It was commented after my first interview with David Ruffle, which can be found here, that it was desired we continue the questions and answers. I decided to oblige and recently sent David several more questions that are posted with his answers below. Happy reading!
1. What do you feel truly makes a Holmes pastiche, and when is it 'just another Holmes story?'
It's easy to be narrow minded and somehow elitist regarding pastiches and stipulate that all true pastiches should be written in the style of ACD and be narrated by Watson. If we all took that as the norm for our Holmesian reading then we would miss out on such much out there that is of the highest quality. I no longer differentiate between pastiches and 'other' Holmes novels....I just appreciate them all on the same level, although my own preference is for 'proper' pastiche.
2. Whether pastiche or 'just a Holmes story,' do you feel there is anything left to be taboo when writing about such an iconic character?
I am not fond of slash/homoerotic Holmes fiction, to my mind it goes a step too far and goes way beyond the characters we know and love. Portraying Holmes and Watson in old age and approaching death or dealing with death itself is just fine with me, after all if we play the game of Holmes and Watson having lived then we must acknowledge they must have died.
3. One thing I noted from looking over my volume of the Canon is that Mrs. Hudson was never the central figure in a story. Why do you suppose that is, and have you ever thought about giving her her own mystery?
I suppose she had a purpose to serve and she served it well. I must admit I haven't thought about making her central to a story although some have.
4. When writing something that has to do with Holmes, how easy and/or difficult is it for you to find the proper 'voice?' Ie - who, if other than Watson, narrates. If you have Watson narrate, being able to write him as if you are Conan Doyle and getting that particular style down.
I love writing as Watson and any praise I get for my Watsonian voice means more to me than any other aspect of my writing. In a way, I do find it easy to write as Watson...not sure why that should be....perhaps I am a Watson myself!
5. And what writing projects do you have planned for the future?
.. An upcoming children's illustrated Sherlock Holmes book...another volume of Tales From The Stranger's Room......and after that...who knows...maybe Holmes and Watson will find themselves in Lyme Regis once more.........