Monday, December 5, 2011

Stephen Volk Joins Us for Day Six of "A Fortnight on Baker Street"

The Gaslight Gallery welcomes "Gaslight Arcanum: Uncanny Tales of Sherlock Holmes" author Stephen Volk, to our Fortnight on Baker Street event.

GG:  Welcome Stephen! Thanks for joining us.  Could you please tell our readers, where in the world are you from? 

Stephen Volk:  Great Britain. Born in South Wales. 

GG: Where are you currently writing from? 

Stephen Volk: I'm writing from my home in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire in the West Country of England.

GG:  What is the name of your story in Gaslight Arcanum? Without providing a spoiler, could you please give us a summary of your story?

Stephen Volk: Certainly. In, "The Comfort of the Seine", Sherlock Holmes recounts a strange story from his youth, of a weird encounter in Paris which ultimately leads him on the path to becoming a great detective.

GG: What do you like the most about this collection?

Stephen Volk:
I like the wide diversity of some of my favourite modern genre writers bringing their talents to bear on brand new Sherlock Holmes stories.

GG: What is the most "uncanny" thing that has happened to you personally? 

Stephen Volk:  As a kid I did once think I saw a UFO when I left my house one night. It was a bright light fluttering across the sky. Oh my God, I was so excited! I'd always wanted to see a flying saucer. But I retraced my steps and realised it was the street light catching a piece of guttering as I walked past it. What a disappointment! I've never actually had a ghostly encounter or any direct experience of the so-called supernatural, which people find strange given I write a lot of ghostly fiction, but I've find a lot of genre writers are skeptics like me.

GG: What is the best piece of writing advice that you have either received, or given?

Stephen Volk:
"Talent + Perseverance = Luck" (Steven Soderberg) and "When you start the day, just type anything - goobledegook, you can always change it - but anything to destroy the blankness of the page." (William Nicholson)

GG: Could you please pick 2 or 3 of your favorite author questions from the recent interview on Bitten by Books, and answer them here for your readers?

Lawrence C. Connolly: What’s your current project?

Stephen Volk:  My next upcoming story is in Exotic Gothic 4 which comes out from PS Publishing in March. I'm working on two TV series in development at the BBC, one an intense crime serial, the other an outlandish genre project that I'm very excited about - if we get the green light it is really going to raise some eyebrows amongst fans. Just to be tantalising, the Head of Drama calls it "Doctor Who for grown-ups" (but she thought I'd leave the room when she said that!)

I have a feature film just released in Britain called The Awakening, a ghost story starring Rebecca Hall and Dominic West, which I co-wrote with director Nick Murphy. The movie is due to be released in the US early next year.

Joan Spicci Saberhagen: What aspect of the original Holmes’ character do you find most fascinating?

Stephen Volk:  His rationalism. It's always good to have a character dedicated to logic. Science and rationality have got us where we are today in terms of technology and civilisation - but we all know humanity is more than that.  Part of the beauty of humanity is the illogical, the irrational, the mad - which is why The Hound of the Baskervilles is the most gripping tale of all. I don't mean that Holmes is inhuman, but he has a bit of him that's lacking. And that missing part, in effect, is Watson.

STEPHEN VOLK was recently nominated for both the Shirley Jackson and British Fantasy Award for his novella Vardoger. His writing has appeared in Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, Best British Mysteries, Best New Horror and Gaslight Grotesque. Stephen is the creator/writer of the series Afterlife and Ghostwatch as well as many other film and television projects. The Society of Fantastic Films awarded him their International Award for contributions to the genre.

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