Meet: Charlotte Smith, Sherlock Holmes author

Posted on September 10, 2012



Charlotte Smith is in her early forties and in full time employment. She lives by herself and enjoys the company of her five year old cat called Zilly-Joan. She has enjoyed writing since she was a child and her favourite books include Rebecca, Jane Eyre, and The Woman In Black. She’s now written her own Sherlock Holmes novel, which gave Limping Chicken the opportunity to meet her and find out all about her life and work..

How deaf are you?

I was born profoundly deaf. I wear two hearing aids, and was educated at Birkdale School For Hearing Impaired Children in Southport, Merseyside. I don’t sign, but rely on a combination of lip reading and oral communication.

When did you start writing?

That’s a good question! I was writing stories from an early age, although my more serious writing developed as a teenager. I had a wonderful English teacher who encouraged my creativity. However my writing was put on hiatus as i went on to study further and got my degree and then subsequently started working. However the call of the pen was never far away and I recommenced writing in 2005 and have not looked back since!

Charlotte at 221b Baker Street.

What led you to to write about Holmes?

Sherlock Holmes has always been in my life. As a child, in the days before video recorders came out, a special Christmas treat was to watch the Basil Rathbone film adaptations of Sherlock Holmes with Nigel Bruce as Dr Watson. It was then I discovered an old Penguin classic cover of Sherlock Holmes in my parents bookcase and started to read that, which I really enjoyed. It was not long after that I was given the complete works of Sherlock Holmes as a present and was enthralled by it. Then 1984 came along, and Granada began screening Sherlock Holmes. The masterclass performances given – especially by Jeremy Brett – sealed my love of all things Sherlock Holmes and remained with me until 2005 when I walked into HMV and to my delight found the complete boxset of the series available on DVD! A weekend of watching Sherlock Holmes once more inspired me to have a go at writing Sherlock Holmes, especially as I started buying pastiches written by other authors, and thought to myself can I possibly write a Sherlock Holmes story and I found that I could – much to my delight.

What has the reaction to the book been like?

Sherlock Holmes and The Murder At Lodore Falls was published in June 2012. Some work colleagues have bought themselves a copy and they have given positive feedback. I have attended three book signings in Waterstones Liverpool One, Waterstones Birkenhead and Linghams in Heswall, and have sold quite a few books!

Tell us more about the story.

Sherlock Holmes And The Murder At Lodore Falls is set in Victorian era England. There are three stories in the book. The first is of course Sherlock Holmes and The Murder At Lodore Falls, which begins with a brutal murder in the Lake District at a place called Lodore Falls. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are soon on the case only to find a case involving murder, blackmail and there is even a bank robbery, as well as an exciting confrontation with one of Holmes’s oldest adversaries.

The following two stories are Christmas themed stories. In The Adventure of The Wooden Boat, Dr Watson is feeling depressed and overcomes this in making a very special Christmas present for Sherlock Holmes. Finally in The Call of Angels, Dr Watson is heading home from his surgery in heavy winter snow. He has a bad fall and a mysterious stranger helps him. Sherlock Holmes tries to discover who the mysterious stranger is and the final conclusion is a stunning one.
The book is available direct from MX Publishing and also from Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles and other good bookshops. You can also buy it in Kindle format and is now available in most other ebook formats including Kobo and iTunes!

What’s next for you?

I hope to be able to arrange some more book signings in the near future and I want to write more Sherlock Holmes stories. I have several stories already written and I am working on some more at the moment. I would also like to be able to start a local Sherlock Holmes society. Although I am a member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London and enjoy their very informative newsletter and journal, it is not easy to get down to London and attend one of their events when I am in full time work! So I would like to be able to form a local Sherlock Holmes society of like-minded people who also enjoy Sherlock Holmes as well. However, with work commitments and my first love of writing it may be some time before I can bring this idea into reality.

You can buy Charlotte’s book on Amazon for £5.99 at the following link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sherlock-Holmes-Murder-Lodore-Falls/dp/1780921748

The Limping Chicken is supported by Deaf media company Remark!, provider of sign language services Deaf Umbrella, training and consultancy Deafworks, and the National Theatre’s captioned plays.

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