Trudi Canavan

bestselling author of The Black Magician Trilogy

Trudi's Blog

Time Tripping with Doctor Who

When I was a child there was one tv show I desperately wanted to watch, since everyone else was raving about it, but I wasn’t allowed to because my parents deemed it ‘too scary’ for a child of my age.

Years later, in my early 20s, the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) began to replay several old tv shows on weekday afternoons. My employer had ‘flexitime’ which allowed us to arrive and leave earlier or later so long as we made up our hours. I used to go in early so I could come home in time to watch Degrassi High, Roger Ramjet, Monkey and – best of all – Doctor Who. I finally got to see the show I’d missed out on as a child.

I was thrilled when the new Doctor Who series began. I’ve been enjoying the new adventures and discovering that an awful lot of my Australian friends are huge fans of the show as well. So you can imagine my excitement when BBC books emailed to ask if I’d like to write a Doctor Who story.

It will be a Time Trip – novella-sized digital-only story published as part of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary. Here’s the press release:


BBC Books is delighted to announce Time Trips, an exciting addition to their hugely popular Doctor Who digital list. Following the success of of the three digital-only e-shorts published last Autumn and earlier this year (The Angel’s Kiss, Devil in the Smoke and Summer Falls, each of which tied into a particular episode), as well as Doctor Who novels with Michael Moorcock, Stephen Baxter, Alastair Reynolds, Jenny Colgan and the estate of Douglas Adams. Time Trips is set to build on that success and expand the Doctor Who readership even further.

A new, long-term digital strand for the Doctor Who list, Time Trips will feature an exciting mix of high-profile commercial and literary writers, each of whom will write a 10,000 word adventure for their favourite Doctor. Authors confirmed so far include Nick Harkaway, AL Kennedy, Jenny Colgan and Trudi Canavan, with more to be announced shortly. From romantic fiction to high fantasy to high thrillers, there are a lot of Doctor Who fans in the literary world!

BBC Books Senior Editorial Director Albert De-Petrillo bought world rights in each of the stories. De-Petrillo said ‘Time Trips is a project I have long wanted to do. There’s a unique affection for Doctor Who amongst writers and readers across genres and I can’t believe our good luck to have Nick Harkaway, AL Kennedy, Jenny Colgan and Trudi Canavan on the launch list. It’s a truly formidable line-up, with more to come. This series really is taking Doctor Who fiction to a new level and I can’t wait for people to read these brilliant stories’

AL Kennedy said ‘I was first introduced to Doctor Who when I was three or four and he has been a happy part of my life ever since. I am delighted to become in any way a part of his stories’

Jenny Colgan, also a lifelong Doctor Who fan, said ‘It is such an honour to be part of the prestigous Time Trips line-up, with so many excitingly fresh perspectives on the Doctor’s life and adventures’ .

Nick Harkaway added ‘ There is a list of calls you want and know you’ll never get. Joel Rubichon invites you to eat any time; Penelope Cruz needs a tango partner…and then someone calls and asks you if you want to write a story for a new BBC Books’ Doctor Who digital series. And that is the real thing and it feels every bit as fantastic as you would imagine. I’m sure the tango would be good too, mind you’

BBC Books plan to release the first in the Time Trips series at the end of the year, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, with further stories to be published throughout 2014. Each story will be priced at £1.99. A print collection is due for release next year. Additional authors will be announced in the coming months.

The Most Fun I’ve Had Researching a Story

Last weekend I did a little research…


A huge thank you to David, the guy who let me have a sail of his blokart and to Tim, Russell, Brenton and Beau from the Victorian Blokart Association who let me interrogate them on the sport.

I now really, really want a blokart, and I’m daydreaming of a holiday house near a wide, smooth beach to sail it on.

Supanova-ing in Perth

Unfortunately the lovely Traci Harding couldn’t make it to Perth Supanova, but the fabulous Jay Kristoff joined us:


There were plenty of costumes and I was able to leap up out of my seat to photograph a few. And one lunch hour I roamed around, taking pictures:











And this wonderful fan, Marta, dressed up as Sonea!


We didn’t get a pic of all the authors in Sydney, but remembered to at the end of the Perth Supanova.


Afterwards Paul and I stayed in Perth for a few days of rest, recovery and touristy adventures, including a cruise on the Swan River to Freemantle. I took this shot of Perth as we were returning:


Ah, beautiful Perth. Thanks to everyone who came to get their books signed. We had a wonderful time.

Going Supanova in Sydney

I had a fabulous time at Supanova Sydney and signed books for oodles of fans – thank you everyone who dropped by!

It was great to meet Raymond Feist, hang with Jana Oliver and catch up with Aussie authors such as Kylie Chan, Juliette Marillier and Colin Taber – and to finally meet Traci Harding. It was curious to see how many people would move from Traci’s signing queue to mine and visa versa. There was also a lot of back and forth from Kylie Chan’s queue to Traci’s and mine as well. Which is interesting, as the three of us write very different kinds of fantasy – me: alternate world fantasy, Traci: time travel historical fantasy, Kylie: modern day chinese inspired fantasy.

I’m sure it was the biggest Supanova I’ve been to. Here’s one small bit seen from the green room. This room was about three times the size shown, and there were at least two more rooms at least as big, though I never got the chance to see how far one extended:


There didn’t appear to be as many fabulous costumes as at past Supanovas and I have no photos of them. However, the position of the Kunikunya stand meant we didn’t get much through traffic, and we were very busy most of the time. But nobody could fail to note the new trend:


It seemed every third person was wearing a onesie. Not having been to a Sydney Supanova before, I don’t know if costuming is less popular there, but I do wonder if the onesie has simply become the easier – and warmer – alternative. (The term ‘lamesie’ was uttered a few times toward the end of the show, I have to admit.)

I did manage to find a spare half hour to shop each day. The first day I bought this beautiful necklace from the lovely Jubly Umph Originals:


After the show we stayed in Sydney for a few days, dodging unusually heavy rain for Sydney to play tourist and do more shopping. I also did a little sketching:



And we had a ride on the Monorail six days before it was closed down:


Though this being the view from the windows, I can see why it might not be such a tourist draw in winter:


I have a theory the monorail would experience a revival as a tourist attraction if they painted them to look like cats. But maybe I’m the only one who’d find that amusing.

We had a great time in Sydney, at Supanova and about town. Mid-way through the week we headed West to Perth… but I’ll save that for another blog post.

Supanova! Sydney! Perth!

Next weekend I’ll be heading to Sydney for Supanova, then the following weekend to Supanova in Perth.


So come see me at the Dymocks stand to get your books signed! I’ll also be on a couple of panels with my fellow Supastar writers, of which there are many – check out this list! I’ll be digging out my copy of Magician, given to me for my sixteenth birthday, to bring along for signing. And I’m rather excited by the possibility of meeting Princess Leia – I mean Carrie Fisher – who I thought was the coolest when I was a wee girl.

And now that I think of it, Star Wars and Magician were both big inspirations that led to me becoming a writer and write the sort of books I write.