Guest Post: Jamie Wyman on the Soggiorno Brothers' Travelling Wonder Show
5 years ago
When the indomitable David Thomas Moore and his epic beard approached me to participate in his Sherlock Holmes alt-anthology, I couldn’t say no. (Seriously, the beard held me at gun point.) His instructions were posed as questions: What would Holmes and Watson be in a different time and place? Would they still solve mysteries? Would they even be friends?
And so these are the questions I asked myself when putting together “A Scandal in Hobohemia”.
Truth be told, I jumped at the chance to be a part of Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets. I have always enjoyed the stories of Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. John Watson. Be they the original Doyle works or the modern film adaptations, the mysteries are not what keep me riveted, but the relationship between the two lead characters. I’ve always loved the strange, inexplicable friendship Holmes and Watson share. They are from disparate backgrounds and Sherlock can be so maddening that sometimes the true mystery is not who done it, but how do these two men not kill one another?
This relationship is what I chose to focus on in my story, answering the question originally posed by David Moore, “Would they even be friends?”
I drew inspiration from many Sherlocks: the Doyle works, the Robert Downey Jr. films, and the BBC series. While I do draw on canonical details and character traits, I wanted to distance my work from Doyle’s. So, I chose to rename my characters. In “A Scandal in Hobohemia” readers will meet newly minted Pinkerton Agent Jim Walker, our Watson. A veteran of the Great War, Jim was an army medic who served largely in France. His partner is Agent Adele Trenet, a Pinkerton officer who happens to moonlight as a mole for Leland Haus, the head of the Secret Service. While Agents Trenet and Walker are on a case for Pinkerton, Mr. Haus has sent his spy to look in on his wayward little brother Sanford. Both missions lead them to the Soggiorno Brothers Traveling Wonder Show in the dusty Midwest of the United States. The circus and Ms. Trenet’s cases are the backdrop of what I feel is the true story: the meeting of our Sherlock and Watson.
I had immense fun writing in this world with these characters, and hope to revisit the Traveling Wonder Show in the future. While you enjoy Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets, I do hope you enjoy your time at the circus.
After a misspent adulthood pursuing a Music Education degree, Jamie Wyman (www.jamiewyman.com) fostered several interests before discovering that being an author means never having to get out of pajamas. She has an unhealthy addiction to chai, a passion for circus history, and a questionable hobby that involves putting a flaming torch into her mouth. When she’s not traipsing about with her imaginary friends, she lives in Phoenix with two hobbits and two cats. Jamie is proud to say she has a deeply disturbed following at her blog.
Jamie’s debut novel Wild Card (Entangled Edge, 2013) is available wherever ebooks are sold. You can also find her short story “The Clever One” in the anthology When The Hero Comes Home 2 (Dragon Moon Press, August 2013). Look for Unveiled, the follow-up to Wild Card, in November 2014.
She is the author of A Scandal in Hobohemia in the new Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets anthology, out now from Abaddon Books!
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