What inspired you to write this book? When I first set out to write this series, it was mostly an exercise in dialogue. I have been working on a still untitled book for over a year now, and I continually found that my dialogue scenes just weren’t conveying the message I wanted. They lacked punch. And in that book, there is very little dialogue, so it needs to be strong when it comes up.
So I decided to take a detour to concentrate on a more dialogue heavy narrative, one from a first person point-of-view. At the time, I was reading some of the original Sherlock Holmes short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle and realized that a few of his stories were almost completely dialogue.
It amazed me. Here was one of the most beloved characters of all time, and he existed in this world where the “talk” was better than the “action”.
The more I read those century old stories, the more I saw what my dialogue was lacking. I was also becoming increasingly close to the original Sherlock character and thought more and more about what it would be like to see a truly modern version of the character.
Yes, I know, Robert Downey Jr. and Mr. Cumberbatch have already done that (Benedict is awesome, by the way), but that’s not what I’m talking about. What I was interested in was taking the more subtle character flaws of the original Sherlock, and projecting them in a new light, in a new environment.
Thus, the character of Remy Moreau was born.
Remy is a woman who is a savant, absolutely brilliant when it comes to what she knows, but when you look at her for what she doesn’t know, she immediately becomes an extremely flawed character. Her choices can be unbelievably selfish and her actions frequently hurt those closest to her.
So “A Study In Sin” takes some of the elements from a 125 year old book and frames them in the context of today’s world.
Can you tell us about your main character? Remy is a woman who is a savant, absolutely brilliant when it comes to what she knows, but when you look at her for what she doesn’t know, she immediately becomes an extremely flawed character. Her choices can be unbelievably selfish and her actions frequently hurt those closest to her.
But what I find interesting is that, regardless of how cold she comes off, she has needs just like everyone else. And actually, her needs aren’t really “normal” compared to other people, so she goes without more than most, which in turn makes her even more cold.
She’s a complex character that is constantly surprising.
Think more Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, than Cumberbatch from Sherlock. Sheldon mixed with Steig Larson’s Lisbeth Salander; that’s about as close as I can get to a reference.
Who designed the cover? My designer’s name is Trevor Houlton. He’s really freaking good. I told him that I wanted to keep a theme across all the covers of this series where we took an image of a real person, who’s loosely related to the story, and then obscure their face to make them less recognizable.
The cover for ‘A Study in Sin’ is from a mug shot of Irish mobster Whitey Bulger. There’s actually an article on my site about the process we went through to create this first cover. You can read it here: Process of Creating ‘A Study in Sin’ Cover.
We’ve already finished the second cover in the series and we’re working on the third right now.
Trevor is working on a site where he’ll be creating pre-made and custom covers for authors. It’s not up yet, but when he goes live, I think he’ll be one the best cover designers out there. The main thing he’s told me is that he wants to focus on doing covers that steer clear of your standard ebook stock photo collages; so lots of original artwork and great typography.
How important do you think villains are in a story? Probably more important than the hero. In ‘A Study in Sin’, I really wanted to play with the idea of a “villain” that is a hero in his own mind; where he comes off very evil at one point, and then very caring at another. . I think that’s what all good villains should be like: the hero of their own story. They should truly believe they’re doing the right thing.
A wildly intriguing, intimately suspenseful story about the human capacity for good and evil – and what pushes us to inevitably, and often tragically, turn to our darker emotions for comfort.
Jacob Watts broke his neck in Afghanistan. Now he’s in D.C. with no job, a therapist, an uncontrollable tick in his arm, and PTSD. And he can’t pay his rent.
His new, and monetarily necessary roommate, Remy Moreau, isn’t helping either. Cold and detached, she might be a savant – but she’s also socially inept, has absolutely no boundaries, and is possibly dealing drugs out of their apartment. When the two come in contact with a stiff and blood-covered body in Capitol Row, the ambiguous Remy Moreau will lead him on an obsessive-compulsive hunt in pursuit of a tormented killer.
Can Remy, with Watts in tow, catch a murderer before he strikes again? And what are Remy’s real intentions with Watts? Is she even capable of anything resembling real human emotion?
A Study in Sin is a fast-paced modern update of a classic Sherlock Holmes mystery.
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Genre – Mystery / Thriller / Suspense
Rating – PG13
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