What can you find here? Reviews of new and not quite so new Sherlock Holmes novels and collections. Interviews with authors, link to blogs worth following, links to where you can purchase my books and some reviews of my work garnered from Amazon sites. Plus a few scary pics of me and a link to various Lyme Regis videos on YouTube...see what we do here and how....and indeed why!!! Next to the Lyme Regis Video Bar is a Jeremy Brett as Holmes Video Bar and now a Ross K Video Bar. And stories and poems galore in the archives.

Sunday, 20 November 2016


David Marcum first discovered Sherlock Holmes in 1975, at the age of ten, when he received an abridged version of The Adventures during a trade. He is the author of "The Papers of Sherlock Holmes" Vol.'s I and II (2011, 2013), "Sherlock Holmes and A Quantity of Debt" (2013) and "Sherlock Holmes - Tangled Skeins" (2015). Additionally, he is the editor of the three-volume set "Sherlock Holmes in Montague Street" (2014, recasting Arthur Morrison's Martin Hewitt stories as early Holmes adventures,) and the massive three-volume "The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories" (2015). he is the editor of the forthcoming anthology; Holmes Away From Home.   

You are busy acquiring a reputation as a fine editor of various Sherlock Holmes anthologies, how did that come about?

Thank you for those kind words. I’m still an amateur editor, but I’m learning more and more as I go along.

I’ve edited my own works and various engineering papers for myself and others for years. I think that if you read a lot, you learn how to write and see things that do or don’t work. I had never thought about editing Holmes books as a goal, but one morning in early 2015, I woke up early from a vivid dream about a Holmes anthology that I’d edited. Instead of going back to sleep and forgetting about it, I emailed a few friends and publisher Steve Emecz, and everyone was positive, so I started asking a few other people if they’d like to participate. Eventually interest grew and grew until it turned into the three-volume hardcover set, The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories. It was the biggest collection of new traditional Holmes stories in one place ever, over sixty stories, and all the authors’ royalties go to support the Stepping Stones School for special needs students at Undershaw, one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former homes.

After those initial three volumes, the system was still in place, the school still needed funds, and there can never be enough traditional Holmes stories. So we charged ahead, and since then there have been two more MX anthologies this year, Part IV – 2016 Annual, and Part V – Christmas Adventures, and two more are already in the works for next year.

As if that editing wasn’t enough, I’ve also just finished the two-volume set for Belanger Books, Holmes Away From Home, with stories from The Great Hiatus. And I already have almost all of the stories for next year’s Belanger Books anthology, Before Watson, with tales set before Holmes and Watson’s meeting at Barts on January 1st, 1881.

What do you look for in a Holmes story? What for you, makes it work?       

I’ve been reading and collecting traditional Holmes pastiches since I was ten years old, in 1975, and since then I’ve accumulated several thousand of them. I organize them into a Chronology of both Canon and pastiche. Doing that, I play The Game with deadly seriousness, treating Holmes and Watson as historical individuals. As such, first and foremost, I only read and include stories that fit within The Game. No ghosts, vampires, or time travel. No modern day settings, and absolutely no “Sherlock” and “John”. Holmes is not Van Helsing or Dr. Who, but he does need to be a hero, and not some damaged loser who is so broken that, without Watson’s help, he cannot function – I don’t want to read about that guy. When editing, that’s how I judge a story.

What advice would give to budding pastiche writers?

One very important thing is to go ahead and write – don’t be overwhelmed by a blank screen. Start putting something – anything – down. It may not work, it may have to be completely scrapped at some point, but you have something that you can build upon and tie to something else, and if you keep chipping away at it, you’ll be amazed at how a thing that wasn’t there before now exists.

When I went to school to be a civil engineer, they taught us the “Engineering Method”, which is not to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. Rather, pick pieces you can work on, and if you hit an impasse at one place, move on to some other piece. If you’re stuck on a difficult part of a story, jump ahead to somewhere after that part and start the next piece. Sew them all up when you’re done.

Do your editing duties impinge on your own writing?

Since I’m an amateur writer, my writing method is to find some quite time, usually early on a Saturday morning, and sit down and start typing. I don’t outline at all. Rather, I just listen to Watson telling the story and race to stay caught up while I transcribe it. For a normal 8,000 word story, it takes about two of these sessions, three-to-four hours each, to get the basic story in place. I’m not really aware of the passage of time when I’m writing – I come back and have a big chunk of story in front of me, and all of my coffee has disappeared.

Editing, on the other hand, is an ongoing process. People send me stories steadily, and I read them pretty much as they arrive. When I receive them, I immediately format them as if they were going to be accepted and dropped into the book template. I fix and unify all sorts of things, such as punctuation, layout, etc., for consistency. Only then do I actually read and edit the story and either accept or reject it outright, or send it back comments regarding loose plot threads or holes, or things that don’t fit with The Canon. It has to fit with The Canon!

Away from editing, writing, and work, what do you enjoy doing?               

I’ve always enjoyed reading, and I read a LOT of stuff besides Holmes. Additionally, I love music. When I went to college for my first degree back when I was eighteen, I started as a piano performance major on scholarship, performing in recitals and accompanying vocal performance majors. However, a couple of years of that convinced me that I wanted to retain my amateur status, and I finished up with a degree in Business Management – which helped a lot when I went back to school years later to be a civil engineer. Music is still very important to me, and I usually can’t walk through the house without stopping and playing something on the piano. I just wish that I could sing better, like my musical hero, Mr. Billy Joel.

Of course, I’ll take any chance that I can get to spend time with my wife and son, even if we’re just hanging out at home. And the older I get, the more I want to be outside, even if it’s just for a good long walk, or sitting on the deck and reading.

If you could visit on Holmesian location you have not yet been to, what would it be?

Excellent question. Since childhood, I’d dreamed of visiting London and England, all because of Holmes. I wanted to start in Baker Street and spread out from there. I was finally able to take my trip-of-a-lifetime Holmes Pilgrimage in 2013, visiting hundreds of Holmes-related sites, based on years of research in the two-dozen-plus Holmes travel books in my collection. I was able to return for Holmes Pilgrimages II and III in 2015 and 2016, both in connection with the MX anthologies.

Having now been so many Holmes-related places in England, some of them more than once, I think that I’d like to get to the Reichenbach Falls. After that, I really don’t have much interest in the rest of the Continent – I’d hurry back to Baker Street and do that all over again.

Aside from the editing, what are you currently working on?

I’ve been writing a number of stories for the anthologies that I edit, as well as a few that have been requested for other people’s anthologies. I’m also working on stories for a super-secret Holmes-related project that I hope will come to fruition soon – you’ll either hear about that, or you won’t. And I really need to write some other Holmes stories for another of my own books for MX. I now have enough accumulated stories from previous anthologies to make another collection, but I want to write some more new stuff too.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity, and also thanks to the many authors – now nearly 100 of you! – who have participated in the various anthologies that keep the memory green for the true Sherlock Holmes!

Thanks David. For news on Holmes Away From Home, click HERE

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