In The Only One in the World, Greg Herren's story takes place in the United States. We asked Greg what he most enjoyed when writing his Sherlockian tale, "The Affair of the Purloined Rentboy."
What is the most unexpected tidbit you learned while writing your story?
That there were coffee shops in New Orleans before World War I! It shouldn't have surprised me, given that New Orleans was the biggest point of entry for coffee (still is, I think), but there were quite a few of them
What was your favourite thing about writing for The Only One in the World?
I've never really written anything that could be considered "historical" before, and wasn't really sure I could pull it off.
But I'd been reading a lot of New Orleans history lately, so the opportunity came along at the right time--a lot of my pre-WWI reading was still fresh in my head--and writing the story has made me want to do more historical writing!
What is quintessentially American about your Holmes and/or Watson?
I don't know if my Holmes is quintessentially American, but he is definitely quintessential New Orleans – the big reason is a spoiler, but his understanding of the rigid class/caste system in the city, as well as his interest in the immigrants of the Quarter – Irish and Italians – and his acquaintance with the demimonde was certainly quintessential New Orleanian of the time, I think. Watson I'd say is quintessentially American in that he firmly believes America is the best country in the world.
More about Greg:
Greg is the award-winning author of more than 30 novels and editor of over 20 anthologies. He has published over fifty short stories, numerous essays, and has even dabbled in journalism from time to time. He never says no to anyone who offers him money to write. Greg lives in New Orleans with his partner of 25 years and a needy cat, and is also currently the Executive Vice President of Mystery Writers of America.