Vasudev Murthy lives in Bangalore, India and writes on music, humor, management and crime. He has been published by Poisoned Pen Press, Bloomsbury, HarperCollins and Sage. His work has been translated into Portuguese, Korean, Japanese and Kannada. He is otherwise a Management Consultant and violinist with a passion for animal welfare.
Mayra Calvani: Please tell us about Sherlock Holmes, the Missing Years: Timbuktu.
Vasudev Murthy: In the Sherlock Holmes Canon, there is a period between 1891 and 1894 that’s called the Missing Years. This is a period where Arthur Conan Doyle stopped writing after killing off Holmes at Reichenbach Falls. He resurfaced in 1894 in the story – The Empty House. There is considerable conjecture about where he might have been in the interim.
My first book about this was Sherlock Holmes, the Missing Years: Japan, where I claimed that he was in Japan. In this book, encouraged by my excellent editor, Barbara Peters, I placed him in a mystery in Timbuktu, or more correctly in Africa, with the center point being Timbuktu.
M.C.: What themes do you explore in Sherlock Holmes, the Missing Years: Timbuktu?
V.M: The Missing Years, the Vatican, the Mediterranean Sea, Mali, Timbuktu, the Sahara, the Tuaregs, the French, Immortality, the Meroes of the lower Nile, Ibn Batuta, Marco Polo.
M.C.: Why do you write?
V.M: Because I enjoy the process
M.C.: When do you feel the most creative?
V.M: No particular time.
M.C.: How picky are you with language?
V.M: Very, I never use offensive language, curse words, sexually oriented words and needless contractions.
M.C.: When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?
V.M: That’s giving me too much credit.
M.C.: What is your worst time as a writer?
V.M: When the plot suddenly seems to falter because of a logical inconsistency that seems impossible to resolve.
V.M: When words flow easily and without effort and it makes sense.
M.C.:What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?
V.M: There have been inspired moments – very private – when something I’ve written stays with me. And the times when I discover my family is proud of me.
M.C.: Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?
V.M: Imagination can take you places but there must be a seed. That seed comes from your experiences.
M.C.:Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Do you agree?
V.M: I agree. It is indeed a place to escape from the challenges thrown at you by life which you’d rather deal with later.
M.C.: Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?
V.M: My website can be found here.