Lucy Wilson Mysteries – Officially Launched

AUTHOR WITH ALOPECIA LAUNCHES DOCTOR WHO SPIN-OFF SERIES OF BOOKS

Independent publisher Candy Jar Books is tackling prejudice against differences and promoting diversity, self-confidence and acceptance for young people, in publishing their latest sci-fi adventure series for children.

The series begins with The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence. The action-packed adventure story is set in the sleepy Welsh town of Ogmore-by-Sea and features the young, sharp-as-a-tack Lucy Wilson, a London-bred pre-teen with mixed-race parentage, and her perennial side-kick Hobo, a highly intelligent boy with alopecia.

The book is written by author Sue Hampton, who was diagnosed with the condition alopecia universalis in 1981 and has since become an ambassador for the charity Alopecia UK. With Sue’s first book, The Waterhouse Girl, inspired by her own experience of learning to live with the sometimes overwhelming condition, Sue feels that it’s incredibly important that young people who feel “different” are positively represented in mainstream fiction, in ways that don’t portray them as “other”.

She says: “Writing The Waterhouse Girl changed my life, and changed the way I saw my alopecia. I began to feel braver, because my character was dealing with alopecia better than I was. Since then I’ve wanted to write stories where the characters are not defined by their condition, because that’s not what defines me. In Avatars of the Intelligence, Hobo does have alopecia, yes, but he is also loyal, brave and intelligent – all the qualities that Lucy needs in a friend.”

Through her work with Alopecia UK, Sue visits schools across the UK offering education and support to those in need, and this experience has taught her how big a difference having friends can make to somebody living with a condition like alopecia.

A representative for Alopecia UK says: ”At this time it’s very difficult to say with any certainty just how many children are affected by alopecia, however it’s likely to be thousands rather than hundreds.”

The Lucy Wilson series acts as a spin-off from Candy Jar’s existing science fiction range of Lethbridge-Stewart novels starring the character from the 1960s classic era of Doctor Who Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, created by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln and portrayed by Nicholas Courtney in the television series. New protagonist Lucy Wilson is the granddaughter of the Brigadier, and carries the formidable legacy of the Lethbridge-Stewart name along with her. It also features guest appearances by other characters from the Lethbridge-Stewart novels, including her family, created by Andy Frankham-Allen.

Sue says: “Lucy is dauntless, loyal and whip-smart. She’s a modern girl with strong values and opinions, which means that she feels the injustices in the world even more strongly than most and always stands up for what’s right.”

Avatars of the Intelligence deals with themes that affect many young people, such as feeling like an outsider and being bullied, in a way that Sue hopes will empower and inspire readers. Recent statistics from Childline show that as many as one in six young people experience anxiety-related problems, and in the top five concerns raised in counselling sessions over twelve months were low self esteem, feeling sad, low or lonely and bullying.

Lucy Wilson: Avatars of the Intelligence is a celebration of characters who boldly refuse to become victims of their circumstances. Despite the fact that both Hobo and Lucy are initially viewed as outsiders, they find courage and friendship in each other and, together, take on an unseen evil force tormenting their school – the Great Intelligence.

Themes of self-acceptance and confidence are further reflected in the cover artwork, created by Beano artist Steve Beckett. Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar Books, says: “We felt that it was really important that we didn’t have Hobo hidden in any way on the cover – no hats or hoods. This is a character who is totally unashamed, and we felt it wouldn’t be right to present him otherwise. We want this to inspire other children who might feel like they’re different, if they feel lonely or left out, that it’s our differences that make us who we are.”

Candy Jar has produced a 95-page free ebook The Lucy Wilson Collection. This contains The Two Brigadiers by Jonathan Macho, Lucy Wilson by Sue Hampton, an extract of Avatars of the Intelligence by Sue Hampton, an extract of Curse of the Mirror Clowns by Chris Lynch, and a non-fiction chapter about the Brigadier written by Andy Frankham-Allen. This will sent to all Candy Jar subscribers. To receive the book you can subscribe to our newsletter or click on the link below.

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence is out now and available to purchase direct from Candy Jar Books, on Amazon and other good retailers for £7.99.

To order this books please visit: http://www.candy-jar.co.uk/books/avatarsoftheintelligence.html

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Short Story Competition Anthology

LETHBRIDGE-STEWART SHORT STORY COLLECTION

Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce an exciting new collection of stories featuring Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart. The Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection comes off the back of the publisher’s mission to find new writing talent in south Wales and beyond.

In August 2017 Candy Jar offered aspiring writers and fans of the Lethbridge-Stewart series the opportunity to pen their own chapter in the Lethbridge-Stewart universe.

The results are in, and Candy Jar has collected the best and brightest writers in this short story anthology. Head of publishing, Shaun Russell, says: “With The Havoc Files coming to an end, and the Brig celebrating his fiftieth anniversary this year, I am very excited to be presenting a new take on this iconic character. We’ve had such high quality stories and we feel the fans will enjoy taking an alternative journey alongside the Haisman characters.”

The book features eight exclusive short stories featuring Lethbridge-Stewart at various stages in his life. This is a chance for fans to see the Brigadier like never seen him before!

The eight stories are:

  • Shadows in the Glen by Richard Brewer
  • The Friendship Paradox by Thomas Firth
  • Special Responsibility by Gary Tinnams
  • Soldier in Time by Martin Gregory
  • The Man with the Red Case by Matthew Ball
  • The Brigadier Rides Again by Ross Hastings
  • In Machina Exspiravit by Anthony Robertson
  • Burning Daylight by Paul Chase

The idea for the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition came from the company’s commitment to shedding light on fresh writing talent. Since 2015 the Lethbridge-Stewart novels have championed previously unknown authors such as Jonathan Macho and Gareth Madgwick, alongside famous writing names in the Doctor Who universe including John Peel, Nick Walters, Simon A Forward and David A McIntee.

Lauren Thomas, publishing co-ordinator at Candy Jar Books, says: “It’s been a real eye-opener to witness the abundance of creativity and passion held for the Brigadier by Doctor Who fans. We always knew that the submissions wouldn’t disappoint, but we’ve truly been delighted by the quality of writing.”

Range editor, Andy Frankham-Allen, says: “As we move into our planned second phase for the Brig, we feel it’s time to explore all aspects of his life across the decades. This new approach will be seen first in Lineage (available to pre-order here) and will be followed by our six anniversary novels (due to be released later this year). As an alternative take on the character, The Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection fits perfectly with exploring new avenues.”

Candy Jar will announce the top story in this collection later in the spring, and will reveal which author will get to work with Andy Frankham-Allen, Lethbridge-Stewart range editor and author of The Forgotten Son, Beast of Fang Rock and Night of the Intelligence, on a new Lethbridge-Stewart novel.

Andy continues: “It takes something special to get into the mind of the Brigadier and I’m anticipating great things from all of these talented new writers. You never know we may be launching a new Chris Chibnall or Terrance Dicks at the beginning of their career.”

£1.50 from each book will be donated the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff. Shaun, who received chemotherapy treatment at the centre, says: “In 2015 I was diagnosed with bowel cancer, just as we were launching the first Lethbridge-Stewart series. As you can imagine, undergoing six months of treatment was physically and emotionally draining. If it wasn’t for the support of the centre I wouldn’t have got through this difficult time. This is my way of giving something back.”

As well as many other stories, the book features young Alistair in World War Two, the 1970s Brig in action, and retired Alistair as he discovers the real nightmare of commuting. Customers are advised that this book will be a limited edition release, only available to purchase directly from Candy Jar Books for £8.99 and with limited copies available.

The short story collection is in part a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Brigadier, and comes alongside Candy Jar releasing another limited edition release, Lineage:

The Lethbridge-Stewart name carries with it stories of integrity, honour and courage. But was it always so? From its earliest origins with the Clan Stewart in Scotland, and the Lethbridges in Devon, England, the name has a storied past. Historical figures, history makers, military heroes… Lineage presents seven brand new tales from some of the most popular authors previously published in The HAVOC Files collection.

To order this book please visit

http://www.candy-jar.co.uk/books/thelethbridgestewartshortstorycollection.html

 

The Man from Yesterday – March 2018

LETHBRIDGE-STEWART COMES FULL CIRCLE

After fourteen novels, Candy Jar Books announces the conclusion to their Lethbridge-Stewart ongoing storyline that began with The Forgotten Son.

Written by popular novelist, Nick Walters, The Man from Yesterday sees the return of Lethbridge-Stewart’s missing father, Wing Commander Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart.

Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, says: “We decided some time ago to wrap up the novels as a continuing storyline, although it’s not the end of the Lethbridge-Stewart range. They will merely continue in a different vein. We have one more standalone novel The New Unusual set just before The Man from Yesterday coming in late spring, and then in the summer we begin to release our special anniversary series of books (six new novels that dip into various points within Lethbridge-Stewart’s timeline).”

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says: “It’s been great fun developing and guiding the ongoing story, with plots and themes continuing from The Forgotten Son through to The Man from Yesterday, but Shaun and I decided it’s time for something a little different. The Man from Yesterday is the perfect finale, taking the series full circle, wrapping up themes set up with that first novel, and bringing the whole thing into sharp focus with Lethbridge-Stewart’s family at the centre. Just as it began! And who better than Nick Walters, who was there at the beginning of the series, to wrap it all up for us? What’s also great about Nick’s return, is that he is the only author to pen a second novel in the series (other than me). Up to now each book has been written by a different author, which is, I feel, something we can all be proud of.”

Author Nick Walters says: “After Mutually Assured Domination, which was a knockabout, fun romp, it was great to write something with more depth. We’d been kicking about the idea of the Brigadier’s father returning for some time, but hadn’t found a suitable plot. The Man From Yesterday started life in early 2016 as something quite different, a tale of alien map-makers called The Cartographers of Oberos (after a potential sequel to The Turing Test, also bringing Gordon back, just didn’t click for us). This initial version had too much focus on the aliens, and once this was scaled back, the story really began to take shape. Especially when the title came to me out of the blue one afternoon. The idea of setting it (mostly) within the county of Norfolk was quite deliberate – firstly, there is, obviously, the Cromer connection, and, secondly, I thought it rather fun to have a story set in one small geographic location, for a change. It doesn’t mean the story is small – not by any means – it’s big in terms of themes and ideas, and of course that alien element still remains.”

Wing Commander Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart was created by Andy Frankham-Allen for The Forgotten Son in 2014, and has appeared in a couple of short stories since, but this is his first full-novel role. Talking about developing him further, Nick says: “I was given free rein with Gordon and decided to imbue him with the core Lethbridge-Stewart values of integrity, bravery, duty, responsibility etc, but also introduce a slightly odd side to him (because of what’s happened to him). In appearance I struggled to visualise him until I put him in a suit and hey presto, Sean Connery in The Rock! I also gave him some action scenes to demonstrate that he’s still a badass despite his advanced years. He’s a man out of time, and there’s an element of that about him too, especially in one scene where he wanders the streets of Norwich. And despite the emotional heft of the story, I found him a fun character to write, and some of his scenes with his son are hilarious.”

The book features a forward by Paul Leonard, author of the ever-popular Doctor Who novel, The Turing Test, among many others. Of Nick he says: “He’s achieved a writing career through sheer determination and hard work, keeping going through a third of a lifetime, learning as he went, earning very little, working till the small hours to get the stories finished on time. Perhaps as a result of his other [writing] work, he brings a clarity of style and depth of characterisation still too rare in genre fiction to his Who-related material, taking even occasional followers like myself into the world of the Doctor and making it a reality.”

The cover is provided by Paul Cooke, who previously provided the artwork for the free short story, Eve of the Fomorians. Paul says: “I’ve been a fan of the Lethbridge-Stewart books from the start. In fact I loved the first one that much I drew a fan art cover in the style of the old Target books, and cheekily asked Andy if there was any chance of doing one. Flash forward to September 2016, I had the opportunity to do a cover illo for a free digital story they sent out to subscribers. I had hoped to be able to contribute another, but when you have artists of the calibre of Adrian Salmon, Richard Young and Colin Howard working on them, I’d sort of given up hope. Then one day out of the blue, only weeks ago really, Andy asked me if I fancied doing one!”

Talking about composing the image, and the inspiration, Paul says: “It was to be an image based on, and mirroring, the layout of the first book. One of the nice things I had to do was come up with a portrait of the Brig’s dad, and a new race of aliens (who doesn’t want to draw aliens?). Once Andy told me what he wanted from the cover, I set about doing some design sketches of the dad and the alien for both Andy and Nick Walters to approve – it’s easier to get it wrong and change it at this stage than spending hours painting and then have to change it! Once the sketches had been approved, I then went to sketches of the cover, to get the placings correct. At this stage, I realised one of the suggestions to the cover didn’t work within the layout (Cromer), so Andy suggested a replacement (the Hawker Typhoon plane) which was perfect. A few little revisions, and it was on to the painting. I work mostly digitally now, in a program called Manga Studio, so it was onto the computer and putting the time in to do the best job I could.”

Blurb:

Gordon’s alive?

The English Channel, May 1945. Leading his squadron of Hawker Typhoons back to base from a  traumatic mission in the Baltic, Wing Commander Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart goes missing – one of the unsolved mysteries of the Second World War.

Cromer, 1970. Doctor Anne Travers and Lieutenant Bill Bishop are investigating a mysterious phenomenon after hearing reports of ‘pink lightning’ seen over the Norfolk coast, while strange elfin creatures are glimpsed by the locals. And in the Red Fort, his new base of operations deep below Norwich, General James Gore is making his plans.

Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart receives a phone call that will change his life. Could it be, after all this time, that his father has come back from yesterday?

This edition of The Man from Yesterday is limited to 400 copies and is due out early March. All pre-orders of series five will receive a free digital short story called The Comrades by Brian Gallagher by the summer.

The final release for series five (although the second novel in the series) is estimated to be out at the end of April 2018.

The Man from Yesterday 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 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.

 

http://www.candy-jar.co.uk/books/themanfromyesterday.html

Series Five Now Up for Pre-order

Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce that the latest titles in its Lethbridge-Stewart range of novels are now available for pre-order!

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says: “It’s quite an exciting series, with three very distinctively different stories. Each explores very different aspects of the Lethbridge-Stewart universe. A New-Age thriller taking the team to Australia, a ghost story set in and around a haunted manor, and an all-out adventure which pits varied branches of Lethbridge-Stewart’s family against each other.”

Artwork by Adrian Salmon

Series five opens with The New Unusual by first-time novelist, Adrian Sherlock, who wrote the short story, The Playing Dead, in 2016. Andy Frankham-Allen has come aboard as co-writer for this novel.

The New Unusual sees our heroes being drawn to Australia after investigating strange goings-on at dream-ins, mysterious new age gatherings in which people explore their deepest desires through eggs of alien origin. This book features the return of Lethbridge-Stewart’s nephew, Owain.

Cover art by Richard Young

It is followed by A Very Private Haunting by Sharon Bidwell, who is no stranger to writing novels, with quite a CV behind her, including the Lethbridge-Stewart short story, The Wishing Bazaar in 2016.

A Very Private Haunting sees Arthur Penrose finally take ownership of a Scottish manor house that’s been in his family for generations. There are many secrets in the house, but what connects them to the mysterious shadow creatures that Lethbridge-Stewart and his men are investigating?

Cover art by Colin Howard

The series is wrapped off with The Man from Yesterday, by popular novelist Nick Walters, who returns with his much-anticipated second novel in the Lethbridge-Stewart series, following 2015’s Mutually Assured Domination.

The Man from Yesterday sees Lethbridge-Stewart solve a mystery that has followed him his entire adult life: what happened to his father at the end of World War II? When aliens arrive on Earth from a mysterious region of space known only as the Realm, the answers come thick and fast. This book features the return of Lethbridge-Stewart’s brother from another reality, James Gore, and his father, Air Commander Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart!

Andy continues: “This series of books sees our lead characters, in particular Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne Travers, dealing with the fallout from the losses they suffered in series four. The series ends on something of a cliffhanger, which will have repercussions for the series as a whole for a long time.”

Head of Publishing Shaun Russell says: “Series five is the last in the ongoing series for a while, as next year we’re stepping out of the usual narrative to present a special series of novels celebrating fifty years of Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne Travers.”

The New Unusual, A Very Private Haunting and The Man from Yesterday are all available for individual pre-order now, for £8.99 (+ p&p). Or you can pre-order them as part of the discounted UK bundle 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.

To order click titles above.

 

Sadie Miller Has Arrived!

CetGfwGWAAAL8waWith Moon Blink on the horizon, author Sadie Miller has become the subject of two première interviews.

One in the pages of the latest issue of Starburst (423). On page 43 she is interviewed by Paul Mount and talks briefly about her familiarity with the Brigadier and how she came to write for the series. The full Starburst interview can read online HERE.

And in the pages (52-54) of the latest Doctor Who Magazine (issue 498) she talks more in-depth with Simon Guerrier. To celebrate ten years since her mother, Elisabeth Sladen, returned to Doctor Who as Sarah Jane Smith, Sadie talks about her life growing up as the daughter of a Doctor Who legend, and how she dealt with her mother’s death five years ago. She also explains why she left acting and turned to writing, and discusses Moon Blink in a bit more detail, revealing something of her writing process and what led to her being commissioned by Candy Jar Books.

“July 1969, and mankind is on the Moon. Both the United States and Soviet Russia have lunar bases, and both are in trouble.

Back on Earth, Anne Travers has learned she is about to be visited by an old friend from America, Doctor Patricia Richards. Lance Corporal Bill Bishop is aware of the visit, and is on hand to meet Richards.

She brings with her a surprise, one which the Americans and Russians wish to get their hands on. But the only man who can truly help Anne, Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, is away in Scotland.

It’s a game of cat and mouse, as Anne and Bishop seek to protect the life of an innocent baby – one that holds the secrets to life on the Moon.”

Moon Blink is out late April, and it currently available for pre-order directly from Candy Jar Books.

Briefing from the Brig

web-of-fear-brigNicholas 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!

Jo Grant Has a Word

Brigadier and Jo‘There was just a [chemistry] we found in each [other] that was so strong and it was a blessing, and as Barry Letts often said that’s what a director absolutely prays for; that he picks people who are going to have chemistry and it makes a huge difference on screen, it really, really does. And that chemistry stretched as far as Roger Delgado, Nick Courtney and Richard Franklin. We were strong, and between Jon and I in particular, because we just adored being together and we adored working together.’

The lovely Katy Manning, who played Jo Grant from 1971 to 1973 (and returned to the part in 2010), talks about her time on Doctor Who with the Horror Channel. Read part one of the interview HERE.