Guy Adams is an actor who appeared on Emmerdale as a mugger. Guy Adams is a comedian who managed an 18 month tour. Guy Adams is an author who has written a Torchwood novel for the BBC.
Impressed? There’s more: Guy Adams is also a Geek Native guest blogger. We’re very lucky to have Guy step up to the microphone and share his thoughts on Sherlock Holmes and his latest book The Breath of God.
I consider myself a rational man. It was not always so.
When I was at school I had an equal appreciation of ghosts and God. Who doesn’t believe in “more than this” when they’re young? Our school chapel was a delicious combination of velvet and Nag Champa. We would take lunchtime mass, a thick sip of dry sherry that warmed and glowed. Holy Spirit.
Then as I went through my teens I became more interested in New Age thinking, the waistcoats were more colourful and I’d long been captivated by the supernatural, the thrill of psychic powers, of worlds beyond our own.
I once witnessed a demonic possession. Or, with hindsight, something we had convinced ourselves was. It was thrilling, and addictive and remains a potent memory whether I still retain the truth of it or not.
In my early twenties I worked as a Tarot reader offering pasteboard predictions for a fee. It shows how much my beliefs have changed that I now feel I have to apologize for it. That puffed-up, curly-haired fool in a Nehru jacket – like a fat, black dandelion – is history.
We all change. I lost sight of that man in my early thirties. I made him a stranger. I might have thought he was gone altogether were it not for my writing. I’m pretty sure he lives on there. I’m a fantasist all the way when I fire up the keyboard. This places me in an opposite position to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The man that had Holmes declare “This agency remains flat-footed upon the ground and there it must remain. This world is big enough for us. No ghosts need apply” was famously open to all manner of unconventional beliefs. In fact his insistence that Houdini must use supernatural methods in order to achieve his tricks caused a falling-out between the two.
It’s this contradiction that runs through my new Sherlock Holmes novel, The Breath of God. There are those that have written pastiches of Holmes and Watson with no concern for pitching Holmes against the supernatural. For me it was a big deal, Holmes believes in nothing he can’t pick up with his tweezers, how would he suddenly throw his lot in with the book’s supporting cast, famous supernaturalists Aleister Crowley, Thomas Carnacki, Dr. John Silence and Julian Karswell?
Ultimately, that question is what the whole book is about. Well, that and enough action and adventure to make Conan Doyle pop a waistcoat button. Themes are all very good, but gun fights and chase sequences on the London Underground are even better.
What do we believe in? How easy is it to change those beliefs? Which is stronger, the thing we believe in or simply the act of believing in it?
All stories are about belief in the end, and as long as I make you belief in the fantastic then perhaps it doesn’t matter whether I do.
You can stay connected to Guy via his blog “Where Lizards Play”.
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