One of the wonderful things about pastiche writers is the wide range of imagination on display. Sherlock Holmes writers, in particular, take their hero to places even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, himself no slouch in the world of the strange and the quirky, would have viewed with wonder. In the hands of pastiche writers, Holmes has been a basset hound and a robot, an old man and — gasp! — a woman. He has traveled space and even gone lollygagging in New York. (I know, as if!)
If it’s imagination you want, you need look no further than Joseph W. Svec III’s Missing Author’s trilogy. I’ll let Joseph explain how the series began:
The trilogy began with the question, how would the most logical detective of literature, Sherlock Holmes, react to the most illogical character of literature, the Cheshire Cat (from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)? That scene was so clear and easy to visualize. I started writing and ended up with a short story. I found out about MX Publishing through the local Sherlockian Society here in Amador County, California, The Holmes Hounds. I submitted the manuscript, and the publisher liked it, but said it should be longer, so I revised it and it was accepted.
My wonderful wife, who shares every step of the writing process with me, suggested that I end the story with a lead in to another adventure, and since Jules Verne is one of my favorite authors, and a contemporary to Sherlock Holmes, it was only natural that Captain Nemo would show up at Baker Street, and request Sherlock’s assistance to locate Jules Verne. That lead to writing the second book.
Arthurian legend and lore is another interest of mine, so that is how Sherlock ended up traveling back in time to Camelot for the third book. All three books are well researched to make sure that any historical events mentioned, or real characters referenced, are accurate and applicable. In the Nautilus adventure, Jules Verne comments on the outcome, and says that it would make a great novel, but he would move the location to the Sahara desert, which references a novel he would later write.
The research aspect of writing these stories is fun and entertaining, as I discover all kinds of interesting things. Following a transitional novel coming out later this year, I have two more Sherlock Holmes trilogies planned and in process.
For more information check out Joseph’s Kickstarter page here.