Today is a happy day, for it marks the launch of Femme Friday, a book a long time in the making that contains thirty-three essays by female authors who analyze, dissect, and celebrate female characters found in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes stories, as well as transformative works and adaptations like BBC Sherlock, Elementary, and The Great Mouse Detective.
Femme Friday began as a Baker Street Babes Tumblr project, a way to draw attention to the female characters of the Sherlock Holmes world who are often overlooked and underappreciated. Once a week, we took turns selecting ladies and writing about them in our own styles and with our own emphases. I not only learned more about the characters; I also learned more about my fellow Babes as I read their astonishingly clever but also heartfelt tributes to these captivating heroines, villains, and everything in between.
But Femme Friday intertwines with my fandom journey even further back, back to the earliest days when I was finding my voice as a feminist Sherlockian. When you read the book, you will find that several of my contributions are about the women of BBC Sherlock, and some of those essays, in their original forms, date back to Season 1 of the series and to a website called The Baker Street Supper Club, which is now no longer operational. That site was my first real foray into becoming a fandom contributor rather than just a spectator, and as I timidly offered to write character analyses, I had absolutely no idea that I was starting something that would carry me through seven years of engaged fandom life.
Through the Supper Club, I met and joined the original Baker Street Babes, so it felt strangely fitting when the original Femme Friday project called for an update of my Supper Club essays. Suddenly, my writing had a new audience and sparked new discussion, and along with my fellow BSBs, I realized that writing about female characters was more than just an exercise in analytical creativity. So much more.
It was about giving voice and perspective to Doyle’s overlooked women. It was, sometimes, about looking at despised characters and trying to understand them according to their own points of view. (I will never forget my initial surprise at the positive reaction to my Sally Donovan essay.) It was about recognizing female members of fandom and trying to offer something uniquely theirs. Really, it was about anything it needed to be about–for you, for me, and for anyone.
And that’s the bottom line. As we circle back, yet again, and my essays finally see the light of day in their final, pristine form, I’m proud. It’s not because I think they’re the best thing ever written, but when I read them, I see the growth in my confidence in the fandom perspective I have that is mine and mine alone. And through them, I hope to help others begin to discuss and formulate their own perspectives as well.
I believe the greatest honor we can give to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and to the creators of Sherlockian transformative works is to deem their work worthy of real, honest discussion. Whether praise, criticism, or a mixture, active fandom is about loving something enough to pick it apart piece by piece to find out where its heart lies. I didn’t really understand that when I wrote my first article for the Supper Club nearly seven years ago, but I understand it now. More than anything, I hope Femme Friday will be a jumping-off point for you, to think about the females of the Sherlockian world and what their lives, challenges, and outcomes say about the world of the past and where we are now. I’m honored to be one of your guides on that journey.
You can find the US versions here, and the European versions here. They are only very slightly different in format, and Lulu allowed for a title on the spine, whereas Blurb did not, but essentially they are the same. Within a couple of weeks, the book should also be available via Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and e-book versions are on the way.
All proceeds of the sales are used to cover the maintainance costs of the Baker Street Babes website and podcast hosting sites.
How to purchase my Sherlock Holmes novels:
(Book 1) The Detective and the Woman: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.
(Book 2) The Detective, The Woman and The Winking Tree: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.
(Book 3) The Detective The Woman and The Silent Hive is available from all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide from Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Amazon Kindle.