In November 1990, Doctor Who Magazine started publishing their Brief Encounters series of short stories. I had only just started sending stories to the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, but I already knew I wanted to write one. I started submitting every Doctor Who short story I wrote to Marvel UK, usually in batches of two of three to save on the postage. I got my first professional rejection letter signed by the then editor John Freeman on letter-headed paper with Spider-man crawling across it. It was just a form letter, one that probably every Doctor Who fan living in England at that time had, but for years it was my most treasured possession.
But it wasn’t just that the stories were Doctor Who, it was that they were short stories. Each Brief Encounter was only 800 words or so, and I had been writing short stories for years. I knew Doctor Who well enough to be able to be able to come up with stories that felt like they fit that universe. But the main reason I wanted to write a Brief Encounter was because Doctor Who Magazine were the only publisher I knew who was printing stories.