Andriacco's Sebastian McCabe - Jeff Cody mystery series, set in a small town in Ohio, is very much in the tradition of his Golden Age favorites.
Andriacco, known to friends as "Doctor Dan," holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia. He was born in 1952 in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, Ann. They have three adult children and five grandchildren.
How did your first book come about? Why, what and when?My first published book in the Sherlockian field was Baker Street Beat. At some point I realized that I had written a lot about Holmes over the years. I assembled them into a book of essays, radio plays, and short stories just to have them all in one place. I planned to self-publish but I couldn't figure out how to do it. Then Joel Senter of Classic Specialties told me about MX Publishing. Amazingly, the book was in print just a few months after I sent Steve Emecz the manuscript. That was in 2011. I've had two books a year published ever since.
Thanks! I think I started with wanting to have a "Watson" that had a built-in conflict with the amateur sleuth protagonist for the sake of dramatic tension and also for comedy. So I came up with the idea of a small Catholic college public relations director hose best friend and brother-in-law was a professor who created PR problems for the college. It didn't work out exactly that way because there isn't really that much tension between Jeff and Mac, but that's how I originally saw them.Your McCabe-Cody series of mysteries go from strength to strength. Did the idea come to you fully-formed?
To some degree, the Holmesian element is automatic. It's just so much a part of me that it comes out in all my mystery writing. But my publisher specializes in Sherlock Holmes so some of it is put in with malice aforethought. The second book in McCabe-Cody series, Holmes Sweet Holmes, originally had a different title and the Holmes element wasn't nearly as strong. I wrote the first version many years before it was rewritten and published.And was it a conscious decision to have the Holmesian themes?
How do you see the series and characters progressing?
There have been some changes and there will continue to be. I'm not sure that Lynda's job at the media company is secure. Tere's a major change in another character's job at the end of the next book in the series. And at some point a continuing character will turn out to be the murderer. I don't want the series to stagnate, so there has to be some changes - but not enough to ruin the sense of familiarity. Readers tell me that when they open one of my books it's like revisiting old friends. I don't want to ruin that!
It's over! Kieran and I decided to make it a trilogy. I think I had the basic plotlines of the second and third books finished before the first was published. The third ends with a shocking surprise. I think that was a good conclusion to the series. The last line of the book may read like we're setting it up for another book, but that wasn't the idea.The Enoch Hale series in collaboation with Kieran Mc Mullen is a recent innovation. Is that series set to run and run?
No! I will leave that to others. It's hard to make a Holmes novel seem like the Canon. To be authentic - at least to me - a Holmes novel has to be relatively short (45,000-60,000 words), have Holmes missing for about half the book, and be an adventure story as much as a mystery. Even The Hound of the Baskervilles follows that pattern - Holmes is gone for much of the book, and the killer is revealed way before the end. And of course the first and last ACD Holmes novels are divided into two parts, with the second part set in America in the past and Holmes is nowhere in sight.Any plans to write a full length Sherlock Holmes pastiche?
Yes! My wife is one of my four beta readers. Our grandchildren are great readers, so I look forward to them meeting Sebastian McCabe and Jeff Cody some day.Are your family very supportive?
What constitutes a normal day for you?
That depends a bit on what stage I'm in with a project, but basically I work on writing or editing or plotting for an hour every morning after I work out at the gym. Then I do my day job as director of communications at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, which involves a lot of writing. I also write or edit my own projects at home after work, but how long I do that depends on how much energy I have and what needs to be done that day. I'm pretty focused, which is how I wrote two books a year four years. That pace may not continue.
It impacts every area of it - at least, I hope it does!How does your faith work in your life?
At the moment I'm reworking a comic detective novel set in 1991, which is when I originally wrote it. Re-reading it makes me laugh out loud. It's so "high-concept" that I don't want to say anything more about it right now. My wife and I also plan to write a mystery series about an early twentieth century vaudeville clairvoyant - her grandfather. The first book is largely plotted. Neither of these efforts is Sherlockian and so probably will not be published by MX. But friends of Jeff Cody will be happy to know that I expect his adventures to continue, at least one a year, for a long time to come.And the future? What can we expect from you?
Visit Dan's website: HERE