I never wanted to be a Doctor Who writer. For as long as I can remember, I’ve written stories, but those first attempts were short, often unfinished and never for anyone but me to read. And they never featured The Doctor.
But I was without doubt a Doctor Who fan and always enjoyed new Doctor Who stories, which was one of the main reasons I ended up buying a hefty chunk of Cosmic Masque issues when I joined the Doctor Who Appreciation Society. The infrequently published magazine was DWAS’ fiction arm, publishing stories by their members – people whose names meant nothing to me at the time, but included Paul Cornell, Keith Topping, Steve Lyons, Andrew “Andy” Lane, Jim Mortimore, and Tat Wood.
Once I realised that somebody would publish short stories featuring the Doctor, my entire output changed. I occasionally wrote other things, but most of my ideas became Doctor Who fan-fiction and most of the stories got sent to DWAS when they were finished. Something changed – the only thing that has ever really changed about why I write: suddenly, without ever thinking about it, I started to write with the idea that somebody else, somewhere would eventually read it. The stories that didn’t end up published were never complete, even though they were finished.