle for only £38.40, saving £9.57, or an international bundle for only £55.59, saving £7.40. Order early to avoid disappointment. Only available directly from Candy Jar Books at: http://www.candy-jar.co.uk/books/thelifeofevans.html