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.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

(Holmes Away From Home) Katie Magnusson: An Interview

Katie Magnusson has been published in the anthology An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and writes reviews for the news site I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere. Her favorite hobbies are the weird ones. She is also the author of The RX Problem, set in a futuristic city detailing the adventures of characters named Watts and Sherlock. She has contributed A Murder on Mount Athos to the upcoming Holmes anthology: Holmes Away From Home.  

1.      Could you tell us about your story in the upcoming Holmes from Home collection, without giving too much away of course?

A pilgrim is found murdered one morning in one of the monasteries on Mount Athos in Greece. The monks would prefer their sacred home not be trampled by a police force, but they can’t just stand there and do nothing. Fortunately, another visitor to the monastery seems particularly skilled at detective work and agrees to help find the murderer before he can escape.

2.      How and when did your love of Sherlock Holmes first appear?

I found a copy of The Complete Sherlock Holmes for obscenely cheap at a used books store and picked it up on a whim. That was seven or eight years ago, I think. I was vaguely familiar with him before that through pop culture references and The Great Mouse Detective, but I hadn’t read any of the stories (apart from a failed attempt at reading The Hound of the Baskervilles when I was maybe ten.) So, I thought I’d give it a go and try the stories out. I was instantly hooked. I devoured that book and acquired a sudden voracious enthusiasm for all things Sherlockian.

3.      Your novel, The RX Problem places characters called Watts and Sherlock in a cybernetic future. Sound as though it was fun to write...was it?

Immensely! Shortly after reading the Sherlockian Canon, I switched gears and read William Gibson’s Neuromancer, and the two sort of converged in my head, though my world is much less dystopian than his. My characters take a lot from Holmes and Watson, and there are Sherlockian references throughout the stories, but they’re not Holmes and Watson. It’s been a lot of fun watching them become their own people.

4.      What are the different challenges involved in writing a traditional Holmes tale as say compared to a steampunk version?

In both cases, the biggest challenge is preserving the characters. In order to do justice to the character, the author has to consider how he would react and make certain that they're writing Holmes, not just a popular culture stereotype version. I will read Sherlock Holmes in whatever world an author puts him in, and the biggest problem I’ve seen is the author becoming distracted by the setting or relying on stereotype, instead of really considering how Holmes would make his living and act in a world with airships, or magic, or whatever you like. That being said, when Holmes is still Holmes, it is so much fun to watch how he would respond to anything thrown at him. I think, for me, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between writing a historical story and a fantastical one. I’m probably going to do the same amount of planning and/or research for either, trying to envision the setting as best I can before I drop the Great Detective in the middle of it all, adapting him to the new situation.

5.      Your favourite Conan Doyle Holmes tale?

Oh, heck. Choosing one is hard. “The Adventure of the Three Garridebs” is probably one of the top five, simply because it has that amazing moment when we get a glimpse of the great heart along with the great mind. “The Six Napoleons” makes me melt every time I read Lestrade telling Holmes he’s proud of him. “The Blue Carbuncle” is just a lot of fun, and “The Speckled Band” has one of my favorite encounters between Holmes and a villain… but I could go on like this for ages.

6.      Do you have a structured writing routine and you are a bookseller...dream job?

I wish I had a structured writing routine. As it is, I write on break at work, and I write when I have an hour or two at home after my son’s in bed, and I constantly jot down ideas whenever I’m out and about running errands. It’s not ideal, but it’s what I have to work with. I never planned on being a bookseller, it just sort of happened that way, but I enjoy it. I do struggle with not spending my paycheck at my workplace, though.

7.      Your husband is a philosopher...does that make for cosy fireside chats?

Ha! Sometimes? Now that I think about it, discussions on the nature of mankind typically occur while doing dishes. Nights are most often spent watching movies or tv, or playing board games.

Thanks Katie!!

For more on Holmes Away From Home, Click HERE!!!

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