Candy Jar is adding a further four stories to the line-up in the previously announced UNIT Files: Operation Wildcat and Other Stories, with new stories from established writers John Peel and Chris Lynch, plus two new writers to the series.
Range Editor Tim Gambrell explained the thinking behind the changes:
John Peel, who most recently penned the first Benton Files book with Tim, said:.
What are a writer’s second-favourite words to hear? Would you like to write me a story about…? (The writer hopes that they are attached to his absolute favourite words: Here’s an inordinately large amount of money, but they so rarely are!) So, when I was asked, "Would you like to write a UNIT story, with dinosaurs in it?", how could I refuse? (As you can see, I couldn’t)
Then came the inevitable dance of what the editor liked and what I felt happiest writing. “Would you include this?” “Can I use that instead?” That continued until we were both comfortable. Then it was time to buckle down and do the actual writing – which, for the writer, is where the fun really begins. Getting into the mood, resurrecting beloved characters and doing horrible things to them…
Chris Lynch – who recently wrote the free Lucy Wilson Christmas download story, The Gray Lady of Martyr’s House - provided the next story, Honourable Discharge:
It's simple. When UNIT calls, you answer! Honestly, what writer could resist the chance to craft their own corner of this world and leave a footprint in the sand next to the Brig? For my story I wanted to explore what happens in the aftermath of a UNIT adventure, the price paid by ordinary soldiers who defend Earth alongside the extraordinary heroes we know about, and what happens when one of them doesn't quite measure up to the high standards we expect. It’s a little dark, a little weird, but hopefully a part of the world of UNIT you’ll enjoy discovering.
Chris immediately came back with a cracking idea that put the Brigadier centre stage. It felt like I’d lit the blue touch paper – he produced the goods really quickly! As with John’s and Ian’s stories, I was also able to ensure some minor continuity between Chris’ Honourable Discharge and Martin Parker’s Old Fowlkes’ Home.
Martin had pitched a story for the Lethbridge-Stewart range, which was unused. It became clear the story could be adapted relatively simply to work as a UNIT story instead. It’s not always easy to adapt stories in this way. You’ve got two choices, basically: you adapt / re-write as you go along, leaving alone what already works – which can be fiddly and frustrating, or you put aside everything you’ve already written and start the piece again from scratch. Neither option is necessarily any quicker to deliver. But there was a lot I liked about the story as it was, and I was keen not to lose that. So, I encouraged Martin to concentrate on the aspects we agreed needed wholesale re-writes.
The story line up for The UNIT Files: Operation Wildcat and Other Stories::
Benton's First Day, part one, by Tim Gambrell
Norwegian Would, by Simon A Brett
Shadow, by Iain McLaughlin
Operation Wildcat, by Sarah Groenewegen
The Gift, by Sharon Bidwell
Parasite, by James Middleditch
How to Negotiate with a Sentient Tree in Shoreditch, by Baz Greenland
The Aftermath of Aberbuwch, by Jonathan Macho
Here We Go Again, by John Peel
The Ptower Bridge Pterror, by Ian Ball
Honourable Discharge, by Chris Lynch
Old Fowlkes' Home, by Martin Parker
Benton's First Day, part two, by Tim Gambrell
The UNIT Files: Operation Wildcat and Other Stories, is available to pre-order from Candy Jar, and comes with an art card and a free copy of The Benton Files 2, with new stories by George Ivanoff and Kenton Hall. The Benton Files 2 can also be ordered separately.