It’s not every day that you sign a major film director as a new author and to be brutally honest I found the experience exciting, humbling and a little intimidating all rolled into one. Gerry O’Hara is best described as a legend of the big screen having several dozen films under his belt but no stranger to TV either with episodes of iconic series like The Avengers under his belt too. A prolific screenwriter Gerry also wrote several books during his career, but never had the time to do anything with them – now that he is semi-retired (many would kill for the guy’s energy) he has unearthed several to be published this year and we as you may know grabbed his Holmes novel – Sherlock Holmes and The Affair in Transylvania. You don’t need detection skills on a par with the great detective to work out that this is Holmes and Dracula territory.
The Sherlock Holmes Society of London were among the first to get a review copy:
“Sherlock Holmes and the Affair in Transylvania by Gerry O’Hara (due 2 November; £9.99/$16.95/€12.99) is similarly idiosyncratic and entertaining. As you might guess, Mr O’Hara pits Holmes and Watson against Count Dracula, but in a different way from his predecessors, Loren D Estleman and David Stuart Davies. Although great chunks of Bram Stoker’s text remain, his story has been rewritten to exclude Professor Van Helsing, and various other characters are reimagined.
Mina is now Watson’s niece, married to a Romanian named Janos. Lucy is the daughter of Dr Westenra, who supervises an asylum in Transylvania, where all the events occur. Surprisingly, this is Gerry O’Hara’s first book, after a long career as writer and director in film and television (he wrote the story for Sherlock Holmes and the Incident at Victoria Falls, so he’s not new to Holmes).”
What the review doesn’t mention is the rather stunning illustrations which were created as paintings and then scaled down for use in the book. The originals are all in colour and one is used for the cover. In the paperback they appear in greyscale, but in the ebooks they are in glorious colour, so if you have the Kindle version make sure you take a peek at them on a colour device like your computer as they are pretty special.
Gerry’s memoirs are out in a few months which, if the contract signing lunch stories he told are anything to go by are going to be funny and pretty revealing.
Sherlock Holmes and The Affair in Transylvania is due out on 2nd November though there are some limited pre-publication copies appearing on bookstores like Amazon.