Writer Kim Krisco is keeping Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson going! As an accomplished writer, he is now entering the world of Sherlock Pastiches.
His book SHERLOCK HOLMES THE GOLDEN YEARS features original tales of adventure! According to the description:
“I need more Sherlock Holmes!”
If that’s your cry, you’ll be pleased to learn that there five totally new adventures coming this fall in the book Sherlock Holmes – The Golden Years, by Kim Krisco.
The book features: The Bonnie Bag of Bones “that lead the infamous duo on a not-so-merry chase into the mythical mountains of Scotland.” The Curse of the Black Feather “continues the adventure in which Holmes teams up with the Irregulars, and a gypsy matriarch, to expose a diabolical ‘baby-farming’ enterprise.” The Maestro of Mysteries “begins with a summons to Mycroft’s office and ends with a deadly chase in Undertown, far beneath the streets of London.” The Cure that Kills “sees Holmes and Watson in hot pursuit of the diabolical Ciarán Malastier, racing across America, and pitting them against the largest detective organization in the world.” And finally, The Kongo Nkis Spirit Train features “Holmes and Watson travel to the Dark Continent to derail a ‘spirit train’ that ensnares people’s spirit, and enslaves their bodies.”
We talked with Mr. Krisco about his book!
QUESTION: How did you originally get into Sherlock Holmes?
KIM KRISCO: As part of my effort to develop my writing skills, I read the entire works of many great storytellers—Dickens, Twain, Austen, Fitzgerald, Wharton, Doyle, etc. After I read everything that a given author wrote, I would write one story in their style to solidify what I learned from them. When I finished reading Doyle, I wrote a Sherlock Holmes story in his style. That story, A Bonnie Bag of Bones, became the first story in my recent collection.
QUESTION: You are going in a unique direction with your books. As opposed to him in his 90s or him younger, you are putting him middle aged. So is Sherlock in his 60s and 70s here?
KIM KRISCO: In Sherlock Holmes – The Golden Years, Holmes is just turning 60. By today’s standards, he was not that old, but life expectancy one hundred years ago was about 55 years. One of the things we all love about Sherlock Holmes is that, in a constantly changing world, he is one unchanging constant. However, being human, we know that Holmes likely changed, in small and big ways, after sixty years of life experience. As a writer, it was an interesting challenge to explore how the world’s greatest detective may have grown and evolved as he matured. Keeping the personality and wit we all love in mind, I think I did a fair job of capturing Holmes’s changes.
QUESTION: What inspired you to get into writing a Sherlock Holmes story?
KIM KRISCO: Writing has been part of my life since I was a boy.
I have published three non-fiction books in the last twenty years—primarily to market my leadership development business. I knew, when I retired, I would write. Upon retirement, I wrote one non-fiction book, knowing all the while, I really wanted to write fiction.
I sought advice from successful fiction authors. One fellow told me to, “Find a niche, and write to it.” This was in 2012, when Sherlock Holmes was in the movies, and TV, all over the world. I decided to ride that wave.
I won’t bore you with the details, but I parlayed my one Holmes story, written twelve years earlier, into a collection of five novellas that caught the eye of Steve Emecz at MX Publishing—the world’s largest publisher of Sherlock Holmes books.
QUESTION: When you plan out the stories, how long does it take you to write them?
KIM KRISCO: I endeavor to write five days a week, but I am not always writing novels, or even fiction. I write poetry, short stories and, I also write grants for a local foundation. I suppose, if I concentrated on only one project, it would take me five to six months to write a book. As it is, it takes me about nine months to write a Sherlock Holmes book.
I always start with a broad outline, but I don’t map out the entire story. I like to let the story itself, and the characters, have a life of their own.
In the course of writing, I do tons of research. For example, when Holmes and Watson go to Rules restaurant to eat, in A Bonnie Bag of Bones, what they order was actually on Rules’ 1913 menu. I traveled to Aviemore, Scotland to hike the trail that appears in that same story.
In this way, my stories become highly accurate historical novels. Doyle did not include much historical detail in his tales. I do. Another way I differ from Doyle is that I include vibrant, three-dimensional supporting characters.
Indeed, one of my challenges writing Sherlock Holmes – The Golden Years, was creating a villain as diabolical as Moriarty. I invite readers to tell me if I succeeded.
QUESTION: Do you like setting Sherlock in his natural environment (ie. England/Europe circa 1880s – 1900s) or would you consider putting him elsewhere?
KIM KRISCO: I did put him elsewhere.
As you suggest, in Doyle’s original adventures, Holmes and Watson venture outside Britain in only one tale: The Final Problem, which took place in Meiringen, Switzerland.
Within the Doyle canon, there are references that might lead us to believe that Sherlock Holmes may have ventured to Scandinavia, South America, Australia, and even America. It seems likely, though, that if Holmes did take cases outside Britain, they would likely be within one of the British colonies.
In Holmes’s time, the British Empire consisted of over 13 million square miles—23 percent of the world’s land surface. Given this, would it be surprising if Holmes and Watson found themselves in British South Africa?
That’s where Holmes and Watson go in my novella, The Kongo Nkisi Spirit Train. They also travel to a former British colony, America, in the story The Cure That Kills.
QUESTION: That is amazing! So, what is next for you?
KIM KRISCO: Sherlock Holmes – The Golden Years continues to be popular. It’s been published in India and Italy. And, it’s about to become an audiobook.
I’ve just completed a screenplay based on one of the stories in that collection, The Kongo Nkisi Spirit Train, and I’m shopping that script around, and entering it in screenwriting contests.
As far as what’s brand new, two projects: I’ve just sketched out a two-act stage play—a Sherlock Holmes comedy. And, I’m currently writing a new Sherlock Holmes tale, tentatively entitled Irregular Lives. As you might surmise, it features the Baker Street irregulars who, like Holmes and Watson, have aged. This story, which includes reminiscences, is set in 1919, just after the Great War. Holmes is 65 now, really getting up there.
However, he seems destined to live forever, if his fans have anything to say about it.
QUESTION: Kim, thank you so much!
KIM KRISCO: Thank you!
Images courtesy of Kim Kirsco.