Interview with Susanne M. Dutton, author of Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable with # via: “Characters” from Andi Candrel’s Cooks, Crafts and Characters, excerpt
Do you ever wish you were someone else? I often wish for more of some qualities and less of others, although I’ve never had a particular person in mind. Why can’t I be more patient? I want to wait in line without fuming. Why can’t I perform patient work, like hemming my jeans, without making a mess of it? More self-control is high on my wanna-be list, too. I want to eat half the giant butter pretzel, get in the 10K steps and write as many words as Charles Dickens did in a day. His daily word count was so high I have actually repressed it. On the other hand, he had some qualities I can do without. I read that he felt a need to rearrange the furniture in his hotel rooms, for instance. No thank you to actually being another person.
What part of the writing process do you dread? Dread is a strong word. Sometimes I just lose whatever it takes to get me to my desk. A friend once gave me a dollhouse picture frame, smaller than a postage stamp, with a tiny hanging chain. She said, “Just sit down and fill up the frame.” It hangs on my desktop’s screen right now and it works. I manage enough words to fill up that inch square space and before I even think about it, I’ve got a page or two. Another dread? Rejections are hard, but eventually I received so many I earned a callous against them.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? My attention gets diverted, that’s for sure, but that’s not the same as writer’s block. If I don’t have a deadline, I let the diversion happen. The diversion might be just what the story needs.
Tell us about your latest release. The book is a Sherlock Holmes mystery, but the game is not afoot, not yet. WWI has ended. The glory days the 1890’s are gone. No one believes any longer that the world is “getting better in every way, every day.” In response to the rise in cocaine addiction, the Dangerous Drugs Act has made the drug illegal and Holmes aims to quit. He fills out entry papers at a rundown clinic on the coast of Normandy. Confronted by a question as to his “treatment goal,” Holmes hesitates, realizing his real goal far exceeds anything any clinic could do for him. His scribbled answer, “no more solutions, but one true resolution,” strikes his doctor as more a vow than a goal—and the doctor is right. Very soon the little phrase churns up a far-reaching, desperate, interlocking mystery that changes the lives of Holmes’ friends and enemies both.
Release June 1, 2021: Preorder link (ebook $4.99 until release) for Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable at Propertius Press: