The Cherry on Top 🍒
While not a matter of pure Haggard concern, the news I want to share now is “close enough for government work,” I believe. My Haggard trilogy of pastiches (one with SHE’s Leo Vincey and Horace Holly and the other two with Allan Quatermain and Hans) has attained an exciting new milestone. They have been recorded for Audible audiobook distribution, two of which are available now. In my view, the dramatic renderings provided by reader Michael Langan are top-notch and sometimes bring tears to my own eyes. The pleasure I feel from this accomplishment is best viewed through the perspective that Book #1 (ROOF) took four years to write, Book # 2 (CRUCIBLE) took 15 years, and Book # 3 (DAWN) took 11 years, for a total of 30 years. Add to that my inexhaustible need to express myself, convention be damned, so that CRUCIBLE and DAWN evolved into labyrinthian, complex Chinese nesting doll structures. Not that I have ever tried to imagine such a thing, but if I had, never in a million years could I have imagined that my trilogy was suitable for audiobook development.
The three books have enjoyed publication over the years through a patchwork of publishing houses—Rosemill House, Borgo Books, Wildside Press, Lulu Books, and Kindle ebooks, among them. Finally, in 2017, MX Books of the UK published the three books that comprise my trilogy under—WHAT A CONCEPT!!—a series name and with matching covers! That, in itself, was definitely a satisfying milestone.
I was happy with my accomplishment; 30 years is a long time to work on a single project. Even better, I finished it to my total satisfaction. And, frankly, I would have gone to my grave content that my Haggard/Holmes trilogy had finally attained its literary maturity through MX books, and that the three pieces were finally together and universally conceived of as a Trilogy, or as a Series, or as One connected work.
As I said, I was happy, and I certainly never expected a cherry on top. But MX Books publisher Steve Emecz thought otherwise and recently made Audible audiobook arrangements. And the results are now wonderfully-produced, skillfully-acted, truly accessible Audible books available and purchasable right now. Or, ROOF and CRUCIBLE are right now; the Audible DAWN is experiencing a delay.
The name of my trilogy series is “Sherlock Holmes Behind the Veil”. This is because (1) a veil can be a kind of a curtain and Holmes is never identified as such by any character in any of the 900 pages comprising the three MX volumes, and (2) the word “veil” can mean a sort of mystical doorway on the other side of which exists one or more worlds (or dimensions) wholly different from ours, and all three books have a spiritual/mystical/divinely-turned folk bent that has its roots, at least in my writing, especially through the magical influence of the Welsh master of horror—and irony—Arthur Machen.
The titles of the individual books that comprise my trilogy are SHERLOCK HOLMES ON THE ROOF OF THE WORLD; or The Adventure of the Wayfaring God (HOLMES BEHIND THE VEIL, BOOK 1, unabridged), THE GREAT DETECTIVE AT THE CRUCIBLE OF LIFE; or The Adventure of the Rose of Fire (HOLMES BEHIND THE VEIL, BOOK 2, unabridged), THE SUSSEX BEEKEEPER AT THE DAWN OF TIME; or The Adventure of the Star of Wonder (HOLMES BEHIND THE VEIL, BOOK 3. unabridged).
I cannot sufficiently share how grand it has been to HEAR my own words skillfully performed.