This series of blog entries ends where The Only One in the World began, with the anthology's editor Narrelle M Harris. Here are her thoughts about editing the book's baker's dozen (Baker Street dozen?).
As The Only One in the World proceeds toward publication, editor Narrelle M Harris and I are asking all our authors three questions for future Clan Destine blog posts. Please share anything from a sentence to a few paragraphs for each:
What is the most unexpected tidbit you learned while editing these stories?
Each story offered something new and unexpected, because the contributors were writing from their own areas of experience and expertise. Perhaps my favourite discovery, though, is that Lucy Sussex’s Mistress Anne Kidderminster, nee Holmes, was a real 17th century person – an extraordinary woman who investigated her husband’s disappearance. At a time without a police force or forensics, Anne – a single mother asking questions in a hostile environment – discovered the truth 10 years after his murder, and brought the culprits to trial. Definitely, she is full of the Holmes spirit!
What was your favourite thing about editing for The Only One in the World?
It was a joy to see all the different ways the writers interpreted the characters in their specific settings. Each version of them is different, each responds to their cultural background and locale differently, yet you can always see the core of canon Holmes and Watson in the centre.
Everyone was fabulous to work with too, willing to discuss elements of the story that needed clarification or expansion, and to see writing and editing as a collaborative rather than combative experience. I hope to work with all these incredible writers again one day!
What is quintessentially Sherlock Holmes to you? John Watson?
I think Holmes is always curious, and for all his intellectual prowess, always keen to be steeped in the physical worlds of clues – he’s very tactile – and always delighted to have John Watson to show off too.
I think Watson is also always curious, always fascinated by this intriguing detective, and always determined to stick by Sherlock Holmes even when he’s got no idea what’s going on.
The two of them together? Always destined to meet, to connect from the start, to like and trust each other, to balance each other.
Everything else – gender identity, sexual orientation, how that first spark develops, can vary enormously. But their chemistry as friends, and the solving of mysteries, are the twin core for me.
More about Narrelle:
Narrelle M Harris usually writes crime, horror, fantasy and romance, though she also works as an editor. The Only One in the World is the first anthology she has pitched and edited, and found it both rewarding and great fun. As for her writing, her 30+ works include vampire novels, erotic spy adventures, het and queer romance, and Holmes/Watson romance mysteries The Adventure of the Colonial Boy (2016) and A Dream to Build a Kiss On (2018). In 2017, her ghost/crime story Jane won the ‘Body in the Library’ prize at the Scarlet Stiletto Awards. Her Duo Ex Machina MM romance/crime series is serialised on her Patreon. Her 2019 works included Grounded, Scar Tissue and Other Stories (nominated for the 2019 Aurealis Awards for Best Collection), and Kitty and Cadaver. narrellemharris.com.