When I was at university, there was a guy called David Butler who used to appear in some of our lectures. He was studying for his PHD, and as undergraduates we didn’t really mix with him. But then Chris Sudworth got involved in the new student radio station at Manchester University, bring a group of student’s who wanted to write together to create a soap opera for the station, called Five Lives. The group was an odd mix, with some taking the whole thing very seriously and then me and one other student thinking that the whole thing would be much better as a surreal comedy. That other writer was David.
Through the regular read-throughs, I got to know David and discovered he was also a Doctor Who fan with a growing collection of Big Finish audios. We kept in touch, and ended up in the same writing group when David finished his PHD and got a job as a lecturer in the Drama Department. Part of the job for lecturers is showing that they have contributed to the sum of critical thinking in their field: David’s plan was to bring together a collection of new critical papers about Doctor Who that could be presented at a day conference. By this point, I was already a published Doctor Who author, and so he asked me if I would submit a paper.