Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sherlock, Watson, and Me

It had really never occurred to me to write a pastiche, to step into another author's shoes and pretend I could write their character, before being ask to by Loren D. Estleman.  It's a daunting task.  Especially when the character is Sherlock Holmes.  But honestly, after some thought, I found it to be a challenge that I couldn't pass up.

I brushed up on my Holmes knowledge and appreciation by re-reading the two collections of short stories on my shelves, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Then I went deeper in the canon, perusing and studying the list of resources provided to me by Loren. I said to him, "That's a rabbit hole one can fall down into and never come back out of."  There are encyclopedias, and enough text to stretch out to Jupiter and back.  All that I touched and read was fascinating and passionate.  I had to restrain myself. 

So, I knew what was taking on.  If I failed, I would infuriate the legions of Sherlock fans the world over, and I would also fail my editor and publisher.  None of which I was in a hurry to do.  No pressure right?   There's no way to know what will happen, but know this: I did my best to be respectful of Conan Doyle's original creation and all that has come before me.

In the end, I wrote a story that I could be proud of.  I had found out much more about Sherlock than I knew before, but ultimately, I discovered the joy of getting to know John Watson, war veteran, doctor, and proverbial sidekick.  It was that discovery more than any that moved me as a writer, that brought me within sight of Conan Doyle's world and its center.  It might be a distant sight.  But honestly, I came away from this experience with a greater appreciation for the entire work of Sherlock Holmes.  I am exceedingly grateful for the opportunity.  Thank you, Loren and Tyrus Books.

I hope you will enjoy my short story, "The Adventure of The Rounded Ocelot."  It can be found in the anthology, The Adventure of the Plated Spoon and Other Tales of Sherlock Holmes here


David Cranmer said...

What an honor it must have been to step into those shoes. The cover and description certainly look impressive, Larry.

Larry Sweazy said...

Thanks, David.

Tom Cochrun said...

Congratulations Larry! I'm a Holmes fan and look forward to seeing how you handled the old boy!

Larry Sweazy said...

Thanks, Tom. Let me know what you think... This is a fun collection. J.M. Barrie, Ellery Queen, Laurie King (read her Marry Russell novels if you haven't)...and more.

Richard Prosch said...

Holmes always seemed very one-dimensional to me until I re-read the stories as an adult, but more --started seeing him through other writers' eyes. I like the variety of takes --which I think the character benefits from. Looking forward to your version.

Larry Sweazy said...

Thanks for stopping by, Rich. Hope you enjoy my version of Sherlock. It was an interesting challenge.