I’ve been writing Sherlock Holmes stories for five years now, ever since I was first invited to contribute to the original MX collection that was being put together for a charity restoration of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s house, Undershaw. Work on the building has been complete for several years now, but the series continue to benefit the Stepping Stones School that now occupies the property.
Last year I was approached about reprint rights for an offshoot of the ongoing project. I suggested a couple of previously printed stories that might be a good fit for The Art of Sherlock Holmes, figuring one of them would likely provide some good imagery for a painter to work with.
The Adventure of the Melting Man subsequently appeared in The Art of Sherlock Holmes: Global Edition earlier this year, with an original illustration by Dan Arcus. I thought that would be it, but now there’s a Global Edition II with the other story I suggested, The Song of the Mudlark. It features a painting by Abdelaziz Haounati.
This brings things full circle, because The Song of the Mudlark was the very first in my growing body of Sherlock Holmes mysteries. But I’m not stopping there. I’m now up to seven stories in print, with two more pending. That’s close to having enough material for a collection of similar size and scope to one of Conan Doyle’s volumes of short stories.
Halfway through 2020, I’m getting anxious. Aside from the two Sherlock books, I haven’t published anything new—at least not under the Eyestrain Productions imprint. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been churning material. In June I broke a personal productivity record, and there are plenty of new novels and anthologies in the works. It’s just a matter of which one will be finished first.
I’d tell you more, but it would kill the surprise. Not to mention, sap creativity. Pro tip: never discuss the details of what you’re working on. Put it on the page instead.
All the paintings appearing in The Art of Sherlock Holmes are available as prints from the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Family Estate.