Hello everyone and welcome to another exciting guest post hosted on Always Trust In Books. Today I have great piece written by G. S. Denning, the author of the hilariously awesome Warlock Holmes series, and it is about his reasons for starting the series. Warlock Holmes is pure genius and I am so glad I had the opportunity to read the first two instalments recently. It is a fantasy re-telling of the classic series which focuses on black magic and the arcane.
Warlock Holmes is not a clever man using his mind to solve crimes; he is a sorcerer who can tap into the fabric of the universe to accomplish great things. Watson meets him for the first time (again) and they quickly bond over Holmes’ complicated and truly amazing gift. G. S. Denning uses a superb combo of great characters, brilliant humour and interesting and bizarre imagery to entertain the reader. I laughed so much reading both these books and I cannot wait to read the next instalment in 2018.
First I will share a few details about G. S. Denning and his two books. Then I shall share with you his post about the inspiration behind this hugely entertaining departure from classic Holmes lore.
About G. S. Denning
A native of Seattle, G. S. Denning began working as a professional comedian in 1995. He’s been an entertainer at Disney World, Seattle Theatersports, Orlando Theatersports and Jet City Theater now, tired of watching his creations vanish as soon as he’s done saying them, he’s begun to write it all down. His first book Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone is available now. The sequel, Warlock Holmes: Hell Hound of the Baskervilles is due out from Titan Books May 16, 2017. Bio was found at: scificons.com
Goodreads: G. S. Denning
Official Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius who uses the gift of deduction and reason to solve the most vexing of crimes.
Warlock Holmes, however, is an idiot. A good man, perhaps; a font of arcane power, certainly. But he’s brilliantly dim. Frankly, he couldn’t deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart flatmate. Thankfully, Dr. Watson is always there to aid him through the treacherous shoals of Victorian propriety… and save him from a gruesome death every now and again.
An imaginative, irreverent and addictive reimagining of the world’s favourite detective, Warlock Holmes retains the charm, tone and feel of the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle while finally giving the flat at 221b Baker Street what it’s been missing for all these years: an alchemy table.
Reimagining six stories, this riotous mash-up is a glorious new take on the ever-popular Sherlock Holmes myth, featuring the vampire Inspector Vladislav Lestrade, the ogre Inspector Torg Grogsson, and Dr. Watson, the true detective at 221b. And Sherlock. A warlock.
Official Synopsis: The game’s afoot once more as Holmes and Watson face off against Moriarty’s gang, the Pinkertons, flesh-eating horses, a parliament of imps, boredom, Surrey, a disappointing butler demon, a succubus, a wicked lord, an overly-Canadian lord, a tricycle-fight to the death and the dreaded Pumpcrow. Oh, and a hell hound, one assumes.
It’s a question that comes up time and again, in interviews and conversations with reader and writers. How did I conceive of Warlock and what made me want to write him? Here, in a nutshell are the answers.
In early 2012, I was in a writing class at UNLV. One of my classmates had written a story with a Mary Sue protagonist—someone who’s the absolute best at everything they try. Overall, the class did not like her story because they were disengaged with the protagonist. As I’d been watching BBC’s Sherlock I encouraged her to try a hero more like Holmes—someone who has powers no other person possesses, yet finds themselves encumbered by handicaps that are equally unique. She said that was a stupid idea. She was writing fantasy. How would Holmes ever work in fantasy? How would you even approach that?
On the way back home, I began to laugh. Sherlock Holmes was regarded as a fantastic figure by many of the characters in the original stories. In the absence of explanations, his deductions appeared magic. How would you get Holmes into fantasy? Simple. Just let them be right. Let Holmes be magic. Just as I was getting off the freeway, I thought of the pun Warlock Holmes. I ran upstairs as soon as I got home to google it and see what people had done with the idea. Pretty much… nothing. One hundred years and humanity had failed to pick up that joke and run with it? Come on, people!
So, I started writing it myself. The first idea I had was to approach The Hound of the Baskervilles, because *duh* hell-hound. But then I realized I wanted the origin story done first, so I turned A Study in Scarlet into A Study in Brimstone. That took me only a month. With the outline already done for me by a famous British dead guy and the core idea in place, the heavy lifting was already done. Hell-hound of the Baskervilles took me much longer. Originally, just that story was 110,000 words—longer than the entire book, as it eventually got published, even though the book has 4 other stories in it.
As I wrote, I began to realize how promising a project I’d stumbled on. Sherlock Holmes was just moving into the public domain: meaning the character was old enough that he belonged to everybody. Anybody could write anything they wanted about him. Already, he was coming to be regarded as the second most profitable public domain figure, after Santa Claus. Sherlock was ascendant. Elementary started doing well. There were rumors that Robert Downey Jr. might walk away from Iron Man to do another Holmes film. There were millions of Holmes fans already in place. Would some of them resent a magic/geeky version? Sure. But how many were waiting for something just like that?
I sent my manuscript to JABberwocky Literary Agency. Honestly, I never thought I’d get them, but they had a reputation as king-makers. If you could get them to read the first 50 pages of you book and tell you why they weren’t taking you, they’d give you everything you needed to make your idea marketable. They didn’t take me. But they didn’t turn me down. For two and a half years we went around and around, working on revisions of the book until—suspiciously soon after the Supreme Court and Britain’s High Court agreed Holmes was unequivocally public domain—my phone rang. Sam Morgan said he was sure he could get my book into print. He was right. In no time, he’d got Titan Books to extend a 3-book deal.
I had successfully stolen English culture, then sold it back to them.
Thank to G. S. Denning for taking the time to give us some insights into his work. Thank you all for stopping by to check out his guest post. I am going to be posting my reviews for both books over the next couple of days so please come back soon to check those out. See you all soon and until then, happy reading!