Follow the crazy journey of my debut novel!
The most impossible mystery ahead – for Sherlock Holmes and the author.
You may have heard that writing novels takes a long time. This one first came into being in 2014. For more about the writing journey – travels, adventures, inspiration, writing lessons, and memes – please go to my blog, where I will be sharing the best stories that accompanied my biggest story so far…
It was really an attempt to tell the story how I saw it, show the characters the way I felt they were truest to my image of them. I’ve watched and read many adaptations beside the original, but I felt like there was something nobody had asked Sherlock to do yet. It is something that most characters haven’t been asked to do, which is confronting their own origin. Most books are about forgetting that the people in it are characters. Mine isn’t.
Here’s the synopsis.
It wasn’t that John couldn’t tell the story. It wasn’t that we didn’t know the truth. It was that nobody would believe us. But we cannot keep Sherlock alive with silence. *** The reader smiles when Moriarty appears on the page. So does Moriarty. And Sherlock Holmes follows him. We smile because we recognise them. Scarlett Vendalle is recognised by nobody, except for John Watson. With no recollection of her own identity and a suspected criminal past, Scarlett is the perfect case for Sherlock. As they follow her tracks, red threads appear in their lives that make it more than clear – Scarlett meeting John and Sherlock was no coincidence. Someone has drawn her shadow on the wall before she appeared. Was it Anne Boleyn who haunts Scarlett with visions of her past? Was it Moriarty who attracts Sherlock like a magnet? Or was it another shadow from the past? With Moriarty’s men on the one hand and the secret service on the other, the stage is set for a game with deadly rules, as Sherlock, John and Scarlett slowly become aware that something larger is guiding their steps… Is there another story being written?
I may have to ask you to find out about that last question further towards the end of my novel, but just in case you would like to meet my Baker Street bunch first, here is a small excerpt from the beginning. Having studied Creative Writing, I have been proverbially hit over the head with importance of the first sentence, the first paragraph, the first page with frightening regularity, and I would love to stuff anyone who mentioned it to me again. Anyway, here’s the first sentence of my novel, coincidentally accompanied by the first paragraph and the first page. Enjoy. (Please buy my book…)
Part 1: Explosive Advice
I fell from the Tower that day. The wind in his coat swept me off the edge. I only saw him in my fall – his brown hair, his long legs and arms, his high, loosely-tied collar, and his face with these piercing grey eyes that caught your recent past as you dropped it. But I held on.
The panorama of London was still clear before my eyes, and Anne Boleyn’s cold breath was still in the wind around me as her shadow grew larger on the water below.
The carpet felt sudden rather than hard; the pile of books was scattered on the library floor, screaming for the ladder I should have used. Embarrassment came jumping up my shoulders to swing around in my ruined hair like a dozen little monkeys driving the colour into my cheeks in little cars.
Holmes offered me his hand. ‘If I didn’t frighten you, I should say you look like you’ve seen a ghost. May I introduce myself–’ He politely helped me up, quickly shoving the hairpin back into my bun.
‘Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,’ I interrupted him. ‘I could have known it from what John told me about you, but, actually, you’ve dropped your card.’
A mixture of approval and bemusement appeared on Holmes’s face. ‘Well observed, Miss Vendalle.’
He picked up his card with a lissome move.
‘I mentioned John, didn’t I?’ I asked.
‘You did, but John didn’t mention you,’ Holmes replied, smirking. Obviously, John wanted to surprise him. I had to smile at the idea. ‘No,’ he said then, ‘John didn’t tell me you were coming, but this morning he – I don’t want to say panicked – but he was a little confused about the fact that he’d never bought matching clothes in his life.’