I have turned on comments for this page so that you can ask about my books. As people do so the comments will appear at the bottom.
Will you look at something I've written? *NEW*
Although I do occasionally review published books I cannot review "in progress" pastiche or non-fiction pieces. Nor can I offer (which has been requested) a canonical appraisal i.e. read your work and advise on canon accuracy etc. I lack the time for such things and if I had the time it would certainly be something I would charge for.
Will you sign something for me?
I've taken some advice on this and the result is that I will only sign copies of my books. I'm afraid that I will not be signing anything else i.e. book-plates, cards etc.
Furthermore I will only sign books at events. I will not accept books sent by post to be signed. The logistics are far too complex and open to problems.
Do you accept guest posts?
Indeed I do but they must be relevant. They must have a strong link to Arthur Conan Doyle or Sherlock Holmes. If they do not I will not consider them.
I will occasionally permit comments containing links, but only after I have investigated the link and comfortable post it. Needless to say, I'm not responsible for external sites.
Will you advertise on your blog?
I am currently reviewing this policy and modelling it along similar lines to my policy on guest posts. I am now open to working with third-parties to promote products or events. However, as with guest posts, proposals must be relevant and I will declare what I am being offered to participate unless barred by a legal agreement.
When did you become interested in Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle?
I "found" Holmes when I was 8 years old. My mother was watching The Scarlet Claw and I became captivated. The interest that began with the Rathbone films continued with me eventually reading the books.
The interest in Arthur Conan Doyle came along a lot more gradually. Initially I had very little interest in him but, as time moved on, he became more and more interesting to me with the result that I have now written three mini-biographies of him.
Who is your favourite Sherlock Holmes?
Jeremy Brett - which I know is controversial in light of the BBC's excellent new Sherlock series. Benedict Cumberbatch's Holmes is very good and I love the show immensely but the ultimate Holmes accolade can only go to one that lives in Victorian England.
Which of your books is your favourite?
They are all important to me in their own way. Eliminate the Impossible because it was my first; Close to Holmes because it is my most commercially successful and was short-listed for the 2010 Tony & Freda Howlett Award; The Norwood Author because it won the same award in 2011 and because it adds a lot of information to our collective knowledge of Arthur Conan Doyle. I am naturally very fond of An Entirely New Country as I consider it one of my best works and something that has hopefully aided the cause of saving Undershaw.
My latest book No Better Place, which I was convinced I'd never write, is important to me as it takes us from the Undershaw days right up to Arthur Conan Doyle's death. En route it tackles the thorny issue of Spiritualism.
Why do you moderate comments on your blog?
Some time ago the blog became a target for spammers. Every day I was having to remove comments from companies trying to advertise themselves or bizarre comments I couldn't even understand. I know Blogger has anti-spam functionality now but you cannot guarantee that things won't slip through.
Therefore if you make a comment you may have to wait a couple of days before it appears. Please don't post things more than once. Thank you.
Do you have any rules for comments?
I do have some rules that determine whether or not comments get published.
- The comment must be pertinent to the post and add to the discussion.
- The comment must not be commercial (i.e. advertising). This includes links so don't put them in your comments.
- The comment must not be abusive (either about me or anyone else who has commented) or show a lack of respect. Disagree by all means but be civil.
- A comment will not be published if I decide that the comments chain for a given post has reached its natural conclusion. This is akin to locking a discussion on a forum.
- The comment must not break the law.
- The submitter of a comment must be contactable and identifiable. This is in case I need to query any aspect of your comment before making the decision about whether or not to publish. This rule also exists for those instances where a person creates a blogger (or other) profile purely to comment and then deletes it or locks it down preventing contact/identification.