Birds of Passage – coming soon!

First off, you can pre-order Birds of Passage here

THE BLURB!

LETHBRIDGE-STEWART MEETS COUNTER MEASURES!

The Cold War is in full swing as the British Government, in partnership with Woden Armaments, launches the Cerberus satellites into orbit, transforming world wide communications.

But all is not as it seems. Retired Air Vice Marshal Ian Gilmore is reluctantly drawn into helping an embattled government. Dispatched to a divided Germany, he soon finds himself on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall as he helps a Soviet engineer with a terrible secret defect to the West.

Back home, Professor Rachel Jensen discovers her work at Cambridge has been perverted by Woden Armaments. When the Cerberus launch team, including Allison Williams and Anne Travers, goes missing, Rachel begins an investigation that unearths a terrible conspiracy at the heart of the British Establishment – a conspiracy that threatens the entire world!

HOW IT CAME TO BE

On the 3rd of September 2020, Candy Jar Lethbridge-Stewart editor Andy Frankham-Allen sent me an email offering me the opportunity to write two Counter Measures novels. Approximately 90 minutes later, my response was:

Of course.  Absolutely!  Fantastic!  Thank you!

As you can see I was vaguely incoherent but totally excited at the chance to delve into the world Ben Aaronovitch created with Remembrance of the Daleks and bring it to a new generation of fans and readers!

In between lockdowns, the day job and family life, I wrote Birds of Passage, bringing to life in novel form Rachel Jensen and Ian Gilmore, a decade after The Shoreditch Incident. Older, wiser and now with a son, Rachel and Ian face a conspiracy that spans the Continent and brings peril to their very door.

Getting the plot right, balancing the story between the two main characters and ensuring there were plenty of thrills and atmosphere for the reader definitely proved to be challenging. Once or twice the plot threatened to get away from me – there are a several extended passages that ended up on the cutting room floor as I went down a couple of blind alleys.

But writing the book was never anything less than fun. As a history buff, the research into Cold War era Europe proved to be fun and endlessly fascinating, and helped improve the novel no end. Marry that to the mid-70s setting and add a dash of some choice Doctor Who continuity, Birds of Passage is a novel I am very, very happy with.

I remain grateful to Andy for asking me to take on the job, his fantastic editing skills which helped bring the novel together and his thorough understanding of the characters and setting which helped avoid some embarrassing mistakes on my part!

Thanks to Shaun Russell, Candy Jar Books publisher, for allowing me once again to write for them.

Special thanks to Ben Aaronovitch (check out his excellent Rivers of London series) for allowing us to use his characters.

A big thanks to David Kitchen whose knowledge of UK politics and military matters helped me avoid some rookie mistakes. Any errors in the novel are my own.

Thanks also to my mate Dave Hoskin who proved a great sounding board and inspiration as I was plotting out the story and who is a talented writer in his own regard.

A big thank you to my 42 to Doomsday podcasting co-host Mark Smith, who patiently endured my many, many Whatsapp messages as I worked my way into, through and out of the novel – a fine friend and a great podcaster!

And most of all, thank you to my two daughters and my wife, for their support during the last year as I spent many late night hours writing the book. Without their help, it wouldn’t exist. I love you all, and lets do it again!

Birds of Passage is dedicated to my mother, for reasons.

Pre-order here

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‘Top 5’ Doctor Who articles at Major Spoilers

During lockdown in 2020, I wrote a number of articles for Major Spoilers, a comics and pop culture site. The articles took the Top 5 format and were around 2500 words each. Below are the links to each article.

Also, Major Spoilers would love your support to continue producing great podcasts, covering comics and role playing. Check out their Patreon here.

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/05/22/top-five-doctor-who-spin-offs/

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/05/29/top-five-david-tennant-doctor-who-stories/

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/04/23/top-five-best-doctor-who-cliffhangers/

https://majorspoilers.com/2020/06/19/top-five-doctor-who-television-writers/

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/06/05/top-five-doctor-who-unappreciated-monsters/

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/05/01/top-five-scary-doctor-who-stories/

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/05/08/top-five-doctor-who-production-missteps/

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/04/17/top-five-moments-in-the-new-era-of-doctor-who/

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/04/07/top-five-recurring-doctor-who-characters/

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/06/29/top-five-doctor-who-companion-departures/

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/06/12/top-five-doctor-who-debut-seasons/

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/05/15/top-five-doctor-who-production-decisions/

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‘I, Alastair’ is published!

CJ_Candy_Jar_I_Alastair_Cover

Sooo…I’ve just had a book published!

Last year, my first novel for the Lethbridge-Stewart range from Candy Jar Books, ‘Rise of the Dominator‘ landed with a splash among fans of Doctor Who.  I was fortunate enough to be commissioned for a second title and now it is out.

I, Alastair‘ tells the tale of the Lethbridge-Stewart from the Doctor Who story, ‘Inferno’.  A largely broken man, Column Leader Lethbridge-Stewart was raised in the shadow of his domineering father, in a world where fascists overthrew the British government in 1943, condemning the old class to death, while raising a Republic on the ruins of the toppled order.

Things aren’t…great, in this world.

It was a lot of work, but a heap of fun, to write what turned out to be an exciting adventure involving conspiracy, rebels, political power games and all out action.

Thanks go to my wife and kids for their support, understanding (some of it puzzled, no doubt), and giving me the time to sequester myself away from them to write the novel at all hours of the day and night.

Thanks to range editor Andy Frankham-Allen who has expertly guided the range from the very beginning, and provided excellent editorial guidance and feedback.  Without him, the book wouldn’t be as entertaining as it is.  His new book, Downtime – Child of the New World is available for pre-order in a stunning hardcover edition.

Thanks to Candy Jar Press themselves, for supporting up and coming writers like myself, and providing an important voice among UK publishers.

And special thanks to Richard Young & Will Brooks for their exceptional cover.  Wow!

Interested?  Order direct from Candy Jar themselves!

Initial coverage is here:

https://thedoctorwhocompanion.com/2020/06/15/available-now-candy-jars-lethbridge-stewart-the-schizoid-earth-i-alastair/

Lethbridge-Stewart From Candy Jar Returns!

Lethbridge-Stewart I, Alastair

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Top 5…DOCTOR WHO ARTICLES!

Hello all!

I’ve been writing for Major Spoilers for the last couple of years, sending in weekly comic reviews from all across the publishing industry.

As some of you know, I’m an old school, die hard Doctor Who fan.  In the last few months, the publisher of Major Spoilers very kindly asked me to write a number of articles listing the Top 5…anything, really, relating to Doctor Who.

If you’re interested, here are the links to all of them.  Revel in my love for Horror of Fang Rock!  Gasp at who is the best television writer for the show…ever!  Scratch your head in confusion at all that spin off material you’ve never knew existed!

And definitely consider supporting Major Spoilers via its Patreon.  The site hosts a myriad of great pop culture related podcasts, reviews and articles by a wonderful team of writers.  They do good work, and it would be great if you’d consider supporting them.

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/06/19/top-five-doctor-who-television-writers/

majorspoilers.com/2020/06/05/top-five-doctor-who-unappreciated-monsters/

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/06/12/top-five-doctor-who-debut-seasons/

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/05/22/top-five-doctor-who-spin-offs/

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/05/15/top-five-doctor-who-production-decisions/

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/05/08/top-five-doctor-who-production-missteps/

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/05/01/top-five-scary-doctor-who-stories/

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/04/23/top-five-best-doctor-who-cliffhangers/

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/04/17/top-five-moments-in-the-new-era-of-doctor-who/

http://majorspoilers.com/2020/04/07/top-five-recurring-doctor-who-characters/

 

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Only the Guilty Live new cover reveal!

As you might be aware, I released my grimdark (fancy for horror fantasy) novella, Only the Guilty Live, on Kindle late in 2018.

The story of a PTSD suffering soldier teaming up with several others, including a former slave, a dispossessed bigoted colonist who lost his family during the civil war, and a demon possessed child, to free a noble trapped in a besieged city, Only the Guilty Live came with a cover made by…me!

It’s an okay cover, as homemade covers go.  It also is a well-known image – Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son.  I’ve never been 100% happy with it.  A well-designed, striking cover draws attention, and I fear that my attempt did anything but achieve that goal.

So, to remedy that, I’ve been fortunate to have engaged the services of a Melbourne professional book cover designer, Onur Aksoy, who designed the new cover you see at the bottom of this post!

Onur can be reached here:  https://www.onegraphica.com  or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/onegraphica  or via his Instagram page:  https://www.instagram.com/onegraphica_bookcoverdesign/

I think you’ll agree that this new cover is a huge improvement on the original – it’s moody and brooding, which matches the tone of the novella.  It’s also very well composed.

Massive thanks to Onur, for agreeing to work on this for me – he was easy to work with and provided a product he’s proud of, and I’m delighted to have grace my story.

The quality of his work speaks for itself and at the higher tiers, it’s outstanding!R-Mammone-Guilty

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A collection of reviews

Hi all,

For better or worse, Amazon is the lifeblood of the book industry today.  And what gets the lifeblood pumping is reviews.  Click on the links below to check out reviews for each of the following titles I’ve been involved in.  Most good, one not so good (his opoinion, I disagree, politely!)

If you’ve bought and read something by me, and haven’t had a chance to review it on Amazon, give it a go, please!

 

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Rise of the Dominator – it’s out there, folks!

So, as many of you would know, I had a book published this month by Candy Jar Books, called Rise of the Dominator.  Eighteen months of work, including some (metaphorical) blood, sweat and tears and some (literal) screaming, bitter denunciations, imprecations and selling of souls (not mine, yours), and my little book is out in the world.

Begun in September 2017 and finished about a year later, Rise of the Dominator is my first published novel (the other, unpublished novel, languishes on a hard drive at home and at work.  One day…)  I’m especially proud of Rise, not only because I think it’s a pretty good read, but the fact I managed to get it completed and out in the world.  And to think I once thought writing a book was the easiest thing in the world (idiot).

Special thanks to Shaun at Candy Jar and especial thanks to range editor Andy Frankham-Allen – Rise wouldn’t be as good as it is without his wonderful help and advice.  Thanks, Andy!

All the ordering information is below, but first, a big request – if you’ve read the book, please leave a review – somewhere, anywhere, but particularly Amazon, if you don’t mind.  Something about the power of algorithms changing the fabric of the universe…look, it’s maths – I was never any good at it.  But I do know all your kind thoughts on the book help put it in front of more people.

First, the blurb!

 

London 1973 – A man in police custody burns to death with no known cause of ignition. Anne Travers and Bill Bishop find themselves catapulted into the middle of a police investigation into the rise to power of the newest criminal godfather – the Big Man, aka, the Dominator, Dominic Vaar!

A Spanish safe cracker lands on the English coast and is whisked away to a secret meeting with none other than Vaar. His mission? To liberate a priceless sword forged when Sumer was young, a sword whose unshakeable thirst for life threatens the existence of all life.

And lurking in the background plots a fugitive Nazi, using Vaar’s rise to power and his own knowledge of the occult as cover for his plans to build a new Reich on British soil.

Lost in time and brought together by destiny, can Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart from BBC TV’s Doctor Who, Dame Anne Travers and Brigadier Bill Bishop stop Britain being pitched into a new age of darkness?

 

Obviously, you should all support Candy Jar Books by purchasing the novel direct from them here.

However, if you prefer, Amazon has the paperback here.

And the Kindle here.

And if like me you like free postage anywhere in the world, the Book Depository is selling it here

The cover is by the supremely talented Adrian Salmon whose site is here

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Rise of the Dominator – press release!

Below is the press announcement for my first published novel, Rise of the Dominator.

Candy Jar Books is proud to announce book four in its anniversary series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, The Laughing Gnome: Rise of the Dominator.

Following on from The Laughing Gnome: The Danger Men, book four sees the team get back together when they all arrive in 1973 and face off against the Dominator, Director Vaar!

Rise of the Dominator sees the return of popular Lethbridge-Stewart author, Robert Mammone, who previously wrote two short stories for the range, and the first of the Travers & Wells novella range.

Robert says: “When Lethbridge-Stewart range editor Andy Frankham-Allan reached out to me and asked if I was interested in being a part of the latest run of Lethbridge-Stewart books, I was, of course, surprised, ecstatic and to be honest, a little daunted. Writing my Travers & Wells novella had been a relatively smooth affair, but a 40,000 word novella is a different beast to a full novel. There were a few times during the writing process where I wondered whether I had bitten off more than I could chew but, thankfully, Andy talked me off the ledge and here we are!”

Rise of the Dominator sees the return of Director Vaar, the Dominator behind the nuclear machinations in the 2015 novel, Mutually Assured Domination (a special edition of which is due publication to tie-in with Rise of the Dominator). Andy talks about why it took so long for the Dominator to return: “The Dominators, in particular Vaar, was originally planned to return in 2017 but sadly that novel fell through, and then it was planned for 2018 with a different author, but the cessation of the ongoing narrative put it on hold once again. The Dominators are, of course, the main antagonists behind the Travers & Wells range, as seen in the short story, Time and Again. But the idea of bringing Vaar back as a gangster in 1970s London has been on the backburner for a couple of years, and when it was decided that The Laughing Gnome would be set in the various decades of Lethbridge-Stewart’s association with Doctor Who, it seemed the time was right to finally do a Gangster Dominator story.”

Robert talks more about the development of his gangster story: “I’d long had a story idea lurking around in the back of my head for a while about alien knowledge that looks like black magic, with Nazis thrown into the mix, which I readily adapted to this new storyline. The setting was the key for me, and early ‘70s Britain, with its Satanic rituals in cemeteries, and the tabloid coverage of it, seemed the place to be. There’s something about the grit and grime of the era that is inherently appealing, against the rather slick and superficial modern day we’re forced to endure. I’ve strived for verisimilitude for the most part – sideburns, flares, corduroy, The Sweeney, end of empire ennui, three-day weeks, uncollected rubbish, criminal gangs, Soho are all there, but so are an alien warlord on the make and a lurking Nazi.”

As well as alien warlords and Nazis, Rise of the Dominator finally reunites the Brigadier, Bill and Anne Travers, who have been separated since the end of book one, Scary Monsters. This was Robert’s first time writing for the Brigadier, who was absent in his previous works: “I really enjoyed writing for Anne Travers and Bill Bishop in my short story for Candy Jar, Eve of the Fomorians, so it was a pleasure to return to them in far different circumstances. And the chance to have Lethbridge-Stewart front and centre in the novel was something I could barely have thought possible. He was a lot of fun to write, in what is effectively a dual role. I hope that in my hands, the stoic, upright soldier with a twinkle in his eye still shines strongly through.”

The 1970s setting carries with it something special for fans of Doctor Who. Head of Publishing Shaun Russell explains: “As this range is a journey through the Brigadier’s association with Doctor Who (each book is set in a decade that featured him on the television series), setting a book during the UNIT era was a forgone conclusion. Of course, UNIT and the Doctor do not appear, but there are plenty of fan-pleasing nods to that era.”

The cover is by regular Lethbridge-Stewart artist Adrian Salmon, currently best-known for his work on the recent Doctor Who DVD animations, including the forthcoming The Macra Terror. Adrian says: “Illustrating Dominator Var as a cross between Al Capone and Reggie Kray was probably the best thing I’ve ever been asked to do by Candy Jar Books; I mean how can you go wrong? Once I’d settled on the central image, which included a menacing Golem from the story, I worked out the car chase. This being the ‘action scene’ of the cover, it needed to be dramatic and exciting, breaking out of the design template. Finally, I created a suitably seedy London street at night (think Soho), resplendent with neon lights and noir shadows. Eagle-eyed viewers might even spot that a certain film, which was doing the rounds at the time the book is set, is showing at the private cinema club.”

Blurb:

London 1973 – A man in police custody burns to death with no known cause of ignition. Anne Travers and Bill Bishop find themselves catapulted into the middle of a police investigation into the rise to power of the newest criminal godfather – the Big Man, aka, the Dominator, Dominic Vaar!

A Spanish safe cracker lands on the English coast and is whisked away to a secret meeting with none other than Vaar. His mission? To liberate a priceless sword forged when Sumer was young, a sword whose unslakeable thirst for life threatens the existence of all humanity.

And lurking in the background, plots a fugitive Nazi, using Vaar’s rise to power and his own knowledge of the occult as cover for his plans to build a new Reich on British soil.

Lost in time and brought together by destiny, can Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, Dame Anne Travers and Brigadier Bill Bishop stop Britain being pitched into a new age of darkness?

The Laughing Gnome will continue in April and May with books five and six. Lucy Wilson and the Bledoe Cadets by Tim Gambrell, with On His Majesty’s National Service by David A McIntee.

NB: IF YOU HAVE A SUBSCRIPTION THE LAUGHING GNOME SERIES IS COVERED BY THIS. THIS BOOK IS ALSO INCLUDED IN THE LAUGHING GNOME SIX-BOOK BUNDLE.

The Laughing Gnome: Rise of the Dominator is available for pre-order now for £8.99 (+ p&p). The book is due for release at the end of March.

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

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Travers & Wells now on Kindle!

My Candy Jar Books novella, Travers & Wells: Other Wars, Other Worlds has recently been re-released on Kindle, after the limited edition hardcover sold out!

Just in time for the BBC release of their adaptation of War of the Worlds, Travers & Wells sees Edward Travers (Doctor Who: Web of Fear) and HG Wells (Doctor Who: Timelash) venture into an alternate Britain…where the Martians won!

I loved writing it, and the readers love reading it!  Don’t take my word for it, check out the reviews at Goodreads!

A new review, from a German reader was posted to Goodreads.  Here it is reproduced below…

Für mich bisher die beste der Lethbridge-Stewart Novellas und das beste Doctor Who Spin-Off Duo seit Jago und Litefoot. Travers und Wells passen wirklich hervorragend zusammen. Die ganze Geschichte ist sehr gut geschrieben und spannend. Der Cliffhanger am Ende macht gespannt auf die (bestätigte) Fortsetzung. Sehr gut!

Um das ganze genießen zu können, sollte man auf jeden Fall Times Squared gelesen und Timelash gesehen haben.

Which translates…

For me the best of the Lethbridge-Stewart Novellas and the best Doctor Who spin-off duo since Jago and Litefoot. Travers and Wells are really great together. The whole story is very well written and exciting. The cliffhanger at the end is looking forward to the (confirmed) sequel. Very well!

To enjoy the whole thing, be sure to read Times Squared and see Timelash.

Not only is Travers & Wells available, but also my grimdark horror fantasy Only the Guilty Live is on Kindle for the pricely sum of barely a cracker! (No, seriosuly, it’s $0.99 everywhere!)  Check it out.

 

TAW_Cover

 

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Grimdark novella ‘Only the Guilty Live’ – published!

I’ve been heavily revising my sword and sorcery novella Only the Guilty Live for Kindle publication and it has gone live today!  I’ve added a new opening, and heavily revised the body of the story, adding around 3000 words in new text.

This is something of an experiment for me, hence the cover, Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son has been nicked and modified for publication.  I’ll be pushing this a little around the usual places and will be interested to see if it gains any traction at all.

Here’s the description:

The Dirty Dozen meets The Exorcist in this exciting chase across a war-ravaged empire!

Marduk, the hero of the siege of Skalak’s Pass, is a nearly broken figure. But when his general commands him to lead one final mission deep into enemy territory, he cannot say no. Leading a rag-tag group of misfits, including the demon-possessed corpse of a child, he must overcome his own fears and venture into the besieged capital of the enemy to fulfill his mad Imperator’s demands.

Betrayal lurks in every corner, and not everyone gets out alive.

Sword and sorcery at its darkest, as blackest magic and highest ideals clash in this exciting novella that will tear at your heart while burying its fangs in your throat!

‘Mammone spins a taut tale, painted in deep shades of black, from which, by the end, all light has been removed.’ Fletcher Vredenburgh, Black Gate Online’

So, if you like your grimdark grim and dark, this is the novella for you.

I’d really appreciate it if people tweeted and generally spread the word on social media to give this at least the tiniest bit of traction.

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