I had always had ambitions of writing for Doctor Who. I’d had short stories published, and I’d sent in a proposal to the Virgin New Adventures. But what I hadn’t done was finish anything I’d started that was that long. The BBC Books were 85,000 words, and everything I’d ever written aiming to be that long had always petered out around 15,000. But by 2000, some things had changed.
Firstly, I’d got better at my planning. Both Virgin and the BBC asked for full synopses as part of the submission process, so I’d gotten into the habit of writing one instead of just diving into a new novel. This meant that by 15,000 words - when I’d suddenly stop, wondering what actually happened next - I could keep writing on, even if my stamina was flagging. The other things was that I’d just finished a collection of Doctor Who fan fiction that I called Back From the Dead. It was a collection of short stories, but together they told a larger story … and one that clocked in at around 85,000 words.
I started to plot Heritage as the start of the next series of Back From the Dead stories, but in the back of my head was the idea of submitting it as a proposal to the BBC. When the story looked like it would be long enough, I made my mind up. Once it was rejected, it could go on the internet. But first … well, you never knew.