Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Libraries in the afterlife don’t stock a lot of fiction
Anne Rice has first-hand vampire experience
There are several Loch Ness monsters
Dead authors aren’t spying on you
They may, however, be whispering suggestions to you

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is probably best remembered as the creator of Sherlock Holmes. The author penned dozens of stories about his beloved character, published in The Strand magazine between 1891 and 1905, and a novel entitled The Hound of the Baskervilles. But Holmes was only one small part of Sir Arthur’s prolific writing career. He published over fifty books during his lifetime, spanning such diverse genres as historical romance, science fiction, military history, and spiritualism. He was one of the most popular pulp-fiction writers of his time, delighting readers with tales of mummies, dinosaurs, ghosts, and classic characters like Brigadier Gerard and Professor Challenger.

And then, on July 7, 1930, he dropped dead.

Sir Arthur’s story is an all-too-familiar one. An author achieves prominence only to be struck down by the icy hand of death. Every year, hundreds of writers pass away, bringing their literary output to an abrupt halt. And after that, we can only guess. Sadly, there isn’t a religion or spiritual belief that addresses the fears that haunt most writers during the wee hours of the night. Namely, does death mean an end to the written word? When we leave this mortal coil, will we also be giving up books and all things book-related? Are earthly pleasures like writing and reading reserved solely for the living? The only person who could feasibly answer such unanswerable questions would be an actual dead author. Someone like, say… Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

This exclusive interview with Sir Arthur was conducted with the assistance of Arthur Pacheco, a psychic and trance medium from Hawaii. Pacheco has been regularly communicating with the dead for almost thirty years. Unlike many psychics, he goes into a trance and allows departed souls to speak directly through him, using their own voices and their own words. Mr. Pacheco purports to be on friendly terms with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who has been his main “spirit guide” since the early eighties.

The following interview took place during several sessions over the course of six months. Sir Arthur—or “The Old Moustache,” as he frequently called himself—spoke with a thick British accent, and was prone to deep, almost guttural laughter, often apropos of absolutely nothing.

—Eric Spitznagel


THE BELIEVER: You’re often cited as one of the founding fathers of pulp fiction. What do you think of modern pulp writers? Are you impressed with where your literary heirs have taken it, or slightly underwhelmed?

SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE: I am impressed with the lot. I would say that those currently embodied and writing are as trusting as we were to venture forth into unknown territories, and not as concerned with how their works would be accepted as that they should write what their souls were experiencing as a phase of their own evolutionary journey. So far be it for me to speak in terms of being a critic, literary or otherwise, but it is not lost upon me that there are always hurdles and challenges to be overcome by any who essay to reach and possibly teach the public at large. And as such, and as a writer of yore, I can only feel a certain sense of solidarity with these intrepid souls and wish them the best. Since arriving here, I am now very much more aware of a type of Law of Necessity that is what determines what receives publication and what does not. It is what the public most has need to read next that is what determines what gets accepted by publishers, though these individuals are often the last to know this.

BLVR: In other words, if an author doesn’t get his or her book into print, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t good. It may simply be that the universe has other publishing plans?

ACD: In a sense, yes.

BLVR: Well, that’s certainly comforting.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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Eric Spitznagel has also written for Playboy, Esquire, Spy, and Salon. His “official” bio, on file at the Hall of Records in the spirit realm, remains unavailable at press time.

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