Atlin Merrick's story in The Only One in the World takes place in South Sudan and in Lisbon, Portugal. Titled "S.H.E.R.L.O.C.K," we asked Atlin what she enjoyed most writing about Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.
What is the most unexpected tidbit you learned while researching your story?
Oh, I learned so many things writing S.H.E.R.L.O.C.K. The thing most glorious is how incredible Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) are. The work those volunteers have done across the world for nearly half a century, going where people are suffering from famine, war, or epidemics – it's legendary. Thousands of people, from Holland to Hong Kong, India to Italy, doing more than providing medical care to those in need, they find them water, they find them shelter, they are the very, very best of us. If I could bequeath Médecins Sans Frontières riches, I would!
In researching this story I also learned a bit about zoonoses and reverse zoonoses, and I adore the concept that perhaps consciousness is something which can be passed along, like an infection.
What was your favourite thing about writing a story for The Only One in the World?
Writing my story for The Only One in the World, my favourite thing is, was, and ever shall be rediscovering Holmes and Watson. I've written two books of short stories about these characters, and I find they are endlessly adaptable, they're themselves anywhere and anywhen, regardless of gender, colour, or creed.
At their core is a timeless mix of heart and brain, adventure and friendship, and finding a way to include these in this story where only one of them is flesh and blood was such a joy.
What is quintessentially global about your Holmes or Watson?
In this story neither John nor Sherlock are bound by the places where they were born, neither identifying as a citizen of a country. Both of them spend their life sharing their gifts throughout the world and the day they meet…well, the day John and Sherlock meet each becomes more than they would ever have been alone.
And the entire world will know who they are.
More about Atlin:
Atlin Merrick is the Commissioning Editor of Clan Destine’s imprint Improbable Press, which publishes genre fiction, contemporary supernatural, adventure, and mystery. She’s also the author of two Sherlock Holmes books: The Day They Met as Wendy C Fries, and The Night They Met as Atlin Merrick. Atlin lives in the U.S. by way of Melbourne, Dublin, London, and New York. Atlin thinks coffee is pretty.