Iain McLaughlin

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An archive of slightly older news stretching back to June 2015.


February 13, 2019

I've written The Lane, one of the new Papercuts II series of Young Adult horror novels from Badger Learning. I've always liked a spooky story and this one is based on a lane I walked along when I was on a family holiday near Alness in the Highlands. A long, dark, scary lane with noises coming from either side.... it scared the bejayzus out of me. Hopefully this book will scare some young adults the same way.

January 25, 2019

Unbound, a collection of stories featuring non TV Doctor Whos is now available HERE. Claire Bartlett and I have the story Cold Comfort in here. It's not a particularly short story, coming in at over 22,000 words, which is why the editors chose to split it into two parts. We wrote it in the style of a Target novelisation, including some very recognisable Target chapter titles. I had a huge amount of fun in the writing of this story, and it may actually be the closest I ever get to writing a Target novelisation.

January 24, 2019

I have another Commando story out today. Spitfires of the Sea was the nickname given to motor torpedo boats, which patrolled the North Sea. I first became aware of these boats after reading that the second Doctor Who, Patrick Troughton, had captained one of these boats during World War 2. Apparently he wore a tea-cosy on his head to stay warm. It's amazing where you can find inspiration if you look for it.

January 14, 2019

And so, the first volume of Restoration, the new Blake's 7 season is now available, and in it is The Hunted, a script by, well, me. This one has a very definite World War 2 vibe to it. I had a huge amount of fun doing this. I've also enjoyed listening to the other stories, which are all excellent. The set is available from Big Finish.


December 13, 2018

I have another Commando out this week. Raid Over Hellbronn is one I had in mind for a while before writing it. There was a movie I saw way back (the title evades me) which verged on documentary about a naval mission in WW2. I wanted to do something similar for the RAF... and this is it.

December 6, 2018

Big Finish have revealed the cover and story synopses for the next Blake's 7 box set, which includes The Hunted, a story written by me. I'm always happy to write for the Liberator crew. I loved that show. You can find more details here.

November 29, 2018

Out now, a new set of Commando issues, featuring the last two installments of The Weekes' War series, including Tommy's War, which was written by me. I've had a really nice response to this series. Obviously I can't take all the credit (though I'll have a good try). I'm glad it's hit the spot with readers.

November 1, 2018

Marking the centenary of the Armistice, Commando is running a five issue series, following the Weekes family, as the war comes to a close. The series was put together by Claire Bartlett and myself. It was, as ever, great to work with her on these. My grandfather - Papa we called him - fought in WW1. He was much in my thoughts as I wrote this one.

October 31, 2018

On Halloween itself the Curse of the Mummy, has crept out to terrify an unsuspecting public. It's another novelisation of a radio play I wrote with Claire Bartlett

October 15, 2018

The second of the novelisations of the scripts I wrote with Claire Bartlett is now available. The Heart of Frankenstein is an expanded version of the story, which allowed me to dip into some of the characters in greater depth. It's available in paperback, ebook and large print format either from the publisher or on Amazon.

October 13, 2018

The latest Erimem novel, The Egyptian Falcon - by me - is out now. It mashes up many genres - noir detective, time travel, zombie, behind-the-scenes-in-Hollywood and war-time propaganda thriller. I had fun with this one. I do hope the readers have fun with it as well.

October 10, 2018

So, it has just been announced that I've written another Blake's 7 script, for the new series, Restoration, which will be out next year spread across three box sets. The first, featuring my story, The Hunted, will be released in January, 2019.

October 5, 2018

I have another Commando out just now. The Last Men at Dunkirk actually came out of my terribly bad habit of being late for anything I'm going to. I wondered what I should never have been late for... and the Dunkirk evacuation was high on that list... which led to this story.

September 18, 2018

I have another Commando out this week. This one, Target: Churchill is influenced by the story of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. If memory serves I actually pitched this around Bonfire Night last year.

September 16, 2018

This here is the cover of The Cursed of Brokenshore, a novelisation of the radio play Claire Bartlett and I wrote back in 2006. It also contains a bonus short story. It's available on AMazon or from the publisher.

August 24, 2018

It's a busy time for me in Commando-land. I have two out just now. The Red Devil and Fuelled by Fury are currently in the shops. I was told by Commando editor Gordon Tait that the cover for The Red Devil was spectacular - and he was right. It really is a lovely thing.

August 10, 2018

I have three books coming later in the year. I have novelisied three radio plays I wrote for Imagination Theatre with Claire BartlettThe Heart of Frankenstein will be first, followed by Curse of the Mummy and then the Sherlock Holmes story, The Cursed of Brokenshore.

August 2, 2018

This Commando release, The Enemy of my Enemy, is out soon. It pushes German and Allied forces into a position where they have to form an uneasy alliance. Initially this story was conceived as a Doctor Who tale, with the Seventh Doctor bartering a peace between human enemies so they could defend Earth from a crashed reptile species running amok in the North African deserts in 1943. I think I also pondered doing it as that same sci-fi story but without the Doctor before realising that without the Doctor it felt like a 1990s Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. I think it works best this way, without sci-fi.

June 26, 2018

I have another Commando out... this one is titled The Dark Spitfire and features a gorgeous cover by the legend that is Ian Kennedy.

April 16, 2018

This here book, Children of Time: The Companions of Doctor Who, is out next month from Kozmic Press. The anthology of essay on the Doctor's friends and companions is raising money for Furkids, Georgia’s largest animal rescue and no-kill shelter. I contributed a chapter on Erimem. You can find more details here.

March 19, 2018

I have another Commando story available. Doctor's Orders is set during the Gulf War. I wanted to do a story that was set away from the usual WW1 or WW2 settings. I also wanted to get another female lead character into an action-based Commando story. Commando is all about the action. As a writer you have to get the character work in there but their selling point is the action so it's always got to be in there. I'm pretty pleased with how this one turned out. 

March 14, 2018

Available today, my Omega Factor novel, Spider's Web, is published by Big Finish Productions. It's a pleasure to dip back into this series. I remember it from when I was a kid. I really remember it freaking my sister out, which is always a good thing. I hope this story - set during that 1970s series - is as unsettling to some as the series was to me. Also out today from Big Finish is the third series of their contemporary continuation Omega Factor series, which again stars the amazing Louise Jameson. If you don't know this series, it's a kind of proto X-Files with added Edinburgh and has a rather disturbing atmosphere bubbling under. It was really good back in the 70s. The new audios are every bit as good.

February 27, 2018

The Churchill Years Volume Two, which contains Human Conflict written by me, has now been released. It's available from Big Finish's site. The play brings together many of my favourite things - Doctor Who, Winston Churchill, James Bond (ish) and my home town of Dundee. The story has actually made the local press here in Dundee. I'm in the Courier... in Dundee, that's fame.

February 08, 2018

A couple of years ago, writer Tommy Donbavand was diagnosed with cancer. Tommy is a really good guy who fought the cancer with courage and humour. To give him a help and a smile, a bunch of writers produced the anthology A Target for Tommy. Unfortunately, Tommy has been diagnosed with cancer again. To help out there is another anthology, A Second Target for Tommy. It's full of lovely goodness which every Doctor Who fan is going to love, including some unseen Ninth Doctor script from an early draft of the 50th anniversary story written by Steven Moffatt. The book is for a great cause and is full of work by terrific writers. All proceeds go to help Tommy. Read more about the book and purchase it here.

January 09, 2018

Out today, Ambush in Kenya, a Commando adventure written by me. It's set in Kenya during the Mau Mau uprising. Unusually, it was a story that came with a number of requests from the Commando C.O.- but I've always liked stories that arrive with shopping lists attached. In some ways it makes plotting and writing the stories easier when there are things you have to include. They sort of impose a structure on the story. I enjoyed writing this script a lot. Then again, writing Commando is always fun.


November 2, 2017

As winter arrives and the weather turns cold here in Scotland, it feels apt that the next Commando I wrote is set in the icy north of Canada with a dip into a real bit of history - the British plan to build an artificial iceberg made of pykrete, a mixture of ice and wood pulp that's as solid as concrete. It was a genuine idea that was really looked into. The artificial iceberg would have acted as a sort of aircraft carrier, hosting squadrons of Spitfires in the North Atlantic. It's the sort of the I can help wishing had actually been built.

October 27, 2017

Here's a little book I did for Black & White Publishing. I have a fair bit of history with the Broons and Oor Wullie. When I was a kid we always went to my grandparents' house on a Sunday. When it rained, us kids were shoved into the house's hall to play or read or whatever and we often read the Broons and Oor Wullie books which my grandfather - our Papa - collected. Since then my sister has collected the books and in 2005-2006 I handled the pages for the Sunday Post newspaper, occasionally writing scripts when needed. Since I went freelance I've written for the characters as well. I'm hugely fond of them and am delighted to have a connection to these Scottish icons. This book is full of art by the legendary Dudley Watkins and is on sale now, I think.

October 08, 2017

Well, lookee here, I have another Commando story published. This one started life in my head way back in about 2013 when I was actually working on the editorial staff of Commando. However, I never got the chance to write it at the time. But I have now... it's meant to be a bit Jack Higgins or Alistair Maclean. It's a thriller that starts during WW2 and finishes with the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Target: Armageddon was good fun to do, I must admit.

October 04, 2017

A collection of scripts from Imagination Theatre's Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes radio series will be released to go alongside the ongoing MX Sherlock Holmes anthologies. They're for the good cause of the repair and upkeep of Undershaw, one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's former homes. None of the writers or actors involved are picking up a penny for this. Everything is going to the good cause. It's being crowdfunded through Kickstarter. You can read more about it here. The story Claire and I contributed is The Beast of Hyndford, which may just have won an award at the Moondance International Film Festival. Did I never mention that before? I'm so modest, you see... 

September 14, 2017

OUT! is now out! My new Young Adult book is published by Badger Learning. It's a tale of a teenage girl coming out to her family and dealing with the repercussions. 

You can learn more about OUT! and the other titles in this terrific series here at Badger Learning's site. They've got got great books and some really talented authors working for them - oh, and me.

From the intro page of the book...

This diary belongs to Jacqueline Harrison Jax
(nobody calls me Jacqueline and lives)
P.S. If you are reading this and you are not me, you’re in trouble. I know who you are and I know where you live…

September 7, 2017

I've got another Commando out today. This one's a WW2 espionage tale. One of my favourite TV shows from the late 70s/early 80s was Secret Army. I dipped into the atmosphere of that when I was thinking about some Commando plots... Fatherland more action based than Secret Army was but that show was a big influence on me when I was plotting and trying to come up with the atmosphere of this story.

September 4, 2017

The latest Erimem novel, Three Faces of Helena, is now available. It's written by me - even though it wasn't meant to be. This book ties up the backstory of Helena and features legendary explorer Allan Quatermain. It's available in hardback, paperback and large print format from Thebes Publishing.

August 30, 2017

The first of my Commando scripts is now available. It's not the first thing I've written for Commando. I worked on the staff there from late 2013- early 2014 and wrote some short text stories for the back cover flaps, but this is the first full-length Commando script I've written. I have to say it's a real joy to write these stories. They're roughly the length of a movie script and you've got 135-140 pics to tell that story in. I also remember my grandfather - my old Papa - reading Commando, sitting in a deckchair in his garden back when I was a kid. I hope Papa would have approved of The Battle to Britain.

July 17, 2017

So, this is the new face of the Doctor. To quote the Ninth Doctor... FANTASTIC!

Jodie Whittaker is a terrific actress. Anybody who's seen her in anything will tell you that, I(f she didn't break your heart in Broadchurch, you probably don't have a heart. 

Some people don't like the idea of a female Doctor. Personally, I think it's great. I had been hoping for Hayley Atwill. The Doctor has changed height, he's changed hair colour, he's changed from top to toe. I don't see any downsides to this - and I think it'll be a big boost for the show. The Doctor will always be the Doctor. She's going to be great.

July 7, 2017

Before Imagination Theatre closed its doors I had written a script for their Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes radio series which was never produced. The episode, The Strange Case, is a two-hander focusing on just Holmes and Watson. It has now been produced and is available on Imagination Theatre's youtube page. Imagination Theatre has been an important part of my life for a long time now. I was saddened when they closed up shop, though at 90 or 91 the owner, the legend that is Jim French had more than earned his retirement after spending seven decades making radio, the last twenty something of those making radio drama with Imagination Theatre. I hope the company has a future of some kind. Radio drama is beginning to thrive again. Jim French, Larry Albert and Sable Jak at Imagination Theatre fought hard to keep radio drama alive during rough times for the medium. They deserve to be at the heart of its revival.

May 7, 2017

A couple of people have been in contact asking about the future of Kerides the Thinker, the show Claire and I did regularly for Imagination Theatre. With IT closing its doors, it seemed that Kerides may have solved his last case. That's not the way of it. One way or another we will be returning to Kerides. We may do it as a novel or a collection of short stories, we might just release the scripts that were written or plotted but never recorded or... well, if there's an 'or' I'll let you know. Bottom line, though, is that we'll be coming back to Kerides one way or another. And a huge thank you to those who have been in touch about the series. We really appreciate it.


December 14, 2016

Not really written by me, this. For the most part it's a story written by the brilliant Simon Forward. However, it also contains a story credited to 'Authors Collective' for which I may or may not have contributed about a thousand words. I'm neither denying nor confirming, just flagging this up because The Xmas Files is free to download from the Candy Jar website. Not bad, eh? Merry Christmas, Brigadier. 

December 11, 2016

For anyone feeling Christmassy, the Christmas Erimem book, All I Want For Christmas is available from Monday 12th December. It contains stories by the respected (and terrifying) horror author Daniel McGachey, Beth Jones, author of the forthcoming Erimem novella Churchill's Castle (which will be available at the end of December), Claire Bartlett and me. The stories are all Christmassy in one way or other and it's available through Amazon from Monday 12th.

December 2, 2016

Available soon from Candy Jar Books is Mind of Stone, my novel for the Lethbridge-Stewart series of novels featuring the Brigadier. It's a thriller with some science fiction overtones and, I hope, some good laughs as well. The Brigadier is a long-time favourite of mine. It's a pleasure to have written for him again.

November 25, 2016

Coming in January 2017, is Last Year, a novel in Badger Learning's Young Adult Reads range. Told in diary form it's the story of a teenage girl coming to terms with her mother's life-threatening illness and its repercussions. It's not a comedy but it's not as completely downbeat as it sounds either. It's a very honest look at illness and bereavement.

October 25, 2016

This year's Halloween play for Imagination Theatre is Behind the Masque. For various reasons I won't go into their version is, I believe, a variation on my script. My version will be performed on stage in 2017. The scripts of both my theatrical script and my original radio version are available in this book which can be picked up from Amazon.

August 23, 2016

There's a review of Licence Expired over at Literary 007, including a very positive review for my James Bond short story, A Dirty Business. It's an honour to have written for 007.

August 21, 2016

I'm back with my favourite ex-pharaoh in a new novella for Erimem. Buccaneer is a swashbuckler in the stylee of Rafael Sabatini - or the old Errol Flynn pirate movies if you prefer. It has action and adventure... and it has a bit of snogging as well.

I'll be back in Erimem's universe in November, when I'll be contributing one of the stories in All I Want for Christmas, where I will be joined by the splendid Claire Bartlett, the brilliant Daniel McGachey (Scotland's 'Master of the Macabre' according to Imagination Theatre) and the fabulous Beth Jones. It's going to be a really good book.

August 19, 2016

Very pleased I can now talk about this... I've written one of the next run of novels based on Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart from Doctor Who. The Brig is a favourite character of mine, and I had the pleasure of writing for him in Big Finish's UNIT series. Writing for a younger, pre-UNIT version of him was fascinating. Lethbridge-Stewart: Mind of Stone will be available later this year from Candy Jar Books.

July 7, 2016

Tommy Donbavand is a writer and really good guy who is fighting against cancer. To give him a bit of a help while he's fighting the fight, Stuart Douglas and Paul Magrs have brought together a special anthology of original Doctor Who fiction in A Target for Tommy. It's got fiction by a lot of really talented writers like Paul Cornell, Steve Cole, Daniel Blythe, Una McCormack, Paul Magrs... and I sneaked in there as well when they weren't looking. My story, The Other Three Doctors... well, it's influenced by Doctor Who's tenth anniversary story, The Three Doctors. If you want to know more, please buy the book. More than 25 stories in one splendid volume. You can order it here for £10.99 (paperback) and £5.99 (ebook). It's a great book for a great cause. Buy the book, enjoy the stories and help out a good guy who's dealing with some tough times. It's win-win. Buy it, please.

May 25, 2016

The next batch of Badger Learning's Teen Reads series contains The First Martian written by me. It's a great range to be involved with. Anything that brings more people into reading books is really important and I'm really chuffed to have written one.  The books are released in September of this year. More details here.

May 10, 2016

Later this year I'm going to be giving some workshops on creative writing. I'll be looking at the basics of writing - the foundations - in an initial set of workshops, but in a later series of workshops I'll be dealing with some more advanced aspects of writing. To prepare for that I've been looking at some scripts and stories that didn't go anywhere, working out why they they didn't work, where I went wrong with them and how they could be improved. It's a fascinating process to revisit failures with a more experienced eye. I've done an essay on each of these abandoned or rejected works, and they've collected with the original submissions in On The Shelf. This book isn't getting big publicity. It's available on Amazon but mostly it's to accompany the workshops I'm doing. A second volume will be released in early July. I'm really looking forward to these workshops.

March 15, 2016

To mark the launch of an ESA probe to search for signs of life on Mars, and also to commemorate the passing of a great music legend, there's a very short, very silly and very free Erimem story, Life on Mars on Mars  over at Thebes Publishing.

March 01, 2016

Julianne Todd's novella Prime Imperative has been released. At the end of the book is a short story titled Home by little old me. The book is available from Thebes Publishing.

February 09, 2016

I'm rather excited that I can let slip that I am writing this, The Forty Nine Steps, a sequel to John Buchan's classic The Thirty Nine Steps, for release in Summer 2016. I can't say more than that but... I'm having a ball with it. I have to admit I'm writing it with Robert Powell's Hannay in my head. I went to see his 1978 film version a couple of times when my sister worked at the local cinema. It's my favourite version but there hasn't been a bad film of the book yet.

John Buchan wrote many novels using Richard Hannay but thematically and in terms of story, my novel is pitched as a sequel to The Thirty Nine Steps.

This isn't the final cover, by the way.

January 21, 2016

The latest Erimem book is now available. Into The Unknown has fifteen stories and interludes in Erimem's new life in London. I wrote one of the short stories, Echoes, and all the interludes, which are all meant as little character moments. There are some great writers in this anthology, many of them new or relatively untried. The book is available from www.thebespublishing.com priced £8.99.

January 19, 2016

Now available, BAD BLOOD Book One: Thomas Lees is the first in a series of horror novellas which will form a huge sweeping story of vampires laying siege to the Earth. Bad Blood was created by Daniel McGachey and myself. Dan is one of the most talented writers around. Pick up one of his books if you don't already have them. I've also written the second and third books in the series, Rebecca and Grigor Corsini. I'll be returning to wrote more of it later. You can find more details at www.thebespublishing.com priced a mere £5.99.


October 6, 2015

I'm one of the writers on Angel of Mercy, the subscriber bonus story for subscribers to the Erimem novels available at www.thebespublishing.com. Very pleased to have worked with the excellent Claire Bartlett and Julianne Todd. By the way, if the cover looks bleak... it is...

September 1, 2015

The Beast of Stalingrad, a novella in the Erimem series, is now available from www.thebespublishing.com. And because you've all been very good, the novella has a little bonus at the back...

August 16, 2015

Very pleased that The Beast of Hyndford, a play in Imagination Theater's The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series, written by myself, Claire Bartlett and John Patrick Lowrie, has won in the Audio Drama section at the Moondance International Film Festival

July 16, 2015
The Sherlock Holmes short story I mentioned last week is in Volume 3 of... THIS! The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, There's a lovely article about it on the Radio Times site here. My story, The Hopkins Brothers Affair, was co-written with my usual partner in crime, Claire Bartlett.

June 20, 2015

The first Erimem novel, The Last Pharaoh, written by Claire Bartlett and myself has been released by Thebes Publishing and is available now as an ebook and in print from their website at www.thebespublishing.com priced £8.99.