What did the irregulars look like?

The process of publishing a novel is a lot of fun — and offers many challenges. Currently, I am working with a designer of the cover of my new upcoming novel: Irregular Lives: The Untold Story of Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars.

shoppedpix

It’s not easy to find a photo, even in this day and age of the internet — because I need to use photos in public domain. But, I found two possibilities, and would like your objective opinion – vote: “the two lads,” or “the three boys.”

3boys

So, let me hear from you!

NEW BOOK PREVIEW: Meet Ugly one of Holme’s irregulars

As the newest Sherlock Holmes novel works its way though the publishing process toward publication in November, Am posting previews from the book — introducing you to some of the irregulars featured in the Irregular Lives: The Untold Story of Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars.

This week, I’ll preview Ugly, one of the irregulars Doyle never mentioned by name. So, let me introduce you.
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Irregular Lives tells the story of how Holmes met Ugly. You may not have known that they met in the midst of the one of the most horrendous murder cases in Scotland Yard. Ugly adopted and raised by the costers of the Spitalfields Market. It’s exciting tale. Here’s a scene for that story:

As Holmes prepared to depart the barracks he noticed one of the guards at the gate had nabbed a small boy by the collar. The nipper, about nine or ten, was screaming bloody murder. His dog was yelping and biting at the heels of the guard.

“Hey, you bastard, let me be!” the lad bellowed.

His arms flailed about as he kicked furiously at the guard, who was clearly on the losing end. Holmes chuckled and walked on.

“I’m lookin for mi Da!” the boy yelled.

Holmes called: “Set him down Corporal. I’ll see to him.”

With that, the lad was dropped to the ground, and the dog ceased his caterwauling.

“What’s your name boy?” Holmes asked.

“Ugly,” was the nipper’s reply. And to be fair, the lad was that. Whether an affliction, or accident of birth, the youth had inordinately large facial features and hands. His lips protruded, framing a huge grin. His brows were bushy, and his ears jutted out. All of this combined to give him an otherworldly appearance. “And, this here is Nicki,” the lad added.

“Pleased to meet you both. Do you have a Christian name?”

“That’s the only name I’ve got. The truth’s the truth, sir. Accept it, is what I say.”

“I concur with your philosophy,” Holmes said.”

“You what?”

“I agree with you. So, you’re looking for your father?”

“Aye, he ’ad business ’ere, ’e did.”

“What does your father look like?”

“Just a bloke.”

“Where’s your mother?”

“She’s dead and buried. Just me and mi Da now.”

“Holmes glimpsed the lorry disappearing down Repository Road.

“Why don’t you come along with me?”

“Don’t think as I will,” the lad declared.

“Where will you go?” Holmes asked.

“I have mi mates. Good lads. All for one, an’ one for all, is our motter.

“Do you know who said that?

“Mi mates.”

“But, before that, it was the Three Musketeers who said those words. Brave fellows who fought for justice.”

“I like that,” Ugly said. He cocked his head. “How did these mustaters go on?”

Holmes peered into the dirty face of the boy. “They lived happy lives, full of adventure.”

The boy’s countenance lit up. “Aye—all for one, an’ one for all!” he shouted, sticking his fist the air. “Come on, Nicki!”

I hope that you will follow this blog in the coming weeks as I introduce Snape, Archie, Kate, Benjie, and others. And, while these sneak previews are fun, they are not a substitute for reading (or listening to) the entire adventure. I’ll let you know the moment it hits the bookstores in November.

 

BOOK GIVEAWAY!

I’m giving away a signed copy of the Sherlock Holmes – The Golden Years on Goodreads, beginning September 12, and continuing until September 20.

Book Cover

I will also include an Audible promo code that will allow you to have a FREE download of the audiobook version of my book. It’s got a spectacular reader — Richard Di Britiannia.

If you are interested in entering the giveaway, CLICK HERE! And, tell your friends.

Good luck!

Good luck!

PREVIEW OF NEW BOOK: Meet Rory Wiggins

As the newest Sherlock Holmes novel works its way though the publishing process toward publication in November, I’ll post some previews from the book — introducing you to some of the irregulars featured in the Irregular Lives: The Untold Story of Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars.

Wiggans

This week, I’ll preview Wiggans, the only irregular mentioned, by name, in the Doyle canon. Despite this, we did not know much about him. So, let me introduce you.

Irregular Lives tells the story of how Holmes met Wiggins, and the other irregulars. You may not have known that they met in the midst of the largest jewel robbery in London. Wiggins meets Holmes as he dips into his pockets. It’s exciting tale. Here’s a scene for that story:

Holmes made his way, in a casual stroll, until he came to a stall selling leather goods set along the edge of the street. He began fingering a collection of belts hanging from the top of the stall. As he reached his arms upwards, his coat opened up, throwing both pockets behind him. Within moments the lad had closed the space between them and dipped both hands, simultaneously, into Holmes’s pockets.

Suddenly, Holmes swung around and gripped the lad’s hands—which were now holding a handkerchief and an inkwell.

“It’s a fair cop, sir,” the lad exclaimed in surrender.

Then, just as quickly, the boy swung a huge kick toward Holmes’s right leg, grazing his shin and rending his trousers.

“It seems you’re no better with your feet than you are with your hands,” Holmes remarked.

The lad smiled. But, the boy’s smile twisted into a look of confusion as he stared at his right hand. “Blimey! An inkwell. What’s all this then?”

“Not much value there,” Holmes said. “And, you might also note that the handkerchief has a hole it.”

“I made a right pig’s ear of it, di’n I, mister?”

I hope that you will follow this blog in the coming weeks as I introduce Snape, Ugly, Archie, Kate, and Benjie. And, while these sneak previews are fun, they are not a substitute for reading (or listening to) the entire adventure. I’ll let you know the moment it hits the bookstores in November.