“I can’t believe “Creeping Man” got only three stars, Holmes!”
Unfortunately, due to the demands of career, family, and my rather-too-thorough way of reviewing, I cannot personally review every book with a connection to Sherlock Holmes. I have therefore come up with a system which I hope will allow authors to share their books with potential readers in a more timely fashion. Just follow these easy steps to have your book featured in this blog:
1. Ask yourself: is this the right blog for my book?
- Is it about Sherlock Holmes?
- Does it contain exceptionally violent scenes? I’m sorry, but while some violence is obviously expected in a crime adventure, extremely graphic gore is really not what a lot of readers are looking for in a Holmes story. Certain exceptions are possible, for non-fiction or “Holmes v. The Ripper” stories, as no one should be surprised by either.
- Does it contain graphic sex scenes, or is it erotica? I know a lot of people enjoy reading and writing these, but if so, this is not the blog you’re looking for. Again, most of my readers don’t look for much sex at all in a Holmes story, and would rather it be implied if it has to be there.
- Have I made my book the absolute best it can possibly be? This is important. When you’re putting your work before the public, you want to be sure you’ve edited and revised it–not just for spelling and punctuation errors, but for factual mistakes, continuity problems, pacing issues, character and plot believability, etc. It’s so tempting to rush your first or second draft to Amazon, but it’s not usually wise. Even though books featured this way will avoid a “star review,” you may receive reader reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, IHOSE or other places, and you want those to be good.
2. It is? Yay! Now answer these interview questions. They cover your book, as well as your life as a writer. Please answer at least 10, but feel free to answer as many as you wish–or to add one of your own. You answers may be edited for spelling, grammar, or comprehension, or to get rid of sweary language, but you shouldn’t see much change. The order of the questions in the interview may be adjusted for flow; here they appear in no particular order.
1. How did you “meet” Sherlock Holmes?
2. What is your favorite Canon story and why?
3. What is your favorite Sherlock Holmes pastiche and why?
4. What is your favorite movie or television portrayal of Holmes and Watson, and why? Were you inspired by any particular one of them?
5. When did you decide you wanted to become a writer/
6. Why did you decide you wanted to write about Sherlock Holmes?
7. What inspired you to write this particular book?
8. Can you provide a brief synopsis of your book?
9. How closely does your book hew to canon? Why or why not? Was this a conscious decision, or did it just happen?
10. What did you most enjoy about writing your book?
11. What was the hardest part about writing your book?
12. Where did you get the idea for this book?
13. Do you have a particular writing process? Would you like to share it with us?
14. Are you involved in any Sherlockian groups?
15. Did your book require a lot of research? If so, did you uncover any especially interesting facts?
16. Are you using Watson as a narrator? Why or why not? If so, did you find it difficult to mimic his voice? Did you use any particular “tricks”?
17. Can you share some of the reviews you’ve received for this book? (Please note: these should not be reviews from your family or close friends.)
18. What is your favorite moment in this book?
19. Who is your favorite character in this book?
20. Did you find that using Conan Doyle’s characters made this story easier or more difficult to write?
21. Did you include any original characters? Can you describe them for us?
22. What is your writing philosophy?
23. Any advice for aspiring writers?
24. How did you feel when you first saw your book–in actual book form?
25. How would you categorize your book? Is it mystery, thriller, horror, romance…?
26. What sort of reader is most likely to enjoy your book?
27. Where can readers get a copy of your book?
28. Add a question of your own!
3. Once you’ve answered your questions, send a copy of them to me via e-mail at email@example.com. Please include an image of your book cover, and, if you are amenable, a picture of yourself (it does not have to be fancy).
4. I will format and post your interview as soon as possible. My idea is to let each interview have at least a week as the main post before I put up another.
And there we are! I have high hopes for this new approach–but will likely be tweaking it as necessary. Thanks for your patience and participation!