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The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Author Interview – David Marcum

Throughout the Kickstarter campaign, we will be adding brief interviews highlighting the talented authors who have contributed to the anthology. Today we have the excellent David Marcum. David is the creator and editor of the MX anthology series.

David lives in eastern Tennessee with his wife and son. He’s a licensed civil engineer, and has been reading, collecting, and chronologicizing traditional Sherlock Holmes pastiches since he was ten years old in 1975. Since then, he’s collected literally thousands of pastiches – and that’s nowhere enough!

David’s irregular blog, “A Seventeen Step Program”, can be found at:

http://17stepprogram.blogspot.com/

His books are available at:

https://www.amazon.com/David-Marcum/e/B00K1IKA92/

How did you first get introduced to Sherlock Holmes?

In 1975, when I was ten years old, I received a Holmes books as an “extra” when I was trading with a friend for some Hardy Boys books. I didn’t much want it, but a few weeks later, I saw part of a Holmes movie on television, remembered the book, found it and read it, and have been a Sherlockian ever since.

What was the inspiration for your pastiches in this current collection, “The Regressive Man”, “The Reappearance of Mr. James Phillimore”, and “The Unnerved Estate Agent”?

This time I wrote three pastiches, one for each of the three books in this current set. I usually don’t have a plan when I start writing. Rather, I just let Watson whisper to me. “The Regressive Man” is a straightforward mystery, but as the story was being told, I realized that one of the characters might have something in common with a famous figure from British lore and history – and might even be that person. “The Reappearance of Mr. James Phillimore” begins with a woman relating to Holmes how each night a terrifying intrusion occurs in her house. Holmes recognizes the address as the same one where James Phillimore disappeared several years before. For “The Unnerved Estate Agent”, the client tells Holmes his story about a mysterious house in the middle of nowhere that he recognizes from a recurring dream that he’s had all his life. Coincidentally, it’s the same recurring dream that I’ve had over the years too, although the client’s reasons are much different than mine.

What do you believe readers will most enjoy most about your tales?  

I hope that the readers will enjoy them for being very sincere attempts to relate traditional Canonical Holmes stories – which is the only kind that I write, read, care about, or promote.

Which is your favourite story from The Canon and why?

I really can’t pick. I re-read The Canon a lot, along with hundreds of traditional Holmes pastiches, and to me it’s all part of one gigantic picture, The Great Holmes Tapestry. As such, the pitifully few 60 stories from The Canon all fill important anchor points amongst all the other stories, many of which are as good or better than the originals, and I appreciate each of them for what they show and provide.

What is your favourite Holmes-related place?

I’ve been able to travel to England for three different Holmes Pilgrimages. If it wasn’t about Holmes, I pretty much didn’t do it. Of all the Holmes-related places that I visited, the one I most wanted to see was The Sherlock Holmes Museum in Baker Street. While some things about the museum are incorrect, there is a lot that’s perfect, and being in a correctly laid-out house in Baker Street gives a whole new and unforgettable perspective to reading and writing and editing Holmes stories. I’ve now been to the museum seven times, and I hope to go many more times in the future.

Tell us three things about yourself that few people would guess?

1)      I began playing the piano at age eight, and during my first two years of college (when I was obtaining my first degree), I was a piano performance major with a piano scholarship, before switching majors my junior year to business management and ending up with a music minor. (I still play, but I enjoy my amateur status.)

2)      I actually read and collect a lot of other books besides just stories about Sherlock Holmes – despite how it may seem. I have thousands of Holmes books in my collection, mostly traditional pastiches, but I have even more than that about other heroes, and I’m often reading multiple books at the same time.

3)      Although I’ve mentioned it elsewhere, I was a U.S. Federal Investigator throughout my twenties, before the agency was eliminated, causing me to return to school for a second degree in Civil Engineering. I had a number of pretty interesting cases, and even now I can’t talk about some of them.

Any upcoming projects?

I’m currently editing a number of forthcoming Holmes anthologies for both MX Publishing and Belanger Books. Additionally, work continues on the reissues of the Dr. Thorndyke novels, and I recently completed my 51st pastiche, closing in on the magic number of “60”, the number of Holmes adventures in the original Canon.

Click here for more details on the Kickstarter campaign.

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The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Author Interview – S. Subramanian

Throughout the Kickstarter campaign, we will be adding brief interviews highlighting the talented authors who have contributed to the anthology. Today we have the excellent S. Subramanian.

How did you first get introduced to Sherlock Holmes?

Through a Classics Illustrated version of The Sign of Four at age 9. That was enough to set me off on the originals at age 10. I had the great good fortune of reading the short story collections in their chronological order: The AdventuresThe MemoirsThe ReturnHis Last Bow, and The Case-Book.

What was the inspiration for your pastiche?

In two words: David Marcum.

What is your story about? Where and when does it take place?

The story is about the perceived vampyric persecution of the tobacco millionaire John Vincent Harden, and deals with the question of whether the persecution is delusional or ‘real’. The tale is set in London, where, as the great Vincent Starrett put it, ‘it is always eighteen ninety-five.’

What do you believe readers will most enjoy most about your tale?

I’ll be grateful if they enjoy any part of it! In particular, I hope they’ll appreciate my bringing together Sherlock Holmes and Father Brown, and that their voices will be found to be recognizably authentic.

Which is your favourite story from The Canon and why?

Two favourites, if I may be allowed the luxury! ‘The Speckled Band’ (what atmospherics!) and ‘The Sussex Vampire’ (one of Doyle’s particularly human stories).

Your favourite Sherlock Holmes-related place?

Meiringen!

Tell us three things about yourself that few people would guess?

I’m red-headed, I wear golden pince-nez, and I have a swamp adder for a pet. No, just kidding! Seriously, though: (1) I am a retired professor of Economics; (2) I live within three hours by bus from Pondicherry (yes, as in ‘Pondicherry Lodge’!), in the city of Chennai (formerly Madras); and (3) believe me or not, I’ve never had a jezail bullet lodged in any of my limbs.

Any upcoming projects?

Some ‘Bulldog’ Drummond spoofs, if anybody will read them!

Click here for more details on the Kickstarter campaign.

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The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Author Interview – Kevin P. Thornton

Throughout the Kickstarter campaign, we will be adding brief interviews highlighting the talented authors who have contributed to the anthology. Today we have the excellent Kevin P. Thornton.

Kevin is on Twitter and Facebook – and his short stories have found their home in the world of Sherlock Holmes. As well as being in MX Volumes IX, XI, XIII the upcoming XV, and more to come, he has had stories in other anthologies featured here. A seven time finalist in the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Awards, he will next be in the Mesdames of Mayhem collection due in the fall.  In the key of 13 launches in Toronto on Saturday, October 26, Sleuth of Baker Street.

How did you first get introduced to Sherlock Holmes?

I started out as a child, the youngest  of a long line of readers. The family had the Reader’s Digest condensed Sherlock Holmes which I gobbled up as a precocious 6 year old before getting into the Canon 2 years later.

What was the inspiration for your pastiche?

Catholicism, trying to make sense of nonsensical beliefs, and the unnatural world’s ability to unsettle Holmes on occasion.

What is your story about? Where and when does it take place?

It is a manor mystery, typical of so much of the Canon. Something strange is happening at the Marquess of Mollington’s country estate, and Holmes and Watson ride to the rescue, as is their wont.

What do you believe readers will most enjoy most about your tale?

I like to see SH as occasionally imperfect, and quite often I explore those little imperfections that make him seem more human. This is one of those cases.

Which is your favourite story from The Canon and why?

His Last Bow, because as a writer it gives me so much more to hope for.  What did he actually do in retirement; there must have been more to it than bees. Others have explored the senior Holmes with much success, as have I. In Belanger Books’ upcoming collection Sherlock Holmes and the Great Detectives, I have a look at Holmes as a man over ninety years old, and his latter-years friendship with Father Brown, while in It Came From The North I investigate the intersection of Tesla, SH and time travel in WW II.

Your favourite Sherlock Holmes-related place?

The Toronto public library collection. It is so un-museumlike. You can sit in a replica of his rooms, take books down and page through them, make notes, take photos of books you want for your own collection. I go there every time I am in the city.

Tell us three things about yourself that few people would guess?

1) I live in Northern Canada, Fort McMurray. When the entire community was evacuated due to wildfires in 2016, I ended up writing about it for the New York Times.
2) The year I was a finalist in the short story category of the Arthur Ellis Awards, Margaret Atwood also entered. I didn’t win.

3) I used to work in Afghanistan as a contractor for the NATO Task Force.

Any upcoming projects?

There are more Marcum and Belanger related works down the line as well as the aforementioned Mesdames of Mayhem collection. I’m also working on a short story or novella about one of the least written about characters from the Canon. More on that to come.

Click here for more details on the Kickstarter campaign.

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The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Author Interview – Kelvin Jones

Throughout the Kickstarter campaign, we will be adding brief interviews highlighting the talented authors who have contributed to the anthology. Today we have the excellent Kelvin Jones.

How did you first get introduced to Sherlock Holmes?

Through my public library in London.

‘I am an omnivorous reader.’ – Holmes

What was the inspiration for your pastiche?

The true story of Edmund Kelly and Dr John Dee, both Elizabethan necromancers.

What is your story about? Where and when does it take place?

The story concerns the discovery of an ancient box, which the owner of a large Elizabethan house, discovers. This is tale from the early years of Holmes, as told by him to Dr Watson.

What do you believe readers will most enjoy most about your tale?

The gothic and almost supernatural and sinister atmosphere.

Which is your favourite story from The Canon and why?

Undoubtedly the Hound of The Baskervilles. As Doyle commented to his mother ‘It’s a real creeper!’

Your favourite Sherlock Holmes-related place?

The Cedars in Lee, now London, where Jean Leckie, Doyle’s 2nd wife, lived, as did Neville S Clair, the central character in The Man  with the Twisted Lip and which was also  the birthplace of my favourite Victorian poet, Ernest Dowson.

Tell us three things about yourself that few people would guess?

I have  edited a six volume edition of the shocking erotic memoirs of a Victorian gentleman, under the title of ‘Satryiasis.’ I have recently reissued a 2 volume, annotated edition of Krafft Ebing’s ‘Psychopathia Sexualis.’ which, as a study of deviant human sexuality, I am convinced Holmes as a criminologist, would have read.

Any upcoming projects?

A biography and new edition of the work of Ernest Dowson, 19th C. lyrical poet and decadent. I hope to persuade the London Borough where he lived to raise a plaque on the house where he died in 1900 and thus help promote his outstanding work..

Click here for more details on the Kickstarter campaign.

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Author Interview

Today’s featured Sherlock Holmes writer is Paul Hiscock –  his story, ‘The Cassandra of Providence Place’, is in vol. XVIII – now on Kickstarter

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories XVI to XVIII

What is your story about? Where does it take place?

‘The Cassandra of Providence Place’ is about a young girl who can see the future. She turns to Sherlock Holmes hoping that he can prevent a tragedy that she has predicted. It is set in one of the London slums where she lives.

What was the inspiration for your pastiche?

I came across a photo of the residents of Providence Place The sense of community in that picture just leapt out at me and it seemed like the perfect setting for a story.

Which is your favourite story from The Canon and why?

Most of my favourites are in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and one that stands out is ‘The Red-Headed League’ as it is such an elaborate piece of misdirection. However, I find that I change my mind about my favourite quite frequently.

Your favourite Sherlock Holmes-related place?

For me, Sherlock Holmes belongs on the streets of London. He feels like such an intrinsic part of the city that I almost expect to see him and Watson rushing to their next case whenever I am walking through town.
Paul’s links are:

Website: Detectives and Dragons

Facebook     Twitter       Amazon

Paul also appears in Sherlock Holmes: Adventures in the Realms of Steampunk Volume 2 – Mechanical Men and Otherworldly Endeavours from Belanger Books, which includes his story, ’The Deductive Man’.

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The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Author Interview – Robert Stapleton

Throughout the Kickstarter campaign, we will be adding brief interviews highlighting the talented authors who have contributed to the anthology. Today we have the excellent Robert Stapleton.

How did you first get introduced to Sherlock Holmes?

I don’t remember when I first became fascinated with Sherlock Holmes, but it must have been nearly sixty years ago now.  I do know that it was in 1966 when I visited London wearing a deerstalker and smoking a pipe.

What was the inspiration for your pastiche?

My pastiche was inspired by a book I own which records travels in the Caribbean during the early years of the 20th century. I was so intrigued by the book that I imagined a Sherlock Holmes adventure taking place there.

What is your story about? Where and when does it take place?

In the story, You Only Live Thrice, set in early 1901, Inspector Baynes of the Surrey Police is sent to Barbados in order to arrest a fugitive who has swindled a large number of people, including members of the London underworld. On Barbados, Baynes encounters a voodoo priestess, who helps the fugitive to fake his own death on two occasions, until he finally vanishes from a the ship returning him to England. It takes the unexpected arrival of Sherlock Holmes to make sense of what is going on.

What do you believe readers will most enjoy most about your tale?

I hope people will enjoy reading my description of a tropical island, and, assuming I’ve got it right, a brief but hopefully unbiassed examination of voodoo.

Your favourite Sherlock Holmes-related place?

My favourite place connected with Sherlock Holmes is Winchester.

Click here for more details on the Kickstarter campaign.

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The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Author Interview – Andrew Bryant

Throughout the Kickstarter campaign, we will be adding brief interviews highlighting the talented authors who have contributed to the anthology. Today we have the excellent Andrew Bryant.

How did you first get introduced to Sherlock Holmes?

I was first introduced to Sherlock Holmes through the 1940’s films with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. From there I started reading the novels and stories. I soon had the complete Holmes library. ‘The Hound Of The Baskervilles’ was the first Holmes book that I read, and it remains my favourite today.

What was the inspiration for your pastiche?

The inspiration for ‘The Blue Lady Of Dunraven’ comes from personal experience. I was born five miles from Dunraven Castle, and remember the Blue Lady ghost stories from a very early age. I visited the Castle prior to its tragic demolition in 1963. The Castle, the headland upon which it sat, and its ghost make the perfect atmosphere for a supernatural tale.

Your favourite Sherlock Holmes-related place?

My favourite Holmes-related place would have to be 221B Baker Street. A visitor can easily imagine Holmes and Watson in the sitting-room discussing their adventures among the eccentric collection of artifacts.

Tell us three things about yourself that few people would guess?

Something about me that few people would guess? Once a year I rappel from the roof of Toronto City Hall wearing a kilt to raise money for Make-A-Wish Canada.

Any upcoming projects?

I am currently working on my third Holmes story.

‘It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.’ – Arthur Conan Doyle.

Click here for more details on the Kickstarter campaign.

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