Sherlockian Interview - Dan Victor

Posted by Steve Emecz on

With the upcoming launch of volumes 43-45 of The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories (currently on Kickstarter), we're talking to the authors involved. Today (9th April) it's Dan Victor.


Tell us a little about yourself – Where you live and your main hobbies.   

I’m a retired high-school English teacher, having taught in my native Los Angeles for forty-six years.  Since retirement, my major preoccupation has been writing Sherlock Holmes pastiches.  Since I view my series, “Sherlock Holmes and the American Literati,” as an extension of my teaching career, I have spent much preparation time reading the works of the so-called literati I write about. Based on the imagined adventures the writers in question have shared with Holmes, my stories “report” how some of the most celebrated American fiction has come into being.  For example, had the young Raymond Chandler not worked as a page-boy at 221B Baker Street and observed Holmes’ investigations first-hand, classics like The Long Good-Byeand The Big Sleep might never have been written.  Before I can create such prequels, however, I must first discover their prototypes, especially the works of now unfamiliar but one-time popular writers like Melville Davisson Post and Anna Katherine Green.  Thus, my own education continues to grow.

What’s the name of your story in this collection, and what is it about (with no spoilers)?  

I have two stories in Part 45 of the current collection—"The Misbegotten Missives," inspired by a ghost story called “Pomegranate Seed” by Edith Wharton, and "The Locked Room," inspired by “The Nameless Thing,” a story by Melville Davisson Post.  In “The Misbegotten Missives,” Sherlock Holmes deals with a series of letters that seem to come from beyond the grave while in “The Locked Room,” he confronts a mysterious death that has inexplicably occurred in a chamber with no unlocked entries or exits.

What other projects have you recently completed that we can check out?  

In addition to the latest entry in my American Literati series, Sherlock Holmes and a Tale of Greed, a pastiche that introduces Sherlock Holmes to American writer Frank Norris, I am pleased that MX has recently published my novel, Cruel September, a fictional account of many of the experiences I faced during my more than forty years of teaching.  Having crafted that novel for almost as long as I’ve been in public education, I am more than thrilled by the positive responses I’ve received from former colleagues and students.  My next novel, The Hearthstone Manuscript, which features Holmes and American author Hamlin Garland, will be published by MX in September, and I continue working on a pastiche that introduces Holmes—and presumably my readers—to the little-known mystery writer, Rodrigues Ottolengui.  When I finish that project, I plan to turn my attention to the writings of the (now) seldom-read Julian Hawthorne, son of Nathaniel Hawthorne, the celebrated creator of The Scarlet Letter.

You can find all Dan's books on the Dan Victor Author Profile on Amazon

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