Sherlock Holmes

Make Money As An Author: Die Young

Seriously, they’ll be able to republish your first novel while people are feeling sorry for you. It’ll be a good career move. It’s a long-standing maxim that while ‘no man except a blockhead ever wrote except for money’ (cf. Samuel Johnson), no-one can really make a living doing it. The traditional answer to that statement […]

Permission To Laugh

An alarming idea today: Are readers and audiences now obeying demographics, which were once designed to categorise their tastes? It strikes me because, when I analyse successful entertainment (as all writers are prone to do) I can see a huge new change in our habits. Prior to the compartmentalisation of consumption, we enjoyed a book […]

Some Authors Are Dead But Still Writing

Remember Virginia Andrews? Her ‘Flowers In The Attic’ novels began appearing in 1979 and became surprise bestsellers. They were airless, claustrophobic works about four siblings locked in an attic in order to gain an inheritance. The incestuous melodramas appealed to teenaged girls, so when Andrews died she was replaced by another writer called Andrew Neiderman, […]

The Mystery of Sherlock Holmes Part 3

That phenomenon was the rise of branding. As the entertainment medium expanded to include the internet, social networking, streaming and other new home formats, films and TV programmes sought to establish brands with an instant recognition factor from audiences. If someone came to a story with previous knowledge, they could start to enjoy it immediately. […]

The Mystery of Sherlock Holmes Part 2

After Conan Doyle had finished with his creation, the public clamour for more stories was such that his son, Adrian Conan Doyle, tackled the cases which were mentioned in the canonical stories with John Dickson Carr, and ‘The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes’ and ‘More Exploits of Sherlock Holmes’ continued the legacy. Such was the power […]

Holmes Sweet Holmes

The BBC ‘Sherlock’ reboot opening episode was just about perfect in the way it transposed past and present, adding layers of meaning to both – it managed not to offend purists, and brought much that was new (and entirely logical) to the party. The addition of modern graphics and gadgetry felt oddly Victorian. Like most […]

Re:View – Sherlock Holmes

I’d been putting off seeing this because, as the author of a few Sherlock stories in my time, I wasn’t sure I was ready for the Guy Ritchie super-testosterone version, but I was wrong – it’s light, sharp and pleasurable. Holmes at feature length is tricky because while the short stories were wonderful, the novels […]