Upon returning home this week, I found a treat in my mailbox, a few contributor's copies of Athena Voltaire Pulp Tales, edited by Chris Murrin and illustrated by Steve Bryant. I'm lucky enough to be acquainted with Steve, the artist behind Athena, and some years back, he was nice enough to ask me to contribute a story to his planned collection. Enough time has passed since the tale's original writing that I had the joy of reading it with barely any memory of writing it, so I was doubly delighted to find my prose wasn't too bad and that the tale contained the following passage:
"Tonight Peter picked up The Sign of the Four, as he was itching to learn how old John Watson met his blonde wife Mary one more time. Dr. Watson was a worn-out bachelor in the book, much like Peter himself, and . . . ."
Well, I don't want to give away too much. Peter Mahr is a rather lonely lighthouse keeper, and he's about to get something more in the way of feminine company than he ever expected, both good and very, very bad.
It's the second time I've been asked to participate in a collection, asked by a friend before better known writers signed on. The previous time was The Baker Street Dozen, edited by Pj Doyle and E. W. McDiarmid, which eventually came to contain bits by Isaac Asimov and Dame Jean Conan Doyle. This time around, Athena Voltaire Pulp Tales has wound up featuring comic book writers like current Batman scribe Tom King and a writer whose work on comics like Supergirl and Teen Titans that I've read much of, Will Pfeifer. (So if you're about to start a collection of essays or stories, have no writers at present, but expect to get better known names by the time you're done, I'm your guy!)
Peter Blau once spoke of an author who managed to work Sherlock Holmes into everything he wrote at some point, and I think I was remembering Peter's words when I wrote "A Song in the Night" for Steve's collection. It's a pretty good idea, really, because a.) You get a nice surprise later, and b.) It give you an excuse to promote the book in a blog whose subject matter is supposed to be Sherlock Holmes.
So consider this my sneaky plug for Athena Voltaire Pulp Tales, edited by Chris Murrin and illustrated by Steve Bryant. Not saying it has enough Sherlockian content for your Sherlock Holmes collection, but if you're into pulp anyway, it's a chance to read the rare Keefauverian non-Sherlock prose.