The James vs. Clarence Thing

I’m pleased that my new Sherlock Holmes Professor Moriarty story is finding readers. (If you haven’t read it yet, you can get it here—free to read if you have Kindle Unlimited, and just 99 cents otherwise.) I even received my first review, and it was 5 stars! But I did notice the reviewer wrote that, really, she gives it 4.5 stars because she was confused by the James/Clarence thing. So I thought I’d answer that question in case others also had it.

In Conan Doyle’s story “The Final Problem,” Watson writes:

My hand has been forced, however, by the recent letters in which Colonel James Moriarty defends the memory of his brother…

Colonel James Moriarty is not the criminal. You can be forgiven for thinking as much since there seems to be an ongoing use of James/Jim/Jamie for the character of the evil Moriarty in books, films, and television programs. But, going by the original source material, this isn’t true. James is just the professor’s brother. So I gave my version of Professor Moriarty the name Clarence. Which happens to be my father’s name. And before you think that says something about how I view my dad, you should probably read the story first. In any case, I’m sure my dad will be hugely amused when he reads it. (He and Mom are on a cruise at the moment, so…)

Anyway, that’s my reasoning. Sorry for any confusion. Hope you still enjoy the story!

New Story Out!

I have a new short story out on Amazon today. I’d say it’s a Sherlock Holmes story, except it’s told from the perspective of Moriarty. You can check it out here. Kindle Unlimited members can read it for free!

What if the famously evil Professor Moriarty wasn’t as evil as Holmes made him out to be? Hear his side in this new short story that revisits the Reichenbach Falls.

WIPjoy #29 + 5 More Answers

29. What’s something that’s creepy in your WIP?

Well, there’s a ghost. But it’s not a very creepy ghost. I think the second death in the manuscript is creepiest. It happens off the page, and the main character sees it on the news, and I think it’s probably one of the creepiest situations in the book.

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Yesterday I started this little list, too. So let’s do five more answers.

6. Favorite place to write.

London? When I can get there. Really, anywhere I can get away. I love retreating in order to write. But I do most of my writing in Little London, which is my home office. You can see a video of it on my Facebook page.

7. Most overused word.

My thesis advisors pointed out that I used “just” a lot. I don’t know if that’s still true; I try to be cognizant of it. I think I use “was” too much. A lot of my revisions and edits involve going back and trying to remove as many of those as possible by replacing them with stronger verbs.

8. Most overused punctuation.

Depends on the genre! When I was writing The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller, I definitely was fond of my semicolons. When writing young adult, I tend to possibly use exclamation points more than absolutely necessary.

9. Long or short sentences?

Again, depends on genre. My upmarket work has much longer sentences than my YA. Romance is in between. But truly, a good book will have a variety of sentence lengths and structures to keep in interesting.

10. Plain or purple prose?

Fairly plain. I do embroider a bit now and then, but that’s usually because I’m following a character’s thoughts. Thoughts can be complicated!

August Falter

2017 has been a good year for me so far in terms of my writing. Both Brynnde and the collected Sherlock Holmes stories have done fairly well. Alas, August has been a bit of a dip. I had half as many page reads and sold less than a book a day. I don’t know if it’s due to everyone focusing on going back to school? I also think I probably should have spaced Brynnde and the SH stories a bit farther apart. Releasing two books (one new, one a compilation + audiobook) at the beginning of the year means the end of my year might not have as much oomph.

I did hope/expect to have something done for the end of the year, and my current WIP is coming along at a nice clip, but I don’t know when it will actually be published.

By law of diminishing returns, maybe the high point of my writing year is already behind me. I hope not! I’d like it to at least remain steady. Hopefully August was a fluke and September will be a pop fly that somehow sails right out of the park.

(Am I using the baseball metaphor correctly? I like baseball, but I don’t always get the lingo right.)

P.S. Remember you can read many of my books for FREE via Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited! And you don’t need to own a Kindle to do it! You can use the free app to read on your phone or tablet!

Revisiting Goals

Okay, so a lot has happened since my last check-in with my yearly goals. For the record they were:

  1. Publish Brynnde
  2. Finish and submit Changers: The Great Divide
  3. Finish Hamlette
  4. Write another Sherlock Holmes story

(Accomplished goals are in green.)

Well. I did publish Brynnde, and though I didn’t write a new Sherlock Holmes story I did (a) compile my three existing stories into one collection, and (b) have an audiobook version produced as well. And I’ve started on a new Sherlock Holmes story, too, but that’s been sidelined for the moment due to other priorities.

In fact, I need to reorganize my goals. I’m bumping Hamlette up to #1 current project because I have a due date of September 30 and a solid chance at representation for this particular book. So now all my focus is bent in that direction. With Brynnde done and off the table, here are my mid-year goals:

  1. Finish and submit Hamlette to the interested agent
  2. Finish and submit Changers: The Great Divide to Evernight
  3. Finish and publish Faebourne
  4. Finish the new Sherlock Holmes story

I don’t honestly expect to finish all three before the end of the calendar year, but whatever doesn’t get done by then will loop to 2018. It’s so nice to have definite focus, though, and clear priorities. And a deadline. I work well with those, but not when they’re self-imposed. I really need others to hold me accountable. Thank goodness for my critique group!

WIP Wednesday

Now that my three previous Sherlock Holmes stories have been tidily collated into a single volume, I started writing a new story, though from a decidedly different POV:

Let me begin by saying I have no “domed head,” or however it was Dr. Watson described me. Nor am I particularly old—though older than Holmes, I daresay I haven’t more than half a decade on his biographer. I am a professor, but of chemistry rather than mathematics. Holmes knows this full well. I tutored him.

Having fun with it, seeing where it takes me. If all goes well, you’ll be able to come along for the ride when it’s finished.

My Sherlock Holmes Stories—now collected!

You may know that I got my start writing Sherlock Holmes stories. The first one was published in 2012, with a second not far behind it, and a third in 2015. They were originally sold separately, but we’ve now combined them all in one. THESE ARE NOT NEW STORIES. If you’ve already bought and read the others, don’t buy this too, because they’re the same. But if you’ve never read my Sherlock Holmes stories, now you can have all three in one book. The audiobook version of this collection should be out in another couple weeks, too. I’ll definitely post once it is!