I would like to thank the talented KD Sherrinford for taking the time to answer some of my questions! I have always loved Sherlock Holmes and his mysteries and so enjoyed learning that KD writes stories based on Sherlock and Irene. Read on to learn more about KD's books, writing, and a few fun personal tidbits!
Why did you start writing?
KD: I wrote loads of stuff a school but being shy introverted kid I never took it further i was mortified when my English teacher read one of my stories out in class I began writing professionally in 2019.
What or who inspires your writing?
KD: My daughter Katie after a visit to The Sherlock Holmes museum on Baker Street In London.
Is writing a therapeutic process for you?
KD: How does your writing help you? I love to retreat to my office and my own fantasy world with my characters thoughts and ideas.
What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
KD: The editing.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
KD: I’m a panster although I did a fair bit of outlining for my first book Song for Someone.
What comes first for you – the plot of the characters – and why?
KD: The main characters in my mystery series are always Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler. I add different characters of course for each story.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
KD: I always wanted to develop the relationship between Holmes and Irene and what might happen if they met up again after their adventures in “A Scandal in Bohemia”. I had so many ideas swirling around in my head I couldn’t wait to put them down on paper.
How do you use social media as an author?
KD: I use Facebook all the time. I have an author page and also a personal page. I sometimes use twitter but mainly for advertising.
How do you handle writer’s block?
KD: I try not to force anything, I wait for an idea or inspiration, perhaps something a friend might say in conversation. Sometimes in my sleep I awake with an Eureka moment then I have to get out of bed to write it down before I forget.
How do you process and deal with a negative book review?
KD: My first book was only published at the end of last year. So far I’ve not come across any negative reviews. The ones I have on Amazon and Goodreads are 4 and 5 stars. I realise not everyone is going to like my books so I am expecting some hostility.
What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
KD: Don’t allow anyone to distract you from your task. It’s hard to get support initially but don;t let that put you off. Not everyone is going to like your work but if you write about something you are interested in a book you would like to read yourself then there’s a good chance that other will too.
What is your favorite part of publishing? What is your least favorite part?
KD: Least favorite are the relentless rounds of editing. My publishers Extasy Books IS very particular, the editors are full on and with good reason of course. I learned a lot from the incredible editing team on my journey as an author. My favourite part is receiving that final galley copy and the cover reveal there is no feeling like it except when your book is finally published and you hold in in your hands for the first time.
What do you think is the most important part of publishing after you finish writing your manuscript?
KD: The editing and the comments and feedback from your peers.
Did you choose to write romance or did it choose you?
KD: I chose to write my story which includes romance but it also includes a lot of other things as well friendship drama Intrigue mystery and suspense.. My story is about unconditional love, the only kind that truly matters.
Which book is your favorite that you have published so far?
KD: Song for Someone. So much love heart and passion went into that story. I l loved every minute.
Are any of your books part of a series or are they all standalones?
KD: They are all part of a series and are also stand-alone stories Although. I think the reader would enjoy reading them in order. I recently finished a short cozy mystery “A bit of a Do” which is part of an anthology titled Malice Matrimony and Murder to be published in November this year. I am very excited to be part of this collection with so many talented authors.
Do you base your characters on real people?
KD: Yes some of them. Especially in the first book.
Which of your characters do you relate to the most and why?
KD: I would love to have a glass of wine with Irene Alder and Violetta Espirito and have a good old gossip..
How much research do you need for your books?
KD: As they are historical stories quite a bit. Song in particular Involved a great deal of intense research checking dates times and historical characters Arturo Toscanini and Pietro Mascagni and the cast of his opera Silvano. I also had to ensure Holmes was not investigating another case at the time. I had to get him back to London by the end of April to investigate the case of The Solitary Cyclist. I re-read the entire Conan Doyle canon some of them twice in particular A Scandal In Bohemia” A friend advised me to read Samuel Beckett’s semi-autobiographical novel “The Way of All Flesh” It’s out of print but still available to read free on line. It was hard going at times and extremely well written it really captures the feel of the Victorian era.
What was the hardest scene to write, and why?
KD: I was thinking about this the other day. And it was a simple scene in Song for Someone chapter fifty when Irene visits her lawyer to discover the contents of her late father’s will. I re-wrote the thing about six times still no idea why it was such a struggle.
If you could meet your characters, what would you say to them?
KD: I would quiz them about their relationship for sure. I think that would be fun. Although I don’t think Holmes would have much to say on the matter as for Irene well........
What is your favorite quote from one of your books?
KD: “I believe that life holds one great love one face to take into the dark. You are mine-You always will be.” Page 280 Song for Someone.
What tropes are in each book?
KD: Setting the scene - Goliath approaches. Drama Irony tragedy.
What is your favorite trope to write?
KD: Drama and characters.
How long did it take you to write each book?
KD: If one book took longer to write, why? Song for Someone took two years 6-8 hours a day. It took an incredible amount of time and effort, including the research. The next two books in the series Christmas at The Saporis and Meet me in Milan are both novellas. They took around 3-4 months to complete. Meet me Milan will be published this summer.
How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?
KD: Anyone who loves Historical fiction romance mystery and suspense and of course any fans of Sherlock Holmes.
Are your books wide or only in Amazon?
KD: Wide. They are available on all the major on-line outlets.
Tell us a little about each book or a little about a new release?
KD: Song for Someone is set in Italy in 1895 seven years after their first encounter in A Scandal in Bohemia Holmes and Adler meet again at the prestigious opera house La Scala in Milan. An attempt is made on Adler’s life alerting Holmes to the perils of their situation. They flee Milan together pursued by a deadly antagonist who is not quite who he appears to be. Finding sanctuary at an isolated farm in Fiesole the place Holmes stayed after his deadly altercation with Professor Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls. Finding him arrogant and rude Adler does not care much for Holmes However amongst all of the chaos and through a series of heated altercations and stimulating conversations while stuck together in semi-isolation something develops between the two as Irene comes to recognise the struggles behind his genius and Holmes discovers the shocking truth about hers past. One thing is for sure, the celebrated detective has at last met his match.
“Christmas at The Saporis” This is a delightful Christmas story set on the Sussex Downs tinged with a little romance murder mystery and suspense and the introduction of Sherlock and Mycroft’s estranged sister Libertus who turns up unannounced on Christmas day dragging up ghosts from Irene’s past dredging up memories she would rather forget and ruining the festivities for everyone.
The third book in the series “Meet me In Milan” due to be released this summer finds Irene and Sherlock back in Milan after Irene;s friend Renata is accused of the attempted poisoning of her husband Luigi Amato. Sherlock and Irene open up an can of worms in their pursuit of the truth in this highly entertaining and complex mystery. Miss it at your peril.
What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
KD: Peace and quiet, not even music which I love its too distracting.
What is your favorite writing snack or drink?
KD: Coffee nothing compares.
If you could spend a day with another author, whom would you choose and why?
KD: VJ Allison a fellow Extasy author. She took me under her wing when I started out, I owe her so much. She is also great fun with a wicked sense of humour. I would love to spend a day with her. As I am from the UK and VJ lives in Canada that’s highly unlikely although we plan to catch up shortly on zoom.
How do you celebrate when you finish your book?
KD: A large glass of red.
What risks have you taken with your writing that have paid off?
KD: Putting Holmes and Irene together romantically was very scary. I knew some of the older Sherlockian’s the purists would not like it. I was staggered when Peter E Blau head of The Red Circle of Washington contacted me to say one of the members mentioned my book and he wanted to read and write a review for Song for Someone and Christmas at The Saporis. Mind blown. So I sent Peter the PFDS’S and he reviewed both books in his newsletter in February. Then if that wasn’t enough Stephen Doyle from The Sherlock Holmes review messaged me to say Song would be featured in their next publication later in the year. I was also asked for a signed copy of Song by David Macgregor who is an author, screenwriter and playwright. David wrote three plays featuring Sherlock and Irene in love and living together in Baker Street they have all be shown at The Purple Rose Theatre in Michigan to rave reviews. I feel very humbled and honoured.
What has helped or hindered you the most when writing a book?
KD: The help from my friends with research and encouragement. Writing is a very lonely business. I had some invaluable help and advice from Derrick Belanger, an authority and lecturer on Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Derrick liked how I wrote A Scandal in Bohemia (The Prologue to Song) from Irene Adler’s POV.
What advice would you give to help others create plotlines?
KD: Write from your gut plot lines will come to you as you evolve the story.
How many hours a day do you write?
KD: I have calmed down a little and have marketing to do so around 3-4.
What are your favorite or most helpful author resources?
KD: Facebook, Goodreads, Bookbub, and All Author.
Make sure to follow KD Sherringford everywhere!