Calling all Lethbridge-Stewart fans! An Ordinary Man, the third book under the Bloodline banner is now available to pre-order. But that’s not all, Candy Jar books are also having a sale!
While most of us here are going to be familiar with the Lethbridge-Stewart line of books and spin-offs, Candy Jar books publishes a wide variety of books. Of course there are Brigadier sales as well, some starting as low as £3.00. Follow this link to find yourself a bargain or maybe a gift for the holidays.
No Ordinary Novel
An Ordinary Man is co-written by Andy Frankham-Allen and Tim Gambrell. Originally intended to be written solely by Frankham-Allen, Frankham-Allen explains how this became a double effort. “The same life stuff that got in the way of Loose Ends got in the way of this book. When it became clear I would not have the time to write the novel, I turned to a trusted author, one who understood the main setting of the book, the village of Bledoe.”
That of course was none other than Tim Gambrell who sheds more light on his involvement. “An Ordinary Man has certainly been no ordinary book. I have enormous respect for Andy; it takes guts to admit all is not well and that you need help with something. When he asked me to write this with him, I did what I’d do for any mate in trouble: I shifted things about in my own life and agreed immediately.
“Andy had laid the book’s groundwork for me. This is still his book at the end of the day. The cornerstones of the plot and the structure had been laid, and the cast assembled. My initial challenge was planning a lot of the bits that went in between – plotting the character journeys from A to B to C. First and foremost, this is a character-led story, not an action-packed adventure. There are characters here I’d not written for before, such as Owain. But I know Bledoe, I’ve long known its occupants and, because I’ve always been a reader of the series as well as writing for it, I felt comfortable with Owain.”
While this was a co-authored effort it remained Frankham-Allen’s vision. He explains: “Unlike a normal Lethbridge-Stewart commission, this one had much more than a shopping list of elements. The story was already laid out, the opening chapters written. Tim had a very specific brief. Once he’s finished his work on it, I shall then take a pass over it myself, tweaking scenes here and there so that it more accurately matches my vision of the story.”
The Lethbridge-Stewart books are never short on beautiful cover work and An Ordinary Man is no exception. The supremely talented Colin Howard has cover duties and seemed excited by this piece. “I had quite a lot of fun with this cover, despite the original brief. That posed a few challenges. For Lethbridge-Stewart on this occasion it required him to be of the same age as Web of Fear’s colonel, however in this novel he is simply a Cornish School teacher in Bledoe, minus the famous moustache! So, time for screen grabbing Web again, to find a suitable reference of Nick Courtney at that age. Then I had to view elements of Inferno, to find a forehead reference as well as top lip! In order to flesh out my digital painting, I also added a blazer and tie of the type worn by the younger school-teacher Brig in Mawdryn Undead.
“I then opted for my usual ‘Way too much detail’ background of a Cornish Fishing Village. I sketch these digitally first, then paint over the sketch at around three hundred times magnification on multiple layers to allow for necessary repositioning if required at the cover layout stage.
“Anne Travers was again a challenge, as Tina Packer spends most of Web playing a supportive sympathetic cast member in two-hander scenes with Patrick Troughton, so therefore is subsequently ‘facially in-shadow’ with most of her scenes in the Unit base. I then had to add more of a 1970s hairstyle and dress, as her character does a little inter-dimensional time-hopping!”
Howard goes on to talk about his excitement for the Yeti’s. “I have been desperate to get to do a Yeti-related cover, but things didn’t ever quite work out. So this time I ‘politely insisted’. In this novel I was told that the Great Intelligence’s London invasion is more successful without the Doctor or Lethbridge Stewart to thwart them. I decided to go to town a little with Big Ben swathed in flowing web, and two of our furry friends looming in the foreground of that section. The other element I was originally asked for was the ‘Sphere-crackling with energy’, so that completed my design idea.”
The destruction of the causal nexus continues, as the timelines of the Lethbridge-Stewarts and Traverses are wiped out of existence.
A new reality has been created, so very close to the essential timeline. And it is into this reality that Anne Travers is sent to retrieve a man who bears a shocking resemblance to Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart.
February 1969, and school-teacher Archie Lethbridge-Stewart lives an ordinary life. A contented life with his little family in the Cornish village of Bledoe. But that is all about to change. First his old pupil, Owain Vine, is having strange visions. Visions of a London covered in web! And on the news it seems London itself is being evacuated – a major gas leak and bears breaking free of London Zoo. Can these events be connected?
Linking all this is a strange old man. A man who insists he knows Archie. Only, the man insists on calling him Alistair. Who is this strange old man? What is this talk of the future? And why should Archie and Owain risk everything to go with the old man to London?
Anne Travers has the answers. But, unfortunately, she appears to be little more than a ghost!