1. When did you first read Sherlock Holmes?
If was during my college days when I found a copy of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in a classroom. Unfortunately, I lost it a month later under mysterious circumstances. It just disappeared. Maybe, the book was on its mission of introducing more people to the great detective.
2. You are a luxury business strategist, its hard to understand how you came to write a Sherlock Holmes novel.
You are right, its quite not in my line (laughs). Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation has always inspired me in many ways. And, storytelling is a big part of my profession. From where I see it, it was only a matter of time.
3. There are thousands of Holmes pastiches and fan-fiction. What made you jump on the bandwagon?
My fascination for the character, and the great desire of adding on to it. I began writing only when I was confident that I have a unique story to tell.
4. The title of your novel is Sherlock Holmes vs. Watson: The Sign of Twenty-four. Tell us more about it.
The manuscript was rejected as many as sixteen times by the publishers, so I went ahead myself. Their primary reason; the title. I was strongly advised against it, but here we are. Yes, in this novel, as is evident, Sherlock Holmes and his companion, John H. Watson lock their horns. You can guess who wins, or can you? Thats not the only mystery here, by the way. Another lies in, what possibly could have forced them to alter their relationship to become enemies. Can such a reason even exist between the two, given their long association and affection for each other? The third mystery lies in the blurb itself, and the fourth, in great failure of legendary Sherlock Holmes.
5. Is the Sign of Twenty-four a spin-off of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel, The Sign of Four?
No it’s not. It isn’t like ‘A Study in Pink’ of BBC Sherlock which was inspired by ACD’s ‘A Study in Scarlet.’ The rest cannot be explained without revealing the plot.
6. There are original 56 short stories and 4 novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, then there is BBC’s Sherlock series and Robert Downey’s movies. How is your novel placed?
I have to admit that I find the originals to be more rounded, but all three of them are amazing in their own ways. It made sense to pick the best bits out of them to lure their respective fans.
7. That appears very difficult to achieve given their contrasting settings. In what ways is Sherlock Holmes vs. Watson different?
I have always loved Holmes in the victorian setting. This story stands true to the original Conan style. I have picked the hot and cold chemistry of Holmes and Watson from the Guy Ritchie movies. And BBC’s Sherlock inspired me to invent pacy deductions. You will find three flavours as 50-20-30.
8. Do you think the current generation is interested in reading Sherlock Holmes novels, when movies and tv shows are so popular?
I would like to think so being an author (laughs again). Look, the books are still here. They arent going extinct like dinosaurs.
9. What timeline does your Sherlock Holmes novel follow?
To my own surprise, I havent mentioned it anywhere in the book directly. The year is 1891. It plays after the conclusion of The Resident Patient.
10. Is your Holmes pairing up with Winston Churchill?
I know where you are going with that. No, there is no involvement of Churchill, Jack, the Ripper or Sigmund Freud. Personally, i don’t like such arrangements. I want the focus to remain on Holmes.
11. What other books have you written? Are there more in the pipeline?
This is my third book. The first one is a business fiction, and second, a half fiction- half business text. Both of them revolve around Luxury Strategy. Yes there are two in pipeline, but at early stages.
12. A dull question now. What motivates you?
My biggest motivation is the fear of failure. That’s what keeps me going. I have failed miserably many times, but I have experienced that small failures one day lead to big success.