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 25 January 2012

An Interview with Sherlock Holmes author, Kate Workman.

Kate Workman is the author of two Sherlock Homes novel: 'Rendezvous At The Populaire' and 'I Will Find The Answer' both available from Amazon and all book-seeling websites, from your local bookstore or direct from the publisher, MX Publishing.

Q. Has your interest in Holmes been life long?

A. Not quite life long, but I've been aware of Sherlock Holmes as long as I can remember. My first clear memory of anything Holmes related is my dad sitting me down one day and showing me Young Sherlock Holmes, a movie made in 1985 where Holmes and Watson meet as schoolboys and solve a mystery involving an Egyptian cult. I didn't realize it till years later, but it attempts to explain how Holmes became the cold, calculated, analytical man we all love from Conan Doyle.

Q. When did you first have the urge to write a Holmes piece?

A. I actually first had the urge my senior year of high school. Hard to believe that's been over ten years now! I've loved Phantom of the Opera since my freshman year, and for whatever reason, I began thinking how cool it would be to have Holmes and the Phantom in one novel. But I didn't know enough about Holmes back then to actually sit down and start writing anything. Obviously, the idea remained in the back of my mind.

Q. And when you did, how did it feel?

A. I finally sat down and began writing Rendezvous at the Populaire in 2007, seven years after I graduated high school. I was living in Kansas at the time, just sitting in the apartment I had, and I decided, 'You know what? I wanna write this, so I'm gonna learn about Holmes and start writing it!' I wrote some preliminary pages, some of which actually made it into the beginning of the book where Watson is describing Holmes's misfortune thanks to Moriarty's henchman, and I also went out to Barnes and Noble and bought the hardbound, gold-edged page volume of the Complete Sherlock Holmes. Then I began reading, because I wanted to get Watson's voice as correct as I could. When I actually sat down and began piecing segments together (Rendezvous is the first novel I've ever written in a non-linear fashion,) it felt pretty awesome. I was following in the footsteps of two other author-giants and a blockbuster musical, so it was also humbling. But I think there was nothing better than when I actually opened the box with y author copies and held my book in my hands. Knowing that it wasn't something that was just in a binder on my shelf anymore. It was an actual book. Nothing beats that feeling.

Q. Do you re-read the original stories often or just selected ones?

A. I'll often look over random ones. Right now, what with working on the Ripper novel, I'm looking at a few in particular, once again, to attempt to get voices as correct as I can. Unfortunately, and I'm a little ashamed to admit this, but I haven't yet read the complete canon. One day I will, though.

Q. I get the impression you are an Anglophile.....have you visited England?

A. Not yet, though I would LOVE to! Not only am I a Holmes fan, I'm also a huge Beatles fan. I was obsessed in high school. Literally, obsessed. I'd have to say my best Halloween costume was my junior year, when I dressed as Paul McCartney from the Sgt. Pepper album. So, yeah. When I ever get to that side of the pond, so to speak, I'll definitely be visiting London for 221B Baker Street, among other things, and Liverpool for everything Beatles that's there.

Q. Back to your writing; with each successive book do you fee that you gain more insight into Holmes's character?

A. Holmes, as Arthur Conan Doyle wrote him, I'm not sure. I freely admit, though I make references back to the original stories, my Holmes would not pass for Conan Doyle's Holmes. However, with each passing novel, I have better insight into how I've portrayed Holmes. He's a fuller character with each novel that comes out, because he gains more and more of a past with each one. Yes, he has a past in Rendezvous, but it's reviewed rather than lived through. As I write them and others read them, we see the journey he goes on and can look back at the novels and see how he changed and became what he is in the latest one.

Q. Your upcoming novel features Holmes up against Jack The Ripper. Without giving anything anything away, how do you think you have kept this well-used theme fresh and exciting?

A. How I keep the Ripper story fresh? That is an excellent question, and I wish I could give it the full answer it deserves, but I would end up giving away too much. However, I honestly don't think there is a way to overdo Jack the Ripper. There are so many theories, ranging from the absurd (Lewis Carrol as the killer,) to the full-blown conspiracies (implicating the entire royal family!) that as long as it's done with some thought, some creativity, and a sense of logic that doesn't snap one's suspension of disbelief, who the Ripper could be and who catches him will never get old. My novel personally, the identity of the Ripper was too good an idea to pass up. I have no idea how the Holmes community will receive it, but I hope it's taken well. At first, I thought it was a completely original idea, but it has been done at least once before, it turns out. I don't know about more than that, but I'd find it incredible if myself and one other person were the only ones who thought of this in all, what are there, over ten thousand pastiches written on Holmes?

Q. Which other pastiches would you recommend?

A. Though I've yet to read it completely, I like what I've read of Lindsay Faye's Dust and Shadow. I definitely enjoyed Shadow of Reinchenbach Falls, by John R. King, a book where instead of dying, or even catching himself on the cliff, Holmes goes over the falls, survives, but has amnesia. Though I've collected more, I've yet to read anymore of Laurie King's Mary Russel and Holmes books, though I did enjoy the Beekeeper's Apprentice. I'm also looking forward to a couple MX books I should receive soon. Specifically, a copy of the Case of the Whitechapel Vampire. I want to see how well Jack the Ripper being a vampire and Holmes dealing with that reality is written, especially since the author was able to get the Conan Doyle estate's approval.

Q. If there was to be a film made of any one of your novels, who would you cast in the main roles?

A. If my books were made into movies, I'd LOVE to see Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Holmes and Watson. That pair is simply brilliant, and since I went with the idea of them being late twenties in 1882, it would work perfectly. If they weren't available, I'd want Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard. The chemistry between them is awesome, and let's face it, Hugh Laurie's already used to walking with a cane and playing a Holmes-like character. (Yes, I think House was a subconscious influence when I decided on an injured Holmes.) The Phantom, I think I would cast Hugo Weaving. I think it'd be fascinating to see Maggie Smith as Mrs. Hudson. And I am working on a Dracula one, so it'd be pretty cool to see Alan Rickman play Dracula.

Q. Oh....and do you have an allotted time in the day/week when you write or is it as and when the muse takes you?

A. I wish I had an allotted time during the day to sit and write. But, no, usually it's just when the muse takes me. I find more often than not, if I try to force myself to write, I hate everything I come up with. Or, not hate, but it just doesn't feel right. Other times, I'll be in a writing zone, and everything just comes perfectly. Of course, things will be repetitive in places, but hey, that's what editing is for!

Monday 23 January 2012

The Affair In Transylvania

In a way there is nothing too surprising plot-wise in Gerry O' Hara's pastiche. The author follows Bram Stoker's Dracula quite closely with minor deviations. This is what you could term a 'drop-in' bok whereby our faithful friends are dropped into the action of Stoker's original. Sounds simple? Well, it's not. Where Mr O' Hara scores his points is with his characterisation of Holmes and Watson which is rendered authentically and skilfully. Never at any time do we get the impression they are adrift in someone else's novel. All the elements of the original are there, but pared down and readily accessible. You might think the pitting of Holmes against Dracula has been done to death and the best thing for the whole Holmes/Dracula 'canon' is to drive a stake through its heart.....but......not so. As long as writers of the calibre of Gerry O' Hara can continue to keep the format fresh, exciting and entertaining, then bring it on folks! Worthy of a place on any Holmesian ( or anybody's ) bookshelf, it stands comparison with the very best in this blood-filled field of Holmesian pastiche.

Sunday 15 January 2012

The Beacon Society

The author royalties ( if there are any!) from the upcoming 'Sherlock Holmes: tales from The Stranger's Room will be donated to The Beacon Society. Don't know them? Or what they do? Then read on...

The Beacon Society is a not-for-profit organization.

The Beacon Society is a scion society of The Baker Street Irregulars, an international organization of Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts founded in 1934 by Christopher Morley. The Irregulars (known as the BSI) meet every January in New York City for a weekend of celebration and study. The Beacon Society serves as a link to other scion societies, providing teachers with local resources to bring the magic of Sherlock Holmes to life in the classroom.

Members of the Beacon Society come from all over the U.S. Most of us also belong to one or more other Sherlock Holmes groups. We enjoy each other's company every January and stay in touch on our Internet forum the rest of the year. We joined the Beacon Society because we share a commitment to introducing young people to the pleasure of reading and enjoying Sherlock Holmes.

Their goals:

•Recognize exemplary educational experiences that introduce young people to the Sherlock Holmes stories

•Encourage teachers and librarians to use Sherlock Holmes to engage young people in the pleasure of reading

•Enjoy reading and teaching people about Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

There are many ways that individuals can assist the Society in achieving these some ways perhaps we think we already do, but take a look at the Society website and learn just what we can do and how to do it.

Sunday 8 January 2012

Sherlock Holmes and the Lyme Regis Legacy publication date: February 20th. Closely behind it hopefully will be Sherlock Holmes: Tales From The Stranger's Room, featuring the work of 24 writers with something for everyone!! Not to mention of course....that other project!