Peter Darvill-Evans


Peter Darvill-Evans

Peter Darvill-Evans (born 1954, Buckinghamshire, England) is a British writer and editor. He lived in Buckinghamshire until he went to university, graduating in 1975 from University College, London with a degree in History.

In 1976 Darvill-Evans joined the staff of Games Centre, a specialist games shop in London. He became the manager of a branch of the shop, then manager of wholesale sales, selling board games and eventually role-playing games.

In 1979 he became employed by Games Workshop, becoming first its Trade Sales Manager, then General Manager, responsible for purchases, sales, distribution and magazine publishing. When Games Workshop relocated to Nottingham, Darvill-Evans left the company, preferring to stay in London. He then wrote his first of three Fighting Fantasy gamebooks for Puffin Books.

In 1989, he became the a junior editor at WH Allen, initially overseeing the Target Books imprint. He also oversaw the Nexus imprint of erotic fiction for men, redesigning its logo and cover style as well as changing its editorial direction.

Target's main output was novelisations of the popular science-fiction television series "Doctor Who", and when Darvill-Evans arrived he immediately realised that there were very few "Doctor Who" stories left to novelise. This problem was exacerbated by the cancellation of the television series at the end of 1989. When WH Allen sold the Nexus and "Doctor Who" lines to Virgin Publishing, Darvill-Evans went with them. Deciding to go freelance, he was made redundant at his own request, and entered negotiations with the BBC to licence Virgin to produce full-length, original novels carrying on the story of the series from the point where the television programme had left off.

Launched in 1991, this hugely-successful line of novels were known as the "New Adventures". Darvill-Evans set down guidelines for the writers, and even wrote one novel himself, Deceit. Other output from the Virgin fiction department during his time there included another series of "Doctor Who" novels (the "Missing Adventures", featuring previous Doctors and companions); a series of novels following the character of Bernice Summerfield; the "Virgin Worlds" imprint of new mainstream science-fiction and fantasy novels. Non-science fiction lines included Black Lace, the first mainstream erotic fiction imprint targeted at women; the Crime and Passion imprint; Idol, a homoerotic fiction imprint for men; and Sapphire, a lesbian erotica line.

Other successes included media-tie in books such as the "Red Dwarf" Programme Guide, which served as the template for guides about other cult television series, and a series of novelisations based on the Jimmy McGovern-scripted series "Cracker" starring Robbie Coltrane.

By 1997, however, Virgin Publishing decided to emphasise more non-fiction books by and about celebrities. Their license renewal negotiations fell in 1996, a year in which the BBC was seeking to bring all the "Doctor Who" licenses back in house. Consequently Virgin's "Doctor Who" license was not renewed and instead the BBC opted to launch their own series of "Doctor Who" novels. In 1998, Darvill-Evans managed the editing and production of Virgin’s Guide to British Universities, and personally supervised the copy-editing and proofreading of Richard Branson's autobiography "Losing My Virginity".

Virgin closed its fiction department in 1999, with Darvill-Evans departing the company and moving to Southampton. He continued to freelance, writing several "Doctor Who" novels for BBC Books, amongst various other editing and writing work.

In 2001 he began working for the Inland Revenue, and is currently an Inspector of Taxes.

Bibliography

*Fighting Fantasy: Beneath Nightmare Castle (1987) (ISBN 0-14-032238-8)
*Fighting Fantasy: Portal of Evil (1989) (ISBN 0-14-032839-4)
*The New Story of O (translation from French) (1990)
*Fighting Fantasy: Spectral Stalkers (1991)
*Doctor Who - Time Lord (1991) (ISBN 0-426-20362-3) (a gamebook with Ian Marsh)
*Seven pseudonymous novels for the Nexus imprint between 1991 and 2002
*Doctor Who: Deceit (1993) (ISBN 0-426-20387-9)
*Doctor Who: Independence Day (2000) (ISBN 0-563-53804-X)
*Doctor Who: Asylum (2001) (ISBN 0-563-53833-3)


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