The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Thursday, 23 June 2011


As of today, my new Doctor Who novel, Touched By An Angel, is available in the shops and online. It features the eleventh Doctor, as portrayed by Matt Smith, Amy, Rory and the sinister Weeping Angels, as seen in the TV stories Blink and The Time Of Angels. It’s a timey-wimey, horror-thriller-romantic-comedy. It’s about time paradoxes, nostalgia, love, grief and regret.

What’s it about? Well, the premise is based around a simple question. What would you do if you suddenly found yourself transported back in time 17 years to 1994? Where would you live? How would you survive? That’s the dilemma faced by the character Mark Whitaker in the novel, with the story exploring the potential ramifications of having someone walking around in their own past.

There's also a kindle edition and at some point in the future there will be an audio book read by Clare Corbett.

I’m extremely proud of the end result. I think it’s easily my best novel – I mean, I know people might prefer the other ones more, because they are trying to do different things – but hopefully my writing style has improved. I certainly felt more confident when writing it to delve more deeply into emotion and character than I’ve done before. In fact, the whole writing process was an utter delight, as I found myself being excited, inspired and moved by the story as I told it, and I hope that comes across.

It’s a more personal novel than the others. It’s not autobiographical or anything like that, but of course I’m a similar age to the Mark Whitaker character, and so I drew on some of my memories of the 1990’s. Which was both haunting and cathartic, almost an adventure in time-travel in itself, to realise how much I remembered, and how much I had forgotten. Certainly as a ‘historical’ story it required much more research than usual, because it would be so much more noticeable if I got so much as the smallest detail wrong. And yet, paradoxically, the 1990s and early 2000s are two of the most difficult periods to research, as they’re too recent for nostalgia but pre-date the internet itself. I found the BBC Cult site invaluable.

I shall blog in more detail about writing it at a later date, after people have had a chance to read it. But two more things before I go. The URL for the amazon page for the book has it as ‘Doctor Who Touched Jonathan Morris’ which is both kind of charmingly true and yet also reads like a Daily Mail headline. And secondly, inevitably, I have compiled a Spotify playlist for the book. I may have spent almost as much time compiling the playlist as I did writing the book. These things are important. So the following songs are the ones that ‘soundtrack’ the book, or may have inspired parts of it; they’re not be any means my favourite songs of the era (there are one or two of my least favourites!) but they’re the songs that I strongly associate with certain times, certain aspects of the 1990’s. Quite a few of them are mentioned in the book; many, many more were mentioned before I edited it down.

Doctor Who - Touched By An Angel - Playlist:

1 Christina Aguilera – Beautiful
2 Murray Gold – Doctor Who XI
3 Dawn Penn – You Don't Love Me
4 D:Ream – Things Can Only Get Better
5 Blur – Girls And Boys
6 The Wonder Stuff – The Size Of A Cow
7 James – Laid
8 Transvision Vamp – Baby I Don't Care
9 Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
10 Prodigy – No Good (Start The Dance)
11 Murray Gold – The Time Of Angels
12 Take That – Back For Good
13 Lighthouse Family – Lifted
14 All Saints – Never Ever
15 Robbie Williams – Angels
16 The Corrs – What Can I Do
17 Toploader – Dancing in The Moonlight
18 Sugababes – Run For Cover
19 Natalie Imbruglia – Wrong Impression
20 Elvis Costello – She
21 Murray Gold – I Am The Doctor
22 Blur – Out Of Time
23 Spin Doctors – Two Princes
24 Suede – So Young (Remastered)
25 Echobelly – Insomniac
26 UB40 – (I Can't Help) Falling In Love With You