Throughout the Kickstarter campaign, we will be adding brief interviews highlighting the talented authors who have contributed to the anthology. Today we have the excellent Jane Rubino.
How did you first get introduced to Sherlock Holmes?
As an early, and quite precocious reader, and one who pre-dates the current explosion in YA fiction, I began reading adult fiction quite early. At home, we had a small library, shelves of books – I was probably around 9 or 10 when I first picked up “The Hound of the Baskervilles” and that started a journey through the Canon that I revisit to this day.
What was the inspiration for your pastiche?
I enjoy revisiting Canonical characters; in an earlier volume, my story brought back James Windibank/Hosmer Angel – that snake! – and a few years ago, I Kindled (if “Kindle” can be verbed) a novella that was the Copper Beeches from Violet Hunter’s POV. The boundaries for this adventure were that the problem had to present as supernatural, but have a real-world explanation, so my first thought was whether I could devise a story around a character from one of the earlier tales.
What is your story about? Where and when does it take place?
The Return of the Noble Bachelor is set entirely in London in the mid-1890s. A somewhat more sympathetic Robert St. Simon (now the Duke) returns to Holmes, ten years after his misadventure with Hatty Doran, to have Holmes investigate his mother’s claim that she has seen the ghost of his late father.
What do you believe readers will most enjoy most about your tale?
Always hard to predict what readers will like – I hope they’ll find Holmes’ introduction to Dr. Moore Agar to be sufficiently dramatic.
Which is your favourite story from The Canon and why?
Hard to single out one. I love “The Yellow Face”- a conventional set-up with a wonderfully touching resolution. “Charles Augustus Milverton” because there were shades of the real-life rapscallion, Charles Augustus Howell, and it has that pithy and for that pithy exchange about something that is morally justifiable though technically criminal. And “The Illustrious Client” because it highlights one of Doyle’s gifts, which was to give shape and dimension to secondary characters. And, of course, “The Norwood Builder” because it has one of the best observations in all of The Canon: “…he had not that supreme gift of the artist, the knowledge of when to stop.”
Your favourite Sherlock Holmes-related place?
Canonically, probably the Diogenes Club. I’d fit right in except for the gender rules (which I addressed in my previous tale.) In the real world, my study – I’ve got a shelf of Holmes-related books, Holmes stuffed doll, Hound of the Baskerville poster, Holmes paperweight, Knight Errant mug and a dog who sits at my feet while I work – what woman wants more?
Tell us three things about yourself that few people would guess?
Well, of course, one should never guess – it’s destructive to the logical faculty. I’m a lifetime member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. I’ve never used an ATM. I had, among my succession of rescue dogs, a lop-eared, brown and white fellow I named Toby after the dog in SIGN.
Any upcoming projects?
One day, I’ll get around to dusting off the Holmes novel-in-the-drawer. I’m always working on something, but of course, it only becomes “upcoming” when it’s picked up by a publisher.
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