GG: Hi Tony. Thanks for joining us today.
GG" My first question for you is, could you please tell our readers where were you born, and live now?
Tony Richards: I'm from, and live in, Sherlock Holmes home city, London, England.
GG: What is the name of your story in Gaslight Arcanum, and can you give us a summary of the tale?
Tony Richards: In 'The House of Blood,'Sherlock Holmes did not die at the Reichenback Falls -- he turned out to be immortal, and is still with us to this very day, touring the world and solving cases. Currently, he is in the United States. A series of grisly murders is taking place around Las Vegas. Bodies of both sexes and all ages are being found in the surrounding desert. They both share two characteristics. One, they recently won big in the city's casinos. And, two, they have been drained of all their blood. The local law enforcement are calling them 'The Vampire Killings,' but Holmes, knowing such creatures do not exist, suspects something else.
GG: What is the best piece or writing advice you have ever received or given?
Tony Richards: "Write about what you know."
GG: In a recent interview on www.bittenbybooks.com we had the authors from the anthology ask question. Can you select two and answer them here?
Tony Richards: Simon Clark asks why Sherlock has endured when so many other heroes fade away. That’s easy … he’s that rare creature known as a ‘literary archetype.’ He’s not simply a character, but is representative of something fundamental in human nature, in this case the triumph of intellect and reason. Other literary archetypes include Tarzan and, I’d guess, Superman.
Paul Kane asks how easy or hard it was to do a Holmes story. Well, when Charles Prepolec approached me, at the World Fantasy Con in Calgary, I nearly jumped out of my boots. Much though I love Holmes, I’d never once considered writing about him before. The main part of the problem is I do not generally write period fiction. I spent about two months mulling over it, before coming up with the notion of making him immortal and setting the story in the present day. It came easily, and I enjoyed it so much that I’ve now written a whole extra bunch of modern day Holmes stories that I’ve put out in 3 (so far) small collections on Kindle.
GG: Excellent. What is it that you love about writing supernatural fiction?
Tony Richards: What is it I love about writing supernatural fiction?
I started out -- exactly like Stephen King -- wanting to be a science fiction writer. I’d read that stuff throughout my childhood and teenaged years, and my first few sales were to SF anthologies. But then Mary Danby approached me, asking if I’d like to contribute to her Fontana Books of Horror. I thought up a story about a traveller encountering a lunatic truck driver on a mountain road … and I have never looked back.
The term ‘supernatural fiction’ covers the widest range of subject matter you could possibly imagine. You can write a story of that kind concerning anything you want, set anywhere you want, and in whatever age. Wars and cocktail parties, mansions and red light districts, the centre of a busy town, the middle of an empty moor … these places, and a million more, can be visited by the supernatural author. There are few rules, if any. You can even make up your own reality if you so choose. Writing this kind of fiction gives me all the freedom I could ever want. The sky’s the limit, even if it is a dark one with the cold moon gleaming down on you.
GG: Thanks Tony for being with us today!
TONY RICHARDS is the author of such novels as The Harvest Bride, Postcards from Terri and more recently Night of the Demons. His collection Going Back was nominated for the British Fantasy Award.