Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Andrew Salmon interview-Today we welcome Andrew Salmon to Ralphs Rants does Interviews
Andrew Salmon interview
Hello Andrew and welcome to Ralphs Rants does interviews, How are you doing?
I'm doing all right! Busy over here with projects coming out of my ears but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Andrew you have a new novel out, tell us a bit about it.
SHERLOCK HOLMES: BLOOD TO THE BONE from Fight Card Books. You can guess from the title who the hero of the story is. In it, Holmes and Watson are helping a woman bare knuckle boxer who is part of a tag-team boxing duo working summer carnivals. Her husband has disappeared, which threatens the contract they have with a local carnival and she's out on the street unless he can be found. The Victorian dynamic duo investigate. When her husband turns up dead, supposedly from an accident at the carnival, the fun begins. Holmes, Watson and the female boxer, Eby Stokes, join together to find answers and those answers threaten the very foundation of the Empire.
This is not the first time you have written this character, correct? How many times does this make?
SHERLOCK HOLMES: BLOOD TO THE BONE is my 8th go-round with the dynamic duo. Seven of which are in print and for Kindle, one is in the can but hasn't been released yet and I'm currently writing my third Holmes tale for FIGHT CARD BOOKS.
Is Sherlock Holmes your favorite character to write?
At the moment he is. After snagging a Best Pulp Short Story award with my very first Holmes tale, it was a no-brainer to write more. That initial acceptance has lead to another award win, multiple nominations and great reviews. Over the years writing Holmes, these milestones have shown me that I'm on the right track with my Holmes and Watson stories. And my Holmes work has received the highest accolade any Sherlockian scribe can ever receive: on more than one occasion, my work has been considered on par with Doyle's by some readers! That floors me every time I think about it. What a tremendous, humbling honor.
Thing is, I enjoy writing the tales. I ADORE the research. Watson's voice is cemented into my consciousness and it's not out of the ordinary for Holmes and Watson to have discussions in my head out of the blue. Then it just falls to me to write down what they say. It's scary sometimes. I consider myself extraordinarily lucky that the tales have been my most rewarding work - both personally with awards and accolades but also financially - and that I love writing them. No plans to stop any time soon.
So ‘Blood to the Bone’ is another ‘Fight Card’ novel, which I believe is the second you’ve written about Sherlock. How is this one different than the first?
The first one, SHERLOCK HOLMES: WORK CAPITOL, was really about creating something that had never been done with Holmes in his illustrious career. Building it from the ground up with in-depth research into bare knuckle boxing in Victorian times. Once steeped in the research, I had to figure out how Watson would describe a boxing match and what technique would Holmes use in the ring. Once the heavy lifting was done, all I needed was an engaging plot to keep things moving. The results were some great reviews, satisfied readers, another award nomination and great sales. Not bad for uncharted territory.
Sitting down to write the second one, I realized I could pull it off now that the groundwork had been laid with the first one, but, really, a straight boxing tale would, ultimately, just be more of the same. And that's never good.
Digging around in my research files, I found a small chunk of stuff on women's Victorian boxing I had tucked away. Right on the heels of this, the floodgates opened and I stumbled into a vast wealth of information about the fighters of the time - everything I needed to know, including the first batch of these women being inducted into the Bare Knuckle Boxing Museum's Hall of Fame at the same time I was fleshing out this idea. Being unaware there even were female fighters at that time, it occurred to me that I wasn't alone in my ignorance of these great championesses as they were called back then. Thus BLOOD TO THE BONE was born. Here was a chance to do another Holmes boxing tale yet keep it fresh, new and interesting to readers of the first while shining a light on a forgotten chapter of history.
What is your favorite aspect of writing a ‘Fight Card’ novel?
As I've only written Holmes tales for Fight Card as yet, I'd have to say the research. I so love digging into the past for nuggets of interest, I can't get enough of it. Also, with WORK CAPITOL, it was a chance to do something no one had ever done with Holmes before, something fresh that still read like Doyle. Working with Fight Card's editor, Paul Bishop, has also been a lot of fun. He's a great guy and his enthusiasm for pulp and writing in general is palpable. And I'm looking forward to working with him on more Fight Card projects in the near future.
Andrew, let’s talk about you for a little bit. What is your writing background? How long have you been writing?
I began writing the day I came out of the theater after seeing Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan back in June of 1982. That movie changed my life. I went into the theater a reader. I came out a writer. With no reading background outside of comics back then, I've been wallowing in words ever since. I earned a BA in Creative Writing at university, moved out here to Vancouver twenty years ago to get serious, then bounced around collecting rejection slips until finding Airship 27 on the eve of the e-publishing revolution. Still honing my craft, working hard, but my efforts over the decades are paying off. Earning money, winning awards, hearing from satisfied readers, things are great these days after years of struggle. Still a long way to go but at least I'm on my way now. The train isn't sitting in the station anymore.
How many books do you have out?
Lumping everything together, novels, anthologies and e-shorts, I've published or been part of 26 books to date, most of which are still available in print and for Kindle. And there are more coming. I'm just getting warmed up here.
What is your favorite genre to write?
Historical stuff! I've written numerous genres - sci-fi, sword and sorcery, mystery, hero yarns, horror, hard boiled, I've got a western tale coming out later this year - but, to be specific, it's got to be any of the historical genres. Anything that involves research and shining a light on the world of yesterday gets my juices flowing.
What is the one thing you hate about writing?
Promotion. Don't get me wrong, I love doing it, it's just the results that can sometimes be frustrating. You whip a tale into shape, get a great cover, great back cover blurb, price it reasonably, hit all the promotional places you can and... nothing! There are no guarantees and readers can seem so arbitrary sometimes, it's frustrating. But you've got to keep plugging away in search of that magic formula. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
What is the one thing you love? (Notice I wrote the hate question first?)
Everything! Getting the idea, fleshing it out, research, first draft, revisions, seeing that cover art for the first time, putting the whole thing together or watching the publisher do it, then seeing the book get thrown out into the world to sink or swim. Best job in the world! Wouldn't trade it for anything!
How many books do you put out in a year?
One - three though I'm going to increase that starting next year. These last three years I've been doing the Holmes books for Fight Card and those are time consuming. Fun, but time consuming. As a result other projects I've been cooking up have slowed down and I'd like to get to them sooner rather than later.
What is next for you?
Well, this December will see the release of my last Fight Card Sherlock Holmes book. Not because I'm not having a blast writing them, but, at present, I simply don't have an idea for another one. As I mentioned earlier, I don't want to do just more of the same and the three books will cover every aspect of Victorian boxing I see. The first dealt with the men. The second dealt with women and the third will be something of a free for all covering all of the physical abilities Holmes can bring to bear on a problem. That said, if a killer idea comes to me, I'll be back at Baker Street ready to rumble.
I'm not done with Fight Card however. I've got two projects I'm going to work on for them that are not Holmes related. I'm also putting together an omnibus of my shorter Holmes tales from Airship 27. I've just released a Black Bat e-story and want to do more of that. I've been working on a novel now for almost 5 years and plan to finish that up next year as well. I'd like to write more Moon Man stories. Of course, more traditional Holmes tales. I'm also putting together a series with an adventure team I've created. And I want to write a James Bond novella now that the character is public domain here in Canada. I'm always on the lookout for projects from publishers so if anyone out there thinks I'd be a good fit for something they are putting together, please get in touch with me.
Andrew it was great having you here on Ralph’s Rants, feel free to leave links to your website, your twitter feed, your Facebook page and whatever else you may have.
Amazon : http://www.amazon.com/AndrewSalmon/e/B002NS5KR0/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_2
Thank you for joining us, Andrew, it was a real pleasure, best of luck and until next time take care!
Thanks for inviting me! I very much appreciate it! Best of luck to you in all your endeavors. And, hey, readers out there, keep those pages flipping!