Today is publication day for the new collection of stories inspired by Holmes canon entitled, “A Study In Sherlock.” (http://www NULL.astudyinsherlock NULL.com) My literary agent, Ms. Laurie R King, and her friend, Mr Leslie S Klinger (author of the New Annotated Sherlock Holmes), collaborated on the concept for this anthology and the early reviews have been favourable. The list of contributing mystery writers is impressive, and as I’ve previously stated, I wish everyone involved in this venture nothing but success.
Selfishly I find that I am letting out a sigh of relief now that “A Study In Sherlock” (http://www NULL.astudyinsherlock NULL.com) is finally available for purchase. Perhaps with the focus on the release of the book Mr. Klinger will have the good manners to stop sending me questions via my Twitter account. I don’t usually do interviews, as so often ones words are twisted or blatantly misquoted. I was naïve, I now understand, to think this form of social intercourse would be a safe venue for this exchange of queries and answers. I was wrong. As with most technology there are limitations. Over the few days of our exchanges a few tweets were posted out of order, some didn’t show appear where the public could see them, and in some cases the tweets never showed up at all. In the interest of making certain this interview is archived in a complete and faithful form, I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing it in its entirety below. A precaution, to be sure, but one I feel is necessary, lest anyone try to change or otherwise distort my answers.
The following is a complete and accurate transcript of the conversation Mr. Klinger and I had on the social media site Twitter (http://www NULL.twitter NULL.com ) starting 18 Oct 2011 and concluding 23 Oct 2011.
Mr Klinger’s enquires are headed with his initials (LSK) and my responses are proceeded by my initials (MRH).
(LSK) Am editing w/LRKing “stories inspired by SH” & wd love an interview w/him or you. OK 4 LRK 2 giv me yr contact info?
(MRH) No, my literary agent Ms King does not have permission to give you my private contact information.
(LSK) But wouldn’t u prefer to talk in private?
(MRH) “Private” conversations undergo changes in the mind of the interviewer. I prefer that such exchanges be on public record.
(LSK) U want me 2 interview u on Twitter?
(MRH) I do not wish you to interview me at all, but clearly that is not an option.
(LSK) We could call it a Twinterview.
(MRH) Mr Klinger, if you wish my participation, I must ask that you refrain from whimsy. And excessive abbreviations.
(LSK) Sorry, Ms. Russell. Okay, no whimsy, & I’ll keep the questions suitable for all eyes.
(MRH) I should hope so. And I prefer “Miss.” Now, may we proceed with this conversation? I have an experiment awaiting me.
(LSK) First, how does Mr Holmes feels about having inspired the creativity of more than a century of crime writers?
(MRH) My husband does not care to discuss his feelings.
(LSK) OK, how do YOU feel re his having inspired 100 yrs of crime writers? People other than (sorry must make this 2 tweets)
(LSK) —than Dr Watson were telling Holmes stories even as the originals were coming out. Why do u think they felt that urge?
(MRH) They admired Holmes. They wished to speculate about him. So they made up stories.
(LSK) That’s it? Just a desire for more?
(MRH) Nicholas Meyer (your friend?) claimed that Dr Watson was such a great writer, others saw the stories as a challenge.
(LSK) But NM was explaining why he wrote his books & doesn’t speak for others. I’m not even sure I believe his excuse.
(MRH) I said claimed. I met Meyer when he was young. I think he wrote them through frustration with a mere 60 published tales
(LSK) Does it bother u that writers make up fictions about your husband? Some of their stories are pretty outrageous.
(MRH) I was young when I realised that since Holmes was seen asfictional, by contagion I would be so viewed as well.
(MRH) Thus I have lived a long life with one foot in the real world and the other in the world of being perceived as a fiction.
(MRH) My own literary agent, Laurie King, claims that it is necessary to categorise my memoirs—mine—as novels.
(MRH) And since I expect that you will now ask how that makes me “feel”, I will admit that the sensation of being fictional, is—
(MRH) —is indeed peculiar. What our—Holmes’ and my—friend Neil Gaiman calls the sensation of being “the idea of a person.”
(LSK) @neilhimself is one of those contributing to this current volume—which we’re calling A Study in Sherlock.
(MRH) I grasp the reference to the initial Conan Doyle story, but this assumption of first-name familiarity jars, a bit.
(LSK) Publishers, you know? This is the modern world. & you are after all American.
(MRH) Half American, and I retain very little of the accent, or attitudes.
(LSK) Back 2 the questions. How did Dr Watson react? Some stories came out while his were still appearing in The Strand.
(MRH) Uncle John had many shouting matches down the telephone with Sir Arthur, demanding solicitors be hired. To no avail.
(LSK) Well, we know what Shakespeare thought should be done with lawyers.
(MRH) That may be a bit drastic. Some of my best friends have lawyer relatives.
(LSK) And, um, I’m a lawyer. At least during the day.
(MRH) I know you are a lawyer, Mr Klinger. That was my feeble attempt at humour. We are also very aware of your New Annotated
(MRH) —Annotated Sherlock Holmes. An excellent attempt at scholarship, which will do until Holmes’ own notes are published.
(LSK) May I ask when that will be?
(MRH) No need to worry, Mr Klinger, it will be several more years.
(LSK) Right. So Dr W was upset, but not Holmes?
(MRH) Holmes learned long ago to leave the shouting to Dr Watson. He finds it best to stay aloof of the literary world.
(LSK) Some stories in this collection are less about Holmes than about people affected by Dr W’s stories. Do you approve?
(MRH) One might as well approve of breathing air, as of people falling under the spell of Sherlock Holmes, even second hand.
(LSK) So you do understand the appeal of the Sherlock Holmes stories over the ages?
(MRH) My dear young man, of course I understand their pull. I was captivated by the stories long before I met the man.
(LSK) Speaking of captivation, may I ask about your relationship with Mr Holmes?
(MRH) No. Oh dear, Mr Klinger, ominous noises from the laboratory require my immediate attention. Good luck with your book.
(LSK) Just another couple of questions, Miss Russell. May I ask, what is Mr Holmes doing these days?
(LSK) Miss Russell?
(LSK) Thank you, Miss Russell.
Mr Klinger tweets at lklinger (http://www NULL.twitter NULL.com/lklinger) and I can be reached on twitter at mary_russell (http://www NULL.twitter NULL.com/mary_russell)
For more information on “A Study In Sherlock” go Here. (http://www NULL.astudyinsherlock NULL.com) You can also download excerpts from the sixteen short stories at Random House Here. (http://scr NULL.bi/o2H2Vz)