Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Interview: Luke B Kuhns

Author of The Untold Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Luke Benjamen Kuhns is another writer from the MX stable.  He answered a few questions for me lately, here's what he said:

1.     You’re an American, what brings you to dear old Blighty?
I was American, or maybe I still am. I should probably check and see. Well, I moved to England in 2008. I started in Manchester where I went to the University of and when I finished I simply never left!

2.     When did you decide to write Sherlock Holmes’ pastiches?
It wasn’t a planned thing. I remember sometime last year just sitting at home one night and thinking, ‘I wonder if I could write a fun Sherlock Holmes story?’ and I started playing with ideas and The St Mary’s Murder was born.

3.     How did you feel when you knew that your first book was going to be published?
I was in disbelief, to be honest! But at the same time super excited! However, when I got the green light, I kept the news to myself for quite a while because I didn’t want to jinx myself. But when things got closer and closer I couldn’t be quiet about it!

4.     What was the first ever Sherlock Holmes story you read?
I remember reading ‘a story’ when I was a kid, but which story that was I cannot remember. But when my interest in Holmes was reignited I remember buying a book that had an awful cover that made me feel like I was buying curriculum book, but it contained The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes and I started with A Scandal in Bohemia

5.     Who is your favourite TV/stage Holmes? And Watson?
That’s difficult! I adore the Granada series and think Brett is a great Holmes and Edward Hardwicke a great Watson. (Sorry David Burke). At the same time I’m a Cumberbatch & Freeman/Downey Jr & Law fan, and I do like Basil Rathbone. I honestly can’t say I have an exact favourite because I enjoy so many of the interpretations.

6.     Where did you get your ideas for the new stories you wrote?
Being a fan of macabre and outrĂ© helps. It’s never just one source, it’s a mixture of ways. Inspiration comes from personal events of my own and just the endless roaming of my imagination. I can be inspired from music, pictures, or nearly being hit by a car! Ideas just pop into my mind all the time. 

7.     I hear you’re a musician, do you play an instrument? Write songs? Tell us more!
I am a musician. I play piano and bass guitar. My musical journey has been very fun and interesting. Starting with my music teacher, he was something of a legend in fact. He was big on eco-living and developed a way to power his house through car batteries! I kid you not! Sadly he is no longer with us, but he was a great guy and I enjoyed our lessons. He encouraged me to write songs and keep writing and I still do. For a while I was the frontman of a metal band called Forty Days Til Dawn which has a lot of fun. I continue to write and produce my own music for fun. I have a few tunes on my reverbnation.com page, including a couple of Christmas treats.

8.     You recently released a book of poetry, that’s vastly different from Sherlock Holmes! Have you always been a poet?
I did. It’s called Fragile Words and it is vastly different. The idea behind the book is that each story actually has a inside has very special significance to me and my life. Moments that were, Fragile. So it’s kind of an open door into my mind and heart. But that means there is some humour in there, and a few scary moments.

9.     What is your writing routine, or indeed, do you have one?
A routine. Boy oh boy. I’m always working on something it seems. I’ve got a lot of projects in the pipeline that I want to get finished and hopefully released, some of which are not Holmes projects. So my routine to trying to devote enough time to each thing.

10.      Who are your favourite authors?
C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien straight away. They are my biggest inspirations. But I also love Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Douglas Adams. Truthfully the list could go on, but these guys are the ones that I just really adore and get great joy reading.

11.      Who are your heroes/heroines from history?
I suppose it’d be lame to say C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien again huh? But they are. For literary reasons and for theological reasons I have a lot of respect for them and view them as my ‘heroes’. Unless Spider-Man counts?

12.      What are you doing for Christmas this year?
Well I hear a Blue Carbuncle has gone missing...I might investigate!

13.      Dare we ask you to choose your favourite Holmes story?
Whew! I honestly like so many of them. If I had to pick my favourite story I’d say the Sign of Four would be my favourite novel and (right now) The Boscombe Valley Mystery as my favourite short story.  But ask me again tomorrow and they will change!

14. Apart from Holmes and Watson, who is your favourite regular character in the Strand stories? Will we be seeing them in any of your new pastiches?
I quite like Lestrade, his mug seems to turn up. I really like Mycroft and would like to one day do something interesting with that character...there is always a follow-up to Untold Adventures, so who knows!

15.      What special event happened to you this Monday past?:
Monday, 10/12/2012, is a special day as it will be the day that I released my second Sherlock Holmes’ book entitled Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Crystal Blue Bottle. But it’s not just any book, it’s a comic-book! I have been a big comic-book fan since I was a kid and it just made sense to combine this long time love of something with another and do a Sherlock Holmes’ comic-book. As you know there is the campaign to help raise awareness for The Undershaw Preservation Trust. So with that in mind I reached out to lots of different Illustrators and put together a team of 10 amazing artists who were passionate about Holmes and also shared in the desire to save Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former home, Undershaw. We’ve got people who worked with Marvel, DC, and Disney including Steven E Gordon who was an illustrator for a little film called Basil, The Great Mouse Detective! The book really is stunningly illustrated and includes an ‘art section’ where there is some very special and unique Sherlock Holmes art created specifically for this book. It’s a very special project and one I am very excited about!  

Many thanks Luke, for your honest and entertaining interview! 

The Untold Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Blue Crystal Bottle are available to purchase from the MX Publishing site, and major online retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the Book Depository.  Fragile Words can also be found on Kindle. 
You can follow Luke on Facebook where you will find individual pages for his works too! 

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