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 25 March 2012

The Great Sherlock Holmes Debate 2

I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend the Great Sherlock Holmes Debate2, although technically I invited myself. The event was organised by Steve Emecz of MX Publishing and he did a sterling job. It was a pleasure to meet so many authors and Holmes commentators in one place, although technically it was two places as the debate carried on in a lighter vein at the Sherlock Holmes pub.

On the previous evening I had shared a pint with Phil Growick, a Holmes author from New York, although technically we did not actually share a pint..that would have involved a straw, strange looks form the clientele of the Argyll Arms and intimacy of an altogther too forward a nature for two strangers.

Nick Briggs ( the 'voice' of the Daleks) put forward the point of view of Team 3, the Traditionalists, with humour and insight, but maybe not quite as forthrightly as Roger Johnson of the SHSL who pulled no punches although technically no actual punches were thrown unless I missed out on the acttion whilst purloining a Jaffa cake. Myself and the aforementioned Phil Growick were closeted in a room with two of the Baker Street Babes and Vida Starcevic althought technically Vida is a babe, although not a Baker Street one, although technically.........

The debate ran through all aspects of Holmesian adaptations and there was even a mention of Lord Lucan (you had to be there!). All views were expressed lovingly, concisely and with much thought.....even mine, yes I did have something to say althought technically it was not much as it was hard to get a word in with my fellow room members although technically they were not all fellows as you might have noticed from the use of the word 'babe'. I believe I am correct in saying that neither Phil or myself have even been described as babes, but then I know so little about Phil's murky past!

For the train ride home I was fortunate enough to have in my possession Tim Symond's foray into the world of Sherlock Holmes literature. Also, I picked up a copy of Amy Thomas's take on Holmes and the woman although technically I stole it!

To finish off the evening I shared a coffee (although get the idea) with the Baker Street Babes down by the Thames although technically Timothy was not a babe either although quite cool.

So to the train. So to bed.

Save Undershaw folks!!!!

Thursday 1 March 2012

I hear of Sherlock everywhere............

Mycroft was right. Correction: Mycroft is right. It is impossible not to read the name Sherlock Holmes in news print, in books, on TV or in the street come to that. Sherlock Holmes is indeed everywhere. What is the lasting appeal of this man? To what can we attribute this popularity which has gone on unabated for 125 years? The last three novels I have read were set in three different continents (shades of Watson's experience of the fair sex) but all mentioned Sherlock Holmes in one context or another. Is Holmes that likeable? Are there other forces at work here?
    He was arrogant, surly and treated Watson shabbily on numerous occasions. Jeremy Brett said Holmes was someone he would not cross the street to meet, yet he survives into the 21st century as the very embodiment of the Victorian hero. The Holmes/Watson friendship was very seriously undermined by Holmes's less than fair treatment of Watson. He was scathing about Watson's assistance, his intelligence and his efforts as a chronicler. Notwithstanding that, Holmes needed Watson as much as he needed anyone and although he may not have seen that himself, commentators on the Canon do and recognise the importance of one to the other. Emotionally they clung to each other. So is that the secret to the character's popularity and longevity? Or is it the atmosphere? The hansom cabs rattling through another thick, yellow London fog (quite rare in the Canon actually)?
   To me all these are components in making the canon the success it was and is, but more than that, it is the rhythm of Conan Doyle's writing thats tells most of us all. The Victorian era was awash with detective stories, densely and cleverly plotted with ingenius solutions, but read them and you quickly see what sets the Holmes stories.....that rhythm and pacing which belonged exclusively to Conan Doyle. The dialogue is pushed forward in a logical and naturalistic way whilst retaining that 'correctness' of speech. The most importanmt part of any Holmes piece I write is my desire to replicate this rhythm of story and rhythm of dialogue.....without it, you have no true pastiche. It compels me to add in a small way to the literature of Sherlock Holmes, being a delight and a pleasure to put words into the mouth of these two creations of Conan Doyle and my word for all his lackadaisical approch to the writing of Holmes stories, they worked like no others have done before or since. For instance, Agatha Christie was a great plotter, she gave us Hercule Poirot/Captain Hastings and Miss Marple. I have read everything in which these characters appear, but have I ever felt like writing Christie pastiches? No, never. The Poirot cases extend over a scarcely credible fifty years so if you had thoughts of writing a Poirot pastiche, where would you start? The 20's, 30's 40's etc etc? Othere than the character of  Poirot there is no consistent style to hang your writing hat on. Although the Holmes stories cover thirty-three years apart from the odd intrusion of the telephone or motor-car, they could all take place in 1895. To some of us...they do.
    Sherlock Holmes for the 21st century? Yes and for as long as people read. So be it.