Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The Return of SHERLOCK HOLMES!
Sherlock Holmes is such a fabulous character that his own creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle--even after four novels and fifty-six short stories--didn't even begin to exhaust his possibilities.
The Great Detective returns in 2010, in a new prose anthology from Moonstone, co-edited by Joe Gentile and yours truly.
My own professional history with Sherlock Holmes is a long one. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that it's been over twenty years since I wrote Scarlet in Gaslight, feverishly thrashing out the manuscript on my old portable typewriter in my crappy little basement apartment in Louisville, Ky. After gaining some generous insight and encouragement from Ray Bradbury, I began sending out the story to every appropriate publisher I could think of, and patience finally did the rest. Ultimately, about two years later Malibu Comics snatched it up, and the story no one else seemed to want went on to receive an Eisner Award nomination. Plus, Scarlet in Gaslight has since gone through five different printings, from various publishers, with a sixth from Moonstone itself just around the corner.
I was to write several more stories of Baker Street's most famous resident in the years to follow, and--happily--there appears to be no end in sight.
Then, when Joe Gentile approached me about co-editing, and contributing, to a brand new Sherlock Holmes anthology, some months ago, you can probably imagine my enthusiasm from the start. It was especially thrilling for me that I was responsible for choosing about half of the authors myself, plus I was encouraged to help shape this book in the particular image I wanted. Mind you, this won't be a typical standard collection of Holmesian tales. There is an abundance of such volumes already available from other publishers, and many of them are very good indeed, but I wanted this one to be unique and I purposely hand-picked the very best available writers I could toward those ends.
There's still a lot I can't yet say about this massive, extremely exciting project. I can relate that all of our esteemed authors have enthusiastically leaped at the chance to write Sherlock Holmes, especially once they learned of the peculiar theme of this very special anthology. We're even already considering doing a second volume to contain the abundance of imaginative wealth that keeps pouring in.
Joe and I been moving very slowly so far, allowing our contributors the necessary time to free up their schedules (including the snail's pace that the Holiday Season always seem to bring), but we're nearly ready to go and I'll be spilling the whole thing here on my blog, and on Facebook, shortly after the start of the New Year.
It has been a tremendous joy dealing with these amazingly creative men and women, most of whom I didn't know personally, except through their own fantastic fiction. A wonderful unforeseen bonus included in this project has been that some splendid friendships have developed as a result. I'm extremely grateful for that, as these newly found relationships have made my life much richer.
Once again, I owe it all to Sherlock Holmes.