Friday, October 26, 2012

Have Cover Art, Will Publish

The cover art for my upcoming book, Sherlock Holmes: Have Yourself a Chaotic Little Christmas... is absolutely fantastic. I love it! It's so festive and fun, and really drives home the nature of the book, which is, after all, an advent calendar!

Plus, I just found this: Permit me a squee, please?

Oh, and one last thing! The release date is set for December 5th! Fingers crossed, everyone!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Going to Press with MX!

Some of you might recall the advent calendar challenge on FF.N last December. You might recall my own contribution, Have Yourself a Chaotic Little Christmas. You might even recall my mentioning that I would have liked to get it published in time for Christmas 2012.

I almost didn't make it in time, though I was very fortunate to garner MadameGiry25's help in a grammar/spell check.

But I've been in touch with MX, and this is definite now.

Sherlock Holmes: Have Yourself a Chaotic Little Christmas is dated for a December 5th release!

It's that time of year again on Baker Street. That time when trees are trimmed, snow is falling, and... Mycroft is helping Watson to play out an old carol? Well, take one obsessive Sherlockian and give her a flood of ideas from wildly-imaginative fellow fans... and you get one wacky advent calendar of Sherlockian short stories. A picnic in a graveyard, a snowball fight, a violinist on the roof, a vampire or two, Jack the Ripper, Professor Moriarty, and the Baker Street Irregulars all combine to make this one unforgettable Christmas collection.

Keep an eye out for updates, please! (Needless to say, I've been bouncing off the walls... we are, after all, talking about my first traditionally-published book!)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

From Mortality to Reichenbach

As you FF.N readers will know, the last chapter of Mortality has been uploaded. Even with the climax past, there was enough room for some treats in the final chapter, particularly one face-off that I just have not seen in fanfiction. (Yes, you will have to go read the chapter to find out who the players are.)

And I’ve actually had the epilogue sitting on my hard drive for a few days now (muchas gracias to Riandra for her encouragement to go ahead with the rather different style!). The title is simply “War,” regarding The War That Never Was between Scotland Yard and Moriarty’s empire (or family, as it would have been called at the time). The whole thing is written looking towards what is inevitable—or, in the terminology of the piece, “Reichenbach.” I’ll be uploading it soon, and I am so excited.

As a side note, the epilogue rounds the current total word count off to 80,000 words. Officially, the longest work of fiction I’ve ever written. And with all the bonus material coming, I think I can look forward to a final total of 90,000, at least.

Now for a shout-out. I started out last week with definite depression, for a variety of reasons and no reason at all. (I am an artist; this, sadly, is my definition of “normal”.) Someone on FF.N helped not only to pull me out of depression but also to pull me back in to Sherlockiana, in general. Azolean. Azolean started off my week by reviewing a couple of my Sherlockian fics and going so far as to buy AMM off of Amazon.


Now, if it had ended right there, it would have been really cool. But this person went further than that, going on to pick up Mortality and review the entire thing chapter-by-chapter.

Yes. Seriously.

In one week.

It was fantastic. It was one of the best things that had happened to me in a long time (alongside finding out that a certain idol of mine was actually reading the book, as well). Let’s rate it up there right below being introduced to Doctor Who (as far as great things this summer go). Yes, really!

I was practically living from review to review, and I truly missed the reviews when Azolean had gotten to the last chapter. But what an uplifting experience! Everyone loves getting praise on their stories, and even something simple, along the lines of “I loved this!” can be encouraging. But Azolean, despite reading the entire thing in a week, took the time to praise details (and sometimes criticize, and even that was very respectful and very welcome).

It was absolutely magnificent.

So borne up on a wave of glorious feedback, I actually went on to type out the prologue for The Road to Reichenbach. In fact, I’ve even started the first chapter! As I told Ria in answer to a question on the prologue, 90% of the dialogue is Canon, most of the body language is Granada or Granada-based, and then all the introspection is me.

Mortality is the book that I’ve been wanting to do since halfway through AMM… and Road is the book that I’ve been wanting to do since halfway through Mortality.

Road has also been, by far, the most difficult book of the three to plan. AMM was so easy—short, character-centric pieces. Quite often, I was churning out two or three in a day. From beginning to end, half a year… and only four months were actually spent in intensive writing and editing. Mortality, on the other hand, has always had a pretty loose outline, with plenty of room for improvisation. I knew the general direction I wanted the story to go, and I kind of gave the characters free rein.

In fact, the one time that I didn’t was the time that the entire thing had ground to a halt smack-dab in the middle. I then backed up and rewrote a few chapters, and moved on. The epiphany, the element that kept the book going from that point on, was Watson. Watson wanted to be the hero, and, seriously, who was I to deny him? The rest you readers know: Watson’s search-and-rescue operations make up Act II of the story.

Anyway, Mortality is a fairly-straightforward story. It needed more plotting than I’ve tried to give a story in a long time, but, even so, it’s not very complex. Its real strength lies less in plot (surprise, surprise) and more in characterization, not merely of Holmes and Watson, but of Lestrade, Mycroft, Wiggins, Moriarty, Moran…

And while I’ve been excited about The Road to Reichenbach, I’ve also been frustrated and worried. Think about it: Holmes has an ostensible plethora of cases that keep him in France from early January to late April. Plus, in FINA, he describes the past few months thus:

“[I]f a detailed account of that silent contest could be written, it would take its place as the most brilliant bit of thrust-and-parry work in the history of detection.”

You do see my problem, right? I still can’t write a mystery to save my life, and Mortality was hard enough for me to figure out, at times. How in the name of all that’s wonderful was I supposed to try to match that kind of genius vs. genius?

Bottom line: I couldn’t. I don’t have the mindset required for that kind of story. Which was what I knew all along, and I was trying to force myself to do something I knew I couldn’t manage. Well, that’s pretty self-destructive, isn’t it? So I stopped. I stopped and remembered my strength.


January to April 1891 needs someone who can really do that “silent contest” justice. That person is not me. However. However, I can do the characters justice. Yes, we’ll still see Holmes in France. We’ll get to see some of what he’s doing. And we will indeed be seeing the build-up to the infamous Monday mass-arrest.

Honestly, I think the Yarders are going to be much stronger characters in Road. I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of Bradstreet, Hopkins, and MacDonald—and, of course, more of Gregson. Morton, I can’t speak for just yet. But I expect we’ll see him, however large or small his role is.

Thus far, my chapter outline has seven chapters to detail events that Doyle depicted in one short story. It will probably grow as I reach that point. Honestly, the entire thing is really even more open for improvisation than Mortality, and it’s both scary and exciting. I’m not entirely sure where this road will take me, but I can’t wait to find out.

And now that I’ve gotten you all excited for The Road to Reichenbach, let me just remind you… Mortality still isn’t finished. There’s a lot of editing to be done. And that’s my first priority, up until I submit it for publication.

Next up, a review of Daniel Smith’s Sherlock Holmes Companion. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


As I said in my very first post on the aforementioned site, I have fallen to the Dark Side. Oh well. I do consider it something of a sister site to this blog, as they share their name. It will mostly be Sherlockian stuff, but don't be surprised at the random cute or pretty pic, or Tolkien, or Doctor Who. Or Star Wars...

Don't worry, it will still be mostly Sherlockian, I promise.

By the way, just out of curiosity... is anybody still reading this thing? I know I had a terribly long hiatus, and for that, I sincerely apologize. But, seriously, is anybody out there?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Infernal Device: The Professor, the Detective, and the American

First off, just let me apologize for the massive delay in updates. It's shameful, I know. I can attribute some of the causes to stress and preparation for college, but the sad fact is that a good chunk of the delay is sheer procrastination. And I am so sorry. Here's hoping that I can keep up blogging when I start college in September, eh?

Ahem. About two months ago (more delays, yes), my grandma took me, my cousin, and my cousin's friend out to see a stage adaptation of Michael Kurland's The Infernal Device. I can't tell you how excited I was. My first Sherlock Holmes play, and Michael Kurland to boot! I still have not yet read his Moriarty novels, but I'd known about them, and now more than ever I'm eager to get my hands on the series.

Unfortunately, the time given on the website was not when the play actually opened. Fortunately, we were only ten to fifteen minutes late. Unfortunately, the play was only an hour long. Fortunately, we were still able to pick up the story quickly.

And unfortunately - did I mention my tongue is in my cheek right now? - I didn't have the chance to look at the program before we got to our seats. Which was why I didn't realize that there were only five actors, and, no, that goon with the bad guy wasn't actually Holmes in disguise - it was only Holmes's actor. It got pretty obvious, though, that there were only five actors when the same redheaded actress kept popping up: she played several different women in the play.

I really enjoyed the artistic side of the production. The lighting, steam, and sound effects were quite, well, effective, and I could go on a rant about how they handled props and background. Specifically, the background was pure black. No painted scenery. I loved it. Because then the actors brought in the props - a desk, a streetlamp, a bed, the helm of a boat - whatever was necessary for the scene, and removed them at the end of each scene. Except for an attic-style pile of items which remained onstage the pretty much entire time, if I recall correctly, and they typically completed the image. Your imagination was allowed to fill in the blanks, and I love that.

As for the story itself, well... here be spoilers.

Holmes is getting obsessive with Moriarty. Let's get that out of the way right now. And this is not actually a story about Holmes, nor is it entirely a story about Moriarty. Let's get that out of the way right now, too.

In fact, an American journalist and a Russian anarchist really steal the show, the former with his competency and wittiness and the latter with his deliciously over-the-top psychopathy. Benjamin Barnett, the aforementioned American, is not the type of man you'd expect to hook up with Moriarty, but neither is Moriarty exactly the cold, frightening villain of "The Final Problem," either of the Canon or of Granada. (Yes, I'm sorry, I had to say that.)

Moriarty is still the Napoleon of Crime, but he does have a sense of honor and patriotism. And he's really quite long-suffering of Holmes's not-always-justified persecution in this story. So much so that they end up working together to foil an assassination attempt on Victoria. Oops, major spoilers. Oh, well, I didn't tell you how it ended, did I?

I think I'm developing a snarky blogging style here. Fun. Now, where was I? Oh, yeah, off on a tangent.

Did I mention that the villain of the story was deliciously over-the-top? Well, it bears repeating. He was delightfully insane. My grandma and I were later, for lack of a better word, gushing over how funny he was and how brilliantly the actor pulled it off.

And I really enjoyed Barnett. He was solid, dependable, honorable, and more than willing to help Moriarty out in working against their Russian antagonist. Wonderful character.

I'm afraid that two months have really blurred my memories and impressions, and I apologize for not blogging about this sooner. Really. But at least I can finally get my thoughts out now. It was fantastic fun, and I really hope The Acting Ensemble will perform this play again. It was a different and wonderful look at the Great Detective and the Napoleon of Crime.

Next time, some updates on Mortality and its sequel, The Road to Reichenbach. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sherlock Holmes and the Doctor

Doctor Who. If you get around in the pop-culture part of the Internet at all, you're bound to cross paths with the Doctor sooner or later. I knew a fair bit about Doctor Who before I actually started watching it this summer - and I only started watching it because of insistent family members.

I'm glad they insisted.

So I've been watching the "revival" series, the seasons from 2005 through to the present, and I'm currently getting close to the end of David Tennant's last season. I've been loving it - therefore, I've been throwing myself into it (yes, unfortunately, Doctor Who probably is tied in with the lack of a Mortality chapter for a full month). In fact, when we got to the last episode for the Ninth Doctor, I wrote first a fanfic (also on Whofic now) then a deviantART journal entry to try to cope with my overwhelming sense of loss.

Much as I adore David Tennant's Doctor, Christopher Eccleston's resonated with me in a powerful way. Yes, the Ninth Doctor is indeed my Doctor. I felt for him in a way that I previously only felt for Sherlock Holmes - yes, that's how big it is. And being the hopeless Sherlockian that I am, my mind caught similarities between the two. Not Holmes in general, but Holmes in a specific period of his life - Holmes during the Great Hiatus. If you get strictly canonical with the Great Detective on his Great Hiatus, you get a Holmes who bears an uncanny resemblance to Nine. There are still differences, of course, but the resemblance is there. In fact, watch any of Nine's interactions with the Daleks (especially the Emperor), and then go watch Holmes's interaction with Colonel Moran in Granada's EMPT (Jeremy Brett's performance of an outright angry Holmes is brilliant, but is seldom mentioned, let alone praised). Or recall the scenes in your mind.

...are you a bit chilled yet?

But the similarities between Holmes and the Doctor don't end when Christopher Eccleston regenerates into David Tennant. Whenever you see David Tennant's Doctor being thrilled about a monster, or saying brilliant things that nobody else understands... That's Holmes, right there. It gets particularly blatant in the Mark Gatiss-written episode "The Idiot's Lantern". You have a Detective Inspector (whose name the Doctor got from his shirt collar) from Scotland Yard, for starters. A DI who says he's been on the force for... oh, twenty years and he's never seen anything like this before?

Yes, Mr. Gatiss, I see what you did there.

For the benefit of anyone who's not up on their A Study in Scarlet, Inspector Lestrade greets Holmes and Watson at Lauriston Gardens with: "This case will make a stir, sir. It beats anything I have seen, and I am no chicken." A few chapters later, he also says, "[W]hen I saw something that made me feel sickish, in spite of my twenty years' experience."

Oh yes, the DI's line is very much for the benefit of Gatiss's fellow Sherlockians.

The DI goes on to accept the help of a civilian in this baffling case. Sound familiar? It gets worse. When one of the victims is brought into the DI's office, he tells the Doctor to "deduce" what he can from the victim.

That's where the Sherlock Holmes references finally stop. The boy helping the Doctor might be inspired by the Baker Street Irregulars, but that's a bit of a stretch and purely conjectural.

But there's more that's similar between Doctor Who and an insanely popular adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. David Tennant can rattle off a string of deductions or technobabble for at least half a minute without having to stop for breath. can Benedict Cumberbatch.

The June 10, 2012 edition of the South Bend Tribune had an article entitled "Elementary Acting," and it was about a production of William Gillette's Sherlock Holmes. The actor reading Holmes's lines for that production, Matthew Bell, contrasted Gillette's portrayal of the character with the BBC's modern reboot:
"I think it's always interesting that [Sherlock is] written by people who worked on Doctor Who and they've taken Holmes in the direction of a non-human being to a Time Lord. They have emphasized his sociopathic tendencies, whereas Gillette emphasizes his human tendencies."

Truth be told, that sociopathic emphasis is one of the elements of Sherlock that's always bothered me. Mr. Bell was also right when he said, a bit earlier in that article, that "the fascination in the stories is when a warm, sympathetic human bursts out." The Doctor himself can be more human, sometimes, than the Sherlock Holmes of 21st century London. Benedict Cumberbatch plays a magnificent Sherlock Holmes - he also plays quite a cold one. I was relieved to find Sherlock thawing bit by bit throughout Season 2, particularly The Reichenbach Fall... in that episode, he finally felt to me like the canonical and truly emotive Sherlock Holmes.

And then, of course, there's the Master. The Master who was actually called the "Professor Moriarty to the Doctor's Sherlock Holmes" in one edition of the Doctor Who Magazine. The Master who, in his initial appearance in the '70s, was quite the gentleman villain and treated the Doctor as his (almost) intellectual equal... yes, that does sound familiar. Of course, it gets worse. It gets worse, not because of John Simm's Master, but because of Andrew Scott's Moriarty. The Moriarty of Sherlock is practically Simm's Master in human form, with the name and the occupation thrown in. I can't tell you how disturbed I was to realize that as I watched "The Sound of the Drums" for the first time.

Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss are good writers, don't get me wrong. I'm not disputing that. I'm not disputing the excellence of Sherlock, because I still love it and I always will. I just wish that they'd been a little less Whovian in their approach to a 21st century reboot.

So, all this rambling, and I haven't even talked about Wholock yet. Well, what is there to say, except that it's an incredibly rampant crossover fandom. Lots of Ten and Eleven meeting either canonical!Sherlock Holmes or Cumberbatch!Sherlock. I'll be really happy when I can finally find a good Nine-meets-either-version (preferably the former, though). Until then, I'll have to satisfy myself with my own fledgling crossovers that still need a lot of thought and plotting applied to them.

There is, however, this gem of a Thirteenth Doctor fic... which actually has Martin Freeman's John Watson as the protagonist. I even made a TV Trope article for the story - that's how excellent it is! Be warned: it does heavily involve the Weeping Angels. You might not want to read it late at night...

Now you must excuse me while I return to my poor, neglected Mortality. (Yes, I'm very much aware of how amusing that sentence sounds.) I promise to be back here next Wednesday, with a belated review of a fantastic Sherlock Holmes play! Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mortality, Writer's Block, and Other Ramblings

...Wow, it has been a long time since I last posted. I am so sorry. You have my BFF & beta-reader to thank for a post right now...

The first draft of Mortality is almost finished. I am so glad. It's been over a year, now, since I started writing it, and now I'm so close and yet so far. So close: just one chapter and an epilogue to go. So far: it took me a month to get through the previous chapter, which wasn't even average length. Not to mention the fact that I've got missing scenes to write in and the entire thing to edit.

I'll be really glad when I can move on to The Road to Reichenbach. Mortality has been one long angst/torture-fest for Holmes & Co, and that was initially fun to write... initially. A few months ago, however, I reached the point where I was tired of writing all this angst and depressing stuff, and I was more than ready to move on. Months ago. Last month (or possibly May, I can't recall for sure), I wrote a scene in which Holmes suffered a panic attack. I was assured by my ever-encouraging reviewers that the scene was good, but it was the first time I've ever hated a scene while I was writing it. I didn't want to put Holmes through that panic attack, but I had to. It wouldn't have been a realistic recovery without a few bleak moments like that, and I knew that. But I really didn't like it.

Still... even when I can't write, I do other things to promote Deliver Us from Evil. It now has its own set of TV Tropes pages: the Main Page, a Character Sheet, a Quotes Page, a YMMV page which details some reviewer reactions (that's an entertaining page to work on), and Awesome, Funny, Heartwarming, Nightmare Fuel, and Tear Jerker entries. Please, do check it out!

On my deviantART account, I actually have several Sherlockian gallery folders: one for AMM illustrations, one for general Sherlock Holmes, one for Granada Sherlock Holmes (including a second-place contest entry!), one for A Study in Regret (for which I really enjoy doing fanart), and one for Deliver Us from Evil, which includes cover-art for Mortality, as well as a couple of blurbs. (I really ought to do more fanart for myself.)

On a rather unrelated note, I can't wait for NaNo... I'm going to be writing my "potential novel" Greater Love (see my Sherlockian novel list for details). No matter what else I'm doing at the time - college or editing or Doctor Who/canon!Holmes crossovers or whatever - I am definitely writing that novel.

Did I say Doctor Who? I did, didn't I? Did I mention that my cousin finally pulled me into it? 'Course, if you do keep track of me on FF.N, you probably already knew that. But no Wholock for me, thanks - I crave Wholmes. Hence my very-much-AU planned crossover, Fantastic, My Dear Holmes, starring the Ninth Doctor, Beth Lestrade, Rose Tyler, and Sherlock Holmes. (And probably John Watson and clone!Moriarty, as well.) Be prepared for timey-wimeyness, fluff, unashamed romance, hurt/comfort... and more fluff!

And check back here next week! I've made a resolution to break my writer's block and get myself back onto the blogging scene, so I am going to do a post once a week, every Wednesday. Next time, it'll be about Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes, and Sherlock. Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bringing Sherlock Holmes to Life in 2012

There’s no denying it: in the past few years, Sherlock Holmes has gathered up so much momentum that he’s blasted out into orbit. Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes and Steve Moffat & Mark Gatiss’s Sherlock became cultural phenomena overnight. The Arthur Conan Doyle Estate authorized Anthony Horowitz to write a new addition to the Canon. And now, with the advent of e-book publishing, there are more Sherlockian pastiches than ever.

Plus, his adventures just won’t stop being fantastic. He fights alleged witchcraft, faces off the Queen of Fairies, remains in combat with Dracula, fires off texts on his mobile… When you get right down to it, Sherlock Holmes is a very big action hero.


There’s also a pervasive idea that one must reimagine the stories to get a Sherlock Holmes fit for the modern audience. After all, we’re a culture that’s been inundated with a Hollywood mindset. Two generations have grown up with Star Warsand Star Wars’ fast pacing. Modern novels reflect that fast-paced mindset. Allow a film or a novel to ramble… and you run a definite risk of losing your audience.

What does that mean for the Great Detective? Guy Ritchie & Co. believed it means that you have to amp up the action, lose the “stuffiness” of the insidious iconic image—in their own words, “Reinvent Sherlock Holmes.” Steve Moffat and Mark Gatiss dreamt up a Sherlock Holmes set in modern London that would be as heavily influenced by the present day as the Canon was by its own era.

I’m not saying that either idea is actually wrong. I’m not here to say that.


The fact remains that neither adaptation of Sherlock Holmes sticks very closely to the source material. In fact, very few adaptations have. Furthermore, out of the many dozens of actors that have portrayed the Great Detective since the 1890s, only Peter Cushing, Jeremy Brett, and Clive Merrison have actually portrayed Sherlock Holmes in the original stories (barring the numerous versions of The Hound of the Baskervilles).

So why don’t we ever get a fresh retelling of the Canon on screen? Did Granada raise the bar too high, or do people just want to do their own thing with Holmes? And why don’t we ever get a fresh retelling of the Canon in print?

A harder question to ask, I know. But with so many details that Sir ACD, ironically, messed up—including entire plot points and devices—one would think that some brave soul would try to tackle the Canon without going so far as to alienate the stories from the original material.

Now, to be entirely fair, I do know of two people who have done so. Michael Hardwick’s The Revenge of the Hound takes place in 1902, uses the story “The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax,” and serves to settle such points as Watson’s Edwardian marriage, Holmes’s refusal of knighthood, and his retirement. Marcia Wilson, known better to those of us on FF.N as aragonite, has her own cycle of books (only the “prequel,” You Buy Bones, published thus far) centered on Lestrade, his fellow Yarders, and Watson that fills in quite a lot of blanks in the Moriarty/Great Hiatus story arc in the Canon. Best of all, these two authors are magnificently faithful to the original stories.

And that’s where yours truly is working hard to be. You’ve seen me bandy around the terms “epic” and “saga” in conjunction with my series-in-progress, Deliver Us from Evil. I’ve also billed it as historical suspense/thriller, because these books are in no way actual mysteries. It’s the influence of Hollywood rearing its head, but it’s Hollywood with a distinct twist—I’m not veering away from the source material. In fact, I’m in bed with it.

Deliver Us from Evil, Book I: Mortality starts out with the beginning of the Culverton Smith Case. We meet Victor Savage, we watch him die, we watch Holmes himself fall prey to Smith’s cunning. We get that awful conversation between Holmes and Smith from Holmes’s point-of-view. And then we find out that Smith was being backed by Moriarty.

Behold—Mortality’s tie-in to the events of “The Final Problem.” At the outset of the novel, Holmes and Watson are less than seven months away from Reichenbach. Book II will cover Reichenbach and hopefully clear up some problems with the original story. Books III and IV will go into the trials and tribulations of Holmes, Watson, and Scotland Yard during the Great Hiatus. Book V will deliver a modified “Empty House” as well as a clearing-up of the mysterious figure known as Colonel Moriarty.

In regards to what I’m doing with Deliver Us from Evil, I like to think of Sherlock Holmes himself as an antique watch. The watch needs some dusting, some polish, has some parts that don’t work and need replacing… Sherlock Holmes is like that. He just needs a little TLC to shine brighter than ever—in his original glory. No steampunk tales or 21st century retellings need apply to make Sherlock Holmes an action hero… or antihero, as the case may be.

There’s a reason why Sherlock Holmes has endured, why millions have loved him for one hundred and twenty years. There’s nothing wrong with falling in love with Rathbone’s WWII-era Holmes, RDJ’s steampunk Holmes, Cumberbatch’s modern Holmes… but understand that you’re not falling in love with the original. Because the original awaits adventure in a sitting room that’s gaslit and protected from Victorian smog…

Because the original lives in a world that is, for the most part, always 1895. And that, dear reader, is where Sherlock Holmes’s greatest adventures will always be.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Future Sherlockian Novel LIST

Yep, here it is. Prepare to be shocked at the insane amount of project ideas you’re about to see.

The Deliver Us from Evil Saga

Description: Almost definitely a five-book series now, Deliver Us from Evil (a.k.a. DUE) covers the events in the lives of Holmes, Watson, and Lestrade from October 1890 to Autumn 1894—the Culverton Smith case, Holmes’s employment by the French government, Reichenbach, the Great Hiatus, the publishing of the Adventures and the Memoirs in The Strand Magazine, the Moriarty trial, Mary Watson’s death, “The Empty House,” and the shocking affair of the Dutch steamship Friesland.
Target Dates: An ongoing project for the next few years. Possibly one book per year, with a small chance of Mortality making it to press before Christmas.

Book I: Mortality
            Scotland Yard and Dr. John Watson struggle to prevent the goal of London’s greatest crime lord: the destruction of Sherlock Holmes.

Book II: The Road to Reichenbach
            Caught in a terrible war, Sherlock Holmes finds that the choices he makes will have far-reaching consequences.

Book III: To Take Up the Pen
            With Holmes gone and his reputation maligned, Dr. Watson sets out to honor his memory in The Strand Magazine.

Book IV: Those Dark Hours
            As Holmes and Watson approach a final confrontation, they must wonder when the cost will become too high.

Book V: Dawn’s First Light
            When Holmes and Watson reunite, they set out to defeat their one great enemy left: Colonel John Moriarty.

The Sons of Sherlock Holmes Series

Description: A nine-book series focusing on Davy Wiggins and the boys known as the Baker Street Irregulars, from their inception in 1880 to their continuation in World War I.
Target Dates: N/A

Book I: The Twelve Apostles
            When a young detective rescues a street boy, they join forces to create one of the most famous detective forces ever.

Book II: The Silent Army
            No storyline available. The book covers the progression of the Irregulars from meeting Dr. Watson in 1881 to meeting his fiancé in 1888.

Book III: His Father’s Son
            No storyline available. The book focuses on Davy Wiggins’s coming of age and his relationship with his mentor/father-figure, Sherlock Holmes, especially as Reichenbach looms. Might also cover the events of the Ripper Case.

Book IV: Children’s Crusade
            No storyline available. Ought to be basically the same as the once-projected novel, An Irregular Point of View, covering the Irregulars during the Great Hiatus. The name comes from the fact that, for the first time, the Irregulars are heavily targeted by the Moriarty syndicate, even the children—which leads to Watson’s disbanding the group.

Book V: The Prodigal Father
            When Sherlock Holmes returns to London, he finds that he must heal more than his relationship with Watson.

Book VI: The Irregular’s Wife
            No storyline available. When attempts are made on the life of Wiggins’s wife, he enlists the help of his employer. The catch? The young Mrs. Wiggins is a common street girl, and not even she has a clue why someone should look to murder her.

Book VII: Our Twilight
            No storyline available. As Holmes thrives, so do the Irregulars… But. The world is entering into the 20th century and is growing more dangerous as it does.

Book VIII: The Breaking of the Brotherhood
            No storyline available. In Autumn 1903, Holmes retires and moves away to Sussex. The Irregulars are left devastated. Can Wiggins, long since a consulting detective in his own right, hold his old band together?

Book IX: Once and Future
            No storyline available. With the onset of World War I and Holmes’s employment in British Intelligence, he sets out to reunite the Irregulars. But many, including Wiggins, enlist in Kitchener’s Army. The new generation of Irregulars that forms will be spearheaded by none other than Helen and Sherlock Watson, the eldest of Dr. Watson’s children.

The Boyhood of Sherlock Holmes Series

Description: From Sherlock’s birth to the famous meeting in St. Bart’s, 1881, follow the first twenty-three years of Sherlock Holmes’s life—his loves, hopes, joys, and losses.
Target Dates: N/A

Book I: The Little Violinist
            No storyline available. Sherlock’s first few years of life, seen from not only his POV but also his mother’s and brother’s.

Book II: A Threefold Cord
No storyline available. Young Sherlock forms friendships village girl Anne Middleton and Irish Tinker Breandán Delaney, creating memories that will remain with him for the rest of his life. (Eccl. 4:12)

Book III: Lord of the Manor
            No storyline available. With Father in London and Mycroft in Cambridge, Sherlock has been man of the house since he was ten. But now, as he enters his teens, he learns about leadership, the use and abuse of authority, and the responsibilities that come with being in-charge.

Book IV: Detective in the Making
            No storyline available. Separated from kith and kin for the first time, Sherlock struggles to find his feet at Cambridge. He finds a friend in Victor Trevor and eventually becomes enamored with the idea of becoming a detective.

Book V: Hours Yet ‘Til Dawn
            No storyline available. Just after quitting Cambridge to set up in London as an independent detective, Sherlock’s parents die in a fire, and he knows it was deliberate. The nineteen-year-old sets out to find his parents’ murderer and comes to know Inspector Geoffrey Lestrade in the process.

Book VI: The Passing of an Era
            No storyline available. As young Mr. Holmes struggles in his fledgling career, he makes a lasting friend in the Welsh-Jewish Annie Rhys but loses Anne Middleton and Breandán Delaney. The next three years of his life are lonely… until he meets first Davy Wiggins and then, several months later, John H. Watson, MD.

The Sherlock Holmes and the Great War Saga

Description: Yes, originally, this was meant simply to be a novel. But WWI? With Holmes in British Intelligence, the Watson children heading the Irregulars, Watson and Wiggins on the frontlines, and Lestrade & Co. still in the harness, you have all the makings of an epic series.
Target Dates: N/A

Book I: An East Wind
            No storyline available. As Europe gears up for the most devastating war yet in history, Sherlock Holmes returns to London to enlist Dr. Watson’s aid against German spymaster Von Bork. The next month will be the hardest either have known in years, for Watson and Wiggins are leaving with Kitchener’s Army. Holmes resumes residence in 221B for a final time as he goes fulltime with British Intelligence, and Helen and Sherlock Watson round up a new generation of Baker Street Irregulars, including Inspector Lestrade’s youngest child, Michael.

Book II: Valleys of Fear
            No storyline available. The war drags on. Watson, Wiggins, and the sons of Scotland Yarders stay in touch with their families. Holmes does good work in Room 40; Helen, Sherlock, and Michael do their part not only in aiding Holmes but also in solving their own mysteries. And then one of the Zeppelin raids on London destroys the Watson home…

Book III: The Quest
            No storyline available. When Lt.-Colonel Watson goes missing in 1918, Holmes and Helen set off together to find him. Along the way, Helen rescues a severely injured Wiggins, and Holmes witnesses the death of another of his original twelve Irregulars.

The Greater Love Duology

Description: A possible duology, anyway, this story is very much an Alternate Universe. Many Sherlockians have read or know of tales in which the Great Detective is no longer the Great Detective but a criminal genius. But, as I told my Apprentice mentor, I wanted to write one that portrays the beauty of the friendship between Holmes and Watson even under nearly impossible circumstances… And one that sees a damaged young man come to redemption through brotherly love. This will actually be a fleshing-out of “88. Wicked” from AMM.

Target Dates: The initial novel will likely be started as soon as the Mortality manuscript is complete. You can thank my longtime beta-reader and BFF teenelizabeth for that.

Greater Love: A Tale of Redemption
Discharged from the army, lonely Dr. John Watson seeks to befriend a young criminal genius. (John 15:14)

Possible sequel: Greater Love: A Tale of Miracles
            After years of success as a private detective, Sherlock Holmes is endangered when details of his criminal past threaten to emerge.


Beware—here be AUs!

Have Yourself a Chaotic Little Christmas
Description: I mentioned this one about a month ago—not a novel, but a collection of short stories. Allow me to reiterate: “Those of you keeping track of the Sherlockian part of FF.N probably saw the advent calendar challenge in December. That was hilarious fun, and I plan to edit my own Christmas collection in hopes of publishing it in time for next Christmas. This anthology includes vampires (not what you think, trust me), Jack the Ripper, Moriarty, Mary getting the better of Holmes, picnics in graveyards, WWI, the Irregulars, Lestrade, Irene Norton, Kitty Winter, and whole lot of delicious crack!”
Target Date: I’ll get it edited and filled-out, and then see if MX Publishing will take it for this November. (Not December, as part of the fun of the original challenge was reading a new story each day of December!)

            Sherlock Holmes finds himself trapped in the spirit realm when his archenemy ensures that the detective was never born.
Description: Yes, this is that nameless AU idea I had last fall, in which the Great Detective finds himself in limbo thanks to a certain mathematical genius in the FINA era. It’s up to Sherlock, Mycroft, Watson, and Lestrade to restore the time-space continuum and return Sherlock to his physical form.
Target Date: N/A

            A modern detective finds herself trapped in London 1890, and her way home may be through Sherlock Holmes.
Description: Yeah, that one. Y’know, I got caught up with Mortality and forgot all about poor little Merged. Well, that, and my ideas and drive for the story were floundering. I’d still like to do it sometime, though—I certainly still like the idea of Holmes/Kathleen. They were just plain cute together.
Target Date: N/A

Breaking through the Darkness
            A blinded Sherlock Holmes must learn to be a detective without his eyesight.
Description: You might recall this one, too—a projected fleshing-out of AMM AU “14. Blind”. Once again, thank you, Mam'zelleCombeferre, for pointing out what should have been obvious to me—“This could be an interesting whole story.”
Target Date: N/A

Not a Marrying Man
            As Sherlock Holmes embarks upon the adventure of matrimony, he must learn to make his fledgling family a priority.
Description: Mm-hmm, that one, too. What can I say? I still like Holmes/Agatha. I once said that the germ for this idea was “my incorrigible romanticism and insatiable desire to see Sherlock Holmes married. Originally, yes, this was going to carry a mystery or an adventure that had echoes the Moriarty gang. However, I realized that the story would be stronger if it focused on Holmes’s struggles to balance his life between his work and his marriage. One of the antagonists might actually end up being cocaine (AMM readers might recall a few stories on the subject).
Target Date: N/A

Brother and Sister: The Detective and the Doctor’s Wife
            Sherlock Holmes finds an unlikely comrade in his biographer’s wife, Mary Watson.
Description: If you’ve read AMM or Mortality, you know that I regard the relationship between Holmes and Mary to have a brother/sister chemistry to it. The idea for this novel was born out of a desire to fill in the blanks between SIGN and Mortality. I want to explore the development of a familial relationship between Holmes and the woman who, in his eyes, took his best friend away from him. This would include the Ripper Case, the Watson wedding, Mary’s miscarriages, and a few instances in which she proves herself to be quite useful, indeed.
Target Date: N/A

Sherlock Holmes and the Rulers of Darkness
When Sherlock Holmes investigates a haunted site, he realizes that his fight will be with “spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Description: What, you didn’t think I’d leave it out, did you? Allow me to reiterate that the novella idea is inspired by Haunted Castles of Britain and Ireland and Ephesians 6:12. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Again, think Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. It’ll be like that.
Target Date: N/A

Helen of London
            Being Dr. Watson’s firstborn can be difficult; being Sherlock Holmes’s goddaughter can be even more so.
Description: An anthology of short stories about Helen Watson and her father/daughter relationship with Sherlock Holmes. Will range from Helen’s infancy to post-WWII and include the Sussex Downs, WWI, Holmes and Watson giving up smoking in the ’20s, their deaths in 1937, and Helen’s reactions to the Basil Rathbone films.
Target Date: N/A

Sherlock Holmes and the Great War: The Leave-Taking
            When Kitchener’s Army leaves London, Sherlock Holmes and several Yarders are there to see them off.
Description: This novella will cover the departure of Kitchener’s Army as seen through the eyes of Geoffrey Lestrade, Tobias Gregson, Stanley Hopkins, Roger Bradstreet, Peter Athelney Jones, Alec MacDonald, and Sherlock Holmes. Each of these men are seeing a loved one leave for the war, and each of these men are scared. The Great Detective surprises them all by being the one to break down as the train pulls out.
Target Date: N/A

…That’s all of them. Wooow. Were you keeping count? Thirty-four. Thirty-four. Can you believe it?! That’s more than enough to keep me busy for ten years at least! At this rate, I’ll be writing nothing but Sherlock Holmes for the rest of my life!

Not, mind you, that I’d really mind.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sherlock Holmes Meets Peretti/Dekker: No Ghosts Need Apply

     For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians 6:12

We all know that infamous line: “No ghosts need apply.” The Great Detective did not want to get mixed up with business potentially involving “vampires”. Since that line was published in 1924, however, there has been no end of stories forcing Holmes to deal with the paranormal. From battling Count Dracula to being half-fairy himself and defying the queen of fairies to going back in time to witness both the Crucifixion and the risen Christ, Sherlock Holmes, with his staunch heroism and vast intellect, has found himself a magnet for the supernatural.

Stories, both published and fanfiction, have made Holmes deal with ghosts, whether debunking their reality or being forced to admit it. But… what if the ghosts Holmes is hired to investigate… are not human, either living or dead? What if they were something much more powerful?

Recently, I was looking over an old Christmas present from my grandma: Haunted Castles of Britain and Ireland. Once, last summer, I had the vague idea to write a short story in which Holmes debunked the reality of ghosts in one of England’s documented haunted castles. This time, however, I had a bigger idea.

What if ghosts are real, but not actually the spirits of dead humans? What if they’re actually demons? What if they were causing people to die or go insane in the late 1890s in a particular area, and what if Holmes figured out the truth?

Well, you get something that’s a cross between Sherlock Holmes and the works of acclaimed Christian authors Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker, known for their tales of spiritual warfare.

It’s a wild idea, I know, but I have a page’s worth of story outline, including some fairly thought-out, mentally-constructed scenes. One such is a rather intense moment when Holmes, Watson, and Lestrade witness a man actually being possessed by a demon—need I say that even Holmes is left shaken? Anyway, it’s an idea that I really like, and it’s going on my list of future Sherlockian novels. Which reminds me: next time, I’ll have to draw up a list for you all, complete with storylines and a tentative schedule. This will include the novel ideas you’ve seen in various posts in the past as well as quite a few novel ideas you haven’t seen before. The length will probably shock you—for that matter, it’ll probably shock me!

     Watson glanced over his shoulder at Holmes, and smiled. Sherlock Holmes was now standing, head thrown back, arms flung wide as if to touch the sky.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Skyfire Unleashed... on deviantART!

Yes, it's true! I'm starting to upload digitally-colored versions of the illustrations for AMM. I think fans will be pleased with the results. Please, check me out!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A New Review on AMM

Received a lovely review a couple of weeks ago on AMM. This is only the second-ever genuine review I've gotten on the e-book, so, as you can imagine, I was very excited.

(Also, it's nice to know that some people do pay attention to the illustrations - even people who aren't reading the book!)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Return from the Hiatus

No, not the Hiatus—my hiatus. But I had a very good reason for that hiatus (as did Holmes, IMHO). Namely, online college (for myself, that is—not Holmes).

But I bear good tidings of great joy for myself and for all my readers!


Finito. Kaput. End of the road.

And just beginning with my Sherlockian road! In fact, my mentor asked point-blank if I had any fiction ideas that did not involve Sherlock Holmes! You can guess what my answer was.

Nope. Mr. Holmes, I'm here to stay.

So! What am I going to be doing now? Read on!

(Warning: Here Be Crossovers!)

1. The Innocence of a Child (Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century)
Beth Lestrade finds herself the guardian of two boys when Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty are regressed in age to learn certain lessons about life in order to tackle the future.

2. Stepping Through the Wardrobe (canon/The Chronicles of Narnia)
When nine-year-old Sherlock enters a snowy wood via a wardrobe, he learns about the importance of family, love, forgiveness, and sacrifice.

3. Enemies Within (SH22/Buzz Lightyear of Star Command crossover)
Professor Moriarty teams up with the Evil Emperor Zurg in the 31st century, and Star Command will have to call upon Sherlock Holmes to defeat the Napoleon of Crime.

4. Case Apocalypse: Left Behind (BBC Sherlock/Left Behind)
Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes come to terms with the vanishing of millions worldwide, including their mother, as they deal with the world’s rising star, Nicolae Carpathia.


1. At the Mercy of the Mind: A Journey into the Depths of Sherlock Holmes
I am going to polish AMM up and edit some bits that do not fit with more recent material, and then see if MX Publishing will accept the thing.

2. Deliver Us from Evil, Book I: Mortality
The fourteenth chapter of Mortality was uploaded to FF.N on New Year's Day. It's coming along a bit slowly, but it's coming. I hope to have the manuscript ready to submit by summer. Unfortunately, I can't promise any sooner.

3. Have Yourself a Chaotic Little Christmas
Those of you keeping track of the Sherlockian part of FF.N probably saw the advent calendar challenge in December. That was hilarious fun, and I plan to edit my own Christmas collection in hopes of publishing it in time for next Christmas. This anthology includes vampires (not what you think, trust me), Jack the Ripper, Moriarty, Mary getting the better of Holmes, picnics in graveyards, WWI, the Irregulars, Lestrade, Irene Norton, Kitty Winter, and whole lot of delicious crack!

4. Deliver Us from Evil, Book II: The Road to Reichenbach
Yes, yes, oh, yes. Once I’m in the editing stage for Mortality, I’m hitting the Road (lame pun absolutely intended). I even have a fairly substantial chapter outline for Road, and it’s looking very exciting, indeed!

5. Greater Love: A Tale of Redemption
Those who have read the AMM ebook might recall an AU short in which a certain young gentleman was a criminal genius rather than a genius detective. Well, for one of my lessons, I had to do a synopsis for a future novel, so I did one for that concept. The results were utterly intoxicating. Upon reading said synopsis, my beloved beta-reader replied, “You have to write this novel now so I can read it.” So I’ll be writing it whilst working on Road.
That’s all I’ll say for now. This will be one novel I won’t spoil for you!


As always, I’ll be providing you with info on my stories, as well as essays/rants/“scholarly” posts such as “Writing Child!Sherlock” and “Else our universe is ruled by chance.” PLUS, I’ve got a pile-up-a-mile of Sherlockian movies and novels to review, including Without a Clue and The Return of the Hound, respectively.
AND what I’d really like to do is interview various Sherlockian authors. The problem at this point? My wallet, as always. (Big problem when you’re a flailing newcomer to that career that every professional says, “Don’t make your day job.”) By golly, I’ll overcome that obstacle somehow!

So, there you have it! My new year’s resolutions (a bit late, I know) in a nutshell. Now, off I go to watch some more Star Trek… Oh, didn’t I tell you? I became a Trekkie during my hiatus. Blame KCS’s However Improbable and The Next Generation’s “Elementary, Dear Data” (which, btw, is going to get a review in the future). Throw in a dash of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and I’m hopelessly hooked.

No, this will not take my focus away from 221B Baker Street! Eesh , don’t panic!